Film Con Challenge 2017-18 “True San Diego”



“True San Diego” - A Film Con Challenge

Presented by Film Consortium San Diego in partnership with KPBS and So Say We All



The Film Con Challenge is a timed competition bringing together some of San Diego’s greatest storytellers to produce a short film (less than 15 minutes) in a 60 day long competition.  Each year, The Film Con Challenge will promote an overarching theme for the timed competition, with 2017 being entitled “True San Diego”. True San Diego aims to tell stories of real people and real lives in San Diego. Teams will be given up to three vetted stories*  from the local writer’s group So Say We All and will have to do the following:

  1. Choose one of the three stories*
  2. Adapt the story into a screenplay
  3. Shoot, edit and hand in final film by deadline
  4. Include 2 creative elements in the produced film (see below)
  5. Complete all paperwork, release forms etc and hand in with film.

*(Please note, there is a strong likelihood teams will be given the same story to adapt.)



We hope to create unique and interesting stories that are visually distinctive and highlight real stories of real people in San Diego.  We want to  change the types of stories are told in San Diego and to create compelling films that are true and local.  We also hope to create films that will be competitive entries into top film festivals worldwide.


“True San Diego” -real San Diego stories provided by So Say We All



Kickoff:   Friday December 1st at 6PM

Deadline:   Monday, January 29th at 6PM

Cost:   $120 registration fee until November 12th at midnight

$150 registration fee from November 13th until December 1st at 6PM

$180 registration fee after December 1st at 6PM



All films will be automatically screened during the  2018 San Diego Film Week and will be eligible for the 2019 San Diego Film Awards.



Winning Film will receive $300 credit on Film Freeway for Film Festival submissions

List of Winners will be posted online at

“Best of” will be Broadcast on KPBS (up to 4 selected films)

All entries will be screened at 2018 SD Film Week 

All entries are eligible for the 2019 San Diego Film Awards


Use of Creative Elements

Each team will be assigned two creative elements that must be used in their film.  The final list of creative elements will be made available upon launch of the contest.  The current tentative list of creative elements include:

Dutch angle

One shot



Slow Motion

Hero Shot

Jump Cuts

Zolley Shot

Freeze Frame

Dolley shot


Who We Are

Film Consortium San Diego: Film Consortium San Diego is a social venture that stimulates film and television production in the region and increases networking, employment, education, funding and distribution opportunities in film, television and new media.  The Film Consortium holds various networking, screening and awards events including the  San Diego Film Awards, San Diego Film Week and produces the annual Local Film Showcase at the GI Film Festival San Diego.  

So Say We All: Founded in 2009, So Say We All is a literary and performing arts non-profit organization whose mission is to create opportunities for individuals to tell their stories, and tell them better, through three core priorities: publishing, performance, and education. For more information about So Say We All, check out their website at

KPBS: KPBS serves our local communities with trusted news and programs that inspire, respect and educate our audience. KPBS will deliver this content via multiple outlets, including television, radio, and digital media and will adapt and remain relevant in a rapidly changing world.

KPBS values integrity, truth, transparency and lifelong learning. At KPBS we strive to engage with our citizens and showcase the unique neighborhoods and people that make our community thrive. And as a public service of San Diego State University, education is a core value – from our children’s programming to our local news coverage. KPBS is committed to being a reliable source for in-depth, thoughtful, and high quality content. KPBS follows the Public Media Code of Integrity and the NPR Ethics Guidelines.


Contest Rules and Guidelines

These rules apply to each participating production team. The Film Consortium SD may add to or amend these rules at any time prior to the beginning of the official timed period.

Registration Form Link:

Do you Have Questions Form Link:



The 2017 True San Diego - Film Con Challenge takes place locally, in San Diego County, and will occur between December 1st, 2017 and January 29th, 2018. This is the “Official Time Period”.  Teams must register by December 1st, 2017 at 5:30 PM in order to participate in the competition.

*LATE TEAMS* Late teams will be allowed however they will only given 2 stories to choose from and will have less time to complete the film.  They will also pay a higher registration fee.

The participating groups/teams must submit their film by the competition deadline in order to qualify for the competition (this includes uploading film to Vimeo and creating a private downloadable link).  Only films that meet the deadline will be officially part of the competition and be eligible for awards. All films received (on-time and late) will be screened at San Diego Film Week 2018.

Creative Process

All creativity must take place during the Official Time Period. Any creative work in advance of the competition is prohibited. Creative work includes, but is not limited to:

  • Adapting script
  • Rehearsing
  • Costume/Set Design
  • Shooting
  • Editing
  • Sound Design/Coloring
  • Rendering
  • Outputting to tape or other media


The only work to begin prior to the Official Time Period is:

  • Organizing Crew
  • Organizing Cast
  • Securing Equipment
  • Scouting/Securing Locations



All footage must be shot within the Official Time Period of the project.

