DGC Ontario Short Film Awards

DGC FilmAwards Banner

At a time in Ontario where short film funding has evaporated because of recent regulatory decisions and the slashing of most equity financing avenues, our Members have been faced with the reality that creating world-class quality short-form narrative projects has become harder and harder. This is occurring precisely at a time when the medium is getting easier to access and enjoy because of the proliferation of short-subject programs in film festivals, newly-formed distribution avenues and specially curated internet platforms.

DGC Ontario is pleased to announce the creation of three new Short Filmmaking Awards to be adjudicated and presented to three DGC Ontario Full Members (in Good Standing). The Awards will provide the winning Members with a cash award of $30,000 each (plus fringes*) to be used toward the completion of a live-action short narrative film. Submissions are free for all eligible DGC Ontario Full Members. Eligible Members are allowed one entry and may submit that entry to only one of the award categories described below.

Eligibility for Emerging Short Filmmaker Award
Eligibility for DGC Ontario Short Filmmaker Award
Submission Requirements
What to Submit
Production Requirements
Adjudication Procedures
Important Dates
Submit

The DGC Ontario Emerging Short Filmmaker Award

This $30,000 award (plus fringes*) will provide one DGC Ontario Full Member in Good Standing, who isn’t a Director Member and hasn’t directed a feature film or scripted television episode previously, with an opportunity to make a short film to help launch their directing career.

 

Eligibility requirements for the Emerging Short Filmmaker Award:

The spirit of this award is for our DGC Ontario Members who have always wanted to create a short film to have the opportunity and funds necessary to make one. For the 3rd Assistant Director who has a story she wants to tell, or the Assistant Location Manager who has found the perfect space for a fantastic short film idea, or the 2nd Assistant Art Director who’s outlined the genesis of a world they’ve wanted to bring to life, but never had the chance to pursue – this opportunity is for you. 

  • Must be a Full DGC Ontario Member in Good Standing, and not a Director Member
  • Must not have previously directed a feature film or scripted television episode
  • Must have creative control and final cut over the proposed project (at least 51% to maintain majority control)
  • Must not have previously won the DGC Ontario Short Filmmaker Award or Emerging Short Filmmaker Award
  • Must not currently sit on the DGC Ontario Executive Board, be employed by DGC Ontario or sit on the Short Film Awards Jury.
  • Must agree to grant DGC Ontario the right to stream, screen and exploit the completed film as well as any behind-the-scenes and marketing material (non-commercial use/promotional purposes only)
  • If your project is green-lit, you must attach a DGC Director Member mentor to the project by the beginning of pre-production (DGC Ontario to assist if needed)

 

The DGC Ontario Short Filmmaker Award

These two $30,000 awards (plus fringes*) will provide two DGC Ontario Full Members in Good Standing with an opportunity to make a short film to develop their directing career.

Eligibility requirements for DGC Ontario Short Filmmaker Award:

  • Must be a Full DGC Ontario Member in Good Standing
  • Must have creative control and final cut over the proposed project (at least 51% to maintain majority control)
  • Must not have previously won the DGC Ontario Short Filmmaker Award or Emerging Short Filmmaker Award
  • Must not currently sit on the DGC Ontario Executive Board or be employed by DGC Ontario or sit on the Short Film Awards Jury
  • Must agree to grant DGC Ontario the right to stream, screen and exploit the completed film as well as any behind-the-scenes and marketing material (non-commercial use/promotional purposes only)

 

Submission Requirements for Both Awards:

(all submissions must be completed via the online submission link provided, incomplete submissions will be disqualified)

  • The submission must be made by the Director of the proposed project. One Director per application; one application per Director
  • Production must occur in Ontario
  • A completed application form (application forms are available via online submission link)
  • A Chain-Of-Title document proving that the Director has creative control and final cut over the proposed project (at least 51% to maintain majority control)
  • A signed agreement from the writer(s) of the script (including if the submitting DGC Member is also the writer) acknowledging their approval to have their work submitted for consideration, production and exploitation should the project be selected
  • Director, Writer and Producer resumes & filmographies for staff verification (these materials will not be sent to jury members)
  • A filled-out DGC Ontario Dispensation Form
  • Signed DGC Ontario Short Film Awards Declaration Form

Please include PDF submission copies with all creative names removed for blind jury adjudication:

  • An unproduced, original live-action narrative script with a maximum length of 17 pages (animated, lifestyle or documentary short subjects are not eligible) with all creative names removed
  • A one-page synopsis with all creative names removed
  • Director Vision Statement with all creative names removed
  • Proposed production budget with all creative names removed. Download the Budget Template HERE.                                                                                                                                                                                        

Please note: Budgets do not need every line item filled in unless it pertains to your project (ie: if you have no animals in your film, you can leave the "[40.00] Animals" line item blank). Also, [27.00] Fringe Benefits are for Non-DGC calculations only (ie: should you be shooting under the ACRA TiP agreement, you can put your Fringe Calculations here). DGC Ontario will calculate Fringes on all DGC Ontario Members once the winning teams have been contacted and will be in addition to the $30k award. Production, General Liability and E&O Insurance is MANDATORY for all productions. We’ve included a $3,000.00 approximate amount that should be budgeted (which may go up or down depending on the nature of your production) as a guideline and reminder that you need it. This is an approximation only and winning teams must do their own due diligence to obtain their own Production, General Liability and E&O Insurance. DGC Ontario can help assist once the Teams are awarded. Should teams need to create new line items, they can if needed. Also, if further explanation is needed, teams can make clarifications in the line item "Notes" column (ie: [39.00] Special Effects (Physical) Note: "We will need 2 Rain Towers", or the general section at the bottom under "Notes/Assumptions". Please avoid any creative names in the budget.

  • A financial plan, if budget is to exceed the award amount, with all creative names removed
  • Proposed prep/production/post schedule with all creative names removed.

Production Requirements for Both Awards:

  • Film must have a maximum running time of up to 15 minutes (credits included)
  • Film must be fully completed by the delivery deadline date (April 8, 2019)
  • Film must be mastered and delivered in HD
  • Applicant must provide all deliverables (actualized budget, receipts, E&O insurance, etc.)
  • Applicant must provide DGC Ontario with a copy of the completed film as a hi-res digital file on a drive for archival purposes
  • In the spirit of the award, the filmmaking team must make best efforts to crew their production with DGC Ontario Members (full or associate and GAP) in all categories that DGC Ontario represents, as well as give opportunities to DGC Ontario Members out of category (i.e.: composer, VFX, etc.). We would like to see as many DGC Ontario Members participating on the awarded teams as possible and will work with awarded teams to help make that happen. This also includes DGC Mentors for up-and-coming filmmakers in all disciplines (i.e.: if the 1st AD has never been a 1st before, a DGC 1st AD Mentor would be beneficial)
  • Must be eligible for DGC Ontario Dispensation and follow all the laws, rules and guidelines these shows must adhere to

The Director’s Vision Statement is a (max 3-page) document that describes how the filmmaker is going to execute their project, what the tone/look is, what drew them to the story and why they want to make the film. Filmmakers can also use this document to discuss how they plan to accomplish their projects should the screenplay have unique elements that needs explanation or there are production or post-production elements that might need further elaboration such as special in-kind sponsorships, casting, visual effects, equipment, editing, music or location notes.

A Financial Plan is a detailed description of how the team will raise funds necessary to complete the project (should the project budget be over the $30k awarded amount).

A Proposed Prep/Production/Post Schedule is a short document outlining the dates and action items the team is expecting to accomplish and when. This includes any prep and production calendars, shooting schedules and post timelines you might have.

A Chain-Of-Title Document is a signed document that clearly states that the Director has creative control and final cut over the proposed project (at least 51% to maintain majority control) agreed to by the producer(s) and sometimes the writer(s).

* Fringe Benefit Contributions will be covered: All DGC Ontario Members and Associate Members in Good Standing, working on these productions in one of our categories, will also sign participation agreements so that contributions can be made, on their behalf, to cover their Health and RSP plans (fringes) by DGC Ontario.

 

Adjudication Procedures:

Upon receiving all submissions, DGC Ontario will appoint a mixed DGC member and third-party Short Film Awards Jury to review only the script, one-page synopsis, Director’s Vision Statement , budget and financial plan and prep/production/post schedule (with all creative names removed). The program and the jury will be administered by staff and a Short Film Awards Chair. The Chair will be the Ontario District Council Director’s Caucus Rep who has no vote and who will help run the initiative along with Ontario District Council Staff, set up meetings, distribute submissions to jurors, be available to clarify project guidelines, answer questions from submitting teams, etc.

The Jury will be selected based on their ability to accurately and fairly adjudicate the submissions based on their past experience from the industry. They will be comprised of, but not limited to: Producers, Distributors, Filmmakers, Film Festival Programmers, etc. and are not allowed to participate in the program, or be attached to any project submitted. The spirit and direction for this impartial blind jury process is to avoid any possible conflicts of interest and/or favouritism.

A dedicated website portal will be created for all submissions and will be administered by staff and the Chair to verify if packages are complete and meet all criteria. No one else will have access to this intake portal and only blind jury materials will be distributed to jury members. 

Once films are awarded, their teams will participate in a one-on-one meeting with DGC Ontario Staff to sign the DGC Ontario Short Film Awards contract, discuss deliverables, in-kind sponsorships, payment drawdowns, insurance (both production and E&O), DGC Member involvement and crewing, DGC Mentors and prep, production and post concerns.

Note: We encourage inclusion and diversity in casting and crewing. We also want best efforts to use DGC Ontario members in various creative roles and crew positions. Please feel free to include a description of how your projects reflect this goal in the Director’s Vision Statement (without using names – i.e.: “We have 8 DGC Ontario members already lined up for these crew positions… etc.).

 

Important Dates:

Criteria Available Online: April 4, 2018
Online Submission Link Open: April 12, 2018
Application Deadline EXTENDED: July 3, 2018 - noon
Finalists Announced: August 6, 2018
Shoot & Post: August 2018 – April 2019
Final Delivery: April 8, 2019

Special thanks to the DGC BC District Council for their help with this initiative. Any questions about the DGC Ontario Short Filmmaker Awards, please contact us at: shortfilm@dgcontario.ca

Submission CLOSED