Welcome to the home of "stories aching to be told." We're an oasis of creativity, nestled in a 105-year-old classic cinema house in Arlington (Boston), MA. We're expanding greatly as we charge into our fifth year, as we're adding more submission categories and awards. However, our mission remains the same: We exist to support your career far beyond our festival dates, so think of us as a resource for you as your career continues to blossom.

We strive to program content from all over the world. In fact, our 2021 selections are comprised of filmmakers, writers, and musicians from 20 countries: The United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, The United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Norway, France, Germany, Switzerland, Russian Federation, Lebanon, China, Columbia, Singapore, India, Spain, Iran, Italy, and Ireland. So, we truly are an "international" festival.

We love showcasing stories "aching to be told," so if you have one, we want to see it, read it, and or hear it. We also put special focus on Women Filmmakers, The LGBTQIA Community, Minority Filmmakers, and Disabled Filmmakers. However, we LOVE AND SUPPORT ALL CONTENT CREATORS - and we can't wait to check out your stroke of genius!

Our prizes include showcases for Worldwide Buyers at Cannes, cutting-edge, websites, prominent placement on a new crowdfunding platform, Final Draft software, strategic advice, and other career-enhancing gems.

We are a highly selective festival, but that's because we stay with you far beyond our festival dates. We will always be a resource to give you insight, advice, and possible contacts, in order to help you propel your career to new heights.

Our Sponsors and Marketing Partners include Final Draft, Designware, the world's first visual editor for both websites and Apps, Acorns, the investment app that lets people automatically invest spare change from debit and credit card purchases, Hourglass24, a new crowdfunding platform that launches 24-hour campaigns, The Lonely Seal Company Group, and The Regent Theater.

So, check out our 110+ five-star reviews here on FilmFreeway, as well as the "Archives" section of our website, (www.Lonelysealfestival.com), and see who we've supported. Then, take a deep breath, smile, and submit your fantastic creativity to us today!

COVID 19 REGULATIONS
The health and safety of our guests, employees, and performers is our top priority. Since the start of the pandemic 18 months ago, the Regent has made every effort to meet or exceed local, state, and CDC guidelines specific to indoor performance venues. As new recommendations and requirements are issued, we will continue to adapt accordingly.

MASKS REQUIRED FOR ALL INDOOR SETTINGS WITHIN THE TOWN OF ARLINGTON
Cases of COVID-19 in vaccinated and unvaccinated residents due to the highly contagious Delta variant have been increasing in Arlington since July 2021. On July 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control issued an advisory for vaccinated persons in areas of substantial and high transmission to wear a mask while indoors. A mask mandate is an immediate intervention to prevent the spread of disease within spaces open to the public.

Pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 111 sections 31 and 104, the Arlington Board of Health adopts a public health mandate effective August 19, 2021, requiring face coverings for all persons at all times when inside public spaces or private spaces open to the public. This mandate applies to individuals aged two years and over except where an individual is unable to wear a face-covering due to a medical condition or disability.

If a customer refuses to wear a mask or cloth face covering for non-medical reasons, a business may decline entry to the individual.

 Foodservice establishment customers may only remove face coverings when seated.
 Performance venue customers may only remove face coverings in the actual act of eating and drinking. Indoor performers are required to wear face coverings, except where they are able to maintain a minimum of 25 feet of distance from members of the audience. Indoor bar and dance venue customers may only remove face coverings when seated at tables or seated at a bar. Patrons standing or ordering at the bar must be masked. Guests must be masked on indoor dance floors.
 Lodging guests and workers are required to wear face coverings when inside hallways and common areas.
 Residents, visitors, and employees in multi-unit homes and apartments are required to wear face coverings when inside common hallways and spaces.
 Members, visitors, and employees in private membership clubs are required to wear face coverings while indoors. Houses of worship are covered by this order.
 Fitness Centers/Health Clubs workers, customers, and visitors are required to wear face coverings during fitness activity, including strenuous activity.
 At personal services establishments, including but not limited to barber shops, hair and nail salons, all customers and workers are required to wear face coverings, except for skin or beard care that occurs on the face, the customer may temporarily remove the face covering but must immediately put the face-covering back on for the remainder of the visit.
 Masks remain mandatory for all individuals on public and private transportation systems (including rideshares, livery, taxi, ferries, MBTA, Commuter Rail, and transportation stations), in healthcare facilities, and in other settings hosting vulnerable populations, such as congregate care settings.
 All businesses open to the public must post signage (i.e. entryways, points of service, etc.) advising customers that facemasks must be maintained inside the establishment. Establishment staff must supervise and enforce this requirement.
This mandate will be in effect whenever the Level of Community Transmission data from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for Middlesex County is categorized as either “Substantial” or “High” over a consecutive two-week period.

