The First year of the Midnight Soul Film Festival is an event that strives to show the imagination and beauty of Northern Scandinavia. Refreshingly intimate for a festival of its size and scope, the event traditionally combines a range of marquee premieres, international competitions, compelling documentaries, new digital media work, live music performances, and a star-studded red carpet event.
**You only need to submit once to be considered for all categories!
Officially selected films or screenplays will receive a free waiver to submit again.**
We aim to forge a film festival and screenwriting competition that will ultimately launch the careers of writers and filmmakers.
We are a Sweden-based independent film festival company and our event is pending quarantine restrictions.
This year we are adding a Screenplay Competition for the first time!
Our Screenplay Competition includes feature-length screenplays up to 120 pages, short film scripts up to 30 pages, and dramatic television pilots up to 75 pages. All screenplays must be unproduced and written in the English language, Swedish, Portuguese or Spanish.
We also accept screenplays with multiple languages, i.e., English with Spanish dialogues. This is because we have experienced judges from various countries around the world.
We also accept all genres and subgenres. E.g. Drama; Period Dramas; Romance; Comedy; Action/Adventure; Horror; Cosmic Horror; Folk; Slasher; Gothic; Monsters, Zombies, and Vampires; Paranormal; Gore; Crime; Science Fiction; Thriller; Fantasy; Coming-of-Age; Spiritual Cinema; Road movies; Westerns; Musicals and Historical.
Submissions are scored on character development, story, dialogue, structure and originality.
By submitting your screenplay, you are automatically considered for our screenplay competition. For a higher fee, you receive a consultation with script notes from film producers and industry professionals who are currently making films, as well as other writers. Therefore, you will get notes from both worlds, production and screenwriting.
Please note that we do not have celebrity judges. Many festivals and screenwriting competitions advertise that they do have celebrity judges but upon closer inspection, their “industry pros” are only reading the top five scripts or viewing the top five screenplays. Our judges are artists, writers, filmmakers, and film lovers. We have excellent taste, and we introduce our winners to top industry professionals.
**** Why should I pay a fee? ****
We ask for a submission fee so we can judge your film fairly. If the submissions were free we would end up with too many submissions to watch before our deadline.
As a festival, we are proud to say that we never miss a film and we give all films the same fair chance. All submitted films are watched and judged. We also don't go prospecting for films at other festivals and we don't look at the festival screening history of the submitted films or the previous works of the directors. Everyone starts with a blank slate and we only judge the films based on their own merits.
Midnight Soul will give unique awards for each category.
1. The Midnight Soul Award:
This encompasses the spirit of film and filmmaking. It will be awarded to a film that may not have the best written or aesthetic qualities, but do something that has been made through trials and tribulation. Someone who has gone through the crucible of the industry and been able to remain creative and create something beautiful in the aftermath.
We will also be Awarding other award categories:
All Awards are covered by a single entrance fee!
(except for the Screenplay contest).
The Midnight Soul Award
Best Narrative Feature Film
Best Narrative Short Film
Best Feature Documentary
Best Short Documentary
Best First-Time Film Maker
Best Actor / Actress
Best Video Editing
2. "SEE THE GIRL" Competition.
"See the Girl" project is being held by the Swedish non-profit ProQvi, to raise awareness of decision-makers in Ethiopia about gender inequality regarding school conditions, promote skills in filmmaking and encourage teachers by cooperation with students on media production.
-> Submissions for this challenge are free.
-> Young directors (less than 20 years old) AND/OR featuring a young girl.
-> It must follow the topic of the project, explained above.
-> Ethiopian stories or Ethiopian filmmakers.
-> Fiction, Documentaries or Experimental.
The winner of this competition will win participate in a Filmmaking project with other filmmakers in Sweden, which includes free accommodation and meals. Flight is not included unless he or she is flying from Ethiopia to Sweden.
