Cinema is your passion? You've written a short film script that tells a meaningful and touching story with a few characters in plain settings? You can restrict yourself to the essentials? You want to see your ideas in a movie at last? Congratulations: You’ve just found the right opportunity!
Create pure narrative live-action cinema without extravaganza! Make the audience care! Only the awesome idea counts, because the film crew will have only a few days for the complete production from casting to cinema premiere. Yes, we are fast and furious.
Invent characters and stories that inspire, captivate, or shock audiences! Fascinate with artful language or plain miniatures! Amuse, surprise, and impress your audience! Free yourself from the myth that films cost a lot of money or have to use cliches! The digital age offers ample opportunities to create memorable films with little means. Become part of the biggest global movement of active film enthusiasts! Find the right balance between images and dialogues! Less talk, more deeds.
I have often asked myself where to find talented writers, gifted storytellers. Now filmfreeway offers the possibility to create screenplay contests. Why would you write for us? I belong to the most popular directors at international film festivals, because of my style, experience, passion, taste, an openness. Maybe my opinion matters now.
See for yourself: www.vimeo.com/apeiron
Awards & Prizes
An extremely experienced and successful group of filmmakers selects the winners. We have produced over 164 shorts and enabled more than 2000 other directors to create theirs.
The PRICE is the adaptation of the script into a short film under the minimalistic micro-cinema no-budget conditions listed below. It is not a cash prize but has the value of $ 2000. It should be noted that directors and script doctors could make minor production-related changes in the script or dialogue. We see a screenplay as a working tool to incite the team work of film crews. The winners of the screenplay competition will be informed once the production has begun.
We will transfer the finished movie to the writer digitally and screen it in cinemas, broadcast it on TV, put it online with all credits after the festival circuit. If the film is selected for film festivals, we will publish this information, so the writer and all cast and crew can amend their filmographies. If the writer is pleased with the resulting film, he or she can contribute to the festival distribution costs as well.
Screenplay awards from festivals are also shipped to the writers, of course. This has happened already.
Rules & Terms
This competition is aimed at writers who want to see their short scripts made into films by us and have no illusions about selling a product. We don't buy or sell anything.
PLEASE only submit screenplays, not finished films! Write films that can really be made without budgets! Most prior submissions failed these criteria.
Apart from commercial music videos and advertising, there is no real commercial market for shorts. These two genres are excluded from our contest, anyhow. This is good, because you can try out new things as the audience of fiction shorts loves to visit film festivals.
Our submission fees symbolize the time we will spend on reading and maybe commenting your work. Long texts will cost us more time. Feedback will cost extra time.
Why should you care about our opinion? Our productions and distributions were screened over 985 times at international film festivals in 56 countries and won 155 awards. So the programmers, audiences, and juries seem to like our popular works.
Who am I? Filmmaker, festival director, film association president, distributor, film critic: http://j.mp/D_Lojek
You should be of legal age (18+) and write texts in native German or English. Depending on our filming locations, the language of the dialogue might be translated into the native tongue of the actors.
Writing style and feasibility are paramount. Storytelling experience through classical film school or literature studies may be helpful, but is not mandatory. We simply expect talents.
The running time should not exceed 2 to 10 minutes. In exceptional cases 15 to 20 minutes are conceivable, but audiences are easily bored these days. One to three days of filming and up to three days for editing should be calculated while writing. Therefore it is necessary to reduce your ideas to the essentials.
CONTENT / GENRE
Thematically, these narrative short films have no limits. The choice of genre is free, although we prefer comedies, romances, fantasy, magical miniatures and light entertainment. Most festival audiences crave these.
Observe the filming conditions below and focus on certain key areas! In addition, no illegal things should appear.
We make films for fun and to explore the medium. Emotional cores, originality, suspense, and character development mark the good story.
Only basic equipment of film-making will be available: Cameras (rarely also with steady cam and shoulder rigs), tripods, various microphones, sound recorders, possibly minimal lighting, simple props, costumes and make-up, plus editing computers. There are probably DSLR cameras with video capture (+ lenses), vehicles, musical instruments, and catering.
