Stage 32 + Gidden Media Feature Screenwriting Contest - Grown Up Movies

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$52.50 $72.50
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Wednesday, Sep 11TH 11:59PDT Early Bird Deadline
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Anthony and I have done well in several screenwriting contests, but Stage 32 was the first to set us up with actual production companies and managers. That can’t be overstated.
Keith Strausbaugh Keith Strausbaugh

Contest Info

Last year, Stage 32 and Gidden Media joined forces to find the next great rom-com screenwriters. Two Stage 32 writers - Julie Cross and Rachel Kempf -  were chosen by Gidden Media and have received $7,500. Both Julie & Rachel have been working with the Gidden Media team to develop their scripts for the marketplace!

Now Stage 32 and Gidden are coming together again to find up to 3 writers with screenplays geared toward adult audiences (50 and over, Baby Boomers and Older Gen X).

  • Up to 3 winners will have their projects optioned by Gidden Media, receive $7,500 upfront, and be put into an incubator/mentoring program with payments escalating up to $300,000 if the screenplay gets produced (and certain conditions are met)!
  • Winners will work directly with Producer Amy Baer and Chris Ceccotti! 

Full details are in the terms & conditions.

 

About The Contest

Gidden Media and Stage 32 are looking for a wide range of all genres designed to appeal to the 50 and over audience. They can be movies for moms (BAD MOMS) to movies for retirees (BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL). They can be comedies, historical dramas (like THE POST or GREEN BOOK), or mystery/crime stories (like MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS). Danny Boyle's recent box office success YESTERDAY is another example. Gidden is open to inspirational drama, comedy, romantic comedy movies about second chances or second acts, starting over in life, etc. 

In short, we are looking for original, uplifting movies for the over 50 demographic! 

According to an AARP study, moviegoers over 50 make up 1/3 of all theatre seats in the US! And if you can believe it, the oldest members of Gen X are in their 50s! Yet this audience is completely underserved with quality material! With your help, we aim to fix that problem!

If you have a story that you feel speaks to this audience- or been thinking about writing one - this is the perfect opportunity to get you and your screenplay the exposure you desire!

 

About Gidden Media

Amy Baer is the founder of Gidden Media. As a studio executive and producer, the films she has supervised and/or produced have grossed nearly $2 billion in worldwide box office. Gidden Media developed and produced MARY SHELLEY with Elle Fanning, which was distributed by IFC in 2018 and BRIAN BANKS, which will be released by Bleecker street nationwide on August 9th, directed by Tom Shadyac and starring Aldis Hodge and Oscar-nominated Greg Kinnear.

Ms. Baer has worked on some very successful movies for an older demographic including SOMETHINGS GOTTA GIVE & LAST VEGAS. Prior to founding Gidden Media, Ms. Baer was formerly the President & CEO of CBS Films, the Vice President of Production at Tri-Star Pictures, the Executive Vice President of Production for Columbia Pictures.

 

Feedback Option

For an additional fee of only $49 you can receive 1-2 pages of coverage from our industry readers on your screenplay. Just check "coverage" upon checkout. Coverage will be returned after the winners are announced.

Contest Prizes

  • Up to 3 winners will have their projects optioned by Gidden Media, receive $7,500 upfront, and be put into an incubator/mentoring program with payments escalating up to $300,000 if the screenplay gets produced (and certain conditions are met)!
  • Winners will work directly with Producer Amy Baer and Chris Ceccotti!

Our Track Record

Hear what our past two Gidden Media screenwriters have to say about their experience!

Grand Prize Winner, Rachel Cross - in development with Gidden Media for her script VAGIC

 

Rachel Kaempf, Special Distinction for Emerging Rom-Com Voice - in development on a new script concept with Gidden Media!

 

Here's why Stage 32 has become known as the leaders in launching careers - our contests winners & finalists find massive success!

  • 2018 New Blood Winner Christina Pamies signed with Good Fear Management and is developing her project with producers Chris Bender and Jake Weiner.
  • Feature contest winner Jonathan Jordan signed with Verve Talent & Literary Agency and beat out 2 Nicholl finalists to pen a WGA script for 2 international producers, plus is going in for a 2nd pitch at a major studio.
  • Comedy contest winner Diana Wright signed with manager Audrey Knox at The Cartel.
  • TV contest winner Hedid Nyburg signed with manager Sonia Gambaro from Polinate Entertainment.
  • Short film contest finalist Steve Desmond sold his spec Harry's All Night Burgers to Warner Bros. and just got hired with his writing partner by FilmNation to adapt The Cabin at The End of the World.
  • Search for New Blood contest winner Kevin Bachar's script Blood Relative, has attached director John Poloquin and received an option for financing from a major financing company. They are currently casting.
  • Search for New Blood contest winners Griffin & Alyssa Devine were signed by HG5 Entertainment and just released their film Recovery in 2018.

