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2009 Great Lakes Film Association Scriptwriting Competition

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 The annual Great Lakes Film Association Scriptwriting Competition has officially opened its Call for Entries and will accept submissions internationally of short and feature length screenplays, stage plays, and teleplays of all genres and niches including documentary, horror, experimental, Religious/Spiritual, animation and Gay/Lesbian for the 2009 competition.

The Great Lakes Film Association Scriptwriting Competition has achieved such great success in past years that we now are able to offer a $5,000.00 cash award to our first place winner of the 2009 competition among other prizes. The winning script will also be forwarded to agents and industry professionals for consideration.

The annual Scriptwriting Competition is a way for new and veteran scriptwriters to possibly get the break they need. Each year we are contacted by many agents and production companies and have launched the careers of many budding scriptwriters while giving new exposure to veteran scriptwriters.

The 2009 Great Lakes Scriptwriting Competition will accept all forms of religious, Christian, and spiritual scripts including African, African American, Gay/Lesbian, Black, Hispanic, Islamic, Latino and Native/Aboriginal from the United States and around the world.

The Great Lakes Film Festival Scriptwriting Competition horror categories will include Horror, Thrillers, Science Fiction, Suspense, Grindhouse Horror, Horror Documentary, and Horror Animation.

FEES and DEADLINES:

Short Length Script:
·   $15.00 if postmarked by March 7, 2009 (U.S. Currency only)
·   $25.00 if postmarked by May 30, 2009 (U.S. Currency only)
·   $35.00 if postmarked by July 25, 2009 (U.S. Currency only)
·   $55.00 if postmarked by Sept 26, 2009 (U.S. Currency only) Withoutabox entries ONLY

Feature Length Script:
·   $25.00 if postmarked by March 7, 2009 (U.S. Currency only)
·   $35.00 if postmarked by May 30, 2009 (U.S. Currency only)
·   $45.00 if postmarked by July 25, 2009 (U.S. Currency only)
·   $65.00 if postmarked by Sept 26, 2009 (U.S. Currency only) Withoutabox entries ONLY

Winner will be announced no later than October 17, 2009 

PLEASE READ AND FOLLOW ALL BELOW INSTRUCTIONS
ABSOLUTELY NO INTERNATIONAL CHECKS, WIRETRANSFERS, OR MONEY GRAMS WILL BE ACCEPTED. For all entries submitted outside the United States, we will only accept payment for submission fees in the form of INTERNATIONAL POSTAL MONEY ORDERS

Scriptwriting Eligibility:
Must be 18 years of age or older
The entered script must not be or previously been optioned, sold, or produced

Scriptwriting Rules:
Any genre considered
Scripts must be original work of the author
Multiple authorship is allowed. If the script wins, the writers will divide the prize.
Multiple entries are allowed, but their own completed entry form and their own appropriate entry fee must accompany each entry.
No corrected pages or additional pages will be accepted after the script has been entered.

Script Guidelines:
Submitted Scripts must be in English.
Do not send originals, scripts will not be returned.
Scripts must be in industry standard format and bound with 2 or 3 brads unless submitted electronically as an Adobe PDF or Word File.
Body pages must be correctly numbered.
Script title page should only contain name of screenplay.
Must be on white paper.
Covers must be card stock only

Teleplay Rules:
Teleplays must be original material. We will not accept spec scripts for existing shows, treatments or reality television pilots.
Teleplays must be hour or half-hour or one hour pilots. Additional material will not be read or considered.
Teleplays must not have been previously optioned, purchased or produced.

Script Length:
Feature Length scripts 70 pages or more
Shorts length scripts 69 pages or less
Teleplay Feature Length scripts no more than 60 pages
Teleplay Short Length Scripts no more than 30 pages
 
Stage Play Full Length scripts 50 pages or more
Stage Play Short Length Scripts 49 pages or less 
All entries must be postmarked no later than the appropriate entry deadline they were submitted under. Additional entry fee will be required if not postmarked by the appropriate deadline. Entries received with uncompleted information will not be considered. 

