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Announcing the Winners of Dread Central’s Outbreak Breakout Short Film Contest!

We were overwhelmed by both the quantity and quality of submissions to our Outbreak Breakout Short Film Contest. Filmmakers and enthusiasts were challenged to create a 2-minute short film inspired by the COVID-19 quarantine—using their cell phones! We recently shared the Top 10 Finalists and, today, we are thrilled to announce the winners.

Congratulations to all of our Finalists and thanks to everyone for sharing their time and talents. Stay tuned for an announcement on our “Second Wave” short film contest coming soon.

Grand Prize Winner: $500

The Green Shit
By Andrew Bowser

A John Carpenter inspired take on Romeo and Juliet during the apocalypse.

Director’s Statement:
I wanted to make something that dealt with my personal fears surrounding this current pandemic – but place it in a more stylized/Sci Fi environment. It was important to me to abide by the social distancing rules, which meant “self-shooting” and never being close than 6 feet to another actor. I’m proud of what we accomplished with these restrictions!

Bowser further explains how he produced such an amazing short within the contest’s parameters (which stressed responsible filmmaking through social distancing:

“I chose to shoot outside, for the natural light (better with my iPhone X). But I adhered strictly to social distancing rules. The entire film is self-shot. I shot the whole thing, and performed the lead role (while filming myself with a flimsy phone tripod!). Then, when the actress joined me, we kept our distance to 6 feet apart or more, and kept our masks on!

“The whole thing was shot on the iPhone, and all post work was done by artists working at home! The voice over was done by the actor at his home, and our sound designer and composer never left their houses!”

Second Place: $200 in Dread Store Merchandise

The 48th Hour
By Ryan Valdez

During a world pandemic, we discover the virus counteracts with sunlight, burning the carries, enabling the night hours for them to roam freely and terrorize the city. We follow a couple who take refuge in their home, only to find out one of them is infected trying to make an escape, shortly after the lockdown curfew is initiated.

Director’s Statement:
During this awful time, it’s interesting to teeter back and forth on the concept of mass hysteria or reality and putting our protagonist in a position to possibly be the antagonist. As Norman Bates one said, “We all go a little mad sometimes.”

3rd Place Winner: $100 in Dread Store Merchandise

Dead Inside
By Clint Carney

A man is trapped inside his home with his dead wife as she returns to life.

Director’s Statement:
Thank you to all who have taken the time to watch my film. Making a film by myself has given me even more respect for those crew members whose talent I normally rely on so much. Congrats to all the other filmmakers entering this contest for being able to complete their films with limited resources during the quarantine!

Honorable Mentions

All Full
By Keith Krass

A homicidal maniac targets a hotel under quarantine in this horror/comedy short directed by & starring Keith Krass.

Director’s Statement:
When I’m not making films I work as a night watchman in an old hotel. The place has been empty lately due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which inspired me to shoot this mini horror flick about quarantine patients who check in but don’t check out, heavily influenced by The Shining, Psycho, Tales from the Crypt, and Creepshow. Enjoy!

It’s Gonna Be Okay!
By Michael Roddy

The Quarantine of 2020  is continuing and young Senior High School Girl is sharing her enthusiasm for the future.

Director’s Statement:
The COVID-19 Quarantine has and will continue to affect people differently. This was a way to blend the hopefulness of the future with a little bit of ironic dread, as the eventual outcome of this quarantine will continue to impact culture long after this.

Congratulations once again to all of our winners and thanks to all who participated. Together, our community is strong!

Written by Josh Millican

Josh Millican is the Editor in Chief at Dread Central.

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