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Winners announced

The first-ever winners of the Sony Future Filmmaker Awards have been announced. A huge congratulations to Dan Thorburn (UK), Daniela Lucato (Italy), Pedro Furtado (Brazil), Mateo Salas (Colombia), Seonghoon Eric Park (Republic of Korea) and Pan Tianhong (China Mainland) for scooping the top prizes in the inaugural Sony Future Filmmaker Awards. 

category winner
Category winners for Sony Future Filmmaker Awards 2023

Chosen from 4,000 submissions entered by filmmakers worldwide, these six short films stood out to the judges for the creators’ ability to explore a story with creative ingenuity, technical skill, and a fresh approach. 

The news was revealed earlier today at a special awards ceremony in the Cary Grant Theatre at Sony Pictures Studio in Culver City, California. The black-tie event, attended by shortlisted filmmakers, press and media, Sony representatives, and other film industry leaders, kickstarts a bespoke program at Sony Pictures Studios for the filmmakers. During their stay in Culver City, the filmmakers will gain exclusive access to experts and unparalleled workings of the industry through a full schedule of workshops, tours and panel discussions led by Sony Pictures executives to provide exceptional insight, access and opportunities for independent filmmakers. 

Category winners 

Salt Water Town, Dan Thorburn, Filmmaker, Fiction

Filmmaker Fiction is awarded to Dan Thorburn (UK) for his absorbing Salt Water Town. In just under 15 minutes, Thorburn shares a story of a failing caravan park and its closure looming over the owner and his son. While the pair clash over their future, tragic consequences unfold.

The Things You Don't Know About Me, Mom, Daniela Lucato, Filmmaker, Non-Fiction

Daniela Lucato (Italy) wins the Filmmaker Non-Fiction category for The Things You Don’t Know About Me, Mom. This sobering short shows a survivor of the Pinochet regime in Chile, who imagines telling her mother all of the things that she didn’t want to know about her experience.

The Good Dolphins, Pedro Furtado, Filmmaker, Environment

Congratulations to Filmmaker Environment winner Pedro Furtado (Brazil). He shares in The Good Dolphins how a community of fishermen in Brazil fight to save a pod of dolphins who have helped them to catch fish across generations. 

The Sun of the River, Mateo Salas, Student Filmmaker, Fiction

The Student Filmmaker Fiction prize goes to Mateo Salas (Colombia, Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia) for The Sun of the River. We watch a dramatic depiction of a family’s journey which takes a troubling turn when they are stopped by a group of paramilitaries.

In Cod We Trust, Seonghoon Eric Park, Student Filmmaker, Fiction

Seonghoon Eric Park (the Republic of Korea, Boston University, USA), is the winner of the Student Filmmaker Non-Fiction category for their film In Cod We Trust. The film probes the endangered fishing trade in the New England town of Gloucester, home to one of the oldest and largest fishing communities in the United States.

Homework for Winter Vacation, Pan Tianhong, Future Format

The Future Format winner for 2023 is Pan Tianhong (China Mainland) for Homework for Winter Vacation. In just under three and a half minutes, Tianhong shares the charming story of a child making sweet dumplings in preparation for the Chinese New Year.

Sir Roger A. Deakins, Academy Award-winning cinematographer and judge for the 2023 Awards says: ‘It was a pleasure to be on the jury of the Sony Future Filmmaker Awards this year. My collaborator and wife, James, and I always enjoy seeing the work of new filmmakers. We spend a lot of time supporting upcoming talent through our Team Deakins’ website, podcast and YouTube channel. We were pleased to be a part of this programme that hopefully will translate into new opportunities for emerging filmmakers. We loved that the scope of the entries was so wide, including submissions from the UK, Italy, Korea, Colombia and Brazil. We firmly believe that there is a lot of promising talent out there and enjoyed being a part of recognizing this through these awards.’

The Sony Future Filmmaker Awards provides a getaway for the development of creative excellence in short film. Do you think your short film could win prizes? Stay tuned for the next edition of the Sony Future Filmmaker Awards.