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Soho House Shorts Crowns 2012 Contest Winner

With The Hollywood Reporter as a partner, the contest crowned James Kibbey's film "House Cocktail" the winner of a contest judged by Paul Haggis, Harvey Weinstein, Janice Min and other big industry names.

Jessica Chastain and James - P 2012

A glass was raised to James Kibbey's "House Cocktail" in New York City on Tuesday night, a cheers led by Oscar-nominee Jessica Chastain.

The two-minute short film was crowned the winner of the 2012 Soho House Shorts competition, which invited filmmakers to submit scripts to a panel of industry experts; the group selected nine scripts from over 1,000 entered, and gave £5000 (or $7935) to each finalist and set them free to produce their film.

Kibbey's, which featured the story of a hapless man sitting at a bar and using his imagination to impress a beautiful woman (Laura Haddock, of The Inbetweeners).

After a Q&A session with Sawyer Studios marketing guru Zachary Soreff, the nine finalists enjoyed cocktails from Bombay Saphhire and a screening of their work before Chastain announced the winner.

Kibbey's win comes with high praise from some of the film industry's biggest names.

“It’s a fantastic, entertaining short that separates itself from the others by showing the theme of imagination in its simplest form," said celebrated producer-distributor Harvey Weinstein, who served as a judge on the panel. "It shows what is possible by just being yourself and that it only takes a little bit of imagination for our guy to be charming and win the girl of his dreams."

Added director Paul Haggis of the competitions entries in general, "It was very hard to choose a winner; the top three were all extraordinary. I was quite jealous and would have been very proud to have made any of them. They were all inspired, well-written, beautifully shot, edited and well-acted. In fact some of the performances were quite remarkable. These are all world-class filmmakers in the making."

Kibbey will now benefit from personalized mentoring sessions with the judges panel, screening of his film at every international Soho House location, and membership to the exclusive organization. The Hollywood Reporter's editorial director Janice Min served as a judge, as did acclaimed directors Joe Wright and Paul Greengrass. Maike Mia Höhne, the Shorts Programmer the Berlin Film Festival, producers Oliver Berben and Christine Vachon and last year's winner, Sean Grey, also served as judges.

The contest was also supported by BAFTA and Bombay Sapphire.

The winning video is below; the rest can be viewed by clicking here. More details can be found at House Shorts' Website.

House Cocktail from sohohouse on Vimeo.