An impoverished teenage girl finds herself competing in a wacky game show to save her family from financial ruin.


(as Vincent Carubia)


(screenplay) (as Vincent Carubia)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rachel Thomas ...
Jennifer 'Jenny' Berger
Jeffery Hall ...
Bob Saggins
Nora - Gameshow Producer
Jasmine Vizena ...
Chevy Honda / Chevy's Crew (Lexus Honda)
Nika Hinton ...
Susan Berger
Parris Sarter ...
Carol McDaniel ...
Betty Lou Smith
Cassady Lance ...
Ashley McEneny ...
Fitz McDoosinDoosin / Blarney McDoosinDoosin
Kelly Rogers ...
Kelly Krimples (as Adrienne Hite)
Leslie Watkins ...
Cowboy Craige Eastwood
Lara Dennis ...
Luna Gooseberry
Makoto Takani ...


Jennifer Berger is not the most popular girl in school, but she has big dreams about going to college. However, with a pregnant stay at home mom and a father who is recently deceased, she is stuck in her broken down house with the probability of no future. That is of course until her best friend Paige pushes her to call in and apply for "Gameshow", and international challenge live on TV for a chance at winning 100,000 dollars! Determined to make a change, Jenny throws herself into the mix of 11 other crazy contestants, a wacky host, and mysterious showgirls, to compete in a variety of tasks and challenges in order to successfully win the big prize. Will Jenny be stuck living the life she always dreamed of leaving, or will she outplay her fierce and shady competitors in what might be a life-changing event. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

showgirl | host | game | wig | wheel | See All (20) »


A down in the dumps teen enters an international gameshow to win money for college.


Short | Comedy





Release Date:

11 January 2009 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$17,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Did You Know?


A deleted sequence involving Susan's (Nika Hinton) water breaking before and her giving birth during the final challenge was filmed but not featured in the final film. See more »


Nora: [to the Intern] Ok, I'm getting a headache. Write this down: aspirin, large bottle.
The Intern: Large...
Nora: A large bottle.
See more »


References The Fly (1958) See more »


by April Smith
See more »

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User Reviews

The Rare Example of the "Perfect Short"
29 January 2009 | by (Texas) – See all my reviews

In most textbooks on film-making, it's recommended to study the works of student filmmakers. In these texts, it usually suggests, while the movies work, something is sacrificed along the way. For instance, story may be thrown on the back-burner for visuals; or the writer/director will put too much emphasis on the story, therefore not giving himself time to help perfect the combined efforts of all crew members. It's something I've noticed in some of the student films I've sat through at various Savannah Film Festival screenings. Writer/director Vincent Carubia's titanic-in-scale effort "Gameshow," however, is an example of when all the pieces fit together to create a rich-in-style-and-substance comedy.

Down-on-her-luck Jenny (Rachel Thomas) leads a teenage life most cringe at the thought of: at school, she is the butt of everyone's jokes, especially those of snotty Queen Bee Tammy (Cassady Lance) and 'partner' Patrice (Kelly Rogers); while at home, she finds herself forced to deal with the complete absence of money in her family, hampering her desire to go to college. Through a miracle – in the form of Jenny's supportive best friend Paige (Parris Sarter) and a player's accidental loss of her arm – Jenny winds up competing on the Gameshow, the wacky 2000s answer to the game shows that dominated the living rooms of the 90s, hoping to earn both the dignity she feels inside her and the money needed to save herself and family from certain financial ruin, even if her plight doesn't manage to inspire sympathy from the other contestants (or the audience)...

First and foremost, it should be noted Gameshow is one of, if not the most, ambitious student film crafted in recent years. To someone not connected with "the business," a story of this magnitude on a budget smaller than the size of a nail seems insane, but logic isn't a word one should employ during a viewing of this. Carubia and his round-up of comedians keeps the laughs coming a mile a microsecond, never giving the audience in the movie or watching the antics unfold on-screen time for a breather (make sure to keep your ears open for a well-placed jab at popular dance anthem "Low" by Flo Rida). Credit should also be given to DP Ryan O'Hara and production designers Sun Lee and Lynsey Mouer, who collaborative efforts help perfectly cultivate the style of the film and locations to perfectly reflect Jenny's story: the first part of the film has a very drab and unfortunate feel to it. When we arrive at the Gameshow studio – the set itself an awe-inspiring, Burton-esquire carnival ride of whimsy and danger – everything explodes around us in a veritable orgasm of unbridled imagination.

Lead performer Rachel Thomas gives us a heroine worth rooting for, though this reviewer's only complaint with her is that a perfect balance between sad and happy is never truly achieved. Even during moments of triumph, her Jenny always seems to exude a dismal feeling that becomes distracting at points. The rest of the cast – and the audience extras – do their jobs well (actress Leslie Watkins provides a memorable laugh as the trophy wife contestant with more alcohol than blood in her body and newcomer Carol McDaniel wears her heart on her sleeve with pride as the "grandmother" of the contestants). The four MVPs of the Gameshow cast are SCAD film regular Jeffery Hall as Bob Saggins, the Gameshow host decked out in a very inspired dollar-bill purple suit whose ongoing cheerfulness is infectious; Elizabeth Brewster as a harried producer who has a snarky comment for every request that passes her way; and comedienne Parris Sarter brings the right amount of heart and laugh to Paige, the type of friend everyone hopes to have; but it is ingénue Jasmine Vizena who dominates the screen as Chevy Honda, the acid-tongued, Popeye's-waving, ghetto-fabulous villainess who sets out to humiliate and destroy everyone in her path just for a laugh.

I would say if there was only one real flaw with the film, it's the film's short length. Such a rich story is presented to us with a collection of intellectual jokers (all of whom probably O.D.'d on the "Smylex" before the camera started rolling) running the show, but the time allotted only allows us to get an up close view of a selected group and not of the full picture (particularly in the forms of the uber-effeminate Guatemalan and brutish Bulgarian contestants played by Julio Penagos and Mackenzie Graff). But it's just a minor flaw one constantly forgets as the big picture keeps unfolding around you. Gameshow won't be the film competing against Slumdog Millionaire for any big prizes this year, but it is an excellent testament to the kind of entertainment people can craft under the right circumstances.


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