Official mentorship partner of the National Academy of TV Arts & Sciences.

Catalyst champions narrative and episodic storytellers of all career levels. Our year-round institute program and annual festival event support artists as they develop their stories and advance their careers. Catalyst lowers the barriers between creators, producers, and the industry.

Institute events are held year-round both virtually and in-person in various locations.

The annual Catalyst Content Festival is held in Duluth, Minnesota along the idyllic shores of Lake Superior.

The festival accepts narrative/episodic/serialized content of any genre, length, style, and type: comedy, drama, thriller, scripted, unscripted, documentary, limited series, social media, short form, podcast, reality, animation, kids, etc. Projects can have any number of episodes and be in any stage of development: pitch, script, in-production, post-production, or completed produced video.‚Äč Projects with an average runtime of 15 minutes or less per episode will be considered "short form".

IMPORTANT: Catalyst does not accept feature films.

Awards are given in categories where outstanding talent and works are achieved. Not all categories are awarded in all years. Previously awarded categories include:


Best of Festival
Outstanding Pitch
Outstanding Comedy Series
Outstanding Drama Series
Outstanding Short Comedy Series
Outstanding Short Drama Series
Outstanding Writing
Outstanding Directing
Outstanding Cinematography
Outstanding Editing
Outstanding Comedy Actress
Outstanding Drama Actress
Outstanding Comedy Actor
Outstanding Drama Actor
Outstanding Documentary
Outstanding Animated Series
Outstanding Minnesota Series
Outstanding International Series
Outstanding Reality Series
Outstanding Social Media Series
Outstanding Podcast
Outstanding Kids Series
Outstanding Gaming Series
Outstanding VR Series
Outstanding AR Series
Outstanding Innovation

Outstanding Comedy Script
Outstanding Drama Script
Outstanding Thriller Script
Outstanding Kids Script
Outstanding Table Read

Outstanding Comedy Pitch
Outstanding Drama Pitch
Outstanding Reality Pitch
Outstanding Kids Pitch

The Catalyst Content Festival runs Oct 4-7, 2023. To be considered, all entries must be submitted no later than 11:59 PM pst on June 24, 2023. Each person or entity seeking to enter the Festival Competition must submit as described above. By entering, entrants agree to these Official Entry Rules:

Age Eligibility

Catalyst is open to individuals who are 18 years of age or older, as well as entrants under the age of 18 whose entries are accompanied by written parental consent to the terms of these Official Entry Rules.

Judging Specifics

The official panel of Jurors, consisting of representatives selected at the sole discretion of the Catalyst, will judge the entries based on the following criteria: (i) writing (ii) acting (iii) concept (iv) originality and creativity, and (v) production.

Pitch World

For submissions in the Pitch category, the award process includes a live competition in Duluth, MN during the festival. Selection is based on the submitted pitch deck and awards will be granted based upon presentations at the live competition.

Overall Rating
  • David Filmore

    Catalyst was the best festival experience I've ever had, truly transformative. I loved every minute of my time in Duluth, and wish it wasn't over all so quickly. Every day there were a dozen amazing events, panels, or screenings I ran to attend. I met so many wonderfully talented people that I'm still in touch with. I hope I'm able to attend every year.

    October 2022
  • I can't say enough good things about this festival! Inspiring, supportive, invaluable, well organized, providing incredible platform for completed pilots as well as table reads for scripts and an awesome pitch competition, plenty of networking opportunities with other creators and industry guests, with great communication including helpful festival-lead prep Zooms prior. Amazing!! Highly recommend this to anyone with a series or episodic content. Top-notch all-around!

    October 2022
  • Julie Pearson

    Had a great time at the festival! I loved how well-organized the table reads were and how many social events there were throughout the week. The fest was small enough that it was easy to build relationships, and big enough to draw some serious talent. Loved the location, and I hope to be back next year!

    October 2022
  • Jeremiah Dunlap

    Had a great time in Duluth! We loved the panels and had a fantastic screening experience.

    October 2022
  • Our producer had an amazing time at the festival!! They screened our project for a full supportive crowd and had incredible events for all who attended. Super professional and well-run. Will definitely submit again!

    October 2022