Filmmakers can be from anywhere in the world but the winner of the competition will fly for free from Ethiopia to Sweden. Therefore, we will give priority to African filmmakers.
Supported by ProQvi.
For more information about this project please find the page below:
3. Screenplay contest: (written in English, Portuguese or Spanish)
Best Feature Screenplay
Best Short Screenplay
The winner of the Screenplay Contest will receive a laurel and a 1-1 online meeting with one of our producers. Every official selected screenplay will have the opportunity to be part of our online speed meeting, and receive promotion on our social media and the screenplay will also be saved in our database for future opportunities.
We also ask every screenwriter nominee to send us a 1-minute video to introduce themselves, the screenplay's title and their logline. If you submitted multiple screenplays, please send us a message per screenplay. This will also be shared on our social media and in the theatre.
Terms and Conditions:
We accept films of any length. Short films should not have more than 30 minutes to be considered a short film. If you are sending your feature film, we will give priority to films that have not had a premier.
Films submitted to the competition cannot be available online. A film that is available online to the public will be immediately disqualified.
All films not in English must have English subtitles embedded or as an option on your screening platform.
We accept Films, Documentaries and Screenplays of all genres, from all over the world. We do not discriminate based on gender, nationality, or ethnicity.
We also accept screenplays written by more than one writer.
Entrants who are 17 years old or younger must provide written permission from their legal guardians to enter the contest.
The judging process is anonymous. This means that during the judging process, our judges do not know who the filmmaker or screenwriter is until the decision is made. We want to be a fair festival and judge only the project itself as it is.
This is true for both films and screenplays.
We do not accept the following:
1. Extremist content or propaganda of any kind.
2. Films that denigrate other cultures or religions.
3. Films completed before 2016, unless they never had a premiere in Sweden and are not available online.
4. Films and scripts that already won the Midnight Soul previous editions. *
5. Screenplays that exceed the limit of pages.
6. Screenplays that were already sold or signed to a literary manager or agent.*
*The reason for the number #4th is that we wish to give more opportunities for screenwriters.
Writers and Filmmakers retain all rights to their work.
Screenwriting contest rules:
We are a green competition. To reduce waste, only electronic submissions are accepted. Physical submissions are NOT accepted.
There is no limit to the number of projects you may submit. However, a fee is applied to every submission.
Screenplays must be written in English but can be in any film or television genre.
Entrants are prohibited from contacting the judges during the competition. Any entrant who attempts to contact a judge will be disqualified and their entry fee forfeited. The decision of the judges is final.
Entry fees for screenplay entries are non-refundable.
All submitted material must be original and all rights must be wholly owned by the writer(s).
All entries must be the original, and unpublished, un-produced, or un-optioned work of the entrant. The entrant ensures that he or she is the sole author of the work and that it does not infringe on any existing copyright.
All judging and all decisions are made at our sole discretion. Furthermore, we do not use “celebrity” judges and we do not advertise our judges. We use intelligent readers with a passion for cinema who love to read.
We only judge the material sent to us. We do not judge our contestants. To prevent tampering, we do not reveal the identities of our judges.
The undersigned, the authorised representative of the project named below (hereafter called the "Project") to Midnight Soul Film Institute (hereafter called the “Institute”) for consideration for the 2022 Midnight Soul Film Festival (hereafter called the “Festival”), hereby acknowledges the following:
1. The undersigned represents and warrants to the Institute that: (a) The undersigned is duly authorised, on behalf of the undersigned and on behalf of all other persons or entities who have any ownership rights, licenses or interests (including, without limitation, intellectual property rights or distribution licenses) in or relating to the Project (collectively and separately hereafter called the “Project’s Owners”), to permit the Institute to exhibit this Project in the Festival and to make the promises, representations and warranties set forth herein, (b) exhibition of the Project in the Festival will not violate any law or any right or consent of any person or entity, whether the such exhibition is theatrical (live), digital, or any combination thereof; and (c) the Project is not subject to any litigation, arbitration, or other adversarial claim or proceeding, nor is the Project the subject of any threat of litigation, arbitration, or other adverse claim or proceeding.
