Film Challenge Finals – Winners Announced

Film Challenge Finals – Winners Announced

On Monday night, April 2, 2012 at the Phoenix Film Festival, the top 12 films from the 2011-2012 IFP Phoenix Filmmaker Challenges screened in competition.  The films included the top 3 films and audience favorite from each of the three rounds of challenge: Beat the Clock Film Challenge, Breakout Film Challenge, and Masterpiece Film Challenge.

Specialty awards were nominated from all three challenges and winners voted on by members of IFP Phoenix.  The top three films were selected by the Phoenix Film Critics Society, and an audience favorite was selected and awarded after the screening.

Without much further ado, we are excited to announce the winners of the 2011-2012 IFP Phoenix Filmmaker Challenges:


Best Film – The Fall, directed by Ryan Andersen

2nd Place – Ten to Eternity, directed by Judd Lynn

3rd Place – Cordones, directed by Bob Marquis

Audience Favorite – Come Follow Me, directed by Devon Dresback

Best Directing – Devon Dresback for Come Follow Me

Best Actor – Robert Rodenbach for The Fall

Best Actress – Nathalie Cadieux for Come Follow Me

Best Ensemble Acting – The Cast of Winding Road

Best Story – Jessica MarquisAwesome Guy: A New Identity

Best Cinematography – Bret Kalmbach for Come Follow Me

Best Editing – Bob Marquis for Cordones

Best Score – Gregg Caraway for Shine Like Gold

More About the Winners


The Fall, directed by Ryan 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.

Watch the Trailer for THE FALL



A statement from the director:  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”

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…

Watch the Trailer for TEN TO ETERNITY



A statement from the director: “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.”

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.

Watch the Trailer for CORDONES

Statement from the Director: 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.

Come Follow Me, Directed by Devon Dresback

In a country school classroom, a German teacher (Nathalie Cadieux) is struck by the boredom of her students during a routine reading session. Desiring to have a lasting impact on these young, impressionable minds and encourage them to not take their youth for granted, she turns to fresh surroundings and deeply personal reflections in order to ignite the infinite realm of possibilities available for the taking. Her efforts are rewarded by the unexpected inspiration of one adventurous boy (Dakota Battle) and his friends (McKenzie Burke, Austin Pedersen).

Watch the Trailer for COME FOLLOW ME



Statement from the Director: Come Follow Me is the result of an IFP Breakout Film Challenge. After reviewing the “themes” we were able to choose from, I decided to go with “Don’t let life pass you by”. The production lived up to its name of being a “challenge” as most films are but we had a great team that worked well together. One funny story was finding enough kids to fill the classroom. We were a few shy since we were filming 2 hours from our hometown. So, a couple of us hit up a local soccer game and recruited more than enough children that showed up in full wardrobe 90 minutes later very excited to be in our film!

Devon Dresback - Best Directing for Come Follow Me

Starting at a young age, Devon Dresback was interested in digital filmmaking. He has been seriously writing and directing films since 2006. Traveling to many locations across the country, he’s shot commercials, Adventure Races and reality and educational shows. He has participated in several competitions creating short films including one-shot films, musicals and period pieces. His work has consistently won awards, the first being at the age of 18. COME FOLLOW ME was his first short film shot on RED in association with Apairus Company. 

Jessica Marquis - Best Story for Awesome Guy: A New Identity

Jessica Marquis is a screenwriter, author, and cartoonist who holds an undying belief in creativity in storytelling and collaboration in filmmaking. Working together with her husband Bob Marquis, she has written and produced numerous short films, featuring an eclectic mix of humans and inanimate characters.

Jessica was the winner of “Best Writer/Story” in 2009 for the IFP/PHX Beat the Clock awards for the Sailbear stop-motion short film ROCHAMBEAU; in addition, she is the writer of the short film AN UPLIFTING TALE, chosen by ScreenVision and Harkins Cinemas to be shown throughout Valley Harkins Cinemas during Fall 2010.

Jessica is the author of the book Raising Unicorns: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Starting and Running a Successful – and Magical! – Unicorn Farm (Adams Media). In addition, she is the Director of Operations for Sailbear Labs, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching filmmaking to youth, as well as the Co-Director of the IFP/PHX Screenwriters Group

Bret Kalmbach – Best Cinematography for Come Follow Me

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 Bret is a co-owner, along with his brother, of Apairus Company and recently purchased RED ONE utilizing it for the first time on a short, COME FOLLOW ME, directed by Devon Dresback. In addition to shooting, Bret also helps in editing and does all project color grading.

Bob Marquis - Best Editor for Cordones

Bob Marquis was born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit and moved to Phoenix in 2008. His film career began while he was studying improvisation at the Second City- Detroit. In 2004, he produced and directed the Detroit Neutrino Project, an improvised movie shot live before an audience.

Bob has led a variety of creative teams to compete in film challenges around the country, including Phoenix, Detroit and Cincinnati. He has also produced various films for churches and non-profits.  He has directed and edited the award-winning short films AWESOME GUY: A NEW IDENTITY (2nd Place, Breakout Challenge), GETTIN’ SKOOL’D (2nd Place, 48-Hour Film Challenge), AN UPLIFTING TALE (2nd Place, 48-Hour Film Challenge), ROCHAMBEAU (2nd Place, 24-Hour Film Challenge), LAZY COMEDIAN (Official Selection at the 2006 Planet Ant Film Festival). His films AN UPLIFTING TALE and HEARTS & CRAFTS were Official Selections at the 2010 Phoenix Film Festival.

Bob is the Founder and Executive Director of Sailbear Labs, an Arizona nonprofit dedicated to teaching youth ages 12-18 about filmmaking and creative storytelling. He is also the Co-Director of the IFP Phoenix Screenwriters Group, and he has been a member of the IFP-Phoenix Advisory Council since 2009.


Nathalie Cadieux – Best Actress for Come Follow Me

Nathalie Cadieux comes from Montreal, Quebec and recently graduated from ASU with a degree in theater. She has performed around the valley with theater companies such as Cookie Company, Chyro Arts, SW Shakespeare and Arizona Jewish Theater, just to name a few. Nathalie is represented by the Ford Agency.