Women in Comedy Festival is thrilled to partner with HBO, NBC and Showtime’s Frankie Shaw to work towards closing the gender gap in the film and television industry.

The festival will feature original comedic content created by filmmakers and screenwriters from all over the world.

WOMEN IN COMEDY FESTIVAL: FILM & SCREENPLAY COMPETITION MISSION:
Women in Comedy Festival: Film & Screenplay Competition is hell-bent on paving the way for more unconventional female characters and story-lines to be written, directed, and produced by women. We are looking for female-driven short comedy films that go beyond the typical tropes.

ABOUT WOMEN IN COMEDY FESTIVAL:
The 10th Annual Women in Comedy Festival will be held from May 2nd through May 5th, 2019 in Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Past live-performance headliners at WICF have included Wanda Sykes, Tig Notaro, Maria Bamford, Amy Sedaris, Jane Lynch, Wendy Liebman, Rachel Dratch, Kristen Schaal, Jen Kirkman, Morgan Murphy, Horatio Sanz, Kevin Allison, Ilana Glazer, Sasheer Zamata, Rita Rudner, Jackie Kashian and Kelly MacFarland.

THREE CATEGORIES FOR YOUR SUBMISSION (Enter one or all three!)
Feel free to enter all 3 categories. But remember, each submission requires an individual application and entry fee. You may submit no more than 5 entries in each category.

ALL GENDERS are welcome to submit. For the FILM CATEGORIES: the film must have a female-identifying protagonist, and a woman must hold AT LEAST ONE of the following roles: Producer, Director, or Writer. For the SCREENPLAY CATEGORY: your script must have a female-identifying protagonist.

HERE ARE THE DETAILS - PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

1. THE HBO PITCH YOUR FIRST 5 PAGES COMPETITION
Submit the first 5 Pages of your original 30-minute Comedy or Dramedy television pilot.

The TOP 5 scripts will have the chance to pitch in-person and receive live feedback from an Industry Pitch Panel moderated by Kelly Edwards, Senior Vice President of Talent Development, HBO, in front of a live audience at the 10th Annual Women in Comedy Festival on May 4, 2019. The prize-winning script selected by the Industry Pitch Panel will have a mentoring call with an HBO creative executive, along with a $500 cash prize.

Please only submit the opening 5 pages of your completed original script. The title page will not be considered as one of your 5 pages and should ONLY include your TITLE and LOGLINE. No identifying information should be on the title page. This is a comedy festival, so scripts should be in the genre of comedy or dramedy.

We’re looking for material that will grab our attention fast, hook us in and build up the anticipation of what’s to come.

All genders are encouraged and welcome to submit. Your script must have a female-identifying protagonist.

2. WICF COMEDY SHORT CONTEST WITH NBC
Women in Comedy Festival is accepting comedic short films or single episodes of web series that are between 2 to 10 minutes. This contest is a great opportunity for filmmakers to submit comedic content that they have already created with a chance to win a one-on-one mentoring call with Karen Horne (Senior Vice President, Programming Talent Development and Inclusion NBC Entertainment and Universal Television) and Jandiz Cardoso (Senior Director of Talent Development Programming NBC). In addition to the $1000 award, the winner will have the opportunity to submit a sketch packet for consideration into the final round for NBC's Late Night Writers Workshop in New York City for the 2020 submission period. (http://www.nbcunitips.com/late-night-writers-workshop/)

Official selections will be screened at the 10th Annual Women in Comedy Festival on May 4, 2019.

The deadline to upload your WICF Comedy Short with NBC film is 11:59 PM (PST) March 14, 2019.

IMPORTANT NOTE:
There are no dialogue requirements for WICF COMEDY SHORT CONTEST WITH NBC. This category is SEPARATE from FRANKIE SHAW’S COMEDY SHORT CHALLENGE.

3. FRANKIE SHAW’S COMEDY SHORT CHALLENGE
Women in Comedy Festival is thrilled to partner with creator, writer, producer and star of Showtime’s hit comedy SMILF, Frankie Shaw for this short film challenge!

The winner will be awarded $1,000 plus a one-on-one mentoring phone/skype call with Frankie Shaw.

YOUR CHALLENGE is to create a 1 to 5 minute short comedy film using this OPENING line of dialogue (provided to WICF by Frankie Shaw):

“TRY HARD NONE OF IT MATTERS!”

The dialogue is intentionally broad to allow your own creative spark to shine through. You'll need to show us your comedic storytelling skills, and find a way to take your film in an unexpected direction that will thrill the judges.

Official selections will be screened at the 10th Annual Women in Comedy Festival on May 4, 2019.

SIGN UP FOR FRANKIE SHAW’S COMEDY SHORT CHALLENGE IN 4 EASY STEPS!

