Women in Film, ReFrame and IMDbPro Partner on COVID-19-Era Filmmaking Challenge

Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic; Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images; Frazer Harrison/Getty Images; JC Olivera/Getty Images
From left: Nisha Ganatra, Maria Bello, Catherine Hardwicke, Tanya Saracho

The two-minute filmmaking competition — open to women and nonbinary filmmakers — will be judged by a panel of notable Hollywood names and comes with cash prizes.

Women in Film LA, ReFrame and IMDbPro are partnering on a new COVID-19-era competition called the Curbside Shorts Two-Minute Film Challenge for women and nonbinary filmmakers from North America. 

Launching on Tuesday (12 p.m. PT), it will be a quick turnaround with submissions due the following week on May 26 (12 p.m. PT) at no cost to the filmmakers. The call is for creatives to shoot a two-minute short inspired by life while sheltering in place during the current novel coronavirus pandemic, following social distancing guidelines. Per today's announcement, all genres are encouraged — drama, comedy, horror, animation, documentary or a hybrid — and filmmakers can rely on smartphones and/or DSLR cameras, animation, lighting, camera equipment and editing tools.

Once submissions have been corralled, audiences will have one week to vote for their favorites on submission platform AudPop, a video network that connects diverse filmmakers to opportunities. Finalists will then be reviewed and voted on by a jury of ReFrame ambassadors and industry notables including Maria Bello, Cara Buono, Marta Cunningham, Nisha Ganatra, Catherine Hardwicke, Barbara Kopple, IMDb founder and CEO Col Needham, Tanya Saracho and Kim Yutani.

One grand prize-winning film will receive a $5,000 cash prize, the first runner-up will get a $2,000 cash prize, and three additional films will receive a $1,000 cash prize each. The five winning films will then be featured on the homepage of IMDb. Also as part of the effort, the Motion Picture Association has stepped up with $10,000, which will go directly to COVID-19 charities.

"The filmmaking community was hit immediately, and hard, by the COVID-19 crisis, with the loss of thousands of jobs in the first week due to halted productions, and job losses are ongoing," said Kirsten Schaffer, executive director of Women in Film Los Angeles. "In the spirit of keeping filmmaking alive, and to capture this moment of profound interconnectivity, the Curbside Shorts Two-Minute Film Challenge supports female filmmakers during this crisis by providing an opportunity to stay productive, creative and inspired in this time."

Submission information can be found here