News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 18, 2011

BREAKING: South alums put student filmmakers on fast track to Indy 500, national audience

Staff Report
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The door is open for Terre Haute South Vigo High School students to have their short film premiere at this year’s Indianapolis 500, and then on a national movie television network.

To coincide with their induction last month into the school’s Hall of Distinction, two South alums — Jeff Belskus, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Carter Pilcher, CEO of Shorts International, the world’s leading short movie entertainment company — are giving students at their alma mater a chance to shine in a short film contest.

Dubbed “Race to the Winners Circle,” the students have been invited to participate in short film contest about race cars or advanced robitics. The first-place film will premiere at the Indy 500 on May 29, and earn the opportunity to be broadcast on ShortsHD, a short-film television network currently available in more than 40 million homes across the U.S. In addition, the winning filmmaker(s) will be interviewed at the Indy 500 before a live audience, portions of which will air alongside the TV network premier of the winning film.

“I have long been a believer of giving back to the communities and institutions that helped shape who I am today,” Belskus said in a news release Wednesday. “This contest is a great way to harness the enduring, creative spirit of Terre Haute South Vigo High School students into a project that promises exciting rewards for the winners.”

“This contest is a great opportunity for students of South Vigo to learn, create and have fun,” said Pilcher. “We’re excited to bring the winners into the action of the Indy 500 and to showcase the winning film on our network.”

Pilcher and Belskus both graduated from South in 1978. They were inducted into the South Hall of Distinction on April 16, along with Kris Verdeyen, a 1996 grad who helped build and design NASA’s Robonaut project.

The “Race to the Winners Circle” is open to any current South student, and must be shot in HD format. To coincide with the Indy 500, each entry film must feature a race car, automotive, or robotic technology, and have a run time no shorter than 2 minutes and no longer than 5. All submissions will be scored according to storytelling ability and technical skills by a panel of three judges from the international film community. Submissions containing profanity, nudity or distasteful opinions, or those that exceed 5 minutes will be automatically disqualified. Awards will be given out to the top three submissions.  

Pilcher’s company, Shorts International, is headquarterd in London, with offices in Paris, New York and Los Angeles. It is the world’s leading short movie entertainment company with the largest movie catalogue devoted to short movies, according to the news release. ShortsHD is the first high definition channel dedicated to short movies and is available on Dish Network (Channel 375) and AT&T U-verse (Channel 1789). Shorts International also operates ShortsTV UK, a pay TV channel available in the United Kingdom on BSkyB (Channel 342), ShortsTV™ France available in France, Belgium, Luxembourg on Numericable (Channels 134 and 52). ShortsTV is also available on TTNET in Turkey. Shorts™ is the short movie on-demand service available on iTunes movie stores in the US, UK, Canada and Germany.

To learn more about Shorts International, go online to www.shortsinternational.com or www.shortstv.com.