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Nikon Names Video Festival Winners

Melville, N.Y. –


revealed the winners of its first-ever online video contest, called the Nikon
Festival, which was created to underscore the advanced video-recording
capabilities in its digital-SLR cameras.

Marko Slavnic from the University
of Texas, Austin, was named the Nikon Festival Judges’
Award Winner, and will receive $100,000 and Nikon
equipment to further his film career.

“So many people see filmmaking as this elite thing and that
you need a big crew to produce a quality film,” said Slavnic. “I was excited when a friend told me about
the Festival, and Nikon has shown people that you don’t have to be a
professional to create a film and be seen by a huge audience.”

Slavnic’s video submission was a
short subject film entitled “

Chicken vs. Penguin

.” It is a funny, physical story of
unexpected love brought to life through a fast-food mascot rivalry between a
boy and girl.

The video was shot over two days on Congress Street in Austin.

Slavnic said he plans to invest his winnings in his next project
– a feature film.

He said he also wants to give back to the local film community that
supported him, especially friend Andrew McDonald,
who was instrumental in helping with his submission.

“I plan to use a Nikon d-SLR to shoot my feature film
because it’s so simple,” added Slavnic. “In my experience with the
Festival, Nikon’s cameras allowed me more shooting versatility, while producing
mind-blowing images.”

Slavnic entered four different submissions for the Festival,
including “The Hug Lady,” “One Second,”
and the two top 50 finalists “Chicken vs. Penguin” and “Where
Were You in ’92?”

Slavnic credited his mother, who served as a television producer
in Sarajevo
before the family moved to the U.S.
in 1992, as his role model.

The winner of the Nikon Festival Audience Award was San Antonio
resident Joshua Friedberg, who will receive $25,000 as the top vote-getter among fans, for his video

New York State of Mind

.” The video focused on a 24-hour
period in New
York, and included renowned locations.

“I got into video through skateboarding and learned how to
shoot by just doing it,” said Friedberg.
“That’s part of why I think the Nikon Festival is such a great event, it
motivated people to be creative and get out there and shoot.”

As a former professional skateboarder, Friedberg rallied
widespread support from the skateboarding community to earn a combination of
the most views and highest average rating, Nikon said.

He credited retweets of his Festival video via Twitter by media
personalities Bam Margera, Steve Berra and Tony Hawk as a key to his win.

Friedberg said he plans to use the $25,000
to help revive 411 Video Magazine, which covers the skateboarding community.

“The great response for the Nikon Festival demonstrates the
positive impact online engagement can have for brands and consumers. We believe
there was tremendous participation because the online festival provided a
unique way for people to create, collaborate and share their videos,” said
Lisa Baxt, Nikon senior communications manager. “The
Nikon Festival is an example of our commitment to innovative marketing
communications programs that drive meaningful interaction with consumers,
particularly aspiring content creators. Through this program, we were able to
help educate people about Nikon products that offer HD video capabilities,
while empowering them to try their hand at using video and become a part of a
Nikon community.”

Participants, judges and fans used blogs, Facebook and Twitter to
enlist interest and support for the online Festival.

The Nikon Festival Web site received more than 590,000 unique
visitors and generated more than 1.9 million page views, Nikon said.