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Inaugural Virginia Is For Film Lovers Short Film Competition Winners Announced

RICHMOND, Va.The Virginia Film Office and Virginia Tourism Corporation announced the winners of the inaugural Virginia Is For Film Lovers short film competition!

The 30-90 second challenge prompted film lovers and filmmakers to show what they love most about Virginia, seeking beautiful content from established and emerging filmmakers alike.  The call for entries was announced in November 2016 and closed July 2017.  Overall, the competition received 47 qualifying short film submissions from talented filmmakers throughout the Commonwealth and beyond, and the entries have garnered over 56,000 views since their posting. Winners were selected in two groupings – the Jury Award, selected by a panel of three judges in the film industry, and the Audience Award, selected by the number of votes garnered online.

Virginia Film Office Director Andy Edmunds said, “We are thrilled with the diversity and quality of the films submitted – it’s a real pleasure to see the emotional connection so many people have with our beautiful Commonwealth. Our goal for this competition was to provide an elevated platform for filmmakers to share their Virginia experiences and talents with a wider audience, and we are inspired by the filmmaking community’s enthusiastic response.”

Filmmaker Sarah Bonner, whose piece Dear Virginia took home the first place Jury Award said, “I’m honored and so humbled, I can’t believe the judges with that experience and talent chose my film, it’s a huge confidence boost. My dream is to direct movies for the rest of my life and they have given me so much hope that that can happen.”

The competition winners and four honorable mention recipients are listed below.  All entries can be viewed on Virginia Tourism’s website: https://www.virginia.org/filmloversaudienceawards.




Dear Virginia

Submitted by: Sarah Bonner

A woman relives her favorite memories growing up in Virginia. Forced to leave its adventures behind as a child she returns with a family of her own to give them the childhood that she had.



Love Letter

Submitted by: Sara Moore

Stunned by her beauty, enthralled with her history, and captivated by her vibrance, he couldn’t help but fall in love.



This Is My Virginia

Submitted by:  Kennedy Carey

I know a place, where a single road can lead to endless possibilities. Where every step, and every glance, is filled with beauty as far as the eye can see. This is a place where you love to get lost, because somehow it makes you feel more at home. A place where the rolling hills of apple orchards are filled with the echoing laughs of friendship and the cities come alive at the suns beck and call. This is a place for thrill seekers, a place for care givers, and if you’re lucky you’ll share all of these memories with that special someone because most importantly, this is a place…for lovers. This is my Virginia.



Lovers of Life

Submitted by: Shelli Witt

Shot on location at Mary’s Rock Tunnel, Skyline Drive, Portsmouth, and other locations across the beautiful state of Virginia.


A Little Adventure

Submitted by: Kyle Head

Virginia is for lovers of mountains, cities, beaches, wine, sports and more! Take a little trip around our beautiful state and see what Virginia has to offer.


Virginia is for Lovers

Submitted by: Evan Moore

A modern take on the 1969 classic “Virginia is For Lovers” campaign, this social media-ready 30-second spot reinforces the timelessness of the slogan by showing the countless ways that Virginia welcomes lovers of all the best things in life.


Virginia is for Lifelong Lovers

Submitted by: Jerry Linkous

A glimpse at the wonder of Virginia through a child’s eyes. Even at the earliest stages in life, Virginia is still for Lovers.


For more on the Virginia Tourism Corporation, visit: www.virginia.org

For more on the Virginia Film Office, visit: www.filmvirginia.org

For more on the Audience Awards, visit: www.theaudienceawards.com