Justin Baldoni’s Six Feet Apart Experiment Filmmaking Competition Unveils Winners

Director Justin Baldoni-Getty-H 2020
Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

The five winners have been awarded $50,000 in production financing.

The coronavirus-inspired filmmaking competition from Justin Baldoni’s Wayfarer Studios, The Six Feet Apart Experiment, has announced its winners.

The five winners, all first-time feature filmmakers, were chosen out of 350 applications and will now be paired with season directors, producers and writers who will mentor them throughout the production process, which will be wrapped by New Years Day. The filmmakers have been awarded $50,000 in production financing.

“After our amazing team of readers and judges read through all of the submissions, we couldn’t be more thrilled to announce our five winners, all first-time feature filmmakers, four of which are women,” said Baldoni. “One of the most important aspects to this experiment was finding a way to empower artists with the resources to make their first film surrounded by a supportive and loving environment so their creativity can thrive. I can’t wait to work with each of them and see what they pull off!”

See the winning filmmakers below.

Love You Anyways by Anna Matz
The evolving formats of home video chronicle the life of Mackenzie from birth to womanhood as she experiences the highs and lows of life alongside her childhood best friend, Lucas. As Mackenzie's struggle with depression worsens over the years, she’s forced to find the will to fight alongside the people who love her most. Anna will be mentored by Adil & Bilal (Bad Boys 3)

Smile or Hug by Chelsea Javier
After being unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend during quarantine, 29-year-old art teacher Trish works to heal her heart with the help of some youngsters in her elementary zoom class. Smile or Hug is a film for our times; it's relatable to anyone trying to make sense of their purpose amidst uncertainty and loneliness. Chelsea will be mentored by Jim Brykit (Coherence)

25 Cents Per Minute by Tyler Burke
An anthology where six unique characters experience triumph, defeat, love, and loss -- all through interactions with just a payphone. It is a film about the connections we have with others, and there has never been a better time to make the world feel connected. Tyler will be mentored by Brad Silberling (Reveal Entertainment)

The Moon and Back by Leah Bleich
One year after her father’s death, high school senior Lydia Lee feels completely lost…until she discovers something unexpected: a space opera screenplay needing a blockbuster-sized budget -- written by her dad. Equipped with just a VHS camera and pocket change, Lydia (with the help of her best friend) decides to honor her late father and make this script a reality. Leah will be mentored by Cathy Yan (Birds of Prey)

Die Trying by Julianne Fox
A young woman with Cystic Fibrosis is caught in the repetition of quarantine. When her self-interested roommate returns and fails to practice safe social distancing, our immuno-compromised heroine finds that boredom may be the least of her worries. Julianna will be mentored by Nzingha Stewart (Tall Girl)