2. The undersigned further represents and warrants, on behalf of the undersigned and the Project’s Owners, that the exhibition of the Project in the Festival, whether life, digital, or any combination thereof, will not violate or infringe any copyright, patent, privacy right, publicity right, trademark, service mark or any other personal or property right of any person or entity, and that the Project does not and will not constitute or include any defamation of any person or entity. All license fees, clearance fees, and other obligations, of any kind, arising from or associated with the exhibition of the Project in or in connection with the Festival, have been and will be timely paid in full.
3. If the Project is accepted by the Institute for inclusion in the Festival, the undersigned acknowledges, on behalf of the undersigned and the Project’s Owners, that the Institute’s exhibition or presentation of the Project in the Festival does not and will not create any confidential or fiduciary relationship between the Institute on the one hand and the undersigned and/or the Project’s Owners on the other. The undersigned further acknowledges, on behalf of the undersigned and the Project’s Owners, that neither the undersigned nor any of the Project’s Owners will receive any compensation for such exploitation, although some Festival prizes may include cash awards. The undersigned acknowledges that no obligation of any kind is assumed by, or maybe implied against, the Institute or the Festival in the event of, by virtue of, or as a result of the Institute’s selection of the Project for the Festival. The undersigned and the Project’s Owners understand and acknowledge that the selection of the Project for inclusion in the Festival does not and will not in any way constitute an express or implied endorsement or approval by the Institute or the Festival of the content of the Project or any opinion expressed therein.
4. The undersigned agrees, on behalf of the undersigned and each of the Project’s Owners, to indemnify and hold harmless the Institute and the Festival, together with each of their parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, employees, attorneys, creative advisors, agents and representatives (collectively, “Midnight Soul Related Parties”), from and against any and all claims, losses, liabilities, damages, fees and expenses (including, but not limited to, reasonable attorneys’ fees and other costs) that may be asserted by any person or entity, or may be incurred by the Institute, the Festival, or any Midnight Soul Related Parties, at any time in connection with the Project or the Institute’s use, handling, consideration or exhibition thereof, and/or arising from any breach or alleged breach of any representation made by the undersigned to the Institute, the Festival or any Midnight Soul Related Parties, including, without limitation, any express or implied representation in these Terms and Conditions.
5. The undersigned warrants and agrees, on behalf of the undersigned and each of the Project’s Owners, that the Project is being submitted to the Institute voluntarily and without promise or inducement, and that the submission of the Project neither imposes nor creates any obligation or responsibility on the part of the Institute, the Festival, and/or any Midnight Soul Related Parties to accept the Project for inclusion in the Festival, to exhibit the Project in the Festival, to acknowledge the submission of the Project, or to return any Project materials to the undersigned or others. The undersigned further agrees, on behalf of the undersigned and the Project’s Owners and every other representative or person affiliated with the Project, that , in submitting the Project for consideration, the undersigned, the Project’s Owners, and any other representative or person affiliated with the Project are jointly and severally waiving, forfeiting, forgoing and relinquishing any right that we might otherwise have to assert any claim or commence any proceeding in any forum or tribunal against the Institute, the Festival, or any Midnight Soul Related Parties, based upon, arising out of or otherwise relating to the submission, exhibition or failure to exhibit the Project (including, without limitation, claims relating to any failure or refusal to exhibit the Project in the Festival, the exhibition or marketing of the Project at or in connection with the Festival, alleged oral or written representations by the Festival or its representatives relating to the submission or exhibition of the Project, and any other matters arising from or relating to the submission of the Project), whether such claims may be based on theories of contract, implied contract, tort, statute, or other legal theory (hereinafter, “Claim”). In the event that any Claim is asserted, or any action, arbitration or other proceeding is brought or commenced, in violation of the agreement set forth in the immediately preceding sentence, the undersigned, on behalf of the undersigned, the Project’s Owners and any other representative or person affiliated with the Project agrees to indemnify the Institute and the Festival from any and all Claims, losses, liabilities, damages, fees and expenses (including, but not limited to, reasonable attorneys’ fees and other costs) that are incurred by the Institute, the Festival and any Midnight Soul Related Parties as a result of or in connection with any such Claim or any action, arbitration or other proceeding brought in violation of the representations and agreements set forth in this submission agreement.
