Former rocket scientist, shark safety diver and award winning screenwriter, Dan Goforth’s most recent assignments were RIDING ON FAITH, the true-life story of rodeo champion Amberley Snyder and the feature film adaptations of New York Times bestselling author Col. Walter J. Boyne's DAWN OVER KITTY HAWK, as well as the sci-fi graphic novel, THE CHRONIC ARGONAUTS, from New Baby Publishing. Visit Dan's blog, Script Soup and follow him on Twitter @Dango_Forth.
Movies are a world-wide shared experience and, more often than not, I find myself meeting writers and filmmakers from across the world.
I recently crossed paths with award-winning Director and Producer Dave Lojek of Apeiron Films and his annual Apeiron Films Screenplay Competition, now in its seventh year. Dave is based in Berlin and his films have screened in 380 International Film Festival in 50 countries, garnering 66 awards and nominations. After graduating from Humboldt-University, he discovered his enthusiasm for moving images and has been at it ever since.
Founding Apeiron Films in 2005, Dave is also the Manager of KinoBerlino's annual international KinoKabaret — a 10-day practical filmmaking workshop and festival founded in 2004. He is President of the Berlin Film Association.
A couple of years ago, I wrote about the Done Deal Pro Throwdown Writing Exercises, where writers can hone their craft by creating and competing with fellow writers with very short screenplays. Apeiron's contest seemed an interesting segue from that idea: Write a short screenplay and see how it does against others — only this time, the winner is competing for the chance to have their short screenplay made into a film. As is done with some other competitions, Apeiron assumes rights to the selected script(s) in order that it can be filmed and put on the festival circuit. Dave notes that the emphasis of the contest is to find a script that is great and can be filmed quickly with minimal setups. He gave some specifics on entries: "Your chances plummet if you clutter the screenplay with costly things or long pre-production phases or too much dialogue."
Dave notes that this is a labor of love, "We don't buy or sell anything. I love directing, producing and screening movies. My passions include reading scripts, organizing film workshops, and attending festivals. Traveling broadens my horizon, so I create shorts and documentaries, music videos and image films, experiments and collages in Berlin, Brussels, Graz, Amsterdam, Innsbruck, Manchester, London, Malmö, Dublin, Vienna, Prague, Bratislava, Mayence, Munich, Hamburg, Dresden, Jena, Warsaw, Kalmar, Färjestaden." He does offer some further advice for the competition, "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." Per the FilmFreeway entry portal, Apeiron states, "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. Screenplay awards from festivals are also shipped to the writers, of course."
Apeiron has turned about 50 short scripts and ideas from 42 writers and their co-authors into films. Dave says, "Each year I find new writers or they discover me. The ongoing contest helps to connect. Several times people approached me with ready-to-produce or even pre-produced scripts, which I really enjoyed. Some of these films run successfully in the appropriate festival circuits (for their genres, target audience, production value). All of them are broadcast afterwards."
Some of Apeiron's work can be seen at FESTIVAL CHANNEL http://vimeo.com/channels/apeiron
So, if you've got a fun or interesting idea you've wanted to play with for a short, this could be a great chance The regular deadline is November 1, 2015.
Notifications will be on February 6, 2016.
- More articles by Dan Goforth
- How to Write a Short Film
- WRITE, DIRECT, REPEAT: Write a Compelling Short Film Script
Write and Produce Your First Short Film
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