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Header image for article ARRI Inspiration Challenge Judges Announced

ARRI Inspiration Challenge Judges Announced

AbelCine, ARRI, and Tongal are excited to announce a special lineup of judges who will be evaluating each of the ARRI Inspiration Challenge final projects: Sam Levy, Tina Mabry, and Jaron Presant, ASC. The three judges are professionals that represent a range of cinematic experience behind the camera, from narrative features and television, to commercials and music videos.

As a reminder, the original creative brief for the ARRI Challenge was to find films that exemplify all the ways that ARRI gear inspires a creative vision and answers the question: what is it about ARRI cameras, lenses, or lighting that evokes emotion and inspires your imagination? The judges will review each ARRI Challenge pitch winners' final pieces, along with any wild cards, and evaluate them with an eye to how succesfully they translated the original theme of the challenge. We'll be announcing the final winners during a public screening event later this year, so stay tuned as we'll be announcing more details soon!

To find out more about the three judges, view their bios below: 


Sam Levy 

After studying filmmaking with Leslie Thornton at Brown University, and French New Wave director Eric Rohmer at The University of Paris-Michelet, Sam Levy began his professional career as an apprentice to cinematographer Harris Savides. Sam first gained recognition as a cinematographer in his own right when he photographed Wendy and Lucy for director Kelly Reichardt. Sam went on to shoot three films for director Noah Baumbach: Frances Ha, Mistress America and While We're Young.

Frances Ha garnered Sam a nomination for best cinematography from the London Film Critics Circle. He has also been recognized as Filmmaker Magazine's Favorite Cinematographer of the Year, and voted one of 15 cinematographers to watch by Indiewire. Sam's recent films include two projects for director Spike Jonze: Changers and Untitled Frank Ocean Project, and Lady Bird, the feature film debut of director Greta Gerwig.

Sam has photographed commercials and music videos for such directors as Spike Jonze, Mark Romanek, Stacy Wall, Randy Krallman, Brigitte Lacombe, Sophie Muller, Chris Wilcha, Todd Field, Alison Maclean, The Malloy Brothers, Adam and Dave and Matthew Swanson, among others.

See more of his work at samlevydp.com


Tina Mabry

A native of Tupelo, Mississippi, Tina Mabry graduated from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts with an MFA in Film Production in 2005. A true hyphenate, Tina is a writer, director, and producer for television and film. She was a co-producer, writer, and director for the second season of USA’s hit drama Queen of the South. Tina was also a producer, writer, and director on the first season of OWN’s Queen Sugar created by Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey. Tina produced and directed Melody 1963: Love Has to Win, an American Girl special for Amazon Kids. The special earned Tina a DGA Award and a NAACP Award. Tina’s other television directing credits include Netflix’s Dear White People, ABC’s The Mayor, HBO’s Insecure, and STARZ’s Power.

In film, Tina began her career co-writing the feature screenplay Itty Bitty Titty Committee directed by Jamie Babbit. The film premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2007 and won Best Feature Narrative at South by Southwest Film and Music Festival. Tina went on to write and direct her first feature film, Mississippi Damned, which garnered an impressive thirteen awards including Best Feature Film and Best Screenplay at the Chicago International Film Festival. Tina has worked on a number of short films, including her first film, the award-winning Brooklyn's Bridge to Jordan, which screened at more than fifty film festivals worldwide and aired on Showtime Networks, LOGO and Centric. Most recently, Tina wrote for George Tillman Jr.’s upcoming feature at FOX 2000’s, The Hate U Give, based on the best selling novel of the same name.

Tina was named among the 25 New Faces of Independent Film in Filmmaker Magazine in July of 2009 and was recognized by Out Magazine as one of the most inspirational and outstanding people of the year. She was featured in the Advocate magazine as part of their Top Forty Under 40 issue. Tina has participated in several talent development programs including Film Independent’s Writers’ Lab, Tribeca Film Institute’s All Access, and Sundance’s Screenwriters Intensive.

To learn more about her work, visit www.morgansmark.com.


Jaron Presant, ASC

Jaron Presant, ASC started working with cinematographer Tom Richmond while in high school and assisted him for six years on commercials, music videos and features. After graduating from USC's School of Cinema-Television, he shot award-winning features on the festival circuit including Mortuary, The Truth Below, and Hours. He also developed a close relationship with director Rian Johnson and DP Steve Yedlin, and the three have collaborated on the award-winning films Brick, The Brothers Bloom, Looper and the recent Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Jaron was also included in Variety's 10 Cinematographers to Watch list for 2017. His latest project is Brad Peyton’s action sci-fi adventure Rampage, starring Dwayne Johnson, set for release later this year.

As Jaron explains, "The thing that makes cinematography so amazing is the nuanced position it holds between technique and artistry. There's a technical knowledge that, once mastered, allows one to see imaging in an entirely new and evocative way. From there we can author images that add the perfect support to a narrative and controlling the technical in a way that makes it an artistic tool. Those are the moments I love most in film, when the technique becomes art and perfectly supports the emotion of a story.

See more of his work at jaronpresant.com


Intro image for article ARRI Inspiration Challenge Finalists Announced
Company News
AbelCine, ARRI, and Tongal are pleased to announce the Pitch Winners in the ARRI Inspiration Challenge: Madeline Kate Kann for Specular, Amitabh Joshi for Searching for Harishchandra, Paxeros Creative for Self-Portrait.