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100 Words Film Festival

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100 Words Film Festival

The 100 Words Film Festival is an American film festival held annually in Charlotte, North Carolina. Founded in 2014, it celebrates concise, cinematic storytelling — each film must contain exactly 100 spoken words, requiring filmmakers to focus on the essence of the story. The word limit is a part of the festival's goal to democratize filmmaking by making it financially achievable for nearly everyone.


Called "the visual Twitter" of film festivals by former Saatchi & Saatchi global CEO Kevin Roberts, the festival draws entries from around the world as well as critical acclaim from regional media. "This idea really does force people to rethink the idea of film storytelling, something Hollywood virtually never does any more. ... Limits liberate the best of these filmmakers, rather than confining them," wrote Charlotte Observer theater critic and culture reporter Lawrence Toppman in November 2015.

Filmmaker Scott Galloway, founder of Charlotte-based media production company Susie Films, is the festival's founder and director.

2014 Festival

The inaugural edition was held Nov. 22 in front of a sold-out crowd of more than 700 at Charlotte's McGlohon Theatre, with 30 professional and student films. Winning entries:

  • Hey Jason (Best Dramatic Film)
  • Beyond the Skyline (Best Documentary Film)
  • Say No More (Best Student Film)
  • Peer Pressure (Best Student Film)
  • Hey Jason (Audience Choice Award)
  • 2015 Festival

    The second edition returned to the McGlohon Theatre on Nov. 6-7, with 34 films over two nights. Winning entries:

  • "Lisa’s Baby Advice #1 and #2" by Anna Christopher and Regina Taufen (Best Scripted Film)
  • "Water Bedouins" by Yavuz Pullukcu (Best Documentary)
  • "To Dream" by Holly Lane, Queens University, Charlotte (Best Student Film)
  • "Emily" by Jacob Piller, Lake Norman Charter High School, Huntersville (Best Student Film)
  • The festival included five student films made for local charities through its mentoring program, with advice and assistance from industry professionals. They were:

  • "The Farmer, The Chef and The Citizen" by George Hamilton, Central Piedmont Community College, for Green Teacher Network of Charlotte
  • "Opening Skies" by Austin Huddy, Queens University, for Camp Blue Skies of Charlotte
  • "The American" by Max Rivera, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, for Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency
  • "House of Hope" by Carly Bornmann, UNC School of the Arts, for Hawley House
  • "Meet Rosie" by Ashley Page, Davidson College, for Animal Protection of New Mexico
  • It also included a filmmaker seminar, featuring a conversation with Shadow Distribution president Ken Eisen, actress/filmmaker Karen Young, and Academy Award-nominated documentarian Andy Abrahams Wilson.

    2016 Festival

    The third annual 100 Words Film Festival featured 37 short films on Nov. 4-5 at the McGlohon Theatre. Winning entries:

  • "The Hidden" by Christopher Baker (Best Scripted Film)
  • "Barn Dance" by Ted Richardson (Best Documentary)
  • "Monsters" by Candace Frazier (Best Student Film)
  • "Insanity" by Walter Mirkss (Best Student Film)
  • The festival’s student charity mentoring program selected five student filmmakers from across the country to produce short films for local organizations. They were:

  • “Still Sophie,” by Caroline Knight, University of Tennessee, for Seriously Awesome Stroke Survivors
  • “Battlefriend,” by Trevor Walsh, University of North Florida, for K9s for Warriors
  • “Destiny,” by Brandon Buensuceso, San Francisco State University, for Destiny Arts Center
  • “Commo,” by Peter Bowman, Davidson College, for Charlotte Bridge Home
  • “RunningWorks,” by Victoria Ogundipe, Johnson C. Smith University, for RunningWorks
  • The second day of the festival offered seminars from notable guests including Deirdre Haj, executive director of the Full Frame Film Festival, Kristin McCracken, of the Film Festival Alliance, and Robin Canfield, of Actuality Media. Some of the featured filmmakers and guests also participated in a “meet the filmmakers” roundtable.

    Media coverage

  • Fisher, Nicole. "Third Annual 100 Words Film Festival Gets Timely." Charlotte Viewpoint, 2016.
  • Toppman, Lawrence. "Charlotte's most unusual film festival: What happens when a filmmaker gets only 100 words to tell a story? These." The Charlotte Observer, 2016.
  • Inscoe, Corey. "What's the power of 100 words? Find out at this unique Charlotte film festival." CharlotteFive, 2016.
  • Toppman, Lawrence. "Shut my mouth! The 100 Words Film Festival is back." The Charlotte Observer, 2015.
  • Fisher, Nicole. "" Charlotte Viewpoint, 2015.
  • Leggett, Page. "‘Get in and get out’: 100-Word Film Festival returns for second year." Q City Metro, 2015.
  • Schacht, John. "100 Words Film Fest: Future Arrives Via Short Film." Charlotte Viewpoint, 2015.
  • Rupersburg, Nicole. "100 Words Film Festival is a democratizing film fest for the Twitter generation." Creative Exchange, 2015.
  • Leggett, Page. 100 Words Film Festival forces filmmakers to get to the point. Creative Loafing, 2014.
  • Toppman, Lawrence. Brevity is the soul of 100 Words Film Festival. The Charlotte Observer, 2014.
  • Walsh, Michael. Cinema in Brief: Telling Stories in 100 Words. Charlotte Viewpoint, 2014.
  • Rupersburg, Nicole. 100 Words Film Festival is a democratizing film fest for the Twitter generation Springboard Exchange, 2014.
  • Smith, Andy. A Picture Is Worth... 100 Words? Charlotte Magazine, 2014.
  • Minchin, Marty. "Winning Film Tells Charlotte Stories" Charlotte Observer, 2014.
  • References

    100 Words Film Festival Wikipedia