Step 1
If you do not have one already, set up an account with FilmFreeway.

Step 2
For the purpose of initial contest sign up, we only need your name, basic submitter information and a placeholder project title. EXAMPLE: Jane Smith’s Project for FRANKIE SHAW’S COMEDY SHORT CHALLENGE.

Step 3
Once your account is set up, login, select FRANKIE SHAW’S COMEDY SHORT CHALLENGE, and pay the submission fee.

Step 4
Upload your film when it is ready. The deadline to upload your film for FRANKIE SHAW’S COMEDY SHORT CHALLENGE is 11:59PM (PST) March 14, 2019.

*PLEASE NOTE: Take advantage of the Early Deadline Fee and register for FRANKIE SHAW’S COMEDY SHORT CHALLENGE now then wait to upload your film when it is ready. The deadline to register and upload your project is 11:59 PM (PST) March 14, 2019.

IMPORTANT DATES
Early Deadline: January 22, 2019
Regular Deadline: February 12, 2019
Late Deadline: 11:59 PM (PST) March 14, 2019 (ALL CONTENT MUST BE UPLOADED BY THIS DATE)
Notification Date: April 2nd, 2019
Event Date: May 4th, 2019

Best of luck!
The WICF Film Team

FILM AWARDS:

If your film has been selected to be screened at the Festival, you will be contacted by email on April 2nd, 2019. The number of comedy film shorts chosen to be screened at Women in Comedy Festival: Film & Screenplay Competition in both categories will be based on the number and quality of entries received.

Filmmakers whose films have been selected to be screened at Women in Comedy Festival are requested but not required to attend the screening on May 4th, 2019.

AWARDS FOR WICF COMEDY SHORT CONTEST WITH NBC CATEGORY:
An award of $1000 plus a one-on-one mentoring phone/skype call with Karen Horne (Senior Vice President,Programming Talent Development and Inclusion NBC Entertainment and Universal Television) and Jandiz Cardoso (Senior Director of Talent Development Programming NBC) will be awarded to the “Best of Fest” in the category of WICF COMEDY SHORT CONTEST WITH NBC. In addition, the winner will have the opportunity to submit a sketch packet for consideration into the final round for NBC's Late Night Writers Workshop in New York City for the 2020 submission period.

The "Audience Choice Award" winner will be awarded $250 in the category of WICF COMEDY SHORT CONTEST WITH NBC.

AWARDS FOR THE FRANKIE SHAW’S COMEDY SHORT CHALLENGE CATEGORY:
An award of $1,000 plus a one-on-one mentoring phone/skype call with creator, writer, producer and star of Showtime’s hit comedy SMILF, Frankie Shaw, will be awarded to the “Best of Fest” in the category of FRANKIE SHAW’S COMEDY SHORT CHALLENGE.

The “Audience Choice Award” winner will be awarded $250 in the category of FRANKIE SHAW’S COMEDY SHORT CHALLENGE.

The winner of the Best of Fest and Audience Choice Award in both the Frankie Shaw’s Comedy Short Challenge and WICF Comedy Short Contest with NBC will be ANNOUNCED at The 10th Annual Women in Comedy Festival on Saturday, May 4th at the Historic Brattle Theater in Cambridge, MA.

SCREENPLAY AWARDS

THE HBO PITCH YOUR FIRST 5 PAGES COMPETITION
Screenwriters will be NOTIFIED on April 2nd, 2019 if they have been selected to pitch at the May 4th, 2019 Industry Pitch Panel Workshop.

The TOP 5 scripts selected will have the chance to pitch in-person and receive live feedback from an Industry Pitch Panel. If selected, you must be available to pitch in person in front of a live audience at the 10th Annual Women in Comedy Festival on May 4, 2019.

The prize winning script will be determined by the Industry Pitch Panel and will have a mentoring call with an HBO creative executive, along with $500 cash prize. The winning screenwriter will be CONTACTED 5 to 10 days after the festival.

InkTip: Where producers go for scripts and writers.

Film and screenplay winners will receive an InkTip Script Listing so they can promote themselves and their scripts to InkTip’s entire network of producers, managers, and agents. Screenplay winners will also have their logline featured in InkTip Magazine. InkTip Magazine is sent to over 15,000 producers and representatives.

Companies who are InkTip members include: ABC, Anonymous Content, APA,CBS Films, HBO Films, ICM, Paradigm, Paramount Pictures, Hallmark Channel, FX, Universal, WME, Echo Lake, Zero Gravity, Bad Robot, 20th Century Fox, and many more.

Producers have made more than 375 films from scripts and writers found through InkTip.

