BEYOND: The Cary Film Festival is an annual short film and screenplay festival that takes place in the heart of the Triangle, Cary, North Carolina. Each fall, engaged audiences, local, new, and established filmmakers, industry professionals, and special guests from around the country come together to celebrate the art and craft of short filmmaking, participate in panel discussions and workshops, and experience a live table read of our winning screenplay.

For more information on the Beyond: The Cary Film Festival, please visit www.thecarytheater.com. For updates, follow Beyond: The Cary Film Festival on Facebook, @CaryTheater on Twitter, and @thecarytheater on Instagram, and join the conversation by using #BeyondCaryFest.

FILM AWARDS:

BEST NARRATIVE SHORT
- $1,000 cash prize

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
- $1,000 cash prize

BEST STUDENT SHORT
To qualify for the Best Student Short Award, the film must have been completed while enrolled in an accredited film or media arts course or program.
- $1,000 cash prize

BEST NC FILMMAKER SHORT
To qualify for the NC Filmmaker Short Award, the filmmaker must be a resident of North Carolina.
- $1,000 cash prize

PEOPLE’S CHOICE - AUDIENCE AWARD
- $1,000 cash prize

SCREENPLAY AWARD:
GRAND JURY WINNER
- $1,000 cash prize

Winners will receive a 4-month InkTip Pro Membership. As an InkTip Pro Member, thousands of filmmakers can find and read your scripts, and you'll be able to pitch directly to production companies every week. With over 3,000 options and 400 movies made, InkTip is the place for independent film.

ELIGIBILTY

FILMS: Short films completed after January 1, 2022, are eligible for Beyond 2023. Films 40 minutes or less are considered shorts. Films that have been publicly broadcast in the U.S. are ineligible. Note – Films that have been digitally screened with restricted availability as part of an online festival selection are still eligible.

SCREENPLAYS: Screenplays completed after January 1, 2022, are eligible for Beyond 2023. Screenplays must be written in English and under 40 pages in length. Screenplays that have been optioned, purchased, or produced at the time of submission are ineligible.

BENEFITS

FILMS: Each official selection will receive up to two (2) festival passes to attend screenings and events at Beyond 2023, a screening in one of our film blocks, and the opportunity to participate in a Q&A following the film block. More information will be available at the time of acceptance.

SCREENPLAYS: The grand jury winner of the screenplay competition will receive up to two (2) festival passes to attend screenings and events at Beyond 2023, a live table read of his/her/their screenplay at the festival, and the opportunity to participate in a Q&A following his/her/their table read. More information will be available at the time of acceptance.

ROUGH CUTS/WORKS IN PROGRESS/UPDATED VERSIONS
We strongly encourage filmmakers and screenwriters to submit the most complete version of their film or screenplay. Only one version of the film or screenplay may be submitted. Beyond cannot guarantee that multiple or updated versions of a submitted film or screenplay will be reviewed. Works-in-Progress and Rough Cuts are not accepted.

PREMIERES
Beyond does not have a premiere requirement. Note – Films that have been publicly broadcast in the U.S. are ineligible.

NOTIFICATION & FEEDBACK
All filmmakers and screenwriters will be notified of their status in July 2023. If your contact information or premiere status changes between submission entry and our notification date, please update your information in Film Freeway and email changes to Beyond. Beyond does not provide feedback on submitted films.

TERMS & CONDITIONS
By agreeing to the terms and conditions on the entry form for Beyond: The Cary Film Festival, the applicant submitting an entry (short film) acknowledges that he/she/they has read and agreed to the following rules and guidelines:

1. Authorization – The Applicant is legally authorized to enter the short film/screenplay in Beyond: The Cary Film Festival, and the short film/screenplay is not subject to any claims or litigation and is not threatened by any claims or litigation.

2. Eligibility – Short films/screenplay completed after January 1, 2022, are eligible for Beyond 2023.
a. Films 40 minutes or less are considered shorts. Films that have been publicly
broadcast in the U.S. are ineligible. Note – Films that have been digitally screened
with restricted availability as part of an online festival selection are still eligible.
b. Screenplays must be written in English and under 40 pages in length.
Screenplays that have been optioned, purchased, or produced at the time of
submission are ineligible.

3. Format – Filmmakers will be given a list of acceptable formats at the time of acceptance. Screenplays must follow the Standard Screenplay Format. Beyond only accepts PDF versions of screenplays.

4. Rough Cuts, Works-in-Progress, Updated Versions – Beyond strongly encourages filmmakers/screenwriters to submit the most complete version of their film/screenplay. Only one version of the film/screenplay may be submitted. Beyond cannot guarantee that multiple or updated versions of a submitted film/screenplay will be reviewed. Works-in-Progress and Rough Cuts are not accepted.

