The news of the nationwide competition was announced today at the Sundance Film Festival during Blackhouse’s panel “Killer Creativity: The New Breed.” Accepting submissions starting today, the competition gives aspiring, undiscovered filmmakers the opportunity to produce an original film. Mentored by a team of industry professionals, the filmmaking-hopeful must deal with the pressures of delivering a viable movie — on schedule and on budget. BET will purchase the winning screenplay and work with the winner and Paramount Players to produce a feature film with a million dollar budget. The Network will follow and document the winner’s journey in a one-hour companion special.
“As an established brand in the entertainment space, it is our responsibility to give new voices an opportunity to create engaging and provocative stories,” said Connie Orlando, Head of Programming and Production, BET Networks. “This partnership with Paramount Players opens this door and displays our ongoing commitment to the expansion of diverse voices within the creative community.”
Paramount Players President, Brian Robbins adds, “In a world where the barriers to the craft of filmmaking are less than ever before, we are thrilled to be part of this opportunity to find and nurture the next great filmmaking talent.”
Submissions will be accepted by BET through March 3. From there 50 screenplays will advance to round two where the pool will be narrowed down to 10. The top ten will be given $2,500 and one month to create a 2-3 minute scene for their screenplay.
The scenes will then be voted on by the public in round three. The scene receiving the greatest number of votes from the public will automatically advance to the next round. Judges from BET, Paramount players, and other independent judges will determine four additional contestants for the Final Round, to complete the top five. In the final round, the five finalists will pitch their film to multiple panels of successful filmmakers, writers and executives. The winner will be announced during the summer.