Masterpiece Film Challenge – Winners!

Masterpiece Film Challenge – Winners!

The winners of the IFP Phoenix Masterpiece Film Challenge have been announced!  On the evening of January 20th, the Phoenix Art Museum was buzzing with filmmakers, and our film community enthusiasts eager to watch the 9 films created for the challenge.

After both the 6pm and 8pm screenings, the audience ballods were tallied to determine the audience favorite award.  Soon after 10pm, the awards ceremony began in the Great Hall to announce the winners of this challenge.   We would like to congratulate ALL teams for being inspired to create their films, and inspiring us!

Film Ranking

  1. * The Fall – Directed by Ryan Thomas Andersen
  2. * Winding Road – Directed by Diane Dresback
  3. * Cordones – Directed by Bob Marquis
  4. Vagalume – Directed by Trahern Jordan
  5. * Ten to Eternity – Directed by Judd Lynn (Audience Favorite)
  6. Happiness – Directed by Paul Hudson
  7. Whistler – Directed by Jay Lee
  8. Beauty in All things – Directed by Kimberly Noe

Also screened, but not in competition, was “34″ directed by Jason Francois and Jae Staats

* Films winning prizes

Specialty Awards

  • Best Trailer: Winding Road
  • Best Poster: Cordones
  • Phoenix Art Museum Inspiration Award: Vagalume
  • Best Actor: Robert Rodenback for The Fall
  • Best Actress: Kaleena Newman for Cordones
  • Best Ensemble: The cast of Winding Road
  • Best Cinematography: Bret Kalmbach for Winding Road
  • Best Original Music: Trahern Jordan for Vagalume
  • Best Story: Ryan Thomas Andersen for The Fall
  • Best Editor: Bob Marquis for Cordones
  • Best Director: Ryan Thomas Andersen for The Fall

More About The Winners

1st Place Film: The Fall – Directed by Ryan Thomas Andersen

Brothers Nick ( Robert Rodenbach ) and Steve ( David Rodenbach )Grew up together just as any brothers do. Steve was the black sheep of the two, and made some bad choices as a kid. Nick and Steve get together to talk about a few things and catch up on life. Steve might be done with his past, but the past isn’t done with him.

Director’s Statement: The piece i was inspired by is called “last scattering”. The idea came to me in the most unusual way. I had gone to the museum with my 4 year old son. He was asking which one I was going to pick for my movie. I responded with ” I don’t know” so he handed me these wierd toy glasses he has made of a red ( filter/gel like material) he said “here these will help you”. I put them on. I looked at “last scattering” everything was red! Thus making the piece of art look like an apple/ apple core to me. Then I thought of biblical stories “the fall of mankind” and the power behind the red apple. ( Adam and eve). and I saw betrayal and temptation on a grand/ modern level. It became the seed in which is “The Fall” 

2nd Place Film: Winding Road – Directed by Diane M. Dresback

Middle-aged rocker Todd (Mark DeBoer) and his bands tour schedule takes them into many types of venues throughout the country. But, the annual single night visit to one particular small town bar holds more than a simple musical performance. Brandiss (Machelle Glassburn), the seemingly self-assured bartender, keeps the regulars entertained while one over-indulgent but faithful bar patron, Les (Jim Coates) urges Brandiss to not miss out on the opportunities presented to her.

Director’s Statement: Winding Road is the result of the IFP Phoenix Masterpiece Challenge. A select number of directors were accepted for this competition. We were given just six weeks and the only stipulations for the film were it had to be inspired from a piece of art at the Phoenix Art Museum and be no longer than 7 minutes. It is interesting how one or two seemingly insignificant images in the 1665 Jan van Dalen, Still Life: Vanitas painting I chose, expanded to create an entire contemporary story! Imagination is amazing! We had a very creative and talented crew and cast that worked hard to bring this short film to screen.

3rd Place Film: Cordones – Directed by Bob Marquis


Wake up. Shower. Drive to work. Work. Drive home. Go to sleep. Repeat. And so life goes for a young shoelace factory employee, until the day her closest coworker is fired. With this disturbance to her schema comes the realization that there may be more to life than her wake-up-and-work routine – but to pursue that means risking the life she knows for an uncertain future.

