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Business Observer Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019 9 months ago

Luxury hotel property seeks captive audience

Artists and up-and-coming filmmakers had a unique chance to showcase their skills.

Artists and up-and-coming filmmakers will have a unique chance to showcase their skills in late August in a swanky Collier County setting. In doing so, an area hotel answers a hard question: How can a property make itself standout in a sea of competing hotels and resorts?

At the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort, that answer is to host a filmmaking contest where the setting is, what else, the hotel itself. The contest, the 48-Hour Film Challenge, is sponsored by Marriott’s Convention & Resort Network. This is the first time the contest, held Aug. 22-25, was in the U.S., according to a release. The first event was held in Vancouver in March.

Independent film teams of five amateur filmmakers will compete against one another to produce short films on a tight deadline. Each team will be tasked to create a short film on a specific theme, for a chance to earn prizes that include mentorships with industry contacts, access to screening events and other cinema-related opportunities.

The JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort invested big money to attract this type of event, centered around a recent $320 million transformation that places an emphasis on meeting space.  The marquee addition is the new eight-story Lanai Tower, where the first three floors are dedicated to meting space, hotel officials say. “All of it is state-of-the-art, with the latest infrastructure and conveniences,” hotel officials say in a statement. “In other words, an ideal facility to make a short film in a very short amount of time.”

Another part of the goal of the event is to inspire meeting planners to get creative and to show how incorporating the unique settings of the resort into the challenge can lead to future opportunities, the release states. “Our hope is to spark the imagination by showcasing how hotel space can be transformed beyond the concept of a traditional meeting room, as well as inspire travel through the stories told with a local lens,” JW Marriott Marco Island Director of Sales and Marketing Amanda Cox says in the statement.

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