If you want a place to express yourself and show off your movie, these local film competitions are accepting entries from professional and amateur filmmakers.
Making a movie is not easy. Shoots can take long hours, working conditions can be uncomfortable, and well, other circumstantial dangers abound. Some of the best movies in the world had troubled production shoots (See: Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now). Now, while it’s one thing to make a movie, it’s a whole other world to get it to get seen.
If you really want your movie to be seen, it needs to have wide releases or exposure in film festivals. However, it isn’t always easy to get into film festivals whether it be local or international. It gets even harder if you are young and starting out in the industry. Luckily, there are local film festivals out there that open their doors to entries for young and amateur filmmakers. Here are the local film festivals where young filmmakers can get their films shown.
Unsung Sariling Bayani Short Film Competition
This film competition is a project of National Artist for Film and Broadcast Arts and local filmmaking icon Kidlat Tahimik. Unsung Sariling Bayani (USB) is a short film competition that aims to shine a spotlight on lesser-known Filipino heroes.
Details and Mechanics
Each entry must be between 5-8 minutes long, including credits. The movie can be any genre as long as it is in the form of live-action, documentary, or animation. It is recommended that the language spoken in the film is Filipino. But English and any native language are allowed, as long as Filipino subtitles are provided. The complete final cut of the movie as well as its trailer in 1080p, mp4 format, mixed in 5.1 audio format. The deadline for submission is on October 11, 11:59 PM.
The subject and coverage of the movie must depict the life, times, and achievements of lesser-known Filipino heroes that have been documented and verifiable. The local hero must be recognized by the local government or by provincial government units. He/She must also have done a significant act or contribution to the country or his/her own community. The local hero can also be someone who made relevant contributions or has introduced a positive change to his/her field. Note that the local hero must have appeared at least once in literature like a book, newspaper, journal, etc.
The film competition will have three categories: Youth Category–Senior High Student (Public School), Youth Category–Senior High Student (Private School), and Adult Category (18 and above). Each category has its own specific entry requirements so make sure to check them out here. 30 finalists will be chosen and screened during the USB Online Film Festival via the FDCP Channel from November 11-17. Winners will be announced on November 14.
Cash prizes for winners will range from 15,000-50,000 pesos depending on the category and award. Each winner will also receive a certificate. The 21 non-winning finalists will receive a consolation prize of 5000 pesos and a certificate. The festival is also holding free online workshops starting on May 22 via Zoom that are open to all. If you want to participate, you can join here.
Mit Out Sound: International Silent Film Lab 2021
If you want to try making an experimental movie, why not join this silent film competition. The International Silent Film Festival Manila (IFSSM) will hold its first-ever Silent Film Competition during its 15th edition in November 2021 through the Mit Out Sound: International Silent Film Lab 2021. The goal of this film competition is to discover new talents and encourage the production of silent films in the country. Aspiring participants must be aged 16 and above and can be professional or amateur.
Details and Mechanics
You have to apply to enter the Film Lab and chosen participants will produce a silent short film at the end of the program which will be screened at the 15th International Silent Short Film Festival Manila in November under the Silent Short Film Competition. For a full list of requirements for application, check them here. When it comes to the actual film itself, it must have no synchronized recorded sound and dialogue. The movie must also be between 15-20 minutes long, including credits.
Part of the application process requires you to submit 2 treatments with the theme “Reimagining The Past With The Present.” The stories submitted in the application should show the applicant’s artistic and contemporary re-imagination and recreation of classic silent Filipino movies, a full list of which you can find here. Submission for entries is on June 18, 2021. The 10 shortlisted entries will be announced on June 25, 2021. The finalists will receive a grant of 50,000 pesos to fund their short film which will be given in two trenches.
All finalists are also required to attend the following film labs via Zoom: visual storytelling, safe filming, and editing. The winner of the Best Film Award will receive a cash prize of 20,000 pesos, a trophy, and a certificate. The winner of the Jury’s Special Prize Award will receive a cash prize of 10,000 pesos, a trophy, and a certificate. And the winner of the Jose Nepomuceno Award will receive a cash prize of 15,000 pesos, a trophy, and a certificate.
CreatePHFilms is not really a film competition, but more of a funding program run by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) with the goal to “encourage the production of quality films and the artistic creation of Filipino filmmakers through financial support for project development, production, post-production, and distribution.” The program is split into 6 main components of filmmaking: scriptwriting, project development, small budget production, large budget production, post-production, and film distribution. Each component has its own funding budget and criteria for the application so check each one out to see which is best for your movie. The deadline for the applications for Cycle 1 is on May 31, 6 PM.
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