Top Chase Legacy Film Challenge prize goes to Singleton’s pro quality short

When Vince Singleton’s short won the Chase Legacy Film Challenge announced in New York last Thursday, he says he wasn’t as much surprised as relieved, “because I put so much effort into making it.”

“The Porter,” Singleton’s prize-winning entry was voted the best of hundreds of films submitted by African American filmmakers in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston and New York.

Chase teamed with, Kodak and HBO in the national competition for emerging filmmakers to share their vision of African Americans who built, sustained and passed on their legacy through homeownership.

The “very suspenseful” awards ceremony, as Singleton put it, was held at HBO’s New York headquarters. The grand prize is HBO’s screening of “The Porter” at a date to be announced.

Singleton used as inspiration for his theme father-and-son relationships in his tightly crafted, superbly acted story of three generations of families and their attitudes towards the legacy of home ownership, which is what Chase is promoting to African Americans through marketing and seminars around the country.

Each of the filmmakers who made the cut were given $5,000 to make their film. Singleton, however, invested an additional $4,000 of his own money to assure the quality he wanted.

To compress the story into 9-minutes, he cut to the heart of the conflict, decided what scenes ere needed to move the story along and got the best performances from the actors. “It was pretty intense, but the film makes its point,” he says.

His entry was selected on the basis of one of his previously produced films and a treatment of “The Porter.”