"Our mission is clear: To promote filmmaking in Idaho and to create jobs in Idaho," said Sun Valley Film Festival Executive Director Teddy Grennan
During the 2016 SVFF, the winner of the 1 Potato competition wasn't one script, but two.
"We didn't have a choice. There were two unbelievable scripts among the contestants and we just couldn't live without either one of them," said Grennan.
Both projects were awarded $5,000—a good amount of money for a budding filmmaker—and charged with bringing their completed films to SVFF 2017 for a world premiere. Last year's winners made good on their task March 16, celebrating the screening of Re/Collection
, a dazzling sci-fi romantic drama, and See Yourself Out
, a seriously twisted black comedy. Both run about 20 minutes; use Idaho landscapes, particularly those around Boise, to great success; and are as good as any short film showcased at any film festival in the world.
writer Eva Konstantopoulos, co-director Deborah Correa and co-star Essa O'Shea took the stage of Ketchum's NexStage Theatre alongside See Yourself Out
writer/director Kevin Nielsen and director of photography Zach Voss to nervously introduce their end products. About 45 minutes later, the audience offered its boisterous acceptance.
Sprinkled among the audience members were other filmmakers, equally nervous to hear if their own screenplays would be lucky enough to win the 2017 1 Potato prize.
The winner was Boisean Samantha Silva who penned a script titled The Big Burn
, a drama set in Stanley. As she ran to the stage to accept the prize, she knew the clock was running. One year from now, she'll be bringing her own world premiere to SVFF.
It doesn't take long for a discussion about the state of filmmaking in Idaho to turn to the 1 Potato Film Initiative. In its second year, the 1 Potato Short Screenplay Competition tasks budding screenwriters to pitch a script that would be filmed in the Gem State.