We are a LIVE, IN-PERSON EVENT in a gorgeous theatre. Nestled in a 106-year-old classic cinema house in Arlington (Boston), MA, The Lonely Seal International Film, Screenplay & Music Festival showcases “Stories Aching To Be Told." So, if you have one, we want it.

We love all genres: Comedy, Drama, Thrillers, Sci-Fi, and Psychological Horrors, as well as documentaries, shorts, music, music videos, songs, and compositions. If you have something to say, we want to hear it, see it and experience it! And yes, we are proud to be an International festival, so worldwide submissions are welcome.

Furthermore, we support your career far beyond our festival dates, so we'll be in your corner throughout your career. It's cinematic magic!

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

Were Growing...The Sixth annual Lonely Seal International Film, Screenplay & Music Festival showcases films one Tuesday night per month in 2023, leading up to our October 2023 Festival dates. You can apply for our "Tuesday Night Showcase" or any festival category. Either way, you'll be considered for all of our events, and if selected, you will become an "official selection."

Our goal is to help you blossom and thrive in your career. However, we can help you if you don't apply, so apply today!

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 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, strategic financing, and distribution advice.

FILM & DOCUMENTARY AWARDS:

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

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

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

Best Film Accessible Film - (Feature, Short, or Documentary) - 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 strategic financing and distribution advice. The Grand Prize includes Final Draft software and prominent placement on Hourglass24, a new crowdfunding site.

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

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

Best Play/Musical - 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.

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

KEY DATES

Submissions open on September 23, 2022
The early bird submission deadline is December 31, 2022
The regular submission deadline is April 30, 2023.
The late submission deadline is May 31, 2023.
The extended deadline is June 30, 2023.

The monthly "Tuesday Night Showcase" screenings will start in 2023, and all selections for our festival will be notified by July 4, 2023.

Our festival takes place from October 4-8, 2023, at the Regent Theater in Arlington, MA.

Winners are announced on Sunday, October 8, 2023, 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 2022. 

-- 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 are 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 in English, and 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
  • Javier Prato

    This festival was like no other, it really felt like being part of a family. All the films were truly of the highest caliber.

    November 2022
  • Incredible Film Festival, so proud to have gotten an Official Selection with my short script "Poor Little Boy". Unfortunately I couldn't be in Boston because I don't live in the US, I would've really loved to, the experience would've been awesome! Highly recommended, guys :)

    November 2022
  • Joseph Graves

    The best festival experience I have had, and this includes having won a number of awards at over a dozen other festivals as well as interactions with and selections by many others. Living in China, timely communications are sometimes difficult and Hammad was diligent and thorough and most generous in connecting with me by phone in China and keeping me updated about festival events and my film's status. I very much regret that pandemic-related circumstances prevented me from attending the festival in person. I highly recommend this festival to any and all who wish their film work to be taken seriously and their projects to be handled with care and respect. A great experience for me, and a truly great film festival.

    October 2022
  • Excellent service and advice, an extremely positive experience all round for us to be honoured to be involved.

    October 2022
  • Margot Bruce

    Five stars in every category for Hammad Zaidi and the Lonely Seal Festival! This is a hidden gem and I can only hope it will gain more notice as the years go by. The summary of my experience is: the festival absolutely live up to its two promises: 1) telling "stories aching to be told" and 2) offering excellent career advice and networking opportunities.

    More details:
    My film was selected for the festival and I wanted to attend, but I had to miss the middle days since I was the maid of honor in a wedding in a different city. Hammad was so good about accommodating me and I was able to see my film being screened. The wedding also meant I missed the scheduled career talk session. When I told Hammad this and asked if it would be recorded, he said I could just set up a time with him to talk over the phone instead. Indeed, I walked away from every conversation I had with him having learned a new and valuable piece of advice.

    It was also a delight to be at a festival committed to supporting diverse voices. The Grand Prize film this year (Oklahoma Breakdown) taught me about an incredible musician I had never heard of. I saw films that centered around disabled main characters *and* films with disabled side characters. While both are important, it is so rare to see the latter. At Lonely Seal I got to see a film with a deaf character where their deafness isn't remarkable, where they are allowed to just be another friend in a group, in addition to incredible films that did center around characters' disabilities. What a joy it was.

    Lonely Seal puts their money where their mouth is: they support diverse storytellers and diverse stories through the films they screen and through the fountain of advice and networking opportunities they offer.

    October 2022