Winner of Film Challenge Detroit announced

DETROIT - It was a packed house at Local 4's Film Challenge Detroit  Screening and Awards Ceremony Thursday night. Hundreds filled the hall at the Detroit Institute for Music Education to see the 10 finalist films, picked from a pool of nearly 80 entries. The theme for this year's event focused on Detroit's resurgence and comeback stories.

Congratulations to winners Matt Santia from Fraser (Writer/Producer) and Kyle Couch from Pontiac (Director), for their poignant and moving film "The Eulogy."  The short was shot locally in Birmingham and Pontiac and was based on the true story of how Santia's wife overcame addiction. The guys won a trip for four to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

Watch: 'The Eulogy' winners on Live in the D

"This was our first year and we're just thrilled that it was such a huge success. We plan to do it again next year," said Local 4 Vice-President and General Manager Marla Drutz.

In addition to the thoughtful and provocative films, there were hors d'oeuvres, drinks and lots of mingling. It was the place to network for the city's creative types.

It all started with a simple call to make a film with the theme "Resurgence: A Comeback Story."

The entries were narrowed down to 10 finalists. Those were then put up for public voting on ClickOnDetroit and the "People's Choice" Award went to "Detroit Resilience" by Mike Mayne.

The Grand Prize winner was picked by a panel of three judges:

  • Devin Scillian – Evening News Anchor for WDIV-TV, NBC in Detroit and the host of "Flashpoint."
  • Greg Russell - Film reviewer for and "Live in the D."  Host of the syndicated "Movie Show Plus" and movie reviewer for "The Paul W. Smith" show on WJR.  Newly elected President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Michigan Chapter.
  • Kyle Edwards – Associate Professor of English and Director of Cinema Studies at Oakland University.

View all of the 10 finalists at

Film Challenge Detroit launched on June 22, 2015 and was presented by Local 4 and Oakland University. Shield's Pizza also provided $100 gift certificates to the finalists.

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