Posted by Richard "RB" Botto

Today we open up our call for entries for the Second Annual Stage 32 Short Film Contest. Last year's inaugural contest produced entries from Stage 32 members in 41 countries and resulted in a curated program of 6 incredible and well received short films (made by filmmakers from 4 countries). The Stage 32 Short Film Program screened theatrically at the 2015 Raindance Film Festival to critical acclaim from Variety and Indiewire. The program also screened to the Stage 32 community and was exposed to over 500 working industry executives who had the opportunity to connect with any of the winning filmmakers.

This year, we're expanding our scope even further by securing 2 more film festivals (so far) to screen our winners films theatrically and by adding Oscar-winning judges!

We plan to add even more perks, but for starters, the top 5-10 winning short films will:

  • Be screened theatrically in a special Stage 32 Shorts Program at two Film Festivals - the 2017 Hollyshorts Film Festival and the 2017 Richmond Film Festival.
  • Be screened online to a worldwide audience on Stage 32 in a special global event!
  • Be showcased to over 500 executives who work with Stage 32!
  • Grand prize winning director will be flown to Los Angeles for his or her film's screening, plus participate in a live Q&A with Stage 32 Founder & CEO Rich "RB" Botto (or yours truly, as it were).



2015 Stage 32 Short Film Contest Winner, Matt Kazman

Why Short Films?

Given the remarkable advances in technology and accessibility of resources, it has never been easier to make a film. In this DIY, control your own material world, legions of filmmakers are turning to short films to have their voices heard. Further, with more and more film festivals adding short programs into their lineups and with so many filmmakers shooting short films as proof of concept to showcase their talents, short films are finally getting the attention they deserve and serving as a springboard to launch many filmmaking careers.

We hear all the time from many of the 500+ executives we work with here at Stage 32 that short films have become a huge part of their recruitment model when searching for new talent or ideas which can be stretched to feature length. Over the last couple of years, we’ve polled thousands of filmmakers who are members of the Stage 32 community and asked them what they most need to move the needle on their careers. Of course, the first answer was money! But the second answer was access/exposure/distribution. This, we can help with.

We have brought in the highest caliber of judges for this year's 2nd Annual Short Film Contest, including 2 Oscar-winning short film producers. Your film will be exposed to executives and award winners. You simply can't ask for better access and exposure.


Submissions & Prizes.

From now until September 28, the Stage 32 Short Film Contest will be accepting short film submissions which will be judged by industry talent. Films reaching the final round will be judged by industry executives and producers (list below) who have all been involved in successful short films. But wait, it gets better.

The top 5-10 films will be screened in a special Stage 32 theatrical Shorts Program Showcase at the 2017 Hollyshorts Film Festival and 2017 Richmond International Film Festival! The films will also be showcased in a special global online screening exclusively on (at the filmmaker's discretion). We will be inviting all of the executives (managers, agents, producers, directors of development, etc) we work with to view the films during this special global online premiere (the executives will also have private access to watch the films as many times as they like) and will facilitate meetings between interested parties and the filmmakers. How’s that for access and exposure?

Oh, and we'll be flying the Grand Prize winning director to Los Angeles to be at the theatrical premiere of his or her film.

Our All-Star Lineup of Judges.

  • Shan Christopher Ogilvie (Producer), is responsible for producing the 2016 Oscar Award Winning short film STUTTERER.

  • Serena Armitage (Producer), is responsible for producing the 2016 Oscar Award Winning short film STUTTERER.

  • Keith Powell (Director, Producer, Writer and Actor), known affectionately as "Toofer" on NBC's 30 Rock, Keith and as Wyatt on HBO's The Newsroom, Keith is now the director and producer of the short digital series, KEITH BROKE HIS LEG.

  • Ken Kokin (Director, Producer), known for his directing work on THE USUAL SUSPECTS, THE WAY OF THE GUN, CAPTAIN ABU RAED, BLOOD MOON, and his producing work on TOMS SHOES: FOR TOMORROW, THE FIRST STEP OF THE REVOLUTION, MOTDECAI and FORBIDDEN KISS.
  • Jason Mirch (Producer), is a feature film and television producer and executive. Jason formerly worked in development for ImageNation Abu Dhabi where he developed a special short film program called Arab Film Studio, while he was working on films such as THE HELP, BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL and FLIGHT.

  • Ross Putman (Producer), is an independent producer who has worked on 2 short films prior to having his recent film THE GIRL I LOVED premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
  • John T. Trigonis (Filmmaker), is the Film Campaign Strategist for filmmaking crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.

  • Matt Kazman (Director), is the winner of the 2015 Stage 32 Short Film Contest, who's winning film, KILLER, went on to screen at the Raindance Film Festival, Hollyshorts Film Festival and at the Sundance Film Festival. Matt is now a working director for MTV.

An Update On Last Year's Winner, Director Matt Kazman

Stage 32 member Matt Kazman's film, KILLER, premiered worldwide in the Stage 32 Short Film Program at the Raindance Film Festival where Matt was featured in Variety. Through Stage 32 Matt went on to meet with The Weinstein Company and with the producer of Short Term 12. Matt's film KILLER went on to screen as an official selection at Sundance Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival, IFFBoston, Florida Film Festival, Montclair Film Festival, Maryland Film Festival and the Seattle International Film Festival. Matt has gone on to work on Middle of The Night Show for MTV.


This contest not only offers the chance to have your work exposed to industry executives, but to have your film as part of a program at two film festivals!  All short films in all genres are welcome.  All films must be a minimum of 3 minutes and a maximum of 20 minutes to qualify for entry.


For 72 hours only we have a Super Saver Early Deadline of only $39 to enter! Click here to enter!


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