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

Catalyst champions narrative and episodic storytellers of all levels as they develop their stories and advance their careers. Catalyst lowers the barriers between creators, producers, and the industry.

Catalyst runs the Episodic Content track of the annual North Star Story Summit Festival held in Duluth, Minnesota along the idyllic shores of Lake Superior.

Catalyst 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. Projects with an average runtime of 15 minutes or less per episode will be considered "short form".

Beginning 2024, Catalyst is offering enhanced submissions for all video projects, scripts, and pitches. These submissions will be reviewed and provided with feedback by June 15th, 2024. Participants are then given the opportunity to make edits before submitting the final version of their project.

IMPORTANT: Catalyst does not accept feature films. If you are looking to submit a feature film, please return to the North Star Story Summit submission page and select the best track for your project:

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 Episodic track of the North Star Story Summit Festival will run mid-October, 2024 [Final dates pending]. To be considered, all entries must be submitted no later than 11:59 PM PST on July 10, 2024. Each person or entity seeking to enter the Festival Competition must submit as described above. By entering, entrants agree to these Official Entry Rules:

Enhanced Submissions

Enhanced submissions will be reviewed and provided with feedback by June 15th, 2024. Participants are then given the opportunity to make edits before submitting the final version of their project. Final edited versions MUST be submitted by the July 10th submission deadline; Catalyst reserves the right to assign the original submission to the appropriate category if an edited version is not submitted before the deadline.

**IMPORTANT: Provision of feedback is not done by the judges, and judges will not be informed which projects went through the enhanced submission process. Enhanced submission provides an opportunity to improve submission quality but DOES NOT guarantee selection.

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. **High school students who wish to compete solely in student categories should submit their work to the Youth track of the North Star Story Summit

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.