The Lonely Seal Film Festival is sponsored by Final Draft and FilmFreeway. We are gifting $225,000+ of in-kind prizes.

Mission Statement: We cherish inclusiveness, independent voices, and stories that are aching to be told.

Our Cinematic Oasis
The Lonely Seal Film Festival takes place at the Regent Theatre, a 102-year-old classic cinema house in Boston. We launch on October 5th and 6th for screenings, panels, screenplay readings.

Our Screenwriting Contest
While many screenwriting contests give their winners a chance to be read, we go a step further by giving our winner and two runner-ups a chance to be heard. That's because professional voice actors will record readings of the top three scripts, much like the classic radio plays from the 1930's. Additionally, our winning screenplay will also be read on stage by actors at the Regent Theatre during the festival.

Our Story
Way back in the 1970’s, our founder Hammad Zaidi and his sister Mona watched a documentary on the clubbing of harp seals. All of the snow-white pups perished, except for one, which they called “The Lonely Seal.” Soon thereafter, Hammad began his lifelong quest to help the voices of the few.

Our Film Festival and Screenplay Prizes total $225,000.

Film Prizes
Grand Prize – $118,000 - One-year of international film distribution with waived admin fees through Lonely Seal Releasing, ($55,000) a showcase and targeted marketing to worldwide cinema buyers at the Lonely Seal Releasing booth at Cannes in May 2019 ($10,000), SEO for one-year ($36,000) a custom website with a premium theme and a custom logo ($7,000) one-year of website hosting on a virtual private server ($1,250) and a custom APP ($8,750).

Best Feature Film – $15,000 - Custom website ($5,000), one-year of hosting on a virtual private server ($1,250) and a custom APP ($8,750).

Best Female Filmmaker – $15,000 - Custom website ($5,000), one-year of hosting on a virtual private server ($1,250), and a custom APP ($8,750).

Best Documentary – $15,000 - Custom website ($5,000), one-year of hosting on a virtual private server ($1,250) and a custom APP ($8,750). 

Best Short Film – $15,000 - Custom website ($5,000), one-year of hosting on a virtual private server ($1,250) and a custom APP ($8,750).

Best Web Series - $15,000 - Custom website ($5,000), one-year of hosting on a virtual private server ($1,250) and a custom APP ($8,750).

Screenplay Prizes
Best Screenplay - $15,000 - A custom website ($5,000), plus one-year of hosting on a virtual private server ($1,250), and a professional audio recording of their screenplay read by voice actors. ($8,750).

Best Screenplay - Runner Up - A professional audio recording of their screenplay read by voice actors. ($8,750).

Best Screenplay Second Runner-Up - A professional audio recording of their screenplay read by voice actors. ($8,750).

Audience Award Prizes
Feature Film Audience Award – Winner gets a certificate and mentions in press releases and social media posts.

Documentary Audience Award – Winner gets a certificate and mentions in press releases and social media posts.

Short Film Audience Award – Winner gets a certificate and mentions in press releases and social media posts.

Web Series Audience Award – Winner gets a certificate and mentions in press releases and social media posts.

Key Dates
Submissions open on January 31, 2018.
The early bird submission deadline is May 31, 2018.
The regular submission deadline is June 30, 2018.
The late submission deadline is July 31, 2018.
The super late/extended deadline is August 20, 2018.
Selected films are notified by September 3, 2018.

Winners will be announced on Saturday, October 6, 2018, 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 2016. 

-- 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.

-- Grand Prize Winner has the option to decline the international film distribution portion of the award. In such an event, all other portions of the Grand Prize will remain valid.

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 Online Film 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 Film 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.

Teleplays must be between 40-60 pages, must be in English, and must be submitted in a proper script format.

Short Screenplays must be no longer than 30 pages, must be in English, and must be submitted in a proper script format.

Web Series Scripts must be no longer than 30 pages, must be in English, and must be submitted in a proper script format.