Prize Fest goes virtual for 2020

By Angel Albring | Special to BIZ. Magazine

The Prize Foundation announced Wednesday that their annual Prize Fest- a celebration of film, food, music and fashion- will take place digitally this year.

Gregory Kallenberg, Prize Foundation’s Executive Director, said that when the COVID-19 pandemic happened, Prize Foundation didn’t slow down.

“We decided that we were going to shine,” Kallenberg said during Wednesday’s live virtual announcement. 

And shine they did.

According to Kallenberg, Prize Fest started a show called PrizeCast, which has more than 50 episodes and 300,000 viewers.

They also did the first online Film Prize Jr.

Film Prize Jr. normally has about 600 attendees, Kallenberg said, but this year they had thousands of viewers. 

Most recently, Prize Foundation hosted an international music fest, called PrizePalooza, which currently has more than 30,000 views.

Prize Fest 2020 will be a combination of live streaming and watch-on-demand content, taking place from October 2-11, and it will be open to attendees worldwide. This year, the festival will run for two consecutive weekends, along with the week in between.  

The foundation’s flagship event, the Louisiana Film Prize, will feature twenty short films competing for $25,000 – the largest cash prize for a short film in the world.

Chris Lyon, director of Louisiana Film Prize, said that while the film industry was left wondering how they would continue to tell stories during a pandemic, Film Prize participants proved they are “incredibly resilient and creative. They came up with new and innovative ways to film their projects in their homes.”

“The result is some of the most unique and inspiring Film Prize projects we have ever seen submitted,” Lyon said.

Films will be available to view on-demand beginning Oct. 2, and several live-stream screenings, special filmmaker interviews and discussions with judges will also take place and be available for ticket-holders. Viewers will have the ability to vote for their top three films once they have watched all 20 films.

The Top 20 Films will be announced live on the Prize Fest Facebook site and Youtube site on Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. The winner will be announced during a digital awards ceremony on Oct. 13. 

The Louisiana Music Prize will host a streaming music experience, with multiple bands performing live for the chance to win $1,000.

“Music Prize is the most inclusive it’s ever been,” Kallenberg said. “In fact, if you are a band out there, you can play for the Music Prize. All you have to do is go to Prizefest.com and pay $50. That’s it.”

In addition to possibly winning $1,000, bands can also include a link to be tipped for their music as they play, Kallenberg said, and they will receive a recorded video of their performance.

Audience members can also participate by paying $5 for a Music Prize Pass, which allows them to view as many bands as they want and they can vote for their favorites to win the $1,000 prize.

The Food Prize will feature a local Golden Fork Competition that is meant to energize the local culinary culture. Participants can join in the Power to the People event, where they will go to one of the six participating restaurants and pick up a free Food Prize Passport. They will then eat at at least three of the restaurants on the participant’s list between September 10- October 11 and get the Passports punched. Then, they will go to Prizefest.com and vote for their favorite meal.

The chef with the most votes will win $1,000.

Additionally, Food Prize will also feature online cookalongs with celebrity chefs.

“Prize Fest always strives to create these events where we give you access to nationally acclaimed chefs,” said Melissa Brannan with Prize Foundation, “And in that tradition, for Prize Fest 2020, we will be hosting three virtual cookalongs, with nationally recognized award winning chefs.”

The chefs will be invited virtually into ticketholers’s homes for the cookalong, and a basket of ingredients, tools, and wine will be included in the experience. This is an exclusive event, Brannan said, and there will only be 30 tickets available for each demo.

Fashion Prize will air a live-streamed fashion show with finalists competing for $2,000.

Katy Larson with Fashion Prize said that passholders will get to vote for their favorite designer in an Audience’s Choice Award portion, this year, and that they will have access to up-close and personal interviews with Fashion Prize 2020’s top seven designers and 10-15 of their looks.

Audiences can see “behind-the-scenes footage, interviews and never seen before fashion,” Larson said.

“The designers have been working really hard and this is going to advance their careers, in fashion, nationally,” she said.

“Prize Fest 2020 will be one of the best, most robust film, food, music and fashion festivals in the country. It’s hard to describe how excited we are to bring this online festival to our audience,” Kallenberg said.

The full Prize Fest digital festival will be available through PrizeFest.com, accessible by purchasing festival passes for each event. Film Prize films will be available for on-demand viewing throughout the duration of the festival, while other events will take place as live streaming content at specifically scheduled times. 


Upcoming Pre-Festival Events- 

Friday, Sept 4, 7pm – Top 20 Announcement

Thursday, Sept 10 – Golden Fork: Power to the People kicks off- free to participate in, details on the Prize Fest page
Friday, Sept 11, 8pm – Shinyribs Concert (Live at the MP Garage & streamed)


Prize Fest 2020 At a Glance:

Film Prize – October 2-11 – Passholders will be able to see all 20 competing films and vote for the $25,000 prize and attend special screenings. Passes are $50. 

Food Prize – Chef demos are October 3, 8 and 10 have limited space. 

Fashion Prize – October 9 – Fashion Prize broadcasts at 8p.m., passes can be bought on the Prize Fest site. 

Music Prize – October 10 – Bands can sign up at www.prizefest.com/music ($50 entry fee), and the audience will vote on the $1,000 winner by purchasing a Music Prize pass ($5). Passes can be bought at the Prize Fest site. 

Prize Fest Awards Show – October 13, 12p.m. – All awards will be presented on the Prize Fest Facebook site and Youtube. This event is free. 

Full Schedule of Events:

Thursday, October 1 

– 12pm – Prize Fest Live
– 6pm – Prize Fest Live 

Friday, October 2 

– 12:01am – On Demand Films Become Available –
– 12pm – Prize Fest Live
– 6pm – Prize Fest Live with Film Prize Toast, Speed Dating with Filmmakers and Judges 

Saturday, October 3 

– 10am- Food Prize Do-Ahead Brunch with Melissa Brannan (free)
– 12pm – Prize Fest Live
– 2pm – Film Prize Judges Panels: Session 1
– 6pm – Food Prize Celebrity Chef Demo with Josh Harmon (ticketed)
– 6pm – Prize Fest Live
– 9pm – Film Prize Cult Classic Movie Screening (noncompetition) 


Sunday, October 4 

– 12pm – Prize Fest Live
– 2pm – Film Prize Judges Panels: Session 2
– 6pm – Prize Fest Live 

Monday, October 5 

– 12pm – Prize Fest Live
– 6pm – Prize Fest Live 

Tuesday, October 6 

– 12pm – Prize Fest Live
– 6pm – Prize Fest Live 

Wednesday, October 7 

– 10am – 1pm- Startup Prize Come and RE-Build It
– 12pm – Prize Fest Live
– 6pm – Prize Fest Live 

Thursday, October 8 

– 12pm – Prize Fest Live
– 6pm – Prize Fest Live
– 6pm – Food Prize Celebrity Chef Demo with Josh Bonee (ticketed)
– 7pm – Live Screening & Filmmakers Interviews [Orange Slate, Part 1]
– 8:30pm – Live Screening & Filmmakers Interviews [Orange Slate, Part 2] 

Friday, October 9 

– 12pm – Prize Fest Live
– 6pm – Prize Fest Live
– 7pm – Live Screening & Filmmakers Interviews [Teal Slate, Part 1]
-8:30pm – Live Screening & Filmmakers Interviews [Teal Slate, Part 2]
-8pm – Fashion Prize (ticketed) 

Saturday, October 10 

– 12pm – Prize Fest Live
– 2pm – Film Prize Best Actress Interviews
– 4pm – Film Prize Best Actor Interviews – TBD – Music Prize (ticketed)
– 6pm – Prize Fest Live
– 6pm – Food Prize Celebrity Chef Demo w/ Tristen Epps (ticketed) 
– 10pm – Tequila Toast – BIG EXHALE/DANCE PARTY 

Sunday, October 11 

– 12pm – Prize Fest Live
– 6pm – Prize Fest Live
– 11:59pm – Close of Voting Announcement
– 12am – Voting Closes 

Monday, October 12 

– 12pm – Prize Fest Live
– 6pm – Prize Fest Live 

Tuesday, October 13 

– 12pm – Awards Ceremony – Film, Fashion, Music & Food