PLEASE READ AND FOLLOW ALL BELOW INSTRUCTIONS
ABSOLUTELY NO INTERNATIONAL CHECKS, WIRETRANSFERS, OR MONEY GRAMS WILL BE ACCEPTED. For all entries submitted outside the United States, we will only accept payment for submission fees in the form of INTERNATIONAL POSTAL MONEY ORDERS 

Checks returned to us will incur a standard $25 fee that must be paid, even if you choose to pull your teleplay from the competition.

Please include a SASE for notifications if no email address is available.

Winner will be announced no later than October 17, 2009 

www.greatlakesfilm.org



:snoopy
#1 - January 08, 2009, 02:15 PM

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I enter a lot of contests (and have won a number of them).  Frankly, the contest as presented on the web site has red flags all over it.  First, everyone should read the fine print of the rules posted on the web site before entering.  And read with a skeptical eye.

This contest could be completely legitimate and I could be totally wrong.  BUT...

1.  The rules say nothing about what rights (if any) remain with the author or are given away in this competition.  All we know for sure is that your entry might be posted on their site.

2.  The rules are almost completely concerned with protecting the rights of the "Great Lakes Film Association" contest sponsors.  There is nothing in the rules to protect authors.

3.  I'm always wary of contests that will accept ANYTHING--entries apparently don't even have to be scripts.  "Any genre accepted."  What does that mean? 

4.  "Exposure" to literary agencies, film studios and Hollywood producers means nothing.  You can do that yourself by posting your entry on your website.  The only thing that seems clear is that they may post your script on THEIR website.  If you think producers and directors are out cruising the internet to find scripts because they don't have enough good ones--well, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

5.  Who are the judges for this contest?  It doesn't say.  What criteria will be used to judge the contest?  Will there be a point system used?  It doesn't say.  On the introductory page "top ten finalists" are referred to, but these are not mentioned in the official rules.  Neither is the cash prize of $5,000.  We need to know specifically what prizes are being given, how many winners there will be, and how they will be chosen.

6.  The rest of this website is extremely sparse and lacking in specifics.  Who are these people and what do they actually do?

7.  There's also a line in the rules that concerns me greatly:  "All taxes (including, without limitation, federal, state, and local taxes) on or connected with any prize (including, without limitation, prizes that are opportunities to make donations to a charitable organization)."  WHAT?!!!  Does this mean that the prize is a contribution to a charitable organization?  If this is not the case, what's this line doing in the rules?  Did they just copy the rules from another contest?  What's going on here?

8.  Here's another reason I think the "rules" were copied wholesale from another document.  At one point the rules refer to section "4(g) above," but there is no section 4(g).

Keep in mind that the "official rules" of any contest is a legal document that must conform to the contesting rules of the state in which the contest is held.  Nowhere in these rules is any prize referred to.

AUTHOR BEWARE!!

#2 - January 08, 2009, 07:41 PM
« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 01:05 AM by Betsy »
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Thanks for the "heads up" on this, Betsy.  It will be interesting to see if the people in charge of this contest come back and explain some of your concerns.
#3 - January 08, 2009, 08:16 PM
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I'm not going to break down the whole post because I'm in a hurry, and I also stopped reading it halfway through. (Betsy's comments are great.)

BUT: 

*Feature films are NOT "70 pages or more." According to industry standards, feature films are between 90 and 120 pages.  You skew shorter for comedies and children's films and longer for adult dramas and films where world building is an element. If it's not a child-centered or comedy film, then you, as an unagented/unestablished screenwriter, writing a spec screenplay (not adapted from a book with a built in audience) want to shoot for 110 pages.

--The fact that the contest doesn't know the length of a feature film concerns me greatly.

*You cannot state in the "contest rules" that ALL genres are accepted and then list up above that the script categories are basically Horror and Religion, because that doesn't make sense.

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I always urge screenwriters to do either the Nicholls Fellowship or the Austin Film Festival screenwriting competitions, since they are the ones, if won, that can actually get you an agent and notice within the community of Hollywood. I will post on those as the 2009 competitions become available for entries.
#4 - January 09, 2009, 06:54 AM
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Those are a couple of really good points, CC.  You're right.
#5 - January 09, 2009, 11:35 AM
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