Since 2004, over 100 million reviews have been submitted to Yelp, sharing stories of experiences with local businesses. In 2015, we launched our first commercial marketing campaign, which inspired us to think of other ways to visually highlight how Yelp connects people to great local businesses, and how consumers can help make those businesses better.
Enter: the Yelp Reel Local Film Festival, a competition we launched last November for film students in five major cities to submit short films about local businesses in their area. For our first festival of this kind, we accepted submissions from five American cities: Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. From each of those cities we declared a regional finalist, and last month, members from all five of the competing finalist teams and 100 local Yelp Elites came together at Yelp HQ to view the finalists’ short films and find out who won the $15,000 grand prize scholarship.
Our judges had a tough call to make, utilizing a rubric that scored based on adherence to a prompt, production quality, creativity, and overall appeal. In the end, it was Home Brewed Films and their short film featuring North Fork Roasting Co from New York City team that came out on top! Our other four finalists were still big winners however, each taking home $5,000 for being the finalist in their respective cities.
Want to see these award-winning films? Check them out below:
Grand Prize Winner and New York City Regional Finalist
Home Brewed Films – North Fork Roasting Co
James Troici, Dan Wolff, and Jonathan Leiner
Chicago Regional Finalist
The Chi Ones – Forteza Fitness
Jeffrey Podany, Rooscol Rozambert, Haley Feiler, Joe Siegel, and Chloe Erb
San Francisco Regional Finalist
Undefined Productions – Ace of Fades
Kasey Bruce and Oscar Lim
Los Angeles Regional Finalist
Soirée Productions – Bay Street Boards
Rachael Garcia, Mikel Monleon, and Clayton Wilmont
Atlanta Regional Finalist
Films By Rafi and Friends – H&F Bread
Rafael Salis and Andy Francois