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Filmshift Festival and Screenplay Contest

The Filmshift Film Festival and screenplay contest accepts works from both students and professionals that tell unique and compelling stories.

Name of Contest:
Filmshift Festival and Screenplay Contest

Filmshift Festival

Sponsoring Organizations:
Powderhouse Productions, The Longfellow Clubs, Cambridge Naturals

Jeremy Jed Hammel

The Performing Arts Connection
Atn: FilmShift Festival
31 Union Avenue
Sudbury, MA 01776



Purpose or description of contest:
The Filmshift Film Festival and screenplay contest accepts works from both students and professionals that tell unique and compelling stories. There is a showcase for works that shed light on the Local, Green and Sustainability movements as well. The FilmShift Festival is named after the growing national movement to shift 10% of our everyday spending toward local and small businesses.

Twenty percent of our gross ticket sales will go to 2 charities: Christopher's Haven (a local charity that provides low-cost housing to families of children receiving cancer treatment in Boston) and MetroWest Family Theater (a community theater group).

Our prize sponsors are the giants of the independent film world. FINAL DRAFT, Harmonix's BEATLES ROCK BAND, POWDERHOUSE PRODUCTIONS, INKTIP, JUNGLE SOFTWARE budgeting, SCRIPT P.I.M.P, ATOMIC, BUNCH/CASSEDAY, and WOODEN NICKEL LIGHTING, have donated prizes to Filmshift for our filmmakers. Our small business sponsors include local/sustainability leaders THE LONGFELLOW CLUB, POWDERHOUSE PRODUCTIONS and CAMBRIDGE NATURALS.

Number of years this contest has been running:

August 2nd

Entry Fees:
Student: Feature: $40, Short: $40
Short: $50
Feature-Length: $50

Kinds of scripts accepted (i.e. Teleplays, features, MOWs):
Screenplays of all types and genres. No stage plays.

1. FilmShift accepts screenplays from any genre.
2. Screenplays must be the original work of the author(s.)
3. Screenplays must be registered by the WGA and/or copyrighted with the Library of Congress.
4. Upon request, writers entering the Student category must provide valid proof of matriculation at an accredited High School, university, or college.
5. Writers entering the Student category who are under 18 years of age, must have a parent or legal guardian sign their entry form.
6. Multiple entries from the same writer(s) will be accepted as long as a signed entry form and corresponding correct entry fees are included with each entry.
7. Multiple authors credited on the same screenplay are accepted. If the screenplay wins an award from FilmShift, it is up to the authors themselves to divide
the prizes/award as they see fit.
8. Once a screenplay has been submitted, no further revisions or drafts will be accepted unless you choose to resubmit the work with a new entry fee.
9. Screenplays must be written in English and be in the correct industry-standard format.
10. If you choose to send a hard copy rather than a computer file, screenplays must be printed on white paper and bound with either 2 or 3 brads.
11. Screenplays submitted will not be returned to the author(s). Please include a self-addressed, stamped postcard for each submission if you wish
acknowledgment of the receipt of your entry.
12. By submitting your screenplay to The FilmShift Festival, you attest that you have read and understand the Guidelines and Rules, hold all necessary rights to submit the script to the contest, and are authorized to grant and does hereby grant said rights to The FilmShift Festival.
13. The organizers of the FilmShift Film Festival and Screenplay Contest reserve the right to rule on cases not covered by these rules and regulations.
14. Selection for screenplay awards will be determined no later than one month prior to the festival. Writers will be notified of their status by email, whether their screenplay(s) was accepted into the festival or not.
15. The Participation Agreement contained on the official Festival Entry Form must be signed, or “checked” if using the online version.
Please note that signing or checking the participation agreement is legally binding.

Description of prizes:
Scripts entered into competition in The FilmShift screenplay competition are eligible to win cash and prizes along with our Shifty Awards.
We present Shifty Awards for screenplays in the following categories:

  • Best of Competition
  • First Place - Our First Place winner will receive a $500 cash prize and a 6 month listing in Inktip’s industry newsletter. The cash prize will be provided by Filmshift and Inktip generously donated the listing.
  • Second Place - Our Second Place winner will receive a copy of Final Draft screenwriting software and a 12-month Script Pipeline Database subscription.