6. Without in any way limiting the provisions or scope of the agreements set forth herein, the undersigned further agrees and accepts that in the event that any Claim is asserted, or any action, arbitration or other proceeding is brought or commenced, by the undersigned, any of the Project’s Owners, or any other representative of or person affiliated with the Project, in violation of the agreements set forth herein, and in the further event that an arbitrator or other tribunal should permit such Claim to proceed despite the waiver language set forth in paragraph 5 above, the sole and maximum remedy that could be awarded to any person or entity asserting any Claim shall be a refund of the submission fee paid in connection with the submission of the Project to the Institute for consideration for the Festival. Under no circumstances shall any other remedy, including without limitation actual, expectancy, reliance, consequential, special, punitive or exemplary damages, or any other damages, or injunctive, declaratory, provisional or other relief, be available to the undersigned, the Project’s Owners, or any other person or entity representing or affiliated with the Project.
7. In the event that the Project is accepted by the Institute for inclusion and exhibition in the Festival, and if the undersigned or the Project’s Owners and any other representative or person affiliated with the Project have contractual obligations to any producers, distributors, creators, cast or crew regarding "festival benefits" (which may include but are not limited to production credits, screening tickets, Festival credentials or monetary compensation), the undersigned agrees and accepts that those “festival benefits” must be administered and distributed by the undersigned and/or the Project’s Owners, do not impact the nature or quantity of benefits provided by Institute and that the Institute has no responsibility whatsoever in connection therewith.
8. The undersigned warrants and agrees, on behalf of the undersigned and each of the Project’s Owners, that the Institute has made no claims, representations or guarantees, and has provided no assurances, in relation to the internal process utilized by the Institute with respect to selection of projects for inclusion in the Festival, and that the submission of the Project neither imposes nor creates any obligation or responsibility on the part of the Institute, the Festival, or any Midnight Soul Related Parties to provide the undersigned, the Project’s Owners, or any Project- related parties with comments, feedback or other information pertaining to the viewing or consideration of the Project by the Institute for possible inclusion in the Festival.
9. The undersigned warrants and agrees, on behalf of the undersigned and each of the Project’s Owners, that by submitting the Project to the Institute, the Institute and all persons employed by, contracted by, or otherwise directly associated with the Institute are deemed to have been granted the irrevocable right to view and/or download all digital assets associated with the Project, including, but not limited to, any representation of the Project in the form of video files, still images, assets streamed via the Internet, and/or all other assets and information provided by the Applicant on the application. All digital assets referenced above shall remain active and accessible by the Institute until the conclusion of the Festival on February 2nd, 2022. Any dissemination of these materials, incidental or otherwise, shall not be the responsibility of the Institute or any Midnight Soul Related Parties.
10. The undersigned represents that if the undersigned is younger than the legal age to enter into contracts in the state of the undersigned’s principal place of residence, the Institute has been provided with signed, written consent from the undersigned’s parent or legal guardian.