No stock footage or footage shot or created at another time may be used.

Animation and special effects are permitted, but must be created during the Official Time Period. (Note: Stock footage is permissible as part of a post-production effect or on a background monitor, i.e., a television, as long as the team has rights to the stock footage and the stock footage is placed over or under footage that is shot within the Official Time Period. Allowable stock footage includes bullets, fires, explosions, chromakey backgrounds, etc., but stock footage of people or other performers is not allowed.)

Still photographs are permitted, provided that the team has the rights to them. The photos do not need to be created during the Official Time Period; however, stills created outside of the Official Time Period may not be used in sequence to create the illusion of motion.

Online Kickoff Event

  • Filmmakers will be emailed 3 randomly selected stories. You have 24 hours to determine and inform us of which story you will be adapting. Please do so by email.

Required Elements

Each participating group will be assigned required elements that must appear in its film. These randomly selected creative elements include, types of camera movements, shots & edits.

  • The script must be an adaptation of the provided story with minimal changes.  Team may add dialogue and other elements as needed but the script should not stray too far from the provided story.
  • The required elements must be seen on screen.
  • To qualify as an Official Entry, your film must contain all required elements within the official time limit and prior to the credits.


All cast and crew must be volunteers. Deferred pay for actor's is allowed for films working under a SAG-AFTRA contract.  NOTE: SAG-AFTRA Signatory projects exempt and waived from the Film Con Competition release bylaws and all ownership.

Animal Safety

Animal safety, like cast and crew safety, is an important part of the Film Con Challenge. Films that result in the death or mutilation of an animal will be disqualified.


Any type of video or film camera may be used. There is no limit to the number of cameras.

Music Rights

Participating groups are encouraged to work with a composer and/or musicians to write and record music for the films. It is permissible for a participating group to use pre-recorded music; however the participating group must have the rights to any music used in its film and must provide releases for all music used. As with music, pre-recorded sound effects are allowed, but you must have rights to use them. Note: Song parodies (i.e., use of identifiable pre-existing compositions with new or altered lyrics or music) may not be included in the film without a signed release from the composition's rights holder. This rule applies without regard to whether the song parody arguably constitutes "fair use" under US or international copyright law.

Total Running Time

The finished film must be a minimum of 7 minutes in duration, and a maximum of 15 minutes in duration—not including end credits. In other words, the official running time begins after the required pre-film slates and ends prior to the end credits. The required slates and the end credits do not count towards the minimum time of 7 minutes. The film story may not be longer than 15 minutes.

Credits/ Slates

Before the finished film begins, the media should have...

  • 5 seconds of black
  • A title card with: team name, title, and date
  • The official FCSD animated opening -OR- a title card with: This film was made for the Film Con Challenge
  • 2 seconds of black

End Credits

Credits at the end of each film are limited to a maximum of 60 seconds. The 60 seconds is considered additional to the length of the film, as stated above.

The end credits must include the words: This film was made for the Film Con Challenge

Slates And Credits After The Competition

For any future screenings, online or otherwise, films should retain the pre-film title card that says: This film was made for the Film Con Challenge

Required Media Formats

Your film must be submitted with the following media:

  • A self-contained HD Quicktime file with no proprietary codecs on either. (preferred)


Submission Notes

  • We recommend each team submit two copies of the final film.
  • We recommend you make sound levels relatively even throughout your film. (If your film has uneven sound or sound that peaks, it may be modified to protect the playback equipment.)
  • Projection specs vary from theater to theater and are beyond the control of the Film Con Challenge. If your film is very dark, it may be difficult to see in your theater.
  • All films received on the evening of the deadline (on-time and late) will be screened, presuming they meet the eligibility requirements.

Production Documents

Each team must secure releases for talent, crew, music and locations (and any other applicable releases), which must be turned in to the project organizers with the finished film/video. The film/video will not be screened before the Film Con Challenge Organizers receive the signed releases.

  • Teams will be send a folder with release forms via email  

Certification Statement

The Entrant must submit a Certification Statement with his/her completed Entry, certifying adherence to all Official Rules.


To be eligible for the Project, Entries must be the original adaptation work of the entrant; must not infringe third-party's rights; must be suitable for publication (i.e., may not be obscene or indecent); must not contain obscene or pornographic material; may not contain defamatory statements about any person, company, organization or entity; may not invade privacy or other rights of any person, company or entity; may not in any other way violate applicable laws and regulations; and may not contain any copyrighted elements (other than as owned by the Entrant and/or FCC). Entries containing prohibited or inappropriate content as determined by the FCC, in its sole discretion, to be inappropriate will be disqualified. FCC reserves the right to make the final determination as to which Entries are eligible. FCC also reserves the right to refuse to screen a film or to make an announcement at the screening regarding the content of the film.


