L.A. Comedy Shorts Rules & Regulations
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1. Overview. The LA Comedy Shorts Film Festival (the “Festival”) is an annual event produced and owned by LA Comedy, LLC (“Producer”). The Festival consists of public screenings of short comedy films and panels on subjects of related interest. Films that are selected for the Festival are eligible to compete for cash prizes to be awarded in different categories. The 2014 Festival is currently scheduled to take place in Los Angeles on May 15-18, 2014.
2. Eligibility. In order to be eligible for consideration, films must satisfy the following requirements:
a. A film may be submitted only by one or more of its writer, producer or director. The person submitting a film (“Entrant”) for the main Festival competition must be at least 18 years of age as of the date of submission. Entrants under 18 years of age who are bona fide high school or college students may submit films for the Student Film competition. Festival judges and employees, officers, directors or agents of Producer or of any Festival judges and the immediate family (spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, daughter or son, regardless of where they live) or members of the same household (whether related or not) of any of those persons are not eligible to submit films.
b. Entries must be short films (no more than 30 minutes in length), either in the English language, dubbed in English or with English subtitles. Films must be completed at least to rough cut; provided that if a rough cut is selected for the Festival the Entrant must submit a final cut before the Festival or the film will not be screened or considered for competition. Films must be in the genre of comedy, as determined by Producer in its sole discretion.
3. Submission of Entries.
a. Entrants wishing to submit films must do so online at either lacomedyshorts.com or withoutabox.com. Entrants will be required to complete an online application form and acknowledge that they have read and agree to these Rules. When the online application process is completed, Entrants will be emailed a receipt that includes a unique Submission ID. Entrants will also have the opportunity to pay the stipulated entry fee online. In the alternative, Entrants can mail a check for the entry fee. Complete instructions for mailing payment will be available online.
b. When the online application is complete, Entrants may submit films either as DVDs or online screeners.
i. All films submitted as DVDs must be in Region 0 or Region 1 format. The DVD must be labeled with title, running time, Entrant’s email address and Submission ID number. If the film is a rough cut, that should also be indicated. Producer will not accept submissions sent in fiber-padded envelopes due to the risk of damage to Producer’s playback equipment. If the entry fee was not paid online, a check for the fee, marked with the Submission ID for the film, must accompany the DVD.
ii. Films may also be submitted online. Entrants should follow the instructions on the application website and furnish the information requested, including a link to the film’s location. Although online submissions are acceptable, Producer will require a DVD copy or HD digital file of any film that is accepted for the Festival.
c. Producer will send confirmation of receipt for a submission only if accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed postcard.
d. All DVDs and application materials are Producer’s sole property. DVDs and entry fees cannot be returned or refunded. Producer has no liability for loss of or damage to submissions.
e. Entrants may submit more than one film; provided that a separate application and entry fee are required for each.
f. Producer reserves the right to change the application process in its sole discretion. Producer will notify Entrants by email of changed or additional materials or information, if any, that are required.
g. By submitting a film, each Entrant represents and warrants that it has the right to authorize Producer to exhibit the film at the Festival and authorizes Producer to use his or her name, voice and likeness, and to use stills and excerpts from the submitted film of up to three minutes in connection with advertising, publicity and promotion for the Festival.
4. Acceptance of Entries. Producer will select films for exhibition at the Festival based on originality, theme, diversity of subject matter and length, humor and such other criteria as Producer shall determine, which may be subjective. Producer’s decision whether to select an entry for screening at the Festival is final. Producer will determine the number of films to be selected for screening in its sole discretion. Entrants whose films are selected will be so notified by phone or email. Producer has no obligation to screen a film at the Festival notwithstanding that its Entrant was sent a notice of selection. Producer reserves the right to change the selection of films to be exhibited at the Festival at any time in its sole discretion. Acceptance of a film for exhibition is subject to execution by its Entrants of Producer’s standard release form and, if the Entrant is under 18 years of age, written consent of his or her parent or guardian.
