This competition is aimed at writers who want to see their short scripts made into films by us and have no illusions about selling a product. We don't buy or sell anything.
PLEASE only submit screenplays, not finished films! Write films that can really be made without budgets! Most prior submissions failed these criteria. Be aware of all the rules and descriptions of this contest.
Apart from commercial music videos and advertising, there is no real commercial market for shorts. These two genres are excluded from our contest, anyhow. This is good, because you can try out new things as the audience of fiction shorts loves to visit film festivals.
Our submission fees symbolize the time we will spend on reading and maybe commenting your work. Long texts will cost us more time. Feedback will cost extra time.
Why should you care about our opinion? Our productions and distributions were screened over 1520 times at international film festivals in 65 countries and won 207 awards. So the programmers, audiences, and juries seem to like our popular works.
Who am I? Filmmaker, producer, festival director, film association president, distributor, film critic.
You should be of legal age (18+) and write texts in native German or English. Depending on our filming locations, the language of the dialogue might be translated into the native tongue of the actors.
Writing style and feasibility are paramount. Storytelling experience through classical film school or literature studies may be helpful, but is not mandatory. We simply expect talents.
The running time should not exceed 2 to 10 minutes. In exceptional cases 15 to 20 minutes are conceivable, but audiences are easily bored these days and such productions become very costly. One to three days of filming and up to three days for editing should be calculated while writing. Therefore it is necessary to reduce your ideas to the essentials.
ASK YOURSELF: What is the core idea? What is my story about? (Premise) Who is it about? (Protagonist) What is the genre and style of my screenplay? Who or what is giving the Protagonist grief? (Antagonist) What is the question of my story? Whose POV is the story told from? What happens in my story? (Plot) How does it happen? (Structure) What is my screenplay about thematically? How can I convey my plot, action and theme in images, sound?
CONTENT / GENRE
Thematically, these narrative short films have no limits. The choice of genre is free, although we prefer comedies, romances, fantasy, magical miniatures and light entertainment. Most festival audiences crave these.
Observe the filming conditions below and focus on certain key areas! In addition, no illegal things should appear.
We make films for fun and to explore the medium. Emotional cores, originality, suspense, and character development mark the good story. Consult books and websites about screenwriting, whenever you are lost. Ask many people to help you, if you are a beginner.
Only basic equipment of film-making will be available: Cameras (rarely also with steady cam and shoulder rigs, gimbals), tripods, various microphones, sound recorders, possibly minimal lighting, simple props, basic costumes and make-up, plus editing computers. There are probably DSLR cameras with video capture (+ lenses), maybe professional film cameras (RED, BMD, CANON C 200, etc.), vehicles, musical instruments, and catering. If you know make-up artists and set builders, bring them to the event! The cast and crew are recruited from enthusiastic assistant directors, producers, technicians, DoPs, rare boom operators, gaffers, actors, editors, musicians and all sorts of production assistants. They beg for good stories, doable scripts. So please them first!
Use easy-to-access settings that can be found everywhere!
If you need landmarks or if your story requires a specific place, the movie should be set in or near any of the following European cities: Berlin, Hamburg, Graz, Vienna, Dresden, Leipzig, Jena, Mayence, Brussels, Munich, Cologne, Bratislava, London, Prague, Wroclaw, Dublin, Manchester, Moscow, Innsbruck, Geneva, Lublin, Naples, Paris, Linz, Lago, Rome, Lenzing, Weyregg, Helsinki, Budapest.
Your chances plummet if you clutter the screenplay with costly things or long pre-production phases, too many locations, unfilmable CGI. In particular, avoid the need for lengthy rehearsals, special effects, stunts, construction or carpentering work, stars or dream cast, dolly shots, crane shots, camera flights, complicated lighting or sound post production, crowd scenes, children, animals, elderly and retirees cast, elaborate costumes, mask effects, inaccessible locations or studios, filming permits for locations, trick shots, copyrighted music, green screen studio recordings, noise, time-consuming 3D compositions, boring content, historical themes, animation.
The screenplays are written exclusively for this competition. With the submission the author permanently and irrevocably transfers all film and exploitation rights in all existing and future media to APEIRON FILMS and associated production companies, institutions, groups, individuals etc.
The scripts must have a Creative Commons License on all pages (CC-BY ... your name), so that our producers / directors can freely dispose of them and are protected from any legal claims. The Creative Commons logo should be visible in the document. The resulting films are also released under the Creative Commons Licenses (CC-BY-NC-ND).
We will not sell the films, as there is no real short film market. So don't worry, just explore your writing talent.
*The winners and collaborators for screenplays were Verena Schulemann, Rakel Sosa Mendez, Gemma Swain, Julianne Becker, Steffi Sixdorf, Catharina Hammerle, Sven-Friedrich Wiese, Anthony Straeger, John Alexander Fraser, Adriana Jungbluth, Alexander Gumz, Matej Podskalsky, Margie Lazou, Bastian Korff, Marion Casabianca, Holger Bode, Micke Felgner, Cdric le Dor, Peyman Tabarkhun, Tamar Inarsaridse, Natalia Irina Roman, Elke Becker, Roman Volkov, Marija Stojanovic, Mercedes Ortego, Angela Jehring, Omar Borubaev, Diana Morales Canepa, Anna Couvertoure, Camille Demoures, James Lane, Ronny Winter, Ernst-Edmund Keil, Paul Anderton, Keeley Knight, Ben Mottershead, Zazou Rver, Paul Hnsch, Dieter Primig, Peter Lutz, Niloufar Mashhori, Mikalai Vincheuski, Martha Laschkolnig, Navina Neverla, Hermann Leitner, Lukas Treudler, Irene Gruber, Linda Hecquet, Shafi Hassan, Dieter Leitner.