The Filmmaker Final Four is an innovative, competitive festival program that will provide an opportunity for filmmakers across the country to produce short films and have them presented to live audiences and industry professionals.

Filmmakers will assemble a team to conceive, cast, produce and edit a short film. They will have 90 days to complete the project, one their application has been submitted. The program will roll out across 4 regions (West, Midwest, Northeast, South).

All projects from each respective community, within one of the 4 regions, will have an opportunity to screen their film for audiences, friends and family. While some regions will have multiple screenings, there will ultimately be 4 winners from each region, as voted on by separate juries and online audience polling. There will be Finalists in Narrative and Documentary categories, who will be invited to screen in the “Sweet 16” later in the year.

At the end of the year, the Finalists, as the “Sweet 16" will be will be announced, and participate in a special screening in Hollywood in December.

While there is a time restriction applied to this contest, we do allow for “creative” work to be done in pre-production. This may include screenwriting, casting rehearsals, location scouting and design work. Many film projects have achieved high levels of storytelling, performances and production value, even with intense time or budget constraints.

Once all of the applications are in, our team will work with our exhibition partner (Tugg) to book the appropriate number of screening slots throughout the region, to accommodate ALL ENTRIES who have successfully met the application requirements.

* Note that filmmakers submitting projects from their respective region will be given priority screening placement within their community. Filmmakers submitting films from outside their region will still be guaranteed a screening within their community.

The Executive Director, Jon Fitzgerald, has directed numerous film festivals, including AFI, Santa Barbara and Naples, and is a co-founder of Slamdance. He and the HCF team remain committed to supporting the discovery of emerging talent and creating avenues of exposure for aspiring filmmakers.

There will be 4 Finalists from each region, making up the Sweet 16. Industry juries will vote for the Elite 8, who will all receive:

• Complimentary Production Services for next project, including:
• Access to Green Screen Studio
• Camera Package (Sony PXW-X70)
• Sound Package (Rode Sound Kit w/NTG-2, Mic, Boom, Headphones)
• Membership to HCF
• VIP Passes to next Hollywood Talent Summit (2 per)
• Submission to industry professionals upon request

There will be 4 Finalists in each category (Narrative & Documentary), with one Grand Jury Prize Winner for each. Grand Jury Prize Winners receive all of the above prizes, plus:

• Professional Consultation Services by HCF Advisors in the following areas: Film Festivals, Distribution, Production, Screenwriting

Filmmakers will assign a Producer to essentially be the team leader, who will responsible for completing the Application process , as well as ensuring delivery of the movie.

Each project will have 90 days to complete their movie, from date in their printed cycle.

Each project must be less than 10 minutes, with an end credit sequence (crawl or cards) less than 60 seconds.

Any stock footage or stills must have Materials release or producer verifying they are fair use.

All cast and crew must be contributing their time and effort on a volunteer basis.

Sourced music must come with signed release, or original music can accompany composer release.

Movie must not contain pornographic or defamatory content.

No public pre-screening of movie prior to exhibition with FF4.

FILM STUDENTS: If you are working within your school programs and would like to submit projects to the Final Four, please contact us for fee waivers and more details.