Shorts By Cutters, Optimus, Nab Top AdComm Honors

Shorts By Cutters, Optimus, Nab Top AdComm Honors

Out of a highly competitive line-up in this year's Advertising Community Shorts Night Tuesday, short films by creatives at Chicago-based Cutters Studios and Optimus took first and second place respectively at the Midwest Independent Film Festival's annual celebration of the creative community and their passion projects.

The top prize was nabbed by EXONERATED, which had its Chicago premiere at the festival. The film is a look into the lives of five people who spent as much as 23 years in jail for crimes they did not commit. Directed by commercial photographer Andy Goodwin, it was edited by Patrick Duffy at Cutters Studios.

"Working on this project has been an amazing opportunity," Duffy said. "As soon as Craig Duncan approached me back in March, I was all about it. The dailies were very emotional by themselves and I knew right away that I didn't want to make their stories over the top or heavy handed with the music mix. I wanted the exonorees to be able to tell their story and for the viewer to feel their overwhelming injustice. I worked on breaking down and organizing the stories of each individual exonoree in order to find some patterns and similarities in their story lines. I began to inter cut the interviews and weaved a story together finding similarities in each persons journey. Andy Goodwin did such a tremendous job with the way he conducted the interviews that finding the similarities was easy."

In second place was NO OTHER WAY TO SAY IT, a satirical short from Second City veteran Actor/Writer/Director Tim Mason and Optimus, intended to pull back the curtain on one simple voice over session for a fictitious children's ice cream brand. It was executive produced by Lisa Masseur and Ron Lazzeretti, produced by Hog Butcher and Optimus. More on that film here.

Tying for third was GAS, a short film about thinking and talking. From commercial director Steve Delahoyde and Ogilvy & Mather Associate Producer Sara Martin, starring David Pasquesi and Marc Grapey and VICTOR, from Detroit production studio Yeah Haus and director/editor Chad Thompson, it is a short film about imagination, solitude and the sometimes blindfolded quest for happiness.

These shorts will join all of the films presented at the Midwest Independent Film Festival in competition for the Best of the Midwest Awards. Nominations for the BMAs should be announced in the next few days and the awards take place Tuesday December 6th at Rockit. midwestfilm.org for full details.