The CINEMATOGRAFO Originals Contest is an annual competition that provides seed grants for full-length features and short films, either documentary or narrative.

The competition aims to foster and nurture new filmmaking talent from the Filipino diaspora. This is a platform to tell new stories and hear new voices of this generation.

Awards & Prizes

The Cinematografo short film category grants each winning screenplay a $5,000 seed money for production.

Rules & Terms


About the Contest
The Cinematografo Short Film Contest (“Contest”) is organized by ABS-CBN International (“Sponsor”). Open to students of Filipino descent, the Contest is on the lookout for the new breed of filmmakers from universities and academic institutions throughout the country.
• The Contest is open to anyone who, as of June 12, 2017 (“Opening Date”), meets all of the following eligibility requirements (collectively, “Eligibility Requirements”):
(1) Must be either: (a) 18-30 years of age; or (b) 15-17 years of age and have the permission of a parent or guardian to enter;
(2) Must be actively enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited university, college, or art school of higher education in the United States; and,
(3) Must be a US legal resident or US citizen of Filipino descent, or a Filipino citizen currently in the US under a valid F-1 Student Visa
• For group submissions, if multiple persons are involved in one submitted entry (e.g. three filmmakers are to be credited in one entry; or, the writer is not the same person as the director), all such entrants must be listed on the entry form and meet the Eligibility Requirements; provided, only one of such entrants must comply with the requirement to be of Filipino descent, as long as the remaining entrants comply with all other Eligibility Requirements.
• Regular employees and the immediate family of ABS-CBN International and its affiliates are disqualified from joining the Contest. Independent contractors must have had no involvement with ABS-CBN International and its affiliates for a period of 2 years. Relatives of employees with 4th degree consanguinity are allowed to join.
How to Enter
• Groups or individuals who meet the Eligibility Requirements (each, an “Entrant”) must complete the following steps on or before August 15, 2017 (“Entry Deadline”) to enter the Contest:
- Create a full screenplay, pitch deck and director’s treatment for a short film meeting the Entry Requirements set forth below (collectively, an “Entry”)
- Submit your full Entry via FilmFreeway at Submissions by post will not be accepted.
• Once an Entry has been submitted to the Contest, Sponsor will not accept substitutions or revised Entries. If you wish to submit a revised Entry, you must enter it as a new submission.
• Entries written by multiple persons may be entered in the Contest. All writers' names, including directors’ names, should be listed on the online Entry. All Entrants and anyone else involved in creating the Entry must authorize submission of the Entry, through their representative, who is solely responsible for coordinating with Sponsor. By submitting an Entry online to the Contest, the Entrants represent that all Entrants and any other individuals involved in creating the Entry authorize the submission.
• Entrants are responsible for all costs associated with creation of an Entry and participating in the Contest.
• Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Contest.
Entry Requirements. In order to be eligible, Entries must meet the following requirements (“Entry Requirements”):
• All Entries must adhere to the theme “One Person, Two Flags”. The Entrants are free to interpret this theme in any creative way.
• All Entries must be formatted in English, including scene descriptions (dialogue can vary, providing translation is included).
• Regardless of the length of the screenplay, the final film output of the Entry must have a total running time of at least 5 minutes and a maximum of 15 minutes.
• The Entry must be the original, newly created work of the Entrant(s), which has not been distributed to the public prior to the date of Entry submission, and all rights to display, exploit and distribute the Entry must be held by the Entrant (i.e., no other person or entity can have rights of any kind in connection with the Entry).
• If the entry is based on true events, it is the entrant’s responsibility to get consent from all parties involved.
By submitting an Entry in the Contest, each Entrant represents and warrants that: (i) the Entry is original to the Entrant, and all right, title and interest (including but not limited to copyright) therein and thereto is exclusively owned and/or controlled by the Entrant; (ii) the Entry does not contain any material that is libelous, defamatory, profane or obscene, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion; (iii) the Entry does not contain any material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in the United States or in any jurisdiction where the Entry was created; (iv) the Entry does not infringe on the intellectual property or other statutory or common law rights of any third party (including but not limited to copyright, trademark, personality or privacy rights, or any other rights of any other person or entity); (v) the Sponsor’s use and re-use of the Entry (if the Entry is selected as a winning Entry, as described below) in accordance with the terms set out herein will not infringe or violate the rights of any third party (including copyright), or require any payment to or consent/permission from any third party; (vi) the Entry has not been previously, and will not during any phase of the Contest be, exploited or published in any form; and (vii) and no rights in or to the Entry have been, or will during any phase of the Contest be, granted, pledged, or assigned, in whole or in part, to any other party. No Entrant will be eligible to receive a prize unless Sponsor determines in its sole and absolute discretion that such Entrant’s Entry has been or can be sufficiently cleared for legal purposes.

