FAQs

If you have a question pertaining to the film and music competitions that are not covered, please e-mail us at [email protected]. Screenplay competition questions should be forwarded to [email protected]. All other questions can be sent to [email protected].

When will the winners be announced?

The winners will be officially announced on our website on Saturday, September 14, 2019. No one will be notified before that date. On Monday, September 16th, submitters will have their judging status updated on the submission platforms – Withoutabox and FilmFreeway. Individual emails or letters will not be sent out so please check your platform or our website for competition outcomes. Good luck.

How do I submit my project to one of the competitions?

During the Call for Entries period, you submit your project through either Withoutabox (www.withoutabox.com) or FilmFreeway (www.filmfreeway.com). More information is available on the Submit page of this website.

What are the categories of projects you accept in this year's competition?

This year we are offering eighteen competition categories. Please read each one to understand which category fits your project. You can submit the same project to multiple categories, if you wish.

US NARRATIVE FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
A narrative work of fiction with a running time of at least 50 minutes. In order to qualify as a US Narrative Feature Film, the submitted project must be either scripted or improvisational fiction. Project must have originated in the United States.

INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
A narrative work of fiction with a running time of at least 50 minutes. In order to qualify as a Narrative Feature Film, the submitted project must be either scripted or improvisational fiction. Project must have originated from outside of the United States.

US DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
A non-fiction film with a running time of at least 50 minutes, NOT including entirely scripted or improvised fictionalizations of actual events. If your documentary contains limited dramatization of actual events, you may submit to this category. Project must have originated in the United States.

INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
A non-fiction film with a running time of at least 50 minutes, NOT including entirely scripted or improvised fictionalizations of actual events. If your documentary contains limited dramatization of actual events, you may submit to this category. Project must have originated from outside of the United States.

US NARRATIVE SHORT FILM COMPETITION
A narrative work of fiction of U.S. origin with a running time of 49 minutes or less. Project must have originated in the United States.

INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE SHORT FILM COMPETITION
A narrative work of fiction of International origin with a running time of 49 minutes or less. Project must have originated from outside of the United States.

STUDENT NARRATIVE SHORT FILM COMPETITION
Any narrative work of fiction of U.S. or International origin with a running time of 49 minutes or less. Student must have been attending school at time of production.

US DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM COMPETITION
A non-fiction film of U.S. origin with a running time of 49 minutes or less. Project must have originated in the United States.

INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM COMPETITION
A non-fiction film of International origin with a running time of 49 minutes or less. Project must have originated from outside of the United States.

STUDENT DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM COMPETITION
Any non-fiction film of U.S. or International origin with a running time of 49 minutes or less. Student must have been attending school at time of production.

ANIMATED FILM COMPETITION
Any animated film in any style of animation from any country of origin with a running time of under 60 minutes.

MUSIC VIDEO COMPETITION
Any film or video in sync to music from any country of origin with a running time of less than 15 minutes.

SCREENPLAY COMPETITION
Any English-language, narrative screenplay, stage play or teleplay of any genre. Scripts must have a minimum page count of 10 pages and a maximum page count of 200.

TV/WEB EPISODE COMPETITION
Any episodic television or web program from any country of origin with a running time of 60 minutes or less. The episode may already have been uploaded to a website like Vimeo or Youtube and may be publicly shared.

ORIGINAL SONG COMPETITION
An original song created by you with both original lyrics and music. Instrumental songs are also accepted. Songs should be less than 10 minutes.

SOUNDTRACK COMPETITION
A music soundtrack or score in sync with a film or video from any category from any country of origin. Sample selection(s) should be less than 20 minutes.

COMMERCIAL COMPETITION
Any film or video that sells a product or service from any country of origin with a running time of less than 8 minutes. This category also includes Public Service Announcements (PSA) which promotes public awareness.

FILM/TV/WEB TRAILER COMPETITION
Any trailer that promotes a film, television show or web series from any country of origin with a running time of 5 minutes or less. The trailer may already have been uploaded to a website like Vimeo or Youtube and may be publicly shared.

How do you distinguish short films from features films?

If the Project is up to 49 minutes in length, it is a Short. If the Project is 50 minutes or longer, it is considered a Feature, regardless of category.

Can I submit my project as a rough cut?

A project needs to be complete enough for us to be able to judge it. As the saying goes, “You have only one chance to make a good first impression.” If an important scene is going to be missing, you should have notes on your account that should make the judge aware of this. However, we can only review a project once so please submit it at its most complete stage. You can submit it in the Earlybird deadline but upload it when its ready before the Extended Late deadline.

How old can my project be and still qualify for submission?

The Competition does NOT require any project to meet a specific completion date so a project can be a year old or five years old and both will be accepted for review. We feel too many projects are lost due to these requirements. However, we do not expect to be judging twenty year old projects that are available commercially. So please exercise some discretion.

Can I submit my project with a temporary music track?

Temp tracks, scratch music, and temp scores are perfectly fine for your submission, but please make note of missing or temporary elements and read the “Can I submit my film as a rough cut?” FAQ for a more complete answer.

What is your preferred format for submission?

Projects can only be submitted through Withoutabox’ Secure Online Screener system or FilmFreeway’s online screener system. If you have any questions please feel free to email us at [email protected]

If my project includes non-English dialogue, do you require English subtitles?

Yes! We will be unable to judge your project if on-screen English subtitles are not included in your online submission.

How many projects may I submit?

You may submit as many projects as you’d like, but each project must be a separate entry and requires a separate fee for each entry. The submission portals do not offer reduced fees for multiple submissions. If you submit three projects, you must pay the submission fees for all three projects.

What if my contact information or any other info changes?

You may log into your account at Withoutabox or FilmFreeway at anytime to update or revise your submission details.

If I submit but change my mind, can I get a refund of the submission fee?

Sorry, but entry fees are non-refundable.

Do you offer submission fee waivers?

Short answer: No.

Long answer:We receive many requests for waivers during our Call for Entries and after discussing the issue at length, we have decided that in all fairness we cannot pick and choose.

Therefore, we ask that you consider submitting your project early to take advantage of our Earlybird discount. Students, FilmFreeway Gold members and Withoutabox members all receive additional discounts.

What are you looking for in the projects?

First, our Categories list in Question 3 gives a general description of what we are accepting in this year’s competition. Beyond that, we are looking for interesting and original stories or music. Basically, we are looking for stories with interesting characters and unique points of view. The same could be said for screenplays. However, we further examine the writing style and use of language. TIP: Make sure that no matter what kind of script you submit (screenplay, stage play, teleplay), the format is industry standard and you check your spelling and punctuation.

How do I submit a screenplay?

During our Call for Entries, you can submit your script using either the Withoutabox or FilmFreeway submissions platforms. Your electronic script should be uploaded to the platform’s online servers. Accepted digital formats are Word (.doc, .docx), Final Draft (.fdr, .fdx) or Adobe (.pdf) documents.

How do I submit a song or soundtrack?

During our Call for Entries, you can submit your song or soundtrack using either the Withoutabox or FilmFreeway submissions platforms. Your audio file should be uploaded to the platform’s online servers. Accepted digital formats include .mp3, .mp4 or .wav files.

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