iStock Awards $20,000 to Emerging Filmmakers Across the Globe

First-ever “One-Minute Films: Resiliency” competition challenged filmmakers to use their creative powers to craft 60-second films using iStock footage exclusively

iStock, a leading ecommerce platform providing premium visual content to SMBs, SMEs, creatives and students everywhere, announces the winners of its first-ever global Creative Competition, “One-Minute Films: Resiliency.” Designed to support emerging filmmakers and videographers worldwide, this competition provides much-needed financial support totalling US$20,000 in the wake of uncertainties and changing realities posed by COVID-19. First place was awarded $7,000, second place earned $5,000 and eight runners up were awarded $1,000 each and gifted a premium iStock subscription.

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“Quarantine constraints and social distancing requirements related to the global pandemic have meant that creatives and videographers worldwide have had to tap into their skillsets in new ways in order to persist, move forward and create moving works of storytelling,” said Claudia Marks, Senior Art Director for iStock. “This is why iStock posed a challenge asking people to use their talents to make a one-minute film using video clips from iStock exclusively, while emphasizing the concept of creative resiliency. With over 135 million video clips, photos and illustrations to choose from, iStock served as an incredible resource for our finalists, enabling them to safely create a film in the midst of a pandemic, all without needing to record a single shoot.”

“To me, resiliency is defined by adversity — almost like swimming up for air, no matter how deep the water may be,” said Daniel Roberts, who took first place for his film “Breathless,” alongside his frequent University of Southern California (USC) collaborators, sound designer Arden Sarner and producer Nancy Boyd. “Winning the first-ever iStock competition has been surreal, and it puts us one big step closer toward making our collective dream come true — that of making a feature film — in which we hope to tell a much larger story about resiliency.” Roberts is a recent graduate of USC and works as a freelance editor and director in the Los Angeles area.

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Second place was awarded to Daniel Balakov from Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, for his film “Smile,” which reminds us how — in spite of everything happening around us and the negative emotions that follow — we must find time to remember that the children inside us need love and joy. Balakov said that he was drawn to the intellectual challenge of creating a film using his own ideas, but only iStock video: “I’ve built all of the films I’ve made so far by myself, from the storyboard to the final post-processing, so the iStock competition challenged me in a new way, and I really liked that and hope to do more.” He is a freelance cinematographer and photographer originally from Bulgaria who shoots exclusively for iStock as one of its 310,000 contributors worldwide.

Finalists included freelance videographers and photographers across the globe from California to Uganda, Illinois to Italy, and the United Kingdom to Japan. More details about the iStock Creative Competition can be found here, which is part of Getty Images’ wider grants program which has awarded US$1.8 million to photographers and filmmakers worldwide since its inception.