This mandate will no longer be in effect whenever the Level of Community Transmission data from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for Middlesex County is categorized as either “Low” or “Moderate” over a consecutive two week period.

Prizes & Key Dates

We look forward to experiencing your awesomeness!

GRAND PRIZE AWARD

Grand Prize – A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes, one year of development advice and one year of and strategic financing and distribution advice. The Grand Prize also includes a cutting-edge website, with two-years of hosting, Final Draft software, and prominent placement on Hourglass24, a new crowdfunding site.

* Our Grand Prize may be awarded to ANY FILMED PROJECT in our festival. 

SPECIAL AWARD

Best Female Filmmaker - A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes, development advice and and strategic financing and distribution advice.

FILM & DOCUMENTARY AWARDS:

Best Feature Film - A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes and strategic advice.

Best International Feature Film - A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes and strategic advice.

Best Film Accessible Film - (Feature or Documentary) - A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes and strategic advice.

Best LBGTQIA Film - (Feature or Documentary) A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes and strategic advice.

Best Short Film - A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes and strategic advice.

Best International Short - A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes and strategic advice.

Best Documentary Short - A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes and strategic advice.

Best LBGTQIA Short - A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes and strategic advice.

SCREENPLAY AWARDS

Grand Prize Screenplay Winner - A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes, one year of development advice and one year of and strategic financing and distribution advice. The Grand Prize also includes a cutting-edge website, with two-years of hosting, Final Draft software, and prominent placement on Hourglass24, a new crowdfunding site.

Best Dramatic Screenplay - A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes and strategic advice.

Best Comedy Screenplay - A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes and strategic advice.

Best Script Accessible Feature Screenplay -  A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes and strategic advice.

Best LBGTQIA Screenplay - A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes and strategic advice.

Best Play/Musical - A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes and strategic advice.

Best Short Screenplay - A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes and strategic advice.

Best Script Accessible Short Screenplay - A showcase for cinema buyers  at Cannes and strategic advice.

Best Short Play/Musical - A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes and strategic advice.

AUDIENCE AWARDS

Best Narrative Feature  - A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes and strategic advice.

Best Narrative Short Film  - A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes and strategic advice.

Best Documentary Feature  - A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes and strategic advice.

Best Documentary Short  - A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes and strategic advice.

Best International Narrative Feature - A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes and strategic advice.

Best international Narrative Short - A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes and strategic advice.

Best International Documentary Feature - A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes and strategic advice.

Best International Documentary Short - A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes and strategic advice.

MUSIC AWARDS

Best Music Video - A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes and strategic advice.

Best Song -  A showcase for cinema buyers at Cannes and strategic advice.

KEY DATES

Submissions open on August 30, 2021
The early bird submission deadline is October 30, 2021.
The regular submission deadline is March 30, 2022.
The late submission deadline is May 30, 2022.
The extended deadline is June 30, 2022.

Selected Films, Screenplays and Songs will be notified by July 30, 2022.

Our festival takes place from October 5-9, 2022, at the Regent Theater in Arlington  MA.

Winners are announced on Sunday, October 9, 2022, at our awards ceremony.

Good Luck!

FILM FESTIVAL RULES & REGULATIONS

-- Competition is open to U.S. and International entries.

