Write screenplays for fame

Cellardoor Cinema, an independent film company in Tennessee, is holding their second annual Cellardoor Cinema Screenplay Contest. This contest is open to filmmakers nationwide, and will be accepting screenplay submissions via the web roughly until April 15.

The due date isn’t final; late submissions will also be accepted until May 15, which means SPSCC film enthusiasts and potential star filmmakers have over three months to eek out either a Feature or a Short length screenplay.

The Grand Prize winner for this contest will see his or her screenplay go into production soon after the end of the contest. Cellardoor Cinema provides all the props and crew needed for the film, and the Cinema’s owner will assume directing responsibilities, according to Cellardoor Cinema’s official website.

Cellardoor Cinema not only produces the film, but also promises to enter it in festivals, according to the website. The contest, according to its website, “is dedicated to Independent Filmmaking and turning great stories into reality on film.”

Last year’s winner, Andrew Trent Fleming, has already seen his film produced by Cellardoor, and plans to submit the finished product to the local Nashville Film Festival, according to University of Memphis’ “The Daily Helmsman.”

Fleming wrote his entire screenplay in a single week, which might be encouraging to anyone who feels that writing an entire screenplay sounds overwhelming.

Fleming’s film, about 15-18 minutes long, is about an unambitious college senior who is beginning to face the tumultuous terrain of post-college life and has no idea what he wants to do once he graduates. Fleming himself starred in the film, so potential entrants should be advised that this contest could be an opportunity not only to write, but to star in their own independent film.

Cellardoor asks that all entrants submit their screenplays online via withoutabox.com. Short screenplays should be under 35 pages, while Feature length screenplays need to be 80 to 180 pages, according to the contest’s website. More information can be found at http://www.cellardoorcinema.com/contest.

Audrey Henley, from The Olympia Film Society, encourages local filmmakers to submit their work to the contest. Speaking for herself and OFS, Henley said “We’d like to see more of these kinds of contests involving local artists.”

OFS agreed to help Cellardoor Cinema advertise its contest, and has posted a link to the contest website on the Olympia Film Society Facebook page. OFS has no current plans to screen the winners of this particular film contest, although the organization would be more than open to the idea, according to Henley.

That said, OFS does have several other opportunities for local filmmakers, as well as local artists and musicians, to share their work with the community.

Two such opportunities, according to Henley, are the 24 hour film event “Shot to the Face,” and an annual youth festival called “What you Got.”

Shot to the Face usually takes place around June, towards the end of the school year. This event is organized by an Evergreen State College student film group. Shot to the Face challenges filmmakers to shoot, edit, and wrap their entire film in 24 hours or less. While entrants to the festival must be Evergreen students, the public is welcome to come to the films’ screening at OFS.

“We usually have around 400 to 500 people show up for it—it’s crazy,” says Henley of the Shot to the Face screening.

The Olympia Film Society’s annual What You Got youth festival takes place every September; this year it is scheduled for Sept. 23 and 24. Youth under 21 years-old are encouraged to submit their films, artwork, or music to the festival. OFS will start accepting submissions within the next two weeks, according to Henley.

As a precursor to the festival, OFS hosts a workshop on filmmaking, Henley said. Films made at the workshop are also screened during the September festival. More information about this festival, including how to submit your work, can be found on the festival’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WhatYouGotFest.

In addition to these events, Henley noted that OFS’ annual film festival often screens several films made by local filmmakers. OFS also offers their space up for rent by local filmmakers looking to premier their film before an audience. Local filmmakers can rent the theatre by the hour at a special rental rate, and can choose whether or not they want to charge for tickets. Interested filmmakers can contest OFS for more information.

“One of the premises behind the Film Society is to support local filmmakers and local art and music,” said Henley.