It all started as a film making contest in Astoria, New York. A rag-tag group of artists came together and picked made-up movie titles out of a hat. Based on the title picked, each participant had three weeks to make a three minute film. We screened all of the finished films and held an awards ceremony at The Sparrow Tavern.
Years later, this event continues to evolve. With each project, participants receive a new set of challenges that evoke passion and creativity for the artists involved and that generate cultural enrichment for the community. Once the films are submitted and judged by an independent panel, we celebrate the filmmakers and their efforts by hosting a gala — an emceed evening with live music, food and awards. We hope to continue providing a forum in which the community can invent, create, and share ideas in the film medium.
We endeavor to create a competition that serves as an invitation for amateurs, and a challenge to professionals. In turn the community that has grown around it reflects this. Our participants are a diverse group, including first time filmmakers as well as industry veterans with decades of experience. No matter their background or ability, all are welcome.
Over the years some of our participants have moved on to new parts of the country, or the world. Starting in 2013 we introduced online signup and submission to make it possible for their continued participation. As a result, these filmmakers have introduced the competition to their new communities, and our national and international participation continues to grow.
Participants and supporters alike share in the excitement surrounding the screenings and awards gala. With the assistance of the Museum of the Moving Image we host a weekend of screenings for all completed films in the Museum’s Bartos Theatre, culminating in a red carpet awards gala to celebrate the incredible achievement of our participants with a night of food, drink, and musical performances at the Museum’s Sumner Redstone Theatre.
Beyond the competition we also host events throughout the year to build our community. Some of those include:
- Educational seminars featuring industry experts for filmmakers looking to broaden their skillset.
- Networking events where local filmmakers can find new collaborators to work with.
- Hosted screening for filmmakers to share their work with the community.