19 December 2008 ORT Uruguay student wins prestigious movie contest ORT Uruguay student Mateo Soler has been named the Latin America regional winner of the annual Kodak Filmschool Competition, which recognises outstanding achievements in cinematography by student film makers. Mateo (pictured) will join the three other first-place winners from Canada, India and Spain for an all expenses paid tip to the 2009 Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival in France where their films will be presented in the Kodak Short Film Showcase. The winners will also have the opportunity to participate in networking sessions and other activities at the festival. Modestly, Mateo attributed much of his success to the good relationships that existed on and off set among the team making the film, Fine, all of them ORT Uruguay students. It was great to work with a team like this; the most important part of making a film is to be in a good team, he said. The film, which was written and directed by Ana Laura Obispo, is a wordless, seven-minute examination of an exasperated man trying to escape the congestion of his environment. Renowned Oscar-nominated cinematographer Don Burgess, ASC, who has worked on films such as Forrest Gump and Spiderman, judged the Kodak competition and praised the winning students for their sensitivity, storytelling and artistic abilities. Of Mateos work, Mr Burgess said: Excellent use of lenses, framing, composition and lighting to tell the story. He made us feel the horror. A great job. Wendy Elms, worldwide Education Segment manager, Entertainment Imaging Division, Eastman Kodak Company added: The quality of the entries increases every year and thats gratifying for us to see. By providing recognition of their work, we hope to encourage the next generation of cinematographers to pursue their passion to tell stories on film. The movie was shot during the programme ORT 16mm, edition 2006, an annual event created for graduate students of audiovisual communication at ORT Uruguays School of Communication and Design to create a space for education and practice within the 16mm format. Winning such a prestigious contest as the Kodak Filmschool Competitions was a huge, albeit welcome, surprise to the production team, which also included ORT students Nicolas Almada (composer and sound editor), Lucia Sejia (art director), Vanessa Mila (directors assistant), and Gerardo Castelli (producer). None of us could imagine that we could be in this situation, Mateo said. This feeling of being recognised in this way; its incredible, amazing. The Head of ORT Uruguays Audiovisual Department, Alvaro Buela, was delighted with the result. We were all happily surprised because the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival is considered one of the top three in the world and so the Kodak competition attracts the very best film and audiovisual production of schools in Latin America, Professor Buela said. The whole academic community of ORT Uruguay is proud of his achievement. Accolades have often followed students and graduates of his department. In recent years, for example, Ari Carretero won a First Prize in Documentaries at the Tr s Court Festival, France; Guillermo Carbonell, a graduate of the Bachelor program in Audiovisual Communications and currently an assistant professor in the same study program, was the single Uruguayan admitted to the Berlinale Talent Campus of the Berlin International film Festival, in February 2006; and Martin Wozniak was invited to participate in the same programme in 2007. The Audiovisual Department has been enrolling about 80 students a year since the School of Communications was founded in 1994. Almost all the students are working in their chosen field by the time they graduate, a record which represents the very essence of ORTs mission. Graduates are trained in all aspects of film production and many can be seen working in Uruguays advertising industry, although some have been successful in the making of documentaries. Professor Buela said his students were encouraged to take part in contests and to measure themselves against their peers internationally. That is why, every year, we host professors from other schools of film and audiovisual production with a longer tradition than ours, he said. They integrate the academic evaluation teams and help us to maintain international quality standards. Mateo, who graduated last month, is now looking forward to pursuing further cinematographic studies abroad, perhaps in England or India. Wherever his career takes him, he is appreciative of where it all started ORT Uruguay. The best part of my education at ORT was my professors, he said. The equipment and facilities are really good, we have all the technology we need and its constantly modernised. But the professors are very inspiring; they transmit to us not only the techniques of film making but also the love they have for the subject.