Frequently Asked Questions
As each challenge gets bigger and better, we update our procedures to reflect any changes. Please take a moment to review the FAQ page even if you have participated before.
Applying for the challenge
What is your vetting process?
Can I request certain people are placed on my team?
One aspect of our challenge that participants enjoy the most is meeting a team of complete strangers. This is the quickest way to expand your professional connection and really get a chance to prove yourself to working professionals in every field of production. So no, you cannot choose your crewmates, but trust the process and see where it takes you!
I’m in film school. Can I still apply?
Yes, you should definitely apply, however priority is given to professionals with a record of excellence. When someone invests their time into this challenge, we want to make sure they’re surrounded by people who can hire and refer them for more jobs. But we also want to give students a chance to build their network for when they graduate. You are far more likely be placed on a crew if you apply for roles such as a PA, assistant editor (if you have experience in that field) or boom operator if you are still a student.
I don’t identify as a woman. Can I still apply?
We welcome anyone who wants to tell women’s stories.
Is this a SAG-AFTRA production?
No, not at this time. We would love to work with SAG-AFTRA actors in the future, but currently, team leaders are allowed to ask every member of their team for $30 toward food and transportation, which would conflict with union guidelines.
What are the chances of getting accepted?
Should I apply for roles I don’t want just to up my chances of being placed on a team?
No. If you’d only be happy participating as an actor, for example, don’t fill out second- and third-choice roles on your application. If someone applies for multiple different roles, that means that they would be happy to be placed in those roles AND that they are qualified for those positions.
What happens if I apply and then I get a job the conflicts with the challenge?
I messed up my application. What should I do?
Please resubmit an application. Where it asks for why you want to do this challenge, add that you are resubmitting due to a clerical error. Unfortunately we do not have the resources to follow up with applicants if a link doesn't work or a field is left empty, so please make sure to fill out the application as thoroughly as possible.
What are some of the reasons I might be placed on the waitlist?
Common reasons for being placed on the waitlist include:
Not being available for the ENTIRE challenge weekend.
Insufficient materials for us to judge (i.e. lack of website or reel, broken links), especially if you applied to be a director, actor, writer or cinematographer.
You got assigned to your first choice role for a past challenge, and there was too much demand for your first choice this time around.
You applied as an actor but your website indicated you were SAG (this is a non-union production).
Only selecting one role you were interested in filling. (We very much appreciate that you did not select any roles you were not interested in! However, if you only selected “director” and we had already filled the director slots, this meant that we were unable to get you on any of the teams in another capacity.)
Simply not enough slots available for everyone who participated. There were director reels we LOVED that we wanted to say yes to, but didn't have enough slots. There were actors that our casting director said great things about who we just didn't have space for. And there were many writers who got high scores from our screenwriting judges who we weren't able to place. It's a blessing and a curse to have SO MANY talented applicants!
I was placed on the waitlist. Is there a chance that I might still be placed on a team?
Am I on the waitlist for every role I applied for?
I participated before but was placed on the waitlist this time around. Does that mean that you didn't like my work?
When will you be coming to my city?
I want to book you for a speaking engagement. How do I do that?
How is the Women’s Weekend Film Challenge different from other film challenges?
How does the Women’s Weekend Film Challenge work?
You can view the detailed breakdown of the weekend here.
How much does it cost to apply and participate in the Women’s Weekend Film Challenge?
What does the Women’s Weekend Film Challenge provide?
Your crew: We vet all of the applicants and place accepted individuals onto complete crews of 25-30 filmmakers, covering all roles of production (from actors to composers to cinematographers to post sound mixers)
Equipment: We've secured several generous sponsors for all of our crews so that each crew has top-of-the-line gear to work with.
Software: Writers and directors will receive a license of FinalDraft and editors will have access to EndCrawl.
Production insurance: Our production insurance covers all Women’s Weekend Film Challenge productions.
Stipend: A small stipend for each team to cover costs like food and transportation.
Screening & after-party: A screening of all of the completed films at a major venue with industry insiders in the audience.
Film festival stipend: each crew has a few hundred dollars to apply to festivals.
Training & Workshops: Although all of our participants are professional filmmakers, a weekend-long challenge is a new process for many and so we provide the following training: An orientation meeting for team leaders, as well as a 40-page guide for leading a team through the challenge; a workshop for directors, screenwriters and team leaders to meet and collaborate; a pre-production meeting for all teams; opportunities for participants to learn how to use the provided gear in advance of the challenge weekend; a written IMDb tutorial to help all teams get their films on IMDb; a film festival submission tutorial event where we train participants on how to use FilmFreeway, how to find the right festivals for each short and how to write a great cover letter
I already have a great script or an idea for a short film. Can I bring that idea to my team so that we can produce it during the challenge?
So if you guys don’t charge an application fee or a participation fee, how is the Women's Weekend Film Challenge funded?
Our funding comes from grants, donations, sponsorships and speaking engagements.
Is this paid?
No. This is not a paid gig; it’s a free networking opportunity. Think of it as time invested in your career.
Who owns the rights to the films?
I don’t think I’m comfortable with the Women’s Weekend Film Challenge retaining the rights to the films. Should I still participate?
We want every single participant to be comfortable with the official rules of the challenge. If you’re not comfortable with any aspect, including the issue of rights, we encourage you to seek other opportunities that you’re more comfortable with.
Is the Women’s Weekend Film Challenge a competition?
No; it’s a challenge rather than a competition. That’s because we want to lift everybody up. Our team leaders have been known to create a group chat and ask each other for advice during pre-production. At the post-challenge film screening, we encourage participants to watch the other teams’ films with an eye toward who they might want to hire or collaborate with in the future. A rising tide lifts all boats!
If I donate to the Women's Weekend Film Challenge, what will my money go toward?
Your donation will go toward the following expenses:
Providing production insurance
Providing stipends to the teams to cover costs such as food and transportation during production
Venue rentals for our screenings and networking events
General operational and programming costs
Bringing the film challenge to other cities to offer this opportunity to more filmmakers
After the challenge
What can I do with the finished films?
Every participant may add excerpts of the film to their reels. Team leaders are in charge of submitting the films to festivals (we give them stipends so the financial burden isn’t on them).
What happens if the film wins a cash prize or a distribution deal?
The vast majority of short films make no money at all. However, there are one-in-a-million cases in which cash prizes or distribution deals are offered for short films. Because any potential prize or deal would be unique, we would assess these on a case-by-case basis, in communication with the team that created the film and our lawyer.
Are there any prizes for participating?
What should I hope to get out of doing the challenge?
Here are some of the tangible things you’ll get out of this experience:
An IMDb credit
A highly professional film to use for your reel
Behind-the-scenes photos of you in action
A screening of your work in an amazing venue
Gaining an instant professional network that has hired or referred them for paying jobs.
Gaining confidence in their ability to perform under high pressure.
A chance to participate in parts of production they're not normally involved in. For instance, our editors have mentioned how much they loved being involved with the pre-production meeting. Our writers who took on additional roles such as behind-the-scenes photographer loved being on set. We try to make this as collaborative and egalitarian as possible.
Is there a screening of the completed films?
Yes! Shortly after each challenge, we host a screening of all completed films, along with a networking after-party. Teams can begin submitting the films to festivals after the film festival submission workshop in order to bring the film to an even larger audience.