NBC Entertainment Publicity, 818/840-3870
Calif. (October 8, 2007) – “A Fat Girl’s Guide To
Yoga” captured top honors at the Second Annual
NBCUniversal Short Film Festival held on Thursday,
October 3rd at Universal Studios’ Globe Theatre hosted by The
Office's Leslie David Baker and Melora Hardin (pictured top
left with festival producers). A
blind script commitment with Universal Media Studios was presented to
the “Yoga” filmmakers Tajamika Paxton, former film executive
at MTV Films, and Gregory M.T. Colleton. “Yoga” a laugh-out-loud
short about an oversized African-American woman’s yoga journey
to lose weight found a great response from the 300 plus in attendance,
including cast members from The Office, who also presented
the Best Performance Award to Wendy McKinney, the star of “Yoga”.
"We are thrilled to be working with Taj and Greg, who have an exciting
and innovative comedic voice to bring to our studio,” said Katherine
Pope, President, Universal Media Studios.
The evening kicked
off with an address by NBCUniversal’s Paula Madison (EVP, Diversity
& Chief Diversity Officer) and was MCed by comedian Wil Sylvince
and NBC’s Damona Resnick. The Los Angeles “Comedy Short Cuts” Finalist Showcase featured
the top five selected short films, which were produced, directed
or starred diverse talent. In
addition to screening the five finalists, the winner of the NBC
YOU Promo Festival was also announced. A new addition to this year's NBCU DiverseCity Initiative,
NBC YOU allowed the opportunity for fans to collaborate with the network to create original promos while exploring
new ways of reaching and expanding NBC's audience. Jennifer Goyette’s
“NBC Heroes: It’s Your Future” took the top prize.
The winning promos, as well as the other finalists, can all be viewed
Last year’s Short Film Festival winner “Equal
Opportunity” evolved into a web series, “The Good Ol’
Boys”, which airs on NBC’s DotComedy.com next month but
this year's festival audience got a live sneak peak of the first episode.
Select finalist films from the 2006 film festival are currently airing
on NBCU partner, SundanceChannel.com.
the 2007 festival were first announced to an industry audience by cast
members from 30 ROCK (pictured bottom left) at the opening
night of the New York Television Festival on September 6th. All five
finalists from this year’s festival, including “Bitch”
by Lilah Vandenburgh (Writer/Director), “El Chisme” by Miguel
Becerra (Writer/Director), “Aquarium” by Rob Meyer (Writer/Director)
and “The Sunday Man” by Danielle Shamash (Writer/Director)
are still vying for The Online Audience Award. Online voting will be
open to the public until October 31st with the winner announced on November
2nd. More information on festival judges, prize packages, and online
voting can be found at NBCUshortsFEST.com.
The 2nd annual NBCUniversal Short Film Festival is one of the
main components of the NBCUniversal DiverseCity Initiative – a
company-wide initiative to discover diverse voices both in front of
and behind the camera.
The Initiative and corresponding festival was created in partnership with Keldof Marketing and is co-produced by Kevin Seldon
of Keldof, a specialty
branding firm that also spearheaded the the creation of five promos airing nationwide with James
Kyson Lee and Dania Ramirez from NBC’s HEROES, Leslie David Baker
from NBC’s THE OFFICE, as well as Zachary Levi and Joshua Gomez
from NBC’s new hit comedy, CHUCK.
NBCUniversal companies involved with this year’s initiative include:
NBC, Universal Media Studios, Bravo, SciFi, USA networks, Telemundo,
Mun2, Focus Features, Rogue Pictures, Universal Pictures, and the
Sundance Channel. Corporate
partners for this year included American Airlines, Entertainment Partners,
Final Draft, Baseline StudioSystems, WithoutaBox, Vibe Magazine,
Jack Georges, BlackBerry, and Starwood Hotels.