Make a Film About the Houston Music Scene, Win Stuff

The people at Nokia and Sundance are launching a short-film competition, asking filmmakers, fans and musicians themselves from cities all over the world to shine a light on their respective music scenes.

For the last cycle of the competition, the organizers showcased videos from Portland (natch), New York City, Los Angeles, Detroit, New Orleans and Atlanta. I think it is Houston's turn.

Obviously, this is a chance to showcase the things in our city that you love the most, be it a noise act at Super Happy Fun Land, a punk band at Mango's, the best rapper in Houston no one knows about yet, a jazz quartet at your favorite wine bar or a picker at your local quasi-honky-tonk.

To take part, filmmakers must upload a short video trailer (15 sec-60 sec) including a 150-word supporting written description visualizing the 'underground music scene' in their chosen city.

Think of this trailer as an audition, which showcases your concept. Nokia is looking for creative ideas that push the boundaries of the camera and the possibilities of mobile filmmaking.

The two finalists selected will then receive two Lumia920 cameras and a hefty $5,000 budget each to create their final product.

A special screening at the Sundance London Film and Music festival this coming April is guaranteed, with both finalists attending, all expenses paid. The grand prize winner -- if a free trip to London isn't enough -- will walk away $5,000 richer and with a Nokia Lumia920 in his or her hands.

Check out all the rules for the contest here. Mind you, the deadline for trailer submissions is March 14, at 10 a.m. PST (noon Houston time), with voting starting the next day and running for a week after that.

Winners then have less than a month to film their masterpiece and turn it over to the judges.

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If anyone is interested in doing this, email me at  We are trying to get a website together (houstonfuse) where local people cover local music, art and venues.  We are also trying to get a message board together for local bands to form their own gig lineups that make sense (why put a death metal band with a pop rock band, when both their fans will end up dissatisfied).  The general idea is to make the local arts scene cohesive enough that it can attract people who aren't in the arts scene, and tap into the vaunted "army of young professionals" that Houston keeps getting touted for.  A more vibrant and encompassing art scene will keep good artists local, and make the city living experience more fulfilling.  Filming a music scene is generic.  Filming the making (or attempted making) of a scene can be compelling. 

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