Our signature film challenge
Our signature film challenge is back in NYC this August! Expand your network while creating a polished short film in one weekend.
Accepted participants will be placed on crews and work with women and nonbinary filmmakers in every role of production. It's FREE to apply and participate, and we provide cinema-quality equipment courtesy of our sponsors, production insurance, stipends to submit to film fests and more!
On Saturday, Aug. 6, participants will meet their teams for the very first time at a pre-production meeting. On Thursday, Aug. 11, we will pull a different genre out of a hat for each team and assign a prop that teams must incorporate — and then the challenge begins! Teams will write, shoot and edit their films (3 to 10 minutes long) and submit them by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 14. See your completed film on the big screen during a premiere on Thursday, Aug. 25!
Applications are closed for this upcoming challenge. Sign up for email updates so you don't miss the next one!
It's FREE to apply to and participate in the challenge!
Orientations and workshops
Thanks to our generous sponsors, the film challenge is free to apply to and participate in and each crew will be provided with complete cinema-quality gear packages. Our sponsors include:
Meet the Judges
While the film challenge itself is not a competition, we rely on the expertise of an outstanding panel of judges to help us select the participants for each film challenge. When you apply to the film challenge, your work is being seen by award-winning filmmakers! Here are just a few of the judges:
Born in South Korea, raised in Seoul and Philadelphia, Anna Sang Park immigrated to the U.S. when she was 8 years old. She is an award-winning director, writer and producer. Her short film trilogy, THE CHO STORIES, is centered around a Korean American family struggling with personal and financial loss in New York City. She is the co-founder of Veronique Films and a member of WGA East, Film Fatales, Alliance of Women Directors, Brown Girls Doc Mafia, The FilmmakeHERS and the PGA.
Nancy Schreiber ASC was the fourth female ASC member; the first woman honored with the ASC President’s Award; and the first female gaffer in New York’s NABET Local 15. As director of photography, Schreiber earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Chain of Desire and an Emmy nomination for HBO’s The Celluloid Closet. She was named one of Variety’s 10 Cinematographers to Watch. She received the Kodak Vision Award for Women in Film and Best Cinematography at Sundance for My America.
Danielle Eliska is an award-winning writer, filmmaker and producer from Detroit. She's the founder of a 3-tier multimedia production house-- A collaborative community creating opportunities in film, television, theatre, music + visual art with a focus on women, Black artists + artists of color. Danielle's 2019 film, Shield-- a three-time award winning short narrative-- received the 2019 inaugural grant for the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment and New York Foundation for the Arts.
Annie Sundberg is an award-winning filmmaker based in New York City. Her films have been shortlisted for the Oscars and earned multiple Emmy and Peabody nominations among other honors. Her production company Break Thru Films is home to a variety of projects including multipart non-fiction series for Netflix, CNN and Sundance/AMC. Select filmography: RANKED (HBO 2022), REVERSING ROE (Netflix); MARATHON : THE PATRIOTS DAY BOMBING (HBO); and the narrative feature TULLY (HartSharp).
Carmen Cabana is a cinematographer of Afro-Hispanic descent raised in Colombia and Venezuela. Her TV work includes the upcoming HBO Max and Bad Robot pilot DUSTER; Netflix's RESIDENT EVIL series; Marvel & Disney+ upcoming series MS. MARVEL; Hulu's HIGH FIDELITY; Lionsgate/Starz VIDA S1 and S2; Netflix's NARCOS S2; and Amazon's pilot LOS ANGELES. Her film work includes 25 independent features including Blumhouse/Amazon's NOCTURNE. She was recognized in Variety's "10 Cinematographers to Watch."
Mahak Jiwani is a Manager of Scripted Content at Jigsaw Productions where she sources and develops compelling and diverse stories. Prior to Jigsaw, she worked as a producer and production coordinator on narrative and documentary films and has produced several short films around the world. Her film DARLING won the Orizzonti Award for Best Short Film at Venice Film Festival, a first for a Pakistani film. She is a graduate of Columbia University’s Creative Producing program.
Adrienne Stern Casting provides full casting services in both NY and LA for film, television, commercials, web, and theater. With over 20 years of entertainment industry experience, Adrienne Stern has assisted hundreds of clients in securing top talent for their projects. Her films have premiered at Sundance, Toronto, Cannes, Tribeca, Berlin, SXSW, Seattle and many other prominent film festivals, many taking home prestigious awards. Credits include "Broken English," and "Adrift in Manhattan."
Julia's first feature film, Inez & Doug & Kira, is distributed by 1091 Pictures. Julia's award-winning short films have screened on PBS and dozens of festivals worldwide, including Slamdance, Cinequest, Woodstock, and Hamptons. Julia works as an editor for both narrative and documentary film and television. She emigrated as a refugee from Ukraine in 1989 and holds an MFA from Columbia Film School and a BA from Yale.
Numbers at a Glance
participants over the course of 4 challenges
festivals our films have been accepted into
of our participants are women of color
of our participants identify as LGBTQ+
30 films with over 700 filmmakers!
Enjoy some behind the scenes footage of our past challenges as well as examples of the completed work and some press!