The cast and crew are recruited from enthusiastic assistant directors, producers, technicians, DoPs, boom operators, gaffers, actors, editors, musicians and all sorts of production assistants. They beg for good stories, doable scripts. So please them first!
Use easy-to-access settings that can be found everywhere!
If you need landmarks or if your story requires a specific place, the movie should be set in or near any of the following European cities: Berlin, Hamburg, Graz, Vienna, Dresden, Leipzig, Jena, Mayence, Brussels, Munich, Cologne, Bratislava, London, Prague, Wroclaw, Dublin, Manchester, Moscow, Innsbruck, Geneva, Lublin, Naples, Paris, Linz, Lago, Rome, Lenzing, Weyregg.
Your chances plummet if you clutter the screenplay with costly things or long pre-production phases, too many locations, unfilmable CGI. In particular, avoid the need for lengthy rehearsals, special effects, stunts, construction or carpenting work, stars or dream cast, dolly shots, crane shots, camera flights, complicated lighting or sound post production, crowd scenes, children, animals, elderly and retirees cast, elaborate costumes, mask effects, inaccessible locations or studios, filming permits for locations, trick shots, copyrighted music, green screen studio recordings, noise, time-consuming 3D compositions, boring content.
Send a PDF document "YOUR_NAME__TITLE_OF_THE_SCREENPLAY.PDF" with a pitch and synopsis, (max. ½ page summary), the script in STANDARD formatting with numbered scenes and pages, the back story and looks for each main character profile, drawn storyboard (optional), your motivation and inspiration, your filmography and brief biography, contact information (which will be treated confidentially).
Please use only printable, numbered DIN-A4 pages!
Submit via filmfreeway.
The document size of the email attachment must not exceed 10 MB.
DEADLINES / AUTHENTICITY
The ongoing competition is based on matching locations as we travel through Europe. So there can be several winners per year. Since 2009 we've had several winners* whose screenplays were made into 40+ movies.
The resulting films were seen by more than two million people at over 800 international film festival screenings, won 113+ awards, were broadcast on TV and distributed online. Numerous talents from our cast and crews could use the footage for demo reels, show reels. Some of them were accepted at prestigious film and acting schools.
Find many of the films here: http://vimeo.com/channels/apeiron
The screenplays are written exclusively for this competition. With the submission the author permanently and irrevocably transfers all film and exploitation rights to APEIRON FILMS and associated production companies, institutions, groups, individuals etc.
The scripts must have a Creative Commons License (CC-BY), so that the producers / directors can freely dispose of them and are protected from any legal claims. The Creative Commons logo should be visible in the document. The resulting films are also released under the Creative Commons Licenses (CC-BY-NC-ND).
We will not sell the films, as there is no short film market. So don't worry, just explore your writing talent.
GERMAN VERSION / DEUTSCHE VERSION: http://j.mp/ScrIpts
*The winners and collaborators for screenplays were Verena Schulemann, Rakel Sosa Mendez, Gemma Swain, Julianne Becker, Steffi Sixdorf, Sven-Friedrich Wiese, Alexander Gumz, Matej Podskalsky, Margie Lazou, Bastian Korff, Marion Casabianca, Holger Bode, Micke Felgner, Cédric le Doré, Peyman Tabarkhun, Tamar Inarsaridse, Natalia Irina Roman, Elke Becker, Roman Volkov, Marija Stojanovic, Mercedes Ortego, Angela Jehring, Omar Borubaev, Diana Morales Canepa, Anna Couvertoure, Camille Demoures, James Lane, Ronny Winter, Ernst-Edmund Keil, Paul Anderton, Keeley Knight, Ben Mottershead, Zazou Röver, Paul Hänsch, Dieter Primig, Peter Lutz, Niloufar Mashhori, Mikalai Vincheuski, Martha Laschkolnig, Navina Neverla, Hermann Leitner, Lukas Treudler, Irene Gruber, Linda Hecquet, Shafi Hassan, Dieter Leitner.