Welcome to SYS’s Six-Figure Film Festival and Screenplay Contest!

The Film Festival

This event was created by filmmaker and podcaster Ashley Scott Meyers to bring real value to independent filmmakers.

From founder Ashley Scott Meyers: “As a filmmaker myself I’ve been incredibly disappointed with the film festival circuit lately. Many festivals seem to have leaned into Covid and are running only online festivals, which in my opinion, offer little value to filmmakers. With SYS’s Festival, our aim is to bring people together at a live in-person event to network, mingle, and celebrate independent film.”

We’ve rented the Yard Theater on Melrose in Hollywood for the screenings (okay, maybe more accurately it’s Hollywood adjacent). The festival will take place October 7th - October 9th 2022.

We will be screening both shorts and features. We are looking for fiction, documentary, experimental, animation, drama, comedy, action, thriller, horror and all genres of filmmaking which can entertain, inspire and challenge us. But all entered films must have been produced for less than $1million USD ($1,000,000).

All submissions will be screened in their entirety by at least TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE who will do an assessment on the film. You can purchase the assessments if you’d like to know what our first round viewers thought of the project. A host of experienced industry judges will review the selected films and decide on the winners in each category. You can learn more about the industry judges on our website.

We’ll be giving out awards in all major categories. You do NOT have to pay multiple submission fees to be eligible in each category. Every accepted film will be eligible in every applicable category.

The Screenplay Contest

What’s this contest all about?

Do you have the next great low budget screenplay? SYS is trying to find great screenplays in any genre that could be produced for less than $1,000,000USD (one million). In other words, scripts that could be produced on six-figures or less.

Our goal with this screenplay contest is simple: find the best low budget screenplays on the planet and present them to the industry, which will hopefully lead to options, sales, and productions.

We’ve assembled a great group of seasoned writers, directors, and producers (see list on our website) to help judge the entries, as well as a great group of readers to handle the first round of reads.

How’s it going to work?

Each script submitted will be read by a minimum of two professional readers in the first round. The scripts that stand out in the first round will move into the second round (roughly 20% of all screenplays entered). The second round screenplays will be vetted further with more assessments from the SYS readers. The top scripts from the second round will be selected and moved into the quarter finals, where we will pitch those screenplays to the industry judges. Finally, after all the scripts have been graded by the judges, we will choose a winner and make the announcement in November 2022.

How will scripts be graded?

Each professional reader will fill out an SYS Script Assessment form for each screenplay that they read. The SYS script assessment is a quick way for the reader to grade the screenplay. Each screenplay will be graded based on seven key criteria: Ability to be produced for less than $1M, Concept, Characters, Structure, Marketability, Tone, and Craft. For a small additional charge ($10) you can receive the two assessments from the first round readers (and possibly a 3rd assessment from a second round reader).

Film Festival:

Awards and nominations will be given out in the following categories:

Best Picture
Best Documentary
Best Animation
Best Screenplay
Best Director
Best Actress
Best Supporting Actress
Best Actor
Best Supporting Actor
Best Cinematography
Best Costume Design
Best Production Design
Best Makeup and hair
Best Original Score
Best Visual Effects
Best Editing

All selected films will be eligible in all applicable categories (no extra fees per category).

Screenplay Contest:

Prizes (Features)

For this contest shorts are screenplays that are less than 60 pages, while features are screenplays that are longer than 75 pages.

Winner: ($1,700 worth of prizes)

-$1,000 cash
-1 year subscription to SYS Select
-Entry into SYS’s Screenplay Database for 1 year
-1 SYS Email/Fax Blast to our list of agents, managers, and producers
-1 SYS 3-pack screenplay analysis
-Highlighted in a special newsletter that goes to hundreds of working producers
-Featured in The Budget List at the end of the year

Runner up: ($750 worth of prizes)

-1 year subscription to SYS Select
-Entry into SYS’s Screenplay Database for 1 year
-1 SYS Email/Fax Blast to our list of agents, managers, and producers
-1 SYS 3-pack screenplay analysis
-Highlighted in a special newsletter that goes to hundreds of working producers
-Featured in The Budget List at the end of the year

Semi-finalists: ($300 worth of prizes)

-1 year subscription to SYS Select
-Entry into SYS’s Screenplay Database for 1 year
-Highlighted in a special newsletter that goes to hundreds of working producers
-Featured in The Budget List at the end of the year

Quarter-finalists:

-Entry into SYS’s Screenplay Database for 1 year
-Highlighted in a special newsletter that goes to hundreds of working producers
-Featured in The Budget List at the end of the year

Prizes (Shorts)

Short film scripts (less than 60 pages) will be judged using the same method and criteria as features. We’re looking for low budget short scripts. Our readers will grade the scripts in the first round and then the highest rated scripts will be passed along to our industry judges in the later rounds.