-- Entries must not have been publicly shown before 2021. 

-- Entries must be submitted online through FilmFreeway.

-- You may submit multiple entries but must fill out a separate entry form and pay an entry fee for each.

LIABILITY
Every possible care will be taken with entries while in our possession, however, we cannot accept responsibility for loss, damage or additional charges incurred en route, or due to normal wear and tear, or due to equipment failure. Additionally, Lonely Seal International Film and Screenplay Festival is held harmless from any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity or screening of any film.

THE FOLLOWING MUST ACCOMPANY YOUR ENTRY

-- Entry fee (must be paid online).

--3-Line Synopsis. 

--Feature Films: Please include no more than a 250-word synopsis (may be used for Festival Program and website).

--Accepted entries must submit at least one web-ready still at 72dpi and 560x315 pixels.

SCREENWRITING CONTEST RULES & REGULATIONS

All entries are eligible to win the top prizes.

Employees (and their immediate families) of The Lonely Seal International Film and Screenplay Festival and any of their respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies or festival sponsors, are not eligible to win.

There is no limit on the number of screenplays you can submit; however, each screenplay must be submitted separately and accompanied by its own completed submission form.

Feature Film Screenplays must be between 70-120 pages, must be in English and must be submitted in proper script format.

By submitting the material, the applicant hereby agrees to indemnify, hold harmless, and defend the festival & its employees from any liability, claims, and damages in connection with the submission and from any fees and expenses, including but not limited to reasonable attorneys' fees, that any of them may incur in connection therewith.

I/We understand that failure to adhere to the competition rules and regulations will result in disqualification and forfeiture of the entry fee.

I/We agree to hold the Lonely Seal International Film, Music and Screenplay Festival harmless from and defend them against all claims, demands, losses, damages, judgments, liabilities, and expenses (including attorney’s fees) arising out of or in connection with any and all claims of third parties, whether or not groundless, based on any music video, advertisement, film or media submitted to the Festival.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Katy Dore

    The festival was so well organized and programmed. I was honored to have ODD BIRD included in the excellent films in 2020. Many thanks to the Lonely Seal Team for the enthusiastic response to our work and for organizing such a wonderful festival.

    February 2021
  • Aamir Ali

    I am so grateful to Lonely Seal for honouring my documentary "STRIVE" with Best Film Accessible Award. Thank you, Hammad and Jonathan, for bringing the stories that matter to a single platform for the world and giving a chance to filmmakers like myself to showcase their work. Everything about the festival was top notch. I will definitely look forward to experiencing this festival every year.

    December 2020
  • Carly Bryant

    We're so grateful for Lonely Seal honouring our award-winning indigenous documentary "MY BLOOD IS RED" with Best International Documentary. One of the world's most filmmaker-sympathetic festivals perhaps because they're filmmakers themselves and understand the struggle and the challenges. They were a real pleasure to deal with and we thank them for giving the story of the indigenous holocaust the visibility it so tragically deserves. An absolutely world-class experience.

    November 2020
  • Sandra Garfunkel

    My team applied to Lonely Seal (with many festivals under our belts for other shorts -- including top levels fests) because we thought it sounded interesting -- like a filmmaker-focused event where we could see great films, but also connect with like-minded artists. Unfortunately, the pandemic didn't give us the opportunity to gather in-person (for any festival), but Hammad and Jonathan really delivered on the filmmaker-focused feel in spite of the obstacles.

    Before the festival even started, Hammad spoke with me for over an hour, offering guidance and feedback on future projects. He was very generous and helpful. It didn't stop there, as he and Jonathan (Hammad's partner in 'crime') held meetups throughout the festival for filmmakers to connect and ask questions. And the selections of films were really top-notch.

    If you want to apply to a festival that will nurture you as a filmmaker and offer an outlet for networking, this is a great festival.

    November 2020
  • Joan Philo

    This is a thoughtful, creative, exciting international film and music festival. Well done!

    November 2020