A pair of student filmmakers from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) took top honors in the Coca-Cola Regal Films Program 2019 for their 30-second film, “Choose Happy.”

Director and actress Olivia Wilde, who served as the celebrity ambassador for this year’s program, announced the winners – Shayain Lakhani (producer) Devon Solwold (director) – earlier this month in Las Vegas at CinemaCon, the official convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners.

“Choose Happy” will be shown exclusively at Regal theatres across the country this summer, starting tonight in Atlanta at Regal Atlantic Station before the Avengers: End Game premiere. Lakhani and Solwold, who will receive a RED DSMC2 DRAGON-X camera kit and ZEISS cinema lenses, will be in attendance.

Students from 30 of the most diverse college and university film schools across the country participated in the 2019 Coca-Cola Regal Films program, with five teams advancing to the finals. Finalists each received $15,000 to create and produce their work and were flown to Los Angeles for a training session with Wilde, who served as a both mentor and member of the Red Ribbon Panel of film industry judges who selected the winning film.

“I was so impressed with all the finalist films and it’s been incredible to see what they’ve been able to create,” said Wilde, who will make her feature directorial debut next month with the premiere of the comedy Booksmart. “This program really gives young filmmakers the opportunity to get noticed in front of a large audience and the ability to leverage industry contacts, which is so important when you’re first starting out.”

The Coca-Cola Regal Films team and all its partners work closely with the filmmakers throughout the six-month program, providing advice from script development to shooting the film to the final critique.

During production, each finalist had access to a Regal location, RED DSMC2 DRAGON-X camera kit and ZEISS cinema lenses. During post production, they had access to Deluxe’s EFILM to finish their films with some of the industry’s top colorists.

Coca-Cola Regal Films 2019
Olivia Wilde chats with the finalists during a training session in Los Angeles.

Finalist films were reviewed and judged by a Red Ribbon Panel of industry professionals from Coca-Cola, Regal, RED Digital Cinemas, Zeiss and Deluxe’s EFILM representatives, as well as influential members of the entertainment and film industry.

“Once again we had an amazing group of finalists and wonderful films. We’re so proud of our partnership with Regal on this work and how it helps us all support the future of filmmaking for the big screen,” said Krista Schulte, SVP, Coca-Cola North America Strategic Partnership Marketing.

Coca-Cola and Regal Cinemas teamed up in 2016 to mark the return of the student filmmaking initiative now called the Coca-Cola Regal Films program. Coca-Cola’s and Regal’s partnership provides students access to the filmmaking industry and receive unmatched national exposure.

Regal, a subsidiary of the Cineworld Group, operates one of the largest and most geographically diverse theatre circuits in the United States, consisting of 7,210 screens in 550 theatres in 43 states along with American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam and Saipan.