The Filmmaker Final Four is an innovative competitive festival program that will provide an 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 16 days to complete the project, based on one of two application deadlines. The program will roll out across 4 separate regions (West, Midwest, Northeast, South).

Filmmakers will be able to choose from a variety of genres and must demonstrate proof that project began according to rules and requirements (see next section). There will be Finalists in Narrative and Documentary categories.

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.

The 4 films from each respective region will be announced at the end of their quarterly competition. At the end of the year, the Sweet 16 will be announce will be announced and have additional screenings take place in Hollywood.

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.

While it is recommended that applicants enter the competition from their respective region, we will accept any and all submissions from film teams outside* of a specific region. 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.

* 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 in their community during the quarter in which their region is hosting screenings, regardless of whether or not they participate in screenings outside their home region.

The Executive Director, Jon Fitzgerald, has directed numerous film festivals, including AFI, Santa Barbara and Naples, and is a co-founder of Slamdance. He remains 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. These Finalists 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:

• 1,000 each
• 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 16 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.