Both prizes were generously donated by the respective companies.

  • Third Place - Our Third Place winner will receive a 12-month subscription to Script magazine and a 12-month Script Pipeline Database subscription.

Both prizes were generously donated by the respective companies.

  • Fourth Place - Our Fourth Place winner will receive a 12-month subscription to the Script Pipeline Writers Database.
  • Fifth Place - Our Fifth Place winner will receive a 12-month subscription to the Script Pipeline Writers Database.
  • Honorable Mention - Honorable Mention Certificates of Merit will be given to a handful of screenplays at the discretion of the festival.
  • The Shifty Uplifty Award - Presented to screenplays that uniquely inspire and uplift through the art of film. This award is also given to screenplays that best exemplify the ideal that we should treat all people with respect, understanding, and compassion. (As compassionate as we are, we will award no more than 5 screenplays in this category in order to maintain the value of the awards.)
  • The Shifty Lime Time Award - Presented to screenplays with particularly creative support of the “Green” and/or 10% Shift revolution. (As compassionate as we are, we will award no more than 5 screenplays in this category, in order to maintain the value of the awards.)

Readers and Judges:
Joel Haber is a professional screenwriter and screenplay analyst. He has evaluated scripts for many production companies, agencies and writing competitions, as well as working with developing screenwriters to help them improve and advance in their careers. He has taught screenwriting seminars at the Screenwriting Expo and independently, and has written extensively about the business and craft for Script magazine, the Writers Store and on his screenwriting blog. He has an MA in Media Studies and a Certificate in Film Production from The New School in New York City.

Christina Reynolds is an executive at Cartoon Network, where she develops live-action and animated programming, including “Ben 10? and “Scooby Doo: The Mystery Begins.” She graduated from Ithaca College in 1997, with a major in Cinema & Photography, and a minor in Writing.

Jeremy Jed Hammel, Filmshift Festival Director and Founder
Jeremy Jed Hammel is a multiple award-winning filmmaker and has produced projects for The American Film Institute, NBC’s national network show, “Later,” and 2006 Sansevierian Film Festival Best Feature winner, “Fishes.” Hammel won a Golden Kahuna Award for Excellence in Filmmaking from the 2008 Honolulu Film Festival for his directing/producing/editing work on the music video for “The Night Divine” by international techno-music songstress, Lo-Fi Sugar.

A number of Hammel’s screenplays have won awards in screenplay competitions across the country, including the 2008 Woods Hole Film Festival and the 15th Annual Fade In magazine/Writer’s Network competition. One of his screenplays even made to the Top 15% (out of 5500) screenplays for The Academy’s 2008 Nicholl Fellowship. Hammel has worked in every area of film/TV production, in nearly every capacity. His crew credits include the critically acclaimed hit series, “ER,” the Student Academy Award-winning film “Intermezzo,” Project: Greenlight script finalist, “The Achievers,” and the Sundance darling, “Next Stop, Wonderland.” Hammel’s latest producing project, “The Legacy,” Directed by Mike Doto, was recently accepted into the Cannes Short Film Corner and the Comic Con Independent Film Festival, among others. "The Legacy" has a teaser trailer online at: . Doto’s previous film, the award-winning, “Peace,” is available on iTunes and stars Kurtwood Smith from “Worst Week,” and “That 70’s Show.” FilmShift has given Hammel the opportunity to bring together his love of film with his desire to make the world a better place.

Please take a moment to describe why you feel your contest is best able to help writers break into the industry.
The Filmshift Festival Screenplay Contest offers writers prizes from some of the giants of the screenwriting industry. Filmshift believes that even veteran screenwriters can always benefit from two things: education and access. The prizes offered are geared toward either offering industry access (logline listings from InkTip, for example) or education (subscriptions to Script Magazine, for example). Our belief is that education and access are the best tools to help writers step closer to becoming working writers.

Filmshift has readers/judges who are well-versed in both the independent and studio worlds of screenwriting. They love the craft of screenwriting, they are writers themselves, and they are experienced studio and agency readers.

Filmshift offers writers the chance to align themselves with a festival created to support both charity and the cause of "independents" of all kinds.