Posted by Amanda Toney

With the tremendous box office success of CRAZY RICH ASIANS, BOOK CLUB and THE BIG SICK and the streaming successes of SET IT UP, SIERRA BURGESS IS A LOSER, and TO ALL THE BOYS I LOVED BEFORE, romantic comedies are making a huge comeback for all types of audiences. Variety called Rom-Com's the "Hottest genre" for 2018 and beyond. If you have been sitting on a Rom-Com script or been thinking about writing one, now's the time to get it exposure and we have the perfect opportunity for you.


The ReEmergence of Romantic Comedy



Gidden Media is partnering with Stage 32 to establish a romantic comedy screenwriting contest that will draw from the 500,000 plus members of Stage 32’s social platform. GM will work with Stage 32 to identify up to 3 high concept romantic comedies with distinctive voices and work with those writers to develop their screenplays.

Gidden Media’s nascent incubator program seeks to give emerging writers meaningful opportunities to develop non-tentpole, commercial material. This partnership was a logical starting point for GM and its founder, Amy Baer (LAST VEGAS). As a studio executive, Baer worked on several successful romantic comedies including MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING, SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE, THE HOLIDAY, and THE BACK UP PLAN.

Said Baer. “One of the foundational premises of Gidden Media is to incubate content that no longer gets development resources in legacy studios, but most certainly can be made into wide release, commercial movies. Stage 32’s mission is very complimentary to ours, and I’m excited to collaborate with them on this incubator initiative.”

Added Stage 32 founder Rich Botto, "We've spent the last seven years growing the Stage 32 online community to hundreds of thousands of creatives from around the world. We're thrilled that Amy and Gidden Media understand the value of what we’ve built, and that new technology, like Stage 32, is helping to discover new voices. We look forward to incubating a great script through Gidden Media."

This is the first romantic comedy contest from Stage 32. They recently partnered with Palm Star Media, the new owners of the iconic National Lampoon brand on a search for a new comedic voice for the next National Lampoon movie. Previous judges include representatives from CAA, Paradigm, Zero Gravity, WME & Blumhouse.

The submission period started October 9th and runs through December 12, 2018. Winners will be announced on March 15th, 2019. Amy Baer and Rich Botto will host a free webinar discussion about the state of the industry and the rom-com genre on November 12th, which will be available on Stage 32. 


To learn more about and enter the incubator program click here! 



ABOUT AMY BAER: Baer was elected board president of Women In Film earlier this year, a role that will allow her to build mentorship opportunities and create a stronger sense of community among women in entertainment. Baer, who has extensive experience in studio production was the president & CEO of CBS Films, the EVP of Sony Pictures and recently launched and currently runs Gidden Media, the production company behind Mary Shelley (directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour, Saudi Arabia’s first female director and a 2017 ELLE Power Lister) and the upcoming film Brian Banks.

ABOUT RICHARD BOTTO: Botto is the Founder and CEO of Stage 32 ( RB is also a working actor, producer and screenwriter. As a producer, his films have played at dozens of festivals including the Sundance award winning feature, Another Happy Day, written & directed by Sam Levinson, the documentary Crutch, and the upcoming Rain-Beau’s End. As a writer, his latest screenplay, The End Game, is currently in development at Covert Media. As an actor, his latest film On the Corner of Ego and Desire is premiered at the 2018 Raindance Film Festival.

ABOUT GIDDEN MEDIA: Gidden Media is a content incubation and production company started in 2012 by Amy Baer, backed by a 7-figure development fund. Its first film, the romantic drama MARY SHELLEY, starring Elle Fanning (THE BEGUILED) and directed by Haifaa Al Mansour (WADJDA), had its World Premiere at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival. It was released by IFC in May 2018. It’s next film, the inspirational true story BRIAN BANKS, had its World Premiere at the LA FILM FESTIVAL on September 22nd, 2018, and won the LAFF Audience Award. BRIAN BANKS is eyeing an early 2019 release.

ABOUT STAGE 32: Established in 2011, Stage 32 has been described as “LinkedIn meets Lynda for film and television creatives” by Forbes Magazine. With over 500,000 members worldwide, Stage 32 is the world’s largest online platform connecting and educating film and television creatives. Stage 32 serves as an incubator of talent from it's members who range from film students to Academy, Emmy, BAFTA and Tony award winners. Recognized as the online leader in networking and education, Stage 32 partnerships include the Cannes Film Festival Marche du Film, The American Film Market, AT&T, National Lampoon, Peerspace and more.


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