Rock & Reel Shows Off Film and Music Talent

MACON, GA (11/16/2011) - Macon's Grand Opera House was the hottest venue in town last night during Gateway Macon's sold out gala to unveil the winners of two competitions: Macon Music and Macon Shorts.  Lisa Love, Georgia’s Director of Music Marketing and Development, served as master of ceremonies alongside Beth Dunwody, Executive Director of the Gateway Macon Initiative.  In addition to the two competitions, Macon’s anthem “A Little More Soul” was performed live by the entire all-star ensemble that recorded it a year ago. 

The Macon Music competition encouraged songwriters to submit an original song that included Macon in the message.  Entries came in from all over the country, and Macon's own Kevin "Floco Torres" Williams was announced the winner in September.  Torres spent October in the studio with two-time Grammy nominee producer Steve Moretti recording his new three-song EP “10,000 Hours.”  He spent the first part of November working with Bright Blue Sky productions shooting the music video of his new single “Cherry Street,” which debuted last night, with Floco performing all three songs live.

Macon Shorts film competition received submissions from around the globe.  The films had to include at least three Macon locations and be shot in town.  Before the awards were given, each of the finalists were introduced and spoke about their experience filming a movie in Macon.  Finalists included: 'Superhero' by Kristin Wright, 'The Razzle' by Joseph Guay, both of Atlanta, and 'Final Acts' by James Kicklighter of Savannah.

Judging was conducted by a panel made up of actors Carrie Preston and Lisa Sheridan, film festival producer Gabe Wardell and Georgia Department of Economic Development Location Specialist Lee Cuthbert.  The competition was so close that two of the finalists scored the same, with Final Acts by James Kicklighter scoring just one point higher to win the Grand Prize of $3000.  'The Razzle' by Joseph Guay and 'Superhero' by Kristin Wright were each awarded Honorable Mention and $2000.  Additionally, Wright’s ‘Superhero’ received the Sense of Community Award.  Kicklighter’s ‘Final Acts’ received the Sense of Place Award, and Guay’s ‘The Razzle’ received the Fresh Perspective Award.  Said Kicklighter, “When I started conceptualizing the film with the JamesWorks Entertainment team, we wanted to craft a project that really showcased the song and soul of the south, honoring the remarkable lineage of artistic talent that has come out of Middle Georgia, coupled with its plethora of historic and scenic locations.  The people of Macon have opened their doors to us with hospitality and friendship, so now we hope that Final Acts encourages audiences around the country to visit and experience the city for themselves in 2012.”

The gala was closed by the entire ensemble from "A Little More Soul," the award winning Macon anthem, for its first-ever live performance.  The all-star group includes Chuck Leavell, Violin Virtuoso Robert McDuffie, Grammy nominees Tony Reyes and rapper Sonny Spoon among others.