No Pre-Screening Distribution

The Entrant should not distribute their entry/video in any way prior to it receiving its official FCC premiere screening. This includes uploading the video to any website or screening the film for groups of anyone other than the team. The Entrant is encouraged to make a trailer of their film and distribute that instead. This trailer should be no longer than 60 seconds.

Official Film Entry

To be certified as an Official Film Entry, each participating group's film/video production must follow all rules herein. The Film Con Challenge Organizers reserve the right to screen only certified Official Film Entries.

Entries Not Returned

No Entries (media or documents) will be returned.


FCC and Project Parties may, in their sole discretion, disqualify Entries deemed to be inappropriate or otherwise non-compliant.


Refund Schedule

If a team (Entrant) must withdraw from the Film Con Challenge, you may be refunded up to three days after the date of your initial signup. After which, their will be no refunds for any reason.

Participation of Minors

Some of the events (e.g., Kickoff, Drop Off) may be held in "21 years of age or older" locations. Every effort will be made to ensure that any under 21 teams will not be affected adversely. Entrants may wish to consider having at least one member of its team be 21 years or older.

Team Leader's Agreement

Entrants will be required to sign the standard FCC Team Leader's Agreement. If under the legal age of majority in your state of residence, your parent or legal guardian must sign it on your behalf.

As a condition of entry, participants must agree to the Team Leader's Agreement, which sets forth the rights of Entrant and FCC with respect to the use of Entries by FCC. Entries that do not include all required information and adhere to the foregoing and following requirements will be considered void and will not be considered in this FCC.

Production Costs

All costs associated with the production of the Entry are solely the responsibility of the Entrant.

Judging of Entries

Eligible Entries will be judged based on the judging criteria stated below.

Project Terms of Submission

By submitting an Entry into the FCC, each Entrant warrants and represents that the Entrant owns all rights to the Entry he/she is entering in this Project, including, without limitation, the video or digital recording, and the performance contained in each Entry, with the exception of any assets provided by the FCC for use by Entrants in connection with this Project. Each Entrant further warrants and represents that the Entrant has obtained permission from each person who appears in the Entry to grant the rights to the Project Parties described in these Official Rules, and will submit copies of such permissions to the Project Parties. By submitting an Entry, Entrant agrees to the Official Rules, and further agrees to indemnify and hold the FCC, Project Parties and their respective affiliates, officers, directors, agents, co-branders or other partners, and any of their employees (collectively, the Project Indemnitees), harmless from any and all claims, damages, expenses, costs (including reasonable attorneys' fees) and liabilities (including settlements), brought or asserted by any third party against any of the Project Indemnitees due to or arising out of the Entrant's Entry materials in this Project, or the Entrant's conduct during and in connection with this Project, including but not limited to trademark, copyright, or other intellectual property rights, right of publicity, right of privacy or defamation. Entrant agrees to release, indemnify and hold harmless FCC and the Project Parties from any and all claims that any advertising, presentation, web content or any other material subsequently produced, presented, and/or prepared by or on behalf of FCC or the Project Parties infringes on the rights of Entrant's work as contained in any Entry.

Designated Team Leader

If any group of individuals elects to collaborate on an Entry, they are required to designate one (1) person as the agent of the group to enter the FCC, agree to these Official Rules, sign the Team Leader's Agreement and accept the prize on behalf of the group. Neither FCC nor any of the Project Parties are liable for any disputes between collaborators arising out of or related to the Project.

Selection of Winners

Entries will be judged by a process in which qualified panels of judges will evaluate the eligible entries based on the following judging criteria:

Artistic Merit (e.g., Story, Creativity, Entertainment Value) (45%)

Technical Merit (30%)

Adherence to the Assignment (25%)

Film Con Challenge Project Winner

The top entry will be declared the winner. Up to 4 films will be selected to air on KPBS.  In the event of a tie, additional third party judges will be called upon to judge the tied films and give a new score based on the above criteria. Entrants agree that the FCC has the sole right to decide all matters and disputes arising from this FCC and that all decisions of FCC are final and binding.

General Conditions

By participating, Entrants agree to these Official Rules which are final and binding in all respects. The FCC is governed by the laws of the state of California, and all claims must be resolved in California courts or the Federal courts located in California.

Limitations of Liability and Release

No liability or responsibility is assumed by FCSD or Project Parties resulting from any user's participation in or attempt to participate in the Film Con Challenge (FCC) or ability or inability to upload or download any information in connection with participating in the Project. No responsibility or liability is assumed by the FCSD or Project Parties for technical problems or technical malfunction arising in connection with any of the following occurrences which may affect the operation of the Project: hardware or software errors; faulty computer, telephone, cable, satellite, network, electronic, wireless or Internet connectivity or other online communication problems; errors or limitations of any Internet service providers, servers, hosts or providers; garbled, jumbled or faulty data transmissions; failure of any email transmissions to be sent or received; lost, late, delayed or intercepted email transmissions; inaccessibility of the Website in whole or in part for any reason; traffic congestion on the