• Submissions sought from emerging film-makers on the theme of Transformation
  • Films from season three debut online

Lexus today announced the fourth season of the award-winning Lexus Short Films series at the Tokyo Short Film Festival. Each series takes a different theme to inspire and engage film makers and this season the core theme is Transformation, reflecting Lexus’s brand philosophy that amazing things happen when you transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Filmmakers can submit their films for consideration using Withoutabox, the premier submission service for film festivals and filmmakers.

The series provides genuine support for up-and-coming film-makers by giving them an opportunity to explore their art using the latest technology, with guidance from renowned industry experts. This kind of mentoring is similar to the process used in Lexus factories where master craftsmen – known as Takumi – teach and inspire the next generation.

The selection committee, including leading movie industry figures, will review all the submissions to select four finalists.

“The Lexus Short Films project is a way for us to support the creative community that always inspires us as a brand,” said Spiros Fotinos, Lexus Global Head of Brand Management and Marketing. “We’ve come a long way since our first season, thanks to collaboration with with film industry practitioners and experts who share our passion to support new, talented film-makers and actors.

“We are really excited by this year’s theme as it is something that also drives us as a brand. Aiming to make the ordinary extraordinary is how we can create amazing experiences.”

Coinciding with today’s announcement, the four films from season three are making their debut online release. Game, Friday Night, MESSiAH and The Nation Holds Its Breath will be available to stream on Prime Video via Amazon Video Direct and, as well as other channels. The films were accepted into more than 65 film festivals around the world where they won multiple jury and audience awards. Details of each feature are given below.

Lexus Short Films season three features

Film-maker Alexis Michalik
Alexis Michalik is a filmmaker who has starred in Petits meutres en famille, Terre de lumière and Kaboul Kitchen and feature films directed by Billy Zane, Diane Kurys, Safy Nebou, Yann Samuel and Alexandre Arcady. Alexis has recently been featured in Le Dindon, staged by Thomas Le Douarec, and Les Fleurs Gelées, from Ibsen and Strindberg. He is the founder of the theatre company Los Figaros and after directing two short movies, Au Sol, in 2013 and Pim-Poum le petit Panda for the Cannes Adami collection in 2014, Alexis staged two plays, which are still running in Paris: Edmond and Intra Muros. He wrote and directed Friday Night which is featured in Lexus Short Films Season 3 and is now writing and will direct his first feature film: Edmond.
Country of residence France
Synopsis While visiting her daughter who is studying abroad, Claire is thrown into the midst of a city-wide attack. In a place where she doesn’t speak the language or know her way around, she’s forced to navigate in the dark of night in a desperate search to find her daughter and ensure her safety.
Awards §  Best Shorts – Special Mention – Award of Excellence

§  Phoenix Film Festival – World Cinema – Best Short

§  Napa Valley Film Festival – Audience Award





Film-maker Damian Walshe-Howling



Damian Walshe-Howling is an actor, director and writer who is known for his performance in the television programme, Underbelly, for which he won an AFI Award in 2008 for Best Supporting Actor in a Television Drama. His film credits include He Died with a Felafel in his Hand, Macbeth and A Wreck A Tangle and his theatre credits include A View of Concrete, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, Fool for Love and Men. Damian was selected for Lexus Short Films Season 3 and he wrote, produced and directed MESSiAH. He is currently working as a director with the production companies, Princess Pictures and Guilty Content.
Country of residence Australia
Synopsis A plump, hapless Irishman and his sophisticated Parisian girlfriend get more than they bargained for when they encounter a particularly mischievous stranger in the Australian Outback.
Awards §  Australian Cinematography Society – Gold Award

§  Best Shorts – Best of Show





Title GAME
Film-maker Jeannie Donohoe
Jeannie Donohoe is an award-winning filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She has written and directed several short films, including Game (currently in festivals), Lambing Season (selected for over 50 film festivals and multiple awards; named one of the “Best Short Films of 2014” by Indiewire; currently airing on PBS Film School Shorts) and Public (Palm Springs ShortFest, PBS Imagemakers). Jeannie was selected from over 4,600 applicants to write and direct Game for Lexus Short Films, produced by The Weinstein Company. Jeannie earned her MFA with honours in directing from Columbia University. She attended Dartmouth College as an undergraduate, and also earned an MS in education while teaching middle school in the Bronx through the Teach for America programme. Jeannie is currently developing her first feature-length film.
Country of residence USA
Synopsis A new kid in town shows up at the high school boys basketball tryouts and instantly makes an impression.  Will talent and drive be enough to make the team?
Awards §  Best Shorts – Special Mention – Award of Excellence

§  Julien Dubuque Film Festival – Best Short Film Award

§  LA Indie Film Festival – Audience Choice Award

§  Napa Valley Film Festival – Audience Award

§  San Luis Obispo International Film Festival – Special Jury Award – Narrative Short Category

§  Tokyo Lift-off Festival – Winner of Best Live Action Narrative – wins official selection New York Lift-Off

Title The Nation Holds Its Breath
Filmmaker Kev Cahill
After graduating with a maths and computing degree from Trinity College Dublin, Kev Cahill worked as a DJ for Red Bull, sold smoothies at festivals and had a wholesale fruit company. Then he crashed the van and broke the businesses. This forced him to start working in films, specifically in VFX. He has worked on large budget productions like Game of Thrones, Star Wars VIII and Fantastic Beasts. He was also making some music videos of his own on the side. In 2015 he directed his first short film, More Than God, which has been screened at over 40 international film festivals and won a bunch of awards. This led him to being selected as one of the Lexus Short Film directors and making his second short film, The Nation Holds Its Breath. Kev is now directing commercials and has worked with Oxfam and McDonald’s. He’s currently working on his first feature script.
Country of residence Ireland
Synopsis On the day of the most important football match in Irish history, a young father-to-be is torn between a) standing at his wife’s side to hold her hand and witness the miracle of childbirth, or b) witnessing the miracle of the national team reaching the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
Awards §  Best Shorts – Special Mention – Award of Excellence

§  Chicago Irish Film Festival – Audience Award

§  Cine Gael Montreal Irish Film Festival – Audience Award

§  Dublin International Film Festival – Audience Award

§  Hollywood Comedy Shorts Festival – Best Rom Com

§  LA Indie Film Festival – Best Direction Award


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  • Call for Entries for Season Four of the Lexus Short Films Series

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