NBC Universal will present the company’s newly expanded short film showcase in the fourth-annual “Short Cuts” Film Festival, now featuring minority talent and filmmakers across all film genres. This year’s finalist filmmakers will be honored on October 22, at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles.

Dwayne Perkins, correspondent for NBC’s “The Jay Leno Show,” will host the exclusive screening of the top-six “Short Cuts” finalist films featuring a diverse production team, cast or theme.

The winning participants will be granted an NBC Universal Talent Holding deal for the Best Actor, an NBC Universal pilot script deal and executive meetings for the Best Filmmaker — along with a special international directing assignment from the Syfy Channel.

Selected from over 1,400 submissions, this year’s finalists are: Camille Brown (“Thank You for Washing”); Lin Oeding (“Interpretation”); Dempsey Tillman (“Collector”); Hector Montano Jaramilllo (“Tiene Usted Una Pluma?”); Sebastián Davis (“Magellan”), and Mary Archbold (“Jazz Hand”). The top eight Semi-final films were screened in conjunction with the New York Television Festival earlier in September 2009.

“The ‘Short Cuts’ Film Festival is an important component of NBC Universal’s expanding dedication to provide increasing opportunities for deserving and diverse filmmakers,” said Paula Madison, Executive Vice President, Diversity, NBC Universal & Company Officer, General Electric. “Every year, the competitive talent level rises and our company proudly shares in their outstanding creative achievements.”

“NBC Universal is thrilled to present the work of these outstanding diverse filmmakers to the NBC Universal family and the entertainment industry at large,” said Kendra Carter, Director of Talent Diversity Initiatives, NBC Universal. “Our constant goal is to push boundaries as a leading showcase for multi-cultural expression.”

“Short Cuts” is a company-wide initiative and is one of many live events produced by NBC’s Talent Diversity Division. Its goal is to cultivate diversity both in front of and behind the camera. This year’s panel of judges include Jeff Ingold (NBC), Charlie Andrews (Universal Media Studios), Quan Phung (Stuber Productions), Karen O’Hara (Syfy) and Karen Horne (NBC).

Corporate support of this year’s initiative came from sponsors such as The Hollywood Reporter, Sheraton Universal Hotel, Nuvo Sparkling Liqueur and The Giantto Group.

In 2008, “Strange Faculty,” by creator/producers Marty Johnson, Will Luera and Mark Odlum, shared Best Film honors with writer/director Rafael Del Toro’s “6ft. in 7min.” “Strange Faculty” follows three deeply flawed teachers who receive superpowers when they’re struck by lightning during a carpool. “6ft. in 7min” is a dark comedy about an East Indian man who, thanks to his parents’ traditional ways, has never had a normal childhood. Del Toro was also honored as Best Director, while Jose Compre was feted as Best Actor for his performance in another finalist film “Little Bones.”

NBC Universal’s “Short Cuts” Film Festival was founded with actor/writer/comedian Wil Sylvince in 2005 to display and celebrate diversity in the entertainment industry. The objective is to allow creative individuals from every community the opportunity to present their material in front of key decision makers in the industry. When Sylvince is not working on “Short Cuts” he performs on the national comedy circuit, on college campuses and in festivals worldwide.

For additional information, please visit the 2009 “Short Cuts” website: www.nbcshortcuts.com

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