Aurora, CO, December 02, 2023 — The Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) announced the winners of its seventh annual Young Filmmakers Contest during JASNA’s Annual General Meeting in Aurora, CO. The short film contest, which showcases young filmmakers’ representations of Jane Austen, her novels, and her world, attracted film entries from throughout the United States and Canada.
Each of the winning entries centered around Jane Austen’s books, characters, life, or world in films of five minutes or less. The winning films are published on JASNA’s website.
With its mission to introduce new generations to the genius of Jane Austen’s novels, the Young Filmmakers Contest joins JASNA’s other outreach efforts, including the annual Essay Contest, International Visitor fellowship, and Jane Austen Book Box Program for classrooms.
“Judging these entries gave me hope for the future of the arts and humanities,” says Devoney Looser, Regents Professor of English at Arizona State University and a 2023 judge. “It was a privilege to see next-generation creators use their talents to make such brilliant, thoughtful, funny, and moving Austen-inspired short films.”
This year’s judges included: Adrian Lukis, actor in the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice and co-author and actor in Being Mr. Wickham; Francine Mathews/Stephanie Barron, author of The Jane Austen Mystery Series; Xavier Samuel, actor in Love and Friendship and Twilight: Eclipse; Devoney Looser, Professor at Arizona State University and author of The Making of Jane Austen and Sister Novelists: The Trailblazing Porter Sisters, Who Paved the Way for Austen and the Brontës; Kathleen Flynn, author of The Jane Austen Project; and Alonso Duralde, film critic for The Film Verdict.
The 2023 winners are:
1st place: Bernadette Santos Schwegel of Chicago, Ill. Her film, titled Yours Affectionately, Jane, portrays a college student who, after receiving a mysterious letter in the mail, begins a correspondence with a famous author from the past.
2nd place: Anatolia Kozinski of New York, N.Y. In Kozinski’s poignant film, Jane Austen: A Six-Word Memoir, Austen chooses six words that represent different phases of her bittersweet, monumental life.
3rd place: Lily Hutcheson of Manchester, Vt. In her comedy, Mr. Collins and the Zombies of Gloucestershire, the board of executives of a production company struggle to come up with a concept for their new Austen-inspired film.
The Young Filmmakers Contest is open to any amateur filmmaker aged 30 and under who resides in North America. Entry is free.
Deadline for 2024 contest entries is June 24, 2024. For more information visit jasna.org/programs/young-filmmakers-contest.
The Jane Austen Society of North America (jasna.org) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the enjoyment and appreciation of Jane Austen and her writing. JASNA was founded in 1979 by Joan Austen-Leigh, Henry G. Burke, and J. David Grey. One hundred Janeites attended the society’s inaugural dinner on October 5, 1979, at the Gramercy Park Hotel in Manhattan. The event was covered by The New Yorker magazine in a “Talk of the Town” item, which began, “Some people who like Jane Austen got together the other evening . . . .”
Since then, the society’s ranks have grown to more than 5,000 members, making JASNA the largest literary society devoted to Jane Austen.