VIZIO, Dolby Host Inaugural Filmmaker Challenge Award

Competition Celebrates the Intersection of Cinema and Advancements in Filmmaking Technology
Publish date:
Image placeholder title

AFI Conservatory Class of 2015 Cinematographer Todd Sheridan and his film Frontman has been selected as the winner in the VIZIO + Dolby Vision Filmmaker Challenge, a contest for the AFI Conservatory Film School. Frontman was scored highest out of five finalists by a panel of judges. Clinching the top prize, Sheridan will be honored with the VIZIO + Dolby Vision Cinematography Award and receive $5,000. 

VIZIO will present the film at the 2016 AFI Film Festival in Hollywood, CA. Along with the other finalists, the film will be re-graded in Dolby Vision and available now for home audiences to stream through VUDU. Each finalist will also receive a VIZIO 65-inch Reference Series Ultra HD HDR Home Theater Display featuring Dolby Vision technology.

Established to celebrate excellence in the art of storytelling and advancements in filmmaking, the VIZIO + Dolby Filmmaker Challenge inspired rising cinematographers to showcase their filmmaking prowess. The contest invited second-year Fellows from the AFI Conservatory—the American Film Institute's renowned film training program—to submit a three-minute clip of their films. From the pool of entries, a panel of judges selected the top five that best showcased striking visuals, a compelling narrative, and the filmmaker's creativity.

"We were blown away by the quality of films submitted to the inaugural VIZIO + Dolby Vision Filmmaker Challenge. The pool of talent, coupled with the ongoing advancements in technology, make this an especially exciting time for the future of cinema," said Lily Knowles, vice president of marketing, VIZIO. "Sheridan's use of equipment, scene selection, lighting, and storytelling stood out, intimately engaging viewers to bring the short story to life onscreen. Together with Dolby, we're committed to bringing home the cinema experience with unprecedented picture quality advancements so that films like Frontman can be enjoyed the way they were intended by their creators. Congratulations to all of this year's participants for putting forth truly captivating works of art."

"We're thrilled to have partnered with VIZIO to provide the next generation of storytellers the opportunity to have their artistic vision recognized and enjoyed on a national scale," said Roland Vlaicu, VP, Consumer Imaging, Dolby Laboratories. "The use of Dolby Vision in these five outstanding films will deliver viewers a spectacular home viewing experience by enhancing the visual narrative of the story while preserving the artistic intent of the filmmakers."

Dolby Vision delivers high brightness, deep contrast, and vivid color that enables a dramatic visual experience for consumers. It achieves this image quality by leveraging HDR and wide color gamut imaging technologies, both onscreen and in specifically mastered content. As a result, Dolby Vision-enabled devices deliver images with greater brightness, and provide deeper, more nuanced and detailed darks, while rendering a fuller palette of rich new colors never before seen on screen.

Each year, second-year cinematography fellows at AFI have the opportunity to concept, direct, produce, film, and edit a visual essay as part of their coursework. This real-life application helps fellows hone their filmmaking skills.

"VIZIO and Dolby have been great partners in celebrating the next generation of filmmakers," said Stephen Lighthill, ASC, senior filmmaker-in-residence: cinematography, AFI Conservatory. "We're proud of all the Fellows for their ongoing commitment to their craft and congratulate Sheridan for taking the top honors."