ALL ENTRANTS AGREE TO ADHERE TO THE FOLLOWING RULES, TERMS, and CONDITIONS BEFORE SUBMITTING YOUR FILM OR SCREENPLAY.

NO REFUND of your entry fee will be permitted.

All entry and payment will be submitted through FilmFreeway.

All decisions by judges, programmers and organizers shall be made in their sole discretion and will be FINAL.

FILM SUBMISSION ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

*For films to qualify, the protagonist of the film must be female-identifying, and a woman must hold AT LEAST ONE of the following roles: Producer, Director, or Writer.

*This is a comedy film festival only. All submissions must fall under the comedy genre. Comedy animation and musical shorts accepted!

*The contest is open worldwide except where prohibited by law. All entries must be either in English or contain English subtitles.

*Films must be submitted as an online streaming video via the participating submission platform FilmFreeway.

*You must provide your film on a digital download for submissions. Digital exhibition format will be used at the Festival theatrical location. If your film is selected, you must supply the highest possible quality digital version.

*We strongly encourage filmmakers to submit ONLY their fully-finished film. We will judge each submission as a completed work, whether it is or not. Once a film is submitted, we will not update the submission with a more recent cut. Should the film be accepted for screening during the Festival, the filmmaker may have the opportunity to supply the festival with their most recent version, given extreme extenuating circumstances such as a corrupted file.

*Women in Comedy Festival and their affiliates have no responsibility for loss, theft, or damage to the materials you submit.

*Women in Comedy Festival screens films as digital files during the Festival and does NOT screen films on Blu-Ray, HDCAM, or DCP. If accepted, you must provide us your film as a digital file for exhibition.

*Submissions for Frankie Shaw’s Comedy Short Challenge category: only entries with the OPENING line of dialogue “TRY HARD NONE OF IT MATTERS!” will be eligible. (Note: dialogue refers to words spoken or sung.)

*Submissions for FRANKIE SHAW’S COMEDY SHORT CHALLENGE must be between 1 to 5 minutes in length, including credits.

*Submission for the WICF COMEDY SHORT CONTEST WITH NBC category must be between 2 to 10 minutes in length, including credits.

*Employees, officers, subsidiaries, affiliated companies, advertising and promotion agencies, and immediate family members of WICF are ineligible to participate. An “immediate family member” includes spouses, parents, grandparents, siblings, children, and grandchildren.

*You must be 18 years or older to submit.

*We will NOT look at works in progress, so please do not submit them.

*All films must be submitted as they will appear at the Festival. No editing is permitted after entry.

*Please do NOT send stills or press kits. If your film is selected we will request additional information at that time.

*You may enter both film categories multiple times. But remember: each entry requires an individual submission, application and entry fee. You may submit no more than 5 entries in each category through filmfreeway.com.

*Only completed entries through filmfreeway.com will be processed and considered for screening. Submissions made in any other manner will not be accepted.

*By submitting your entry, you confirm and warrant you have the required legal authority to submit the entry into the Festival and to use all music, images and content in the entry and to authorize use and exhibition of the film.

*You must have exclusive rights to your film as well as any pertinent releases including but not limited to actors image, location image, trademarked or copyrighted image and music. Women in Comedy Festival Producers reserve the right to request proof of such releases at any time before films are screened.

IF YOUR FILM IS SELECTED:

*Participants whose films are selected to be screened at WICF will be contacted by email on or around April 2nd, 2019. The winners of “Best of Fest” and “Audience Choice Award” in each category will be announced at the event on May 4, 2019 at The Brattle Theater in Cambridge, MA.

*You are responsible for your own travel and accommodations.

*The winners will be ANNOUNCED the screening and must show picture identification to claim their prize. Women in Comedy Festival reserves the right to examine additional identification and may choose to accept or deny awarding the prize based on the identification presented.

*You agree to allow Women in Comedy Festival to exhibit your film in venues during its 2019 festival, regardless of subsequent distribution deals secured after the submission process. You further agree to allow Women in Comedy Festival usage of clips from the film and all related publicity material submitted for promotional use on television, radio, in print, web and at live Festival events.

*Films accepted for exhibition may be screened on the Women in Comedy Festival website and sister websites after the Festival with permission from the film’s owner. Films may be maintained on these website for up to one year.

*You are responsible for all shipping costs and risk of loss of your submitted materials to the Festival. The Festival has no responsibility for loss, theft, or damage to the materials you submit.

SCREENPLAY SUBMISSION ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

*All genders are encouraged and welcome to submit. Your script must have a female-identifying protagonist.

*All scripts must be submitted in English and entered electronically in .PDF format. Hard copies of scripts will not be accepted.

*All submissions must be the first 5 pages of a completed, orignal, television script. Please only submit up to the first 5 pages.

