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Film submissions sought for regional contest

Cinema St. Louis [CSL] and the Saint Louis Science Center are seeking submissions from regional filmmakers for the third edition of their science-fiction and fantasy short film contest. 

This year’s juried competition has a Mega Monster Movie focus and will award cash prizes to the top three entries: $500 for Best of Fest and $200 each for Best Sci-Fi and Best Fantasy selections. Filmmakers are encouraged to incorporate a mega monster into their films, along the lines of “Godzilla,” “King Kong,” or “Pacific Rim.” 

The winning shorts will be featured at the Science Center’s First Friday program on Friday, May 1 and screened in the Science Center’s OMNIMAX Theater. In addition to the three cash-prize winners, additional works will be chosen to screen throughout the First Friday program. 

A four-person jury of film professionals and a scientist will select the finalists, the cash-prize winners and the additional films to be shown in the OMNIMAX Theater. Jury members will be announced on CSL’s website.

The winning film also will be screened as part of the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase, held annually each July at Washington University’s Brown Hall.

Filmmakers interested in participating must submit shorts that meet the following criteria:

• Films must be easily categorized as science fiction or fantasy.

• Run a maximum of five minutes, including credits [no minimum running time].

• Contain no profane language or offensive imagery; if CSL and the Saint Louis Science Center deem a work inappropriate for viewing by audiences of all ages, it will be eliminated from consideration.

• Include sound [e.g., dialogue, ambient sound, effects, and/or music].

• All conceivable approaches – including experimental, narrative, and animated – are acceptable. The shorts can be shot in any film or video format, in either color or black-and-white.

• Films must have a production date no earlier than 2014.

• Films with a monster-film theme are encouraged but not required.

In addition, the following conditions apply:

• Filmmakers must have secured rights to any music, words, or images used in the work.

• Filmmakers will retain ownership rights to submitted works, but by submitting a short to the competition, a filmmaker grants the Saint Louis Science Center the right to screen the work in its exhibition spaces. Submission of a short does not guarantee its use.

• Filmmakers must live within a specified geographical location, which includes the states Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

• All films must be submitted using FilmFreeway with a secure online screener link. No entry fee is required. The submission deadline is March 15.

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