5. Student Award – To qualify for the Best Student Short Film Award, the film must have been completed while enrolled in an accredited film or media arts course or program.

6. Languages/Subtitles – Non-English language film shorts must be subtitled in English. For accessibility, English language short films must have the option of English captioning. All screenplays must be written in English.

7. Entry – Beyond can only accept, consider, and notify entries submitted with valid entry form and non-refundable entry fee. To be considered, Applicants must fill out the entry form on Film Freeway and submit a secure online screener. Entry fee payment must be made online through Film Freeway.

8. Screening Fees – Beyond does not pay screening fees for short films in competition.

9. Status – To verify Beyond has received your entry, please check your film/screenplay’s status in Film Freeway before emailing us with further questions.

10. Notification – All filmmakers and screenwriters will be notified of their status in July 2023. If your contact information or premiere status changes between submission entry and our notification date, please update your information in Film Freeway and email changes to Beyond.

11. Entry Materials – Entry materials cannot be returned.

12. Rights & Clearances – It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to obtain all rights, licenses, or necessary permissions thereto: to the fullest extent permitted by Laws and Regulations. The applicant shall indemnify and hold harmless the Town of Cary, its officers, and employees, from and against all claims, costs, civil penalties, fines, losses, and damages (including but not limited to professionals’ fees and charges and all court or other dispute resolution costs), by whomsoever brought or alleged, arising out of, resulting from, or in connection with:
a. Any break by the Applicant of any term or condition or Contract,
b. Any breach or violation by Applicant of any applicable Law or Regulation,
c. Any other cause resulting from any act or failure to act by Applicant under this
Contract, but only to the extent cause by any negligence or omission of the Applicant.
d. This indemnification shall survive the termination of Contract.

13. Acceptance – If your short film/screenplay is selected for Beyond 2023, the Applicant hereby agrees to the following rights and requests and grants to Beyond without reservation, conditions, or qualifications:
a. Beyond reserves the right to screen an exhibition-quality digital file of the short
film (accepted formats: .mp4, .mov, Pro-res) during Beyond.
b. Beyond reserves the right to coordinate ALL publicity and press outreach
concerning the short film/screenplay’s presentation at Beyond, including but not
limited to:
i. The right to use excerpted clips, still images and/or titles, and information from
or relating to the short film/screenplay for promotional purposes in all media
including The Cary Theater and Beyond website.
ii. The right to issue and authorize publicity concerning the filmmakers and the
short film or screenwriter and the screenplay and to use all associated names,
likenesses, and biographical information.
c. Beyond reserves the right to disqualify, without refund of any submission fees,
any entry which is in violation of the guidelines and participation agreement.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Brian W. Smith

    Had a fantastic time attending the festival. Honored that my short script "Dark Ride" won the screenplay competition and had a great live reading. I enjoyed the short films, the informative filmmaking panel and screenwriting workshop. Thankful for the hotel accomodations and overall welcoming vibe of the event and staff. I recommend and hope to attend again.

    October 2022
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    Response from festival:

    We loved hosting you, Brian, and showcasing your winning script in our live table read. We hope to have you back at BEYOND in the future! All the best to you. :)

  • Lucy Collins

    Was a wonderful experience! I'm so honored to have been a part of it! Thank you for the opportunity!!

    September 2022
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    Response from festival:

    We enjoyed meeting you, Lucy and showcasing your film at BEYOND 2022. Can't wait to see what you do next!

  • William Lilly

    Such an awesome experience! The films chosen were top-notch and, like Cary itself, very diverse. The hospitality was incredible...I just wish I had been available to attend more than I did. I still can't believe I got to share the spotlight with such wonderful films! Huge thanks to all the hard-working staff...this one is definitely on my list to submit to again!

    September 2022
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    Response from festival:

    William, thank you so much! We were honored to share your work with our BEYOND audiences. We wish you the best of luck with Echoes of Animals and all your future endeavors.

  • Olympia Stone

    We had a terrific experience at Beyond. It is very well run and the communication was excellent. The staff is wonderful and it was a really fun experience overall. Highly recommended!

    September 2022
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you for the kind words, Olympia. It was wonderful to have you attend BEYOND and we hope to see you back soon.

  • The best small festival I've ever attended. Less hype, but more of a focus on a meaningful and enriching experience for filmmakers. Actual cash prizes, travel and accommodations, swag bags and trophies.

    Highly recommended - it felt good to be treated like a star. Thank you Lani and all the team at The Cary Theater!

    September 2022
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    Response from festival:

    You are most welcome, Hal. Thank you for sharing Cary at 150 with us and for always championing our festival! Can't wait to see what comes next.