Open Call is a first-of-its-kind project for content creators of all genres – including music, art, style and action sports. Balli’s project “Authenticity is Everything,” earned the grand prize of a $250,000 production grant and mentorship with Robert Rodriguez, acclaimed filmmaker and founder of El Rey Network, and Roberto Orci, co-creator and executive producer of “Matador,” a new original action series currently airing on Rodriguez’s new English-language cable channel.

Hundreds of video submissions from across the country were received from March 12 to April 25 and were narrowed down to nine finalists, all of whom received $10,000 production grants to create content for Mountain Dew. The finalists presented their work at an exclusive screening event where Balli’s submission was chosen by panelists including Simon Lowden, chief marketing officer, PepsiCo Americas Beverages, Barry Rosen, creative director, Direct Focus, and Steve Berra, co-founder and co-owner of The Berrics.

“I am so grateful to have been selected as the first ever, Green Label Studios: Open Call winner,” said Balli. “To be recognized by such a prestigious panel of judges and to get the opportunity to be mentored by Robert Rodriguez and Roberto Orci is a dream come true – this whole experience has fueled my passion for content creation and I can’t wait to get back at it.”

Balli will use his grant money to create content for, a digital hub created by Mountain Dew and Complex Media, and the brand will continue to maintain relationships with each of the finalists for potential Mountain Dew and content in the future.  The hub covers the voices and stories of today’s youth culture, providing an outlet for young people to showcase their creativity.

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