Director’s Statement: Routines are common for us; they help keep things organized and on track. But when routines begin to dominate our lives, we risk losing part of ourselves – the part that is imaginative and authentic, the part that compels us to make a unique contribution to this world. When the comfortable routines of our protagonist are disrupted through the loss of an inspiring coworker, she begins to recognize the emptiness around her, which presents her with the opportunity to unleash the creative, vulnerable part of her that has long lay dormant. If she does, though, she knows her life can never be the same. Neither can ours when we choose a life of imagination, authenticity, and risk.

This film was inspired by a work in the children’s area of the Phoenix Art Museum, depicting the seven elements Mexican artist Adolfo Best Maugard identified in his book ‘A Method for Creative Design’ as tools for self-expression. Each symbol could be used on its own or in conjunction with others to create art, teaching children how to draw and, consequently, build confidence in themselves. This unusual piece of artwork inspired us to develop a story about the importance of expressing oneself in a unique way, all the while incorporating the seven symbols visually throughout the entire film.

Audience Favorite: Ten To Eternity – Directed by Judd Lynn

Michael Foley, once a revered priest, is released after serving ten years for child molestation. Although the church hopes he will fade from view, he has his own plans. He intends to meet with the victims who were too scared to come forward during the trial, and one-by-one, give each the opportunity at closure. In a sordid motel room, he loads a pistol, and sets out to meet the first young man…

Director’s Statement: The piece of art that we chose was a “Collector’s Cabinet” (Kunstkammerschrank), built in 1603. These cabinets were in themselves propaganda, used by wealthy or influential travelers to impress upon an audience the owner’s worldliness and knowledge. The items inside ranged from scientific wonders, to natural curiosities, to religious artifacts. The surfaces were painted in grand style, often with religious imagery.

Some of these cabinets had removable components. The one we chose as inspiration, has what appears to be an ordinary cubby-hole. But when the sleeve that forms the cubby-hole is pulled out, there is a hidden drawer at the back. Therein was our inspiration.

Imagine a wealthy cleric, traveling the world to dispense his moral authority. He dazzles his flock with the wonders contained in his Cabinet, earning admiration and respect. They trust him with their children. But he has betrayed that trust. After a lifetime of traveling, what secrets might he have hidden in the concealed drawer? A black book? A gun? Similarly, the cabinet is a metaphor for the priest and the church in general. The cabinet appears to be magnificent and wondrous, but hides the dark secrets of its past.

Best Actress: Kaleena Newman for Cordones

Kaleena is a junior at Arizona State University majoring in Theatre. She has been participating in both the acting and technical sides of theatre since the age of 11, and has worked with theatre companies across the state. She was recently seen as Willa Jo in Childsplay’s Getting Near to Baby and is currently touring as Meta in their production of With Two Wings. Last fall, Kaleena spent the semester studying American Sign Language at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. 

Best Trailer: Winding Road - Directed by Diane M. Dresback

Since 2007, Diane Dresback has been working in the independent film industry in Arizona. She has completed over 25 short films as writer, producer, director, editor and various other production roles and has won numerous awards for her efforts. She has written five feature length screenplays, the most recent, PARANOIA, she wrote and co-produced. The film was completed in the fall of 2011 and is now being prepared for distribution consideration. For seven years in the 80s, she was co-owner of a video production company in Phoenix, Arizona.

Diane also has over 27 years in corporate Human Resources and Training experience with most of that time in management and executive level positions in the financial and travel industries. She holds a Masters degree in Adult Education and a Bachelors degree in Human Services.

Winding Road - Trailer
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Best Cinematography: Bret Kalmbach for Winding Road

Originally from Colorado, now residing in Arizona, Bret Kalmbach got his start in independent filmmaking shooting skateboard videos. He attended film school for four years concentrating first on editing, then on cinematography. After purchasing a DSLR camera, he shot a spec commercial which led to steady production work around the country filming adventure races and commercials. Currently Kalmbach is a co-owner along with his brother of Apairus Company and they recently purchased a Red camera. In addition to shooting, Kalmbach also helps in editing and does all color grading.

Our Partners

Thank you to the following festivals and partners who are providing prizes to our winners.