Contest Judges

Amy Baer

Amy Baer - President, Gidden Media

Amy Baer's experience in the entertainment Industry uniquely spans major studios, independent financiers, and producing. Collectively, the films she has supervised and/or produced have grossed nearly $2 billion in worldwide box office. Her first film as a producer was the 2013 hit LAST VEGAS (starring Michael Douglas, Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline) which grossed $136MM worldwide.

In 2012, Baer raised a 7 figure development fund and launched Gidden Media, a content incubation and production company. 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.

GM’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. Starring Aldis Hodge (UNDERGROUND), Oscar-nominee Greg Kinnear (LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE) and directed by Tom Shadyac (BRUCE ALMIGHTY),) the film tells the story of Brian Banks, an all-American high-school football player committed to USC by his junior year, whose life was upended in 2002 when falsely accused of rape. With the help of the California Innocence Project, Banks got his conviction overturned his name cleared in 2012 after a decade of wrongful imprisonment and parole. BRIAN BANKS is eyeing an early 2019 release.

Before starting her own company, Baer served as President & CEO of CBS Films (2007-2011), launching the division for CBS Corp. Baer spent the previous 17 years at Sony Pictures Entertainment, where she oversaw such hit films as 1997’s MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING, Oscar nominated ADAPTATION (2001), S.W.A.T. (2002), SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE (2003), and the 2006 holiday hit THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS, which earned Will Smith an Oscar nomination. She also developed the 2011 Oscar-nominated Sony hit MONEYBALL, starring Brad Pitt. She began her career at Creative Artists Agency in 1988 as an assistant to the late Jay Moloney.

Baer became Board President of Women in Film in June 2018, stepping into the role at a critical juncture in Hollywood, as the entertainment industry faces a broad reckoning over gender disparities and sexual harassment. Founded in 1973, Women In Film advocates for and advances the careers of women working in the screen industries – to achieve parity and transform culture.

Baer graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University in 1988 with a B.A. in English literature. She is married to producer Matt Baer (UNBROKEN), and has two sons. In addition to Women in FIlm, she also serves on the board of the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Producers Guild of America, and SAG-AFTRA.

 

Chris Ceccotti

Chris Ceccotti - Head of Development, Gidden Media

Chris Ceccotti is currently the Head of Development and Content Strategy at Gidden Media. Chris built and oversees a diverse slate of development properties for Gidden, shepherding forward film, TV and digital projects, and pursuing growth partnerships for the company. He developed and manages an incubator program for emerging writers.

Most recently, Chris was a co-producer on Gidden’s upcoming inspirational social justice drama BRIAN BANKS starring Aldis Hodge and Greg Kinnear, which won the Audience Award at the 2018 LA Film Festival.

Chris brought his entrepreneurial spirit to Los Angeles from James Madison University where he founded two businesses before graduating with honors. He began his career in special event production for award campaigns, shows and premieres before moving to Creative Artists Agency motion pictures literary department.

Chris lives in West Adams with his wife and dog. They spend their free time attending eclectic concerts around town and serving on the Leadership Council of A Place Called Home, a safe haven for underserved youth in South Central LA.

Contest Rules

Please see all the rules in the Terms & Conditions section on the signup form. Gidden Media does not collect any entry fees.

What Type of Scripts Can Enter?

Feature scripts only, no TV pilots. 

Gidden Media and Stage 32 are looking for a wide range of all genres designed to appeal to the 50 and over audience. They can be movies for moms (BAD MOMS) to movies for retirees (BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL). They can be comedies, historical dramas (like THE POST or GREEN BOOK), or mystery/crime stories (like MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS). Danny Boyle's recent box office success YESTERDAY is another example. Gidden is open to inspirational drama, comedy, romantic comedy movies about second chances or second acts and starting over in life.

Winner Announcements

Dec 20
Quarter-Finalists Announced
on Stage 32
Jan 03
Semi-Finalists Announced
on Stage 32
Jan 17
Finalists Announced
on Stage 32
Jan 31
Contest Winners Announced
on Stage 32
* Announcement dates subject to change.

Contest Deadlines

Super Early Bird Deadline

Tuesday, Aug 13 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $42.50

Early Bird Deadline

Wednesday, Sep 11 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $52.50

Regular Deadline

Wednesday, Oct 9 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $62.50

Final Deadline

Wednesday, Nov 6 - 11:59 PM PST

Submission fee: $72.50

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