Winner: ($650 worth of prizes)

-$100 cash
-1 year subscription to SYS Select
-Entry into SYS’s Screenplay Database for 1 year
-1 SYS Email/Fax Blast to our list of agents, managers, and producers
-Highlighted in a special newsletter that goes to hundreds of working producers
-Featured in The Budget List at the end of the year

Runner up: ($300 worth of prizes)

-1 year subscription to SYS Select
-Entry into SYS’s Screenplay Database for 1 year
-Highlighted in a special newsletter that goes to hundreds of working producers
-Featured in The Budget List at the end of the year

Semi-finalists:

-Entry into SYS’s Screenplay Database for 1 year
-Highlighted in a special newsletter that goes to hundreds of working producers
-Featured in The Budget List at the end of the year

Film Festival:

Please read all rules and terms carefully. You agree to these in full by submitting your film or script to our festival.

The individual(s) or company submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

You MUST have all proper permissions, clearances, rights, etc. to send in your project and you must allow us to exhibit your film if it's chosen.

Whoever submits a project shall indemnify and hold harmless the SYS's Six-Figure Film Festival and Screenplay Contest and its judges and associates from and against any and all claims, liabilities, damages, losses, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, credits, publicity, trademark, screening, and loss of or damage to any projects and/or materials submitted to our festival.

All films must have been produced for less than one million U.S. dollars.

All films must be submitted in English or with English subtitles (if in a different language).

All films must have been made in or after 2019.

Short films must not exceed 30 minutes.

Filmmakers are responsible for sorting out the copyright on their own materials.

By submitting to us, you give us consent and the right to screen your film in front of a live audience.

We may promote clips from your film on social media, based on the press kits you provide us with. But we will NOT pull clips from your film without your permission.

We place no restrictions on your work in terms of premiere status or whether your work has been made available online.

We do not accept partial screeners, trailers, or screener links that require access other than password protected links.

Any technical issues with the submitted films are 100% the responsibility of the filmmakers. If, at the time of judging, your video file doesn’t work or doesn’t have English subtitles (if in a language other than English), it will be automatically rejected, without a refund. Please contact the festival team ASAP if there are any issues with the submission process, and a solution will be found.

We cannot provide refunds.

By submitting to us you agree to our terms and conditions and to receiving marketing newsletters and discounts about film festivals in the form of emails. We will never sell your information to third parties.

We retain the right to change the date and venue of the festival under special circumstances. If it's illegal in L.A. county to screen movies in-person, we will have to change the date/time. But if it's legal to screen films, we'll be screening films without excuses. All filmmakers will be informed about any changes through email and our online platforms.

We reserve the right to update our terms and conditions.

Screenplay Contest:

Writer(s)
-This contest is void where prohibited.
-All writers must be at least 18 years old to be eligible.
-Writer(s) must wholly own the screenplay and intellectual property that they submit.
-Entrants may be required to submit further information to assist in verifying eligibility.
-All submissions must be made by the writer or co-writer of the screenplay being submitted.
-Submissions written by more than one person must be submitted with the consent of all other writers. And all writers should be credited on the title page.
-If a writing team’s screenplay is picked as a winner, prizes will be given to the one writer who made the submission. The submitting writer is responsible for dividing or sharing the prize money with his or her writing partners.

Material
-All material must be submitted in industry standard screenplay format.
-The title page should contain the title of the screenplay and names of all writers. It’s okay but not mandatory if it also contains the writer’s contact information.
-All screenplays must be written in English, however anyone from anywhere may enter the contest if they meet all the other eligibility requirements.
-Only screenplays that are 120 pages or less are eligible.
-All material must be submitted electronically as a PDF.
-Substitutions of either corrected pages or new drafts of the entered material will NOT be allowed. Please proofread your material and make sure you are submitting the correct draft at the time of submission.

Submitting
-The script assessments from the two professional first round readers may be purchased for a small additional fee, but it must be purchased at the time of entry. No other feedback will be provided.
-All submissions must be received on or before the deadline dates by Midnight PST.
-The submission fee payment must be made in full at the time of submission.
-Entry fees are NOT refundable for any reason.
-Any submission may be deemed ineligible for any reason at the sole discretion of SYS.
-Quarter-Finalists may be required to sign and return within ten (10) business days of receipt a notarized Affidavit of Eligibility and a Release and Indemnification and proof of valid passport and any other documents that SYS or any other partner may require before receiving prize payment. Failure to respond to the initial notification within fifteen (15) business days will result in disqualification.
-We reserve the right to amend any part of these rules at any time. So please check back often.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Joe Leone

    I'd like to thank the SYS's Six-Figure Film Festival and Screenplay Contest for the recognition of Feature Film Screenplay (Retirement Road Trip). I look forward to submitting additional material in the future.

    December 2021