News Column

TXU Energy Calls for Entries for Light Up the Red Carpet Student Film Contest

December 8, 2013


TXU Energy and the Dallas Film Society have opened the TXU Energy Light Up the Red Carpet Student Film Contest, offering cash and other prizes to the high school and college students - and their schools - who enter the most creative and well-produced films about energy.

According to a release, the TXU Energy Light Up the Red Carpet Student Film Contest has awarded more than $120,000 in cash and prizes to student filmmakers and their schools. It also has given winning students the opportunity to walk the red carpet at the Dallas International Film Festival and to meet professional actors, writers, producers and critics.

"The film contest is a great opportunity for students to express their ideas about electricity and energy, and for TXU Energy to connect with another part of our diverse base of customers," said Donna Egen, who manages sponsorships for TXU Energy. "In addition to the prizes, past winners have been offered internships and have gotten invaluable insights and experience toward careers in film."

Taylor Martin, a senior at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, was invited to take his 2012-13 grand prize film to the American Conservation Film Festival. He then got the opportunity to work with Oscar-winning producer Aron Warner's Reel FX on editing for Free Birds, an animated holiday feature film starring Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson.

"This has opened a lot of opportunities for me," Martin said.

Robert Ochoa, the college-level grand prize winner from 2012-13, said anyone considering an entry should "DO IT."

"The TXU Energy Light Up the Red Carpet Student Film Contest gave me a tremendous opportunity to network on a professional level, enhance and show off my film-making ability, and acquire real world experience that looks great on a resume," said Ochoa, a sophomore at Baylor University. "It will help you more than you can ever imagine."

Ochoa's advisor, Chris Hanson, said, "It's important for any student who wants to work in film and media to be able to create a project that meets certain requirements - to work within the parameters set by an employer. Robert took those rules and ran with them, and ultimately created a winning film that shows that he knows how to be creative within a set of specific constraints."

Films of three-to-five minutes in length can be produced in any film genre, including drama, comedy, music video or animation. Students are encouraged to focus on how energy and electricity add to their lives and how energy might fit into its futures. The films will capture and entertain or inspire their audiences. They will take them beyond what's already being done with energy - whether that's over-consuming, being energy efficient, or living off the grid. Those films might share a vision of how we will use electricity in the future, illustrate how electricity inspires us or show the power that electricity has to change a moment or change a life.

The deadline for entry is Jan. 31, 2014. Entries will be judged by the public online and a panel of film industry professionals will judge the finalists before winners are announced in April 2014. Winners will find out how they ranked and their prizes on April 10, 2014, during Dallas International Film Festival's award ceremony.

"It may seem like there's a long lead time between now and the deadline for entry, but students shouldn't let that lull them into waiting," Egen said. "The level of competition is intense and there is a tremendous amount of work necessary to produce a winning film."

TXU Energy is a competitive retail electricity provider.

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