5. Rules of Competition.
a. Producer will award prizes pursuant to this section from among all of the films accepted for and actually screened at the Festival. Producer currently anticipates that prizes will be awarded as set forth below; provided Producer reserves the right to add, subtract or change prizes and to change prize amounts at any time in its sole discretion. The current prizes and prize amounts are:
i. Best Comedy Short (for live action films longer than 5 minutes but not longer than 30 minutes) - $250;
ii. Best Comedy Shortie-Short (for live action films 5 minutes or less) - $250;
iii. Best Comedy Animated Short (for animated films not longer than 30 minutes) - $250;
iv. Best Student Film (for animated or live-action films not longer than 30 minutes submitted by an Entrant under 18 years of age) - $250;
v. Audience Award (eligibility open to any film in the Festival) - $250;
vi. Best of Fest (eligibility open to any film in the Festival) - $1,000.
b. A film may not win more than one prize. That is, the winner of the Audience Award or the Grand Prize will not be eligible for any of the other prizes.
c. All prizes other than the Audience Award are determined according to the following procedure:
i. First round selections of finalists for each award (other than Best of Fest) will be made out of all of the films selected for the Festival by a panel of three of Producer’s senior management. The number of finalists for each award is determined by the panelists in their sole discretion based on the number and quality of entries; provided that there shall be at least two finalists selected for each award.
ii. Finalists for each award will be submitted to panels of at least three judges selected by Producer. The judges will be entertainment industry professionals who are not employees of Producer. There may be different panels of judges for different awards (other than Best of Fest).
iii. The Best of Fest award will be determined by a blue-ribbon panel of at least three judges who have screened all of the finalists for all of the awards. If the film selected as Best of Fest is also selected for one of the other awards, then the judges for the other award will be asked to select another winner for that other award.
iv. For each award, the judges will screen each finalist and determine the winner according to such a procedure as they agree among themselves.
d. The Audience Award is determined according to the following procedure: Each time a film is screened, audience members are asked to score the film on a scale of 1-5. After all films have been screened, the film with the highest mean score out of all screenings wins the Audience Award. If the film with the highest mean score is the winner of one of the other awards, then the Audience Award will be given to the film with the next-highest mean score that is not the winner of one of the other awards. If one or more eligible films are tied for the Audience Award, Producer will select the winning film in its sole discretion.
e. All decisions regarding Festival competition, including rules, eligibility, selection of films, Festival scheduling and production, judging process, criteria for winning films and the nature and amount of prizes, are at Producer’s sole discretion, are subject to change at any time before during or after the Festival with or without notice, and are final and not subject to appeal.
f. Each winning Entrant’s right to receive a prize is subject to Entrants’ satisfaction of Producer’s requirements, including execution of an affidavit of eligibility, promotional release and relevant tax documentation, no later than five business days after receipt from Producer. Subject to the foregoing, Producer will deliver prize money to the winning Entrants within 60 days after the last day of the Festival. If there is more than one Entrant for a winning film, Producer’s obligation is fully satisfied by delivery of the full prize amount to any one of them; in no event will Producer be liable to allocate a prize among Entrants.
g. Each winning Entrant is personally responsible for payment of all city, state and federal taxes with respect to his or her prize. Producer shall have the right to withhold taxes from a prize as necessary or appropriate. Each winning Entrant shall indemnify and hold harmless Producer from any claims, damages, penalties or losses arising out of that Entrant’s failure to pay taxes on a prize.
h. Entrants whose films are selected for the Festival will receive two VIP passes. Except for prize money paid to winning Entrants, no other payments will be made. Without limiting the foregoing, Producer will not pay or reimburse any Entrant for travel or living expenses.
6. Technical Difficulties.
a. Neither Producer, Festival personnel, sponsors, any of their respective parent, subsidiary and affiliated companies, nor any of their respective officers, directors, or employees shall be responsible for any technical, mechanical, or electronic malfunctions, any war, riot or any acts of God which affect the application process, film selection, Festival production or judging.
b. In the event of a technical difficulty, mechanical failure, human error, act of God or other occurrence affecting the Festival, Producer will determine the appropriate action in its sole discretion, which may include suspending or cancelling the Festival or some or all of the Festival competitions.