11. Without in any way limiting the provisions or scope of this submission agreement, the undersigned agrees, on behalf of the undersigned and each of the Project’s Owners, that any claim, dispute or controversy arising out of, in connection with, or otherwise related to the Project, the Festival, or these Terms and Conditions, including, without limitation, any Claim (as this term is defined above) and any other claim or cause of action of any nature arising from the actual or alleged breach, termination, enforcement, interpretation or validity of these Terms and Conditions, as well as the determination of the scope or applicability of this agreement to arbitrate, will be governed by the internal, substantive laws of the State of California and will be subject to and submitted to exclusive, binding arbitration before a single arbitrator in Los Angeles, California, which shall be the sole and exclusive forum for determination of such claim, dispute or controversy. Such arbitration will be administered by JAMS pursuant to its Streamlined Arbitration Rules and Procedures then in effect. The arbitrator will be selected by mutual agreement of the parties or, if the parties are unable to agree on an arbitrator, will be appointed by JAMS pursuant to its Streamlined Arbitration Rules and Procedures then in effect. The arbitrator shall issue a written award and, subject to the terms of paragraph 6 hereof, shall have the right to award monetary relief. The undersigned specifically agrees and acknowledges, that the arbitrator shall not have the power to award punitive or exemplary damages, nor shall the arbitrator have the power to order the Institute to include the Project in the Festival or to award any injunctive or non-monetary relief. The arbitrator shall have the power to award, and shall be required to award, to the substantially prevailing party in any such arbitration, its reasonable attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses incurred in connection with the arbitration (including, without limitation, reimbursement of that party’s share of the arbitrator’s fees and JAMS administrative charges). The arbitrator’s award shall be final, binding and non-appealable. Judgment on the arbitrator’s award may be entered in any federal or state court of competent jurisdiction in Sweden. In agreeing to this exclusive arbitration provision, the undersigned hereby waives, forfeits and relinquishes, on behalf of the undersigned and each of the Project’s Owners, any right or entitlement that the undersigned and/or the Project’s Owners might otherwise have had to bring or litigate any claim or claims in any federal or state court against the Institute, the Festival, or any Midnight Soul Related Party, and further waives, forfeits and relinquishes any right to a trial by jury with respect to such claim or claims.
12. The undersigned hereby acknowledge that the undersigned has the right to consult with an attorney of its own choosing with respect to these Terms and Conditions and with respect to the Rules and Regulations for submitting a project to the Festival, located at www.midnightsoulfilmfestival.com By completing the submission application for 2022 Midnight Soul Film Festival consideration, the undersigned acknowledges and agrees that the undersigned is doing so after having consulted with an attorney or having freely or voluntarily elected not to do so without coercion or duress.
13. Code of Conduct: Midnight Soul Institute promotes an environment where bold, creative, and distinctive voices are celebrated. Midnight Soul Institute is committed to allowing filmmakers, their teams and Festival attendees to experience the Midnight Soul Film Festival free of harassment, discrimination, sexism, and threatening or disrespectful behaviour. The Institute reserves the right to rescind an invitation to participate in the Festival for those who engage in such conduct.
14. The undersigned hereby acknowledges on behalf of all Project Owners that the undersigned has read and understood the Rules and Regulations for submitting a project to the Festival, located at www.midnightsoulfilmfestival.com and that the information contained in said Rules and Regulations does and shall supersede any information obtained elsewhere, including, but not limited to, the information contained in any current Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) documents and/or rules and regulations documents from prior years.
15. By completing the submission application for 2022 Midnight Soul Film Festival consideration, the undersigned, on behalf of the undersigned and all Project Owners, freely and voluntarily gives and expresses full and complete acceptance of all of the terms and provisions set forth in these Terms and Conditions. The parties acknowledge that no oral representations, inducements, promises or assurances of any kind, and no representations, inducements, promises or assurances not set forth in these Terms and Conditions, have been made to the undersigned or the Project’s Owners by the Festival, the Institute, or any Midnight Soul Related Parties.
16. In the event that the Project is accepted for the 2022 Midnight Soul Film Festival, the Project Owners will enter into a Festival Participation Agreement incorporating all of the terms and conditions of this agreement, which terms and conditions shall be and remain binding upon the undersigned, the Project and the Project Owners.
By entering the competition, you hereby accept these competition rules.