Plans In Motion For 3rd Annual I See You Awards

The awards are a celebration of low-budget independent film

Terri Lee-Sylvester
December 28, 2018 - 7:30 am

DETROIT (WWJ) - Plans are in motion for the 2019 I See You Awards®, a celebration of independent film.  

The I See You Awards®, now in their third year, were created by WWJ's film critic Terri Lee.  The awards are designed to recognize and reward the accomplishments of low-budget independent filmmakers, those with budgets that do not exceed $700,000.  

While Hollywood blockbusters have mega-marketing budgets to work with, indie filmmakers aren't so fortunate.  Many struggle just to get their projects made.  So, the I See You Awards® are designed to help recognize and reward indie filmmakers, who are essentially small business owners.  And that is something that small business expert Mark S. Lee, president and CEO of The Lee Group, and host of Small Talk with Mark S. Lee, says helps provide an opportunity for low-budget indie filmmakers to be successful.

"We have a lot of people recognizing the big filmmakers; more well-known filmmakers, and this is a great opportunity to recognize those up-and-coming filmmakers," Mark Lee said.  "This is where the next level of filmmakers are going to be; in other words, they're starting here, and it's important for them to get that level of support, so from our perspective, we thought it would be a great opportunity to reach out to them, work with them, support them and help them to get their key messages out to the population at large."

Winning an award also provides an opportunity for filmmakers to promote themselves as well as their accomplishments.

"It increases your credibility in the marketplace," Mark Lee went on to say.  "It also shows, to a certain extent,  that you've made it.  And clearly from a business standpoint, that is something that would encourage an indie filmmaker, for example, to really promote ... because again, it gives you the opportunity to say that we were successful, we had the opportunity ... of outperforming other people in that particular category."

A full day of movie screenings and the awards ceremony are held at the Emagine Theater in Royal Oak, Michigan.  Participating filmmakers enjoy seeing their projects play at a first-run theater, and they can also be proud of the fact that the films shown are among the best-of-the-best; something that's also good for the city.

"You attract nominations ... not from just Detroit, but from across the entire country," Mark Lee observed, "and by doing that, you're putting the spotlight on Detroit.  And so people are coming into our city; they're seeing it, and they're seeing the enthusiasm for the awards, so it's another way of bringing economic development and business and the spotlight to the city of Detroit, as well."

The Call for Entries into the 3rd Annual I See You Awards® is now open.  Visit the I See You Awards website or FilmFreeway for all the details.

Be sure to tune in to WWJ Newsradio 950 every Friday for Terri's weekly in depth look at the movies with Midday Anchor Jackie Paige.

Mark S. Lee (no relation) hosts Small Talk with Mark S. Lee, which can be heard on WWJ's sister station, WXYT 1270.  For more on Mark, visit his website here.

The 3rd Annual I See You Awards® are sponsored by the Michigan Film & Digital Media Office, Emagine Entertainment, WWJ Newsradio 950, The Lee Group and ES Communications Agency.

Follow Terri on Twitter @TerriJLee

To hear Terri's complete interview with Mark, listen to the podcast below:


Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA)
Detroit Film Critics Society (DFCS)
African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA)