Jane Austen Society of North America, Southwest Region
Young Filmmakers Contest
JASNA Southwest launched an annual Young Filmmakers Contest in 2017, as part of hosting JASNA’s Annual General Meeting, which attracts hundreds of attendees from across the country. The contest is open annually to high school, college undergraduate and graduate students from throughout North America.
(left) Attendees at our December 2018 meeting at Sony Pictures Studios saw the world premiere of Mrs. Bennet’s Plan, our 2018 winning entry.
- Ashley Clements of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, who is starring in and producing A Tale Told by an Idiot, a modern adaptation of Macbeth
- Laurie Viera Rigler, author of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict and its sequel, and creator of the Babelgum web series Sex and the Austen Girl
- Thomas Rigler, Emmy-winning director, executive producer and showrunner
- Robin Swicord, director and screenwriter of The Jane Austen Book Club
- Kenneth Turan, longtime (recently retired) film critic for the Los Angeles Times
- Aydrea Walden, writer/producer/actor and creator of the Webby-nominated Black Girl in a Big Dress
Top row: Ashley Clements, Thomas Rigler, Kenneth Turan
Bottom row: Laurie Viera Rigler, Robin Swicord, Aydrea Walden
Ellyn Cardon, a senior undergraduate at Brigham Young University, won the 2018 Young Filmmaker Contest for her entry, Mrs. Bennet’s Plan. Both she and her mother, Dana — the inspiration for Mrs. Bennet in the short film — attended JASNA Southwest’s December 2018 meeting at Sony, where the winning entry had its world premiere. Cardon intends to pursue a master’s degree in ethnographic filmmaking, which she says is appropriate since this film is practically an ethnography of her life.
Ellyn Cardon addresses the crowd at Sony Pictures Studio.
Second-place winner Katiana Bennett (with her father, Andrew Bennett) and first-place winner Rivka Penarelli and her husband, Jason Penarelli, with inaugural contest chair Susie Wampler at the 2017 AGM in Huntington Beach
View the winners of our inaugural 2017 JASNA-Southwest Young Filmmakers Contest.
First place: An Accomplished Woman by Rivkah Penarelli
Second place (tie): I Am Jane Austen by Margaret Lu
Second place (tie): Timeless by Katiana Bennett
Third place: Novelist Jane Austen: Inside the Wardrobe by Elizabeth Hayes
First-place winner Rivka Penarelli had the opportunity to chat with filmmaker Whit Stillman at the 2017 AGM.