Criteria / Selection Process
• Entries will be reviewed, deliberated upon and scored by a selection committee consisting of qualified judges selected by Sponsor, in its sole discretion (the “Selection Committee”) using the following evaluation criteria (the “Criteria”):
40% Story and Premise
The general concept of the story
20% Presentation
The professionalism and presentation with regards to industry standards and proper usage of language
20% Plot and Pacing
The series of events and timing of how the story unfolds
10% Theme
The message and subtext of the story.
10% Commercial Potential
The overall appeal and viability of the story in the marketplace.

• Potential finalists will be notified of their selection via e-mail on or about July 21, 2017 and may be required to sign and return additional documentation as may be required by Sponsor, including but not limited to any documentation as may be required to confirm clearance of any third party elements as may be contained in the Entry (“Releases”). If a potential finalist cannot be reached or fails to properly execute and return any necessary Releases within the time period noted, or if a potential finalist is found not to be eligible or not in compliance with these Official Rules, the potential finalist will be disqualified. In addition, each Entrant acknowledges and agrees that Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any potential finalist at any time, in its sole discretion, on the basis of anything contained in or learned or obtained as a result of any submitted Release or any other documentation requested by Sponsor, that, in their sole opinion, would constitute a breach of these Official Rules.
• After submitting any required Releases, and unless a potential finalist is disqualified pursuant to the previous paragraph, potential finalists will be asked to pitch their respective Entries, either virtually or in person, to Sponsor on a date to be determined by Sponsor. Each finalist’s pitch will be used by the Selection Committee as additional criteria to determine the grand prize winners. Finalists who are unable or unwilling to participate in the pitch round on the designated date are subject to disqualification at the discretion of Sponsor.
• Decisions of the Selection Committee are final.
• Notification of winners will be sent by email and posted on our website no later than August 30, 2017.
• Entrants will be responsible for providing current contact information and mailing addresses for prize redemption purposes.
Prize: Maximum of 10 winners (each, a “Winner”) will receive a $5,000 production grant (the “Grant”) in order to produce a short film (the “Project”), which, if completed in accordance with the Production Agreement, and subject to the terms thereof, will be exhibited at the Cinematografo International Film Festival (collectively, the “Prize”). As a condition of each Winner’s receipt of the Prize, each Winner will be required to formally engage with, and enter into a production agreement (“Production Agreement”) with Sponsor governing: (a) Entrant’s use of the Grant to produce the Winner’s Project, and (b) Sponsor’s exclusive right and ownership in the final Project. Entrant may utilize the Grant solely as set forth in the Production Agreement.
Ownership of Entry
• Entrants to the CINEMATOGRAFO Short Film Contest retain all rights to their Entry, subject to Sponsor’s rights to the Winner’s Project, as set forth below and in the Production Agreement.
• Entries will not be returned. Be sure to retain a copy of all material submitted.
• Unless and until Sponsor obtains rights in the Winner’s Project, as set forth below, Sponsor will not share your screenplay with anyone except the Selection Committee.
• Notwithstanding the foregoing, each Entrant hereby acknowledges and agrees that: (a) many ideas or stories may be competitive with or similar or identical to the Entries, and Entries may be similar to each other, in theme, idea, format or other respects; and (b) Entrant will not be entitled to any compensation as a result of Sponsor’s use of any such similar or identical material.
Publicity Rights: By entering the Contest, each Entrant grants Sponsor permission to use and announce the Entrant’s name and likeness for publicity purposes without further compensation (except where prohibited by law).
Rights to Winner’s Project: Sponsor will be granted complete and exclusive right, title and ownership in and to all rights in the Project, as further detailed in the Production Agreement. Sponsor reserves the exclusive right to screen and exhibit the finished Project in all Sponsor platforms and as further detailed in the Production Agreement. Entrant agrees that Sponsor shall not be obligated to use, display or exploit the Project in any manner except at the Cinematografo International Film Festival, subject to the terms of the Production Agreement.
Subsequent Productions: Unless otherwise agreed in the Production Agreement, neither Sponsor nor Winner (nor any assignee, licensee or successor in title thereof) will have the right to make any sequel, prequel, remake, television spin-off, changed format production or series based on the Project without the other party’s prior written consent.
Termination of Contest / Amendments to Official Rules: Sponsor reserves the right to terminate or suspend the Contest, in whole or in part, and/or to amend these Official Rules in any way, at any time, for any reason. Any amendments to these Official Rules will become binding upon all Entrants at the time they are posted. Entrants are advised to regularly check FilmFreeway for updates, notices and revisions to these Official Rules. In the event the Contest is terminated or suspended, Sponsor will select one or more potential winners from all eligible, non-suspect Entries received prior to such action.
Disputes / Governing Law. IN THE EVENT OF A DISPUTE REGARDING ANY ASPECT OF THE CONTEST, ABS-CBN WILL MAKE THE FINAL RULING IN ITS SOLE DISCRETION. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of the Entrant or Sponsor in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the United States and the State of California.
SPONSOR: ABS-CBN International 2001 Junipero Serra Blvd. Suite 200 Daly City California 94014