*Your script must be your original work.

*Scripts that have been sold, produced for a profit, or are currently under option are not eligible.

*Prior contest-winning scripts from other contests are acceptable.

*The 1st 5 pages of your 30-minute Comedy or Dramedy only are accepted. Anything else, including but not limited to short scripts or web series, novels, short stories, stage plays, musicals, treatments, synopses, reality show concepts, documentaries, and/or spec scripts for existing TV series are not eligible.

*Script must be in industry standard format. Formatting is taken into consideration in judging.

*Include a TITLE PAGE with your TITLE and LOGLINE only. Under no circumstances should the writer include name or contact information within the title page or body of the script.

*The title page WILL NOT be considered as one of your 5 pages.

*It is the writer’s sole responsibility to register material to be submitted with the U.S. Copyright Office and/or with the Writers Guild of America or the appropriate agency in the writer’s country.

*Writers retain the rights to their screenplay.

*Applications are non-exclusive and applicants may submit their screenplay to any other person, competition, producer, agent, publisher, and/or organization.

*Applicant accepts without reservation that the submitted screenplay will be reviewed by WICF staff and/or panel of Industry Judges for evaluation and that any one of these staff members or judges may have been or may be exploring ideas similar to the submitted material, and the applicant hereby waives any claim that the staff or judges may have misappropriated any ideas or portions of the submission, logline or screenplay.

*Collaborations are accepted, but please note that ALL PRIZES ARE AWARDED TO A SINGLE WRITER ONLY. WICF will provide a single check made out to one writer.

*You must be 18 years or older to submit.

*The contest is open worldwide except where prohibited by law.

*Once you complete your application, we will not accept a revised draft. If you have a revised draft you want to submit, you will need to complete a new application.

*Entrants may submit up to 5 scripts, but each script will require a separate application and payment.

IF YOUR SCREENPLAY IS SELECTED:

*The top 5 scripts selected will be invited to pitch at the WICF Pitch Workshop on May 4, 2019 in Boston, MA.

*You are responsible for your own travel and accommodations.

I ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE AS FOLLOWS:

1.I have read, understood and complied with all eligibility requirements of the categories for which I would like this film or screenplay to be considered.

2.Women in Comedy Festival has no obligation (other than as stated in these rules or on our website) to disclose any of the following information: i) identities of screeners or judges; ii) notes, feedback, or information relating to the submitted project; and/or iii) details regarding the submission review or selection process.

3.The Women in Comedy Festival explicitly disclaims any liability or responsibility for any comments, notes, or opinions expressed about a submission, whether by the WICF judges or by its volunteers.

4. This film/screenplay is not subject to litigation nor is threatened by any litigation.

5. I am duly authorized to submit this film/screenplay to the Festival and its Competition.

6. By submitting an entry, I agree to the Rules, Terms, and Conditions as set forth above, and further agree to indemnify and hold the Women in Comedy Festival and their respective affiliates, officers, directors, agents, co-branders, sponsors, or other partners, and any of their employees (collectively, the "Festival Indemnites"), harmless from any and all claims, damages, expenses, costs (including \ attorneys’ reasonable fees) and liabilities (including settlements), brought or asserted by any third party against any of the Festival Indemnites due to or arising out of your film\screenplay and any other materials you submit in this Festival, or your conduct during and in connection with this Festival, including but not limited to claims of violation of copyright, trademark, or other intellectual property rights, right of publicity, right of privacy or defamation.

7. By claiming a prize, you authorize the use, without additional compensation, of your name, likeness, and/or voice and photograph for promotion and/or advertising purposes in any manner and in any medium now known or developed in the future throughout the world that Women in Comedy Festival deems appropriate.

8. This contest shall be governed by the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Elaine Loh

    One of the best festivals I've ever been to. Never seen such a supportive group - both the festival organizers and the fellow attendees. Great industry panels. Great comedy!

    May 2019
  • LaGina Hill

    This is a must for any woman (or ally!) in comedy. Great panels on the industry and performers.

    May 2019
  • Kim Tran

    GO if you can. Such an amazing festival. The organizers care so hard. I met amazing friends there. The talent is top-notch. Everyone they brought in for the panels and workshops were so approachable. I learned, laughed and connected so much during my time in Boston.

    May 2019
  • Nals and Tess Comedy

    Fabulous festival! Great quality of performers and one on one contact with industry professionals!

    May 2019
  • One of the most wonderful film and comedy festival experiences we have ever experienced! Eafat and the ladies that run this are truly passionate about your work and about seeking out comic talent from across the world. They also make you feel truly welcome and show you a really fun time so lots of networking opportunities.

    May 2019