The winners of this year’s My RØDE Reel have officially been announced. After receiving more than three times the number of entries (from 114 countries) than in 2019, the winning filmmakers come from 12 different countries. They will share the prize money of $1 million in cash and a huge amount of filmmaking gear. The overall judges’ panel winner is Timothy Hay from South Africa and his film AMANZI OLWANDLE (Ocean Water).
Over the last few years, it has become an anticipated event in the calendars of many filmmakers: Australian audio equipment manufacturer RØDE organizes a large filmmaking competition called My RØDE Reel.
Despite (or because of?) everything bad that has been happening in 2020, this year turned out to be a huge success for competition participation.
My RØDE Reel 2020 opened for entries on July 29 (you can read our initial My RØDE Reel 2020 article from July here). The competition offered a whopping $1 million in cash plus lots of gear and filmmaking prizes for winners to be shared.
Now, just over a a month since closing the competition, RØDE announced the winners. Let’s take a look at the results.
Global winners, entries from 114 countries
RØDE claims that they received more than three times the number of entries from 2019 for this year’s competition. These came from 114 countries with the winning filmmakers spanning over 12 different countries.
That is not all that surprising considering the sizeable monetary award and the fact that many filmmakers around the world lost projects due to COVID-19-related lockdown(s) and likely had more time to create.
There are many winning films so I will not embed all of them in this article. I will only embed the five films that won the largest prizes. If you would like to see the other winning movies, you can visit the My RØDE Reel 2020 Results webpage.
Overall winner: Timothy Hay (South Africa), “AMANZI OLWANDLE”
The judges’ panel at the 2020 My RØDE Reel consisted of Selina Miles, Meyne Wyatt, and Ryan Connolly. They chose the overall winner ($200K cash plus a lot of equipment) – Timothy Hay (South Africa) and his film AMANZI OLWANDLE (Ocean Water).
Below you can find further results in the various categories.
Comedy winner: Amelia Farmer (Australia), “The Starey Bampire”
- 1st Place ($75K): The Starey Bampire – Amelia Farmer (Australia)
- 2nd Place ($30K): The Contract – Rick Darge (USA)
- 3rd Place ($15K): Social Distance – Myles Conti (Australia)
Drama winner: Kyndra Kennedy (USA), “BLACK.MATTERS”
- 1st Place ($75K): BLACK.MATTERS – Kyndra Kennedy (USA)
- 2nd Place ($30K): Bear Hugs – Nick McLean (New Zealand)
- 3rd Place ($15K): This Dream I Have – Mason Beals (USA)
Documentary winner: Arthur Cauty (UK), “The Last Video Store”
- 1st Place ($75K): The Last Video Store – Arthur Cauty (UK)
- 2nd Place ($30K): Cynthia – Calvin Lam (USA)
- 3rd Place ($15K): Origens, A Climbing History – 100 Limite Films (Brazil)
Animation winner: Zach Tolchinsky (USA), “The Forbidden Zone”
- 1st Place ($75K): The Forbidden Zone – Zach Tolchinsky (USA)
- 2nd Place ($30K): What a Waste – John Remar Lavina (Phillippines)
- 3rd Place ($15K): Tread – Matt Landkroon (New Zealand)
People’s Choice winners
- 1st Place ($25K): Harmless (Anodin) – Mathieu Jonckheere Yokaasan (Belgium)
- 2nd Place ($15K): Uprooted – Andre Pilli (USA)
- 3rd Place ($10K): Humans of Kerala – AJ Film Ferry (India)
Best Young Filmmakers
- 1st Place ($25K): Unicorn Turbo Charge – Micah Martinez
- 2nd Place ($15K): Bricks and Guns – Joshua Parry
- 3rd Place ($10K): A Journey Through Wing Chun – Matthews Ma
Sound Design winners
- 1st Place ($25K): Incident – David O’Connor (South Africa)
- 2nd Place ($15K): The Accident – Michael Lubin (USA)
- 3rd Place ($10K): Foleysh – Quokka Production (Italy)
- 1st Place ($25K): Flying Colours – Devon Dresback (USA)
- 2nd Place ($15K): Harmless (Anodin) – Mathieu Jonckheere Yokaasan (Belgium)
- 3rd Place ($10K): Noodle Power! – Gottfried Roodt and Lloyd Wilgen (South Africa)
Best Chinese Films
- 1st Place ($25K): 铃声 (The Bell) – Tong Z
- 2nd Place ($15K): 《阴职》(Baptism Mortis) – Wu Yulin
- 3rd Place ($10K): 罗德短片比赛 《一个人的动物园》(The Lonely Zoo) – Peiyan Xia
Does it make sense to take part?
Speaking from my own experience – if you have the time, it is worth entering a filmmaking competition even if you end up not winning. The submitted project can be a nice addition to your portfolio and you might also try and learn new techniques during the process, and maybe work with people you might otherwise never be able to work with.
What do you think of this year’s winners? Did you submit your movie in My RØDE Reel 2020 or previous years? Do you think there is a benefit from entering a filmmaking competition even if you don’t win? Let us know in the comments below the article.