The contest was conducted in two phases. First, we had an open call for submissions. From that group, we selected the top projects, both still and motion, to create our group of 10 Finalists. Each of them received a RED camera outfit with which they were tasked with shooting a new project. The timeline was very tight, so the Finalists had to be efficient and work under an inflexible deadline. From the 10 Finalists’ projects, Maria Burns’ film, Onus, was chosen as the winner.
Burns’ submission to the contest’s first phase was Tendance Brute, a stark short film that explores a human transformation as the subject evolves into a determined, elegant woman. Onus is an examination of the female psyche and the inner contradictions the protagonist confronts. Both are austere films, featuring dynamic movement, jarring jump cuts and a well-matched soundtrack. Burns’ distinctive style and use of the simplest of sets let the performances come through in both films.