With 35 five-star reviews from filmmakers and screenwriters during our inaugural year, we launched deep into FilmFreeway’s “Top 100 Best Reviewed Festivals,” within six days of our eligibility to be voted on. Furthermore, we are planning a gifting suite for filmmakers, screenwriters, songwriters and musicians who are in attendance at our second annual festival, as well as other intriguing perks designed to make our second edition even more magical than our first. Additionally, our 2019 festival will grant $400,000+ of in-kind prizes, up from $240,000 of in-kind prizes gifted in our first year.

We cherish inclusiveness, independent voices, and stories aching to be told. That doesn’t mean we don’t like comedies. We encourage all filmmakers and screenwriters to submit their funniest work.

Our 2019 edition will include a music element and will expand our screenwriting contest. Here is some information on what's new for 2019:

Music:
“Sound Byte,” is a filmed Battle of the Bands' event where the winner will earn a record contract, heavy internet based SEO/PR support, and a music-related sponsorship.

Screenplay:
"Script Accessible," a new division in our screenwriting contest, is for writers with disabilities and non-disabled writers who write about disabled lead characters, was founded by Hammad Zaidi in early 2009. Originally housed at Slamdance and sponsored by WGA-West, "Script Accessible" made its mark when Gia Milani, our first winner for “All the Wrong Reasons,” went on to be produced and then won the Discovery Award of the 2013 Toronto Film Festival.

Our 2018 Festival
Our inaugural year welcomed 54 films and 22 screenplays from 15 countries. 26 of our 54 films were created by women, as were 10 of our 22 screenplays. We proudly showcased Women Filmmakers, films from the American Film Institute, LGBTQA cinema, Cinema from the Middle East and South Asia, as well as films from Zimbabwe to Australia, Canada, Cuba, Iran and beyond.

Our films screen at the Regent Theatre, a 100+-year-old cinema house in Arlington, Massachusetts (Boston).

We know there are thousands of festivals out there; many of which we love attending, but there is only one Lonely Seal. Our mission is to make the world a better place through the films, screenplays, and music we program, and we can't achieve that if you don't share your work with us, so please submit your script, film or music track today!

The Lonely Seal International Film, Screenplay, and Music Festival is sponsored by Final Draft, Page Craft, Hourglass24 and Lonely Seal Releasing

Our Film, Screenplay and Music prizes total $400,000+ of in-kind services.

Film Prizes
Grand Prize – $120,000 - One-year of international film distribution from Lonely Seal Releasing, with waived admin fees ($60,000), waived marketing fees ($25,000) and a sales percentage discounted to 15%, ($10,000), showcase and targeted marketing to worldwide cinema buyers at Cannes in May 2020 ($20,000), and a custom APP ($5,000).

Best Feature Film – $20,000 - A showcase and targeted marketing to worldwide cinema buyers at the Lonely Seal Releasing booth at Cannes in May 2020.

Best Female Filmmaker – $20,000 - A showcase and targeted marketing to worldwide cinema buyers at the Lonely Seal Releasing booth at Cannes in May 2020.

Best Documentary – $20,000 - A showcase and targeted marketing to worldwide cinema buyers at the Lonely Seal Releasing booth at Cannes in May 2020.

Best International Film - $20,000 - A showcase and targeted marketing to worldwide cinema buyers at the Lonely Seal Releasing booth at Cannes in May 2020.

Best Short Film – $20,000 - A showcase and targeted marketing to worldwide cinema buyers at the Lonely Seal Releasing booth at Cannes in May 2020.

Best Web Series - $20,000 - A showcase and targeted marketing to worldwide cinema buyers at the Lonely Seal Releasing booth at Cannes in May 2020.

Screenplay Writing Contest Awards

Best Screenplay - $20,000 - A showcase and targeted marketing to worldwide cinema buyers at the Lonely Seal Releasing booth at Cannes in May 2020.

Script Accessible Best Screenplay - $20,000 - A showcase and targeted marketing to worldwide cinema buyers at the Lonely Seal Releasing booth at Cannes in May 2020.

Page Craft - $2,500 - $1,000 discount to a writers retreat to Stituto San Lodovico, Orvieto (TN), Italy, writing workshops in Los Angeles, and professional screenwriting coaching.

Music Awards

Sound Byte Grand Prize Winner - $100,000 of in-kind services- A record contract from Hourglass24, ($50,000) heavy SEO marketing, ($36,000) a custom website, ($5,000) a custom APP, ($5,000) and musical equipment sponsorship ($4,000).

Best Music Video - $8,750 - A website or APP, and two months of SEO.

Best Songwriting - $8,750 - A website or APP, and two months of SEO.

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.

International Prizes
Best International Film - Winner gets a certificate and mentions in press releases and social media posts.

Best International Short Film - Winner gets a certificate and mentions in press releases and social media posts.

Key Dates
Submissions open on November 1, 2018.
The early bird submission deadline is December 31, 2018.
The regular submission deadline is March 31, 2019.
The late submission deadline is April 30, 2019.
The super late/extended deadline is May 31, 2019.
Selected films and Screenplays will be notified by July 1, 2019.

Film and Screenplay Festival Winners will be announced on Saturday, October 12, 2019, at our awards ceremony.

The "Sound Byte" finalists will be judged by viewers streaming the 'Sound Byte" web series. Winners will be announced within 30 days of the October 13, 2019 event.

The Best Video Winner will be announced on Sunday, October 13, 2019.

Good Luck!

FILM FESTIVAL RULES & REGULATIONS

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

-- Entries must not have been publicly shown before 2017. 

-- 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 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.

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

* Teleplays will be judged alongside screenplays.

"Sound Byte" Music Contest Rules:

Awards are open for music video production companies, agencies, directors, producers, record companies, artists and other professionals working with music video production.

The Promoter reserves the right to verify the eligibility of participants and check their identity in accordance with our privacy policy.

Participants can attend with one or several music videos, Sound Cloud or Reverb Nation Clips.

The Promoter accepts no responsibility for network, computer hardware or software failures of any kind, which may restrict or delay the sending of your music video or registration. Incomplete registration that doesn't meet the requirements of these conditions will be disqualified.

The entries invited to participate in our live "Sound Byte" Battle of the Bands event at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA on Sunday, October 13, 2019, is responsible for all travel-related expenses (air, housing, food, and all other incidental travel costs).

All entrants warrant and undertake that they have obtained all relevant rights and written. Permission from individuals featured in the entry.

All participants warrant that their movie or song does not violate federal law.

By submitting the music video permits participants that the Lonely Seal International Film, Music and Screenplay Festival can use the video as well as pictures and names attached to the film for advertising and public relations purposes in connection with marketing the Lonely Seal International Film, Music and Screenplay Festival.

The Promoter may use the information participants provide to contact participants regarding their products and services.

Promoters Hammad Zaidi and Jonathan Nadeau reserve the right to modify these terms.

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 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
  • The best part about this fest is the connections you make, especially with Hammad, the festival director. Hammad is a very wise filmmaker himself, with many years of experience; and plenty of advice to give. He was so kind in sharing his wisdom throughout the fest. He and the rest of the festival team are all so nice and very easy to communicate with. I had a blast at this little fest, and I am very excited to see how it grows in the future.

    October 2018
    Logo
    Response from festival:

    Jacob!

    Thank you for the kind words! It was wonderful meeting you! Based on your film, "The Being Who Fell From the Stars," it's obvious that you're overflowing with talent. We will always be here as a resource for you and all of our filmmakers, and I personally can't wait to see the feature script you pitched me to get made. Please keep in touch, and thank you again!

  • Lorette Bayle

    Producer, Hammad Zaidi and his team know the film industry first hand and have organized an amazing film festival with quality screening facilities, top notch panels and discussions and fun receptions/parties. I highly recommend this festival!

    October 2018
    Logo
    Response from festival:

    Lorette,

    Thank you for the kind words. We really appreciate them. We would also like to congratulate you for having two projects in our inaugural festiva thank you for the kind words. We really appreciate them. We would also like to congratulate you for having two projects in our inaugural festival. Thank you for your incredible creativity and we can’t wait to see what you do next.


  • Dear Lonely Seal Film Festival
    Thank you for helping young filmmakers to succeed and see their work.
    I am very happy to have played my film and share it, at this great festival.
    Be part of your amazing festival is honor to me.

    October 2018
    Logo
    Response from festival:

    Hamze,

    Thank you for your kind words. We greatly appreciate it. We were quite honored to play your film, and we are excited to see what you make next!

  • Ernie Charles

    Awesome feedback and inspiration. Great communication and encouragement for writers and filmmakers.

    October 2018
    Logo
    Response from festival:

    Earnie! Thank you so very much for your kind words. We LOVED your film, "I Think I Need a Drink." In fact, I think I've watched it about a dozen times. Please keep in touch with us, because we can't wait to see what you create next!

  • Jaspal Kunner

    Awesome Festival - my screenplay was selected as a finalist. Hammad and the team really provide a very personal and tailored approach. Their advice and knowledge on marketing scripts and next steps for writers is invaluable.

    October 2018
    Logo
    Response from festival:

    Jaspal,

    Thanks so much for your kind review! Reading your work is a treat, and I can’t wait to personally read what you write next. I look forward to keeping in touch, and we’re more than happy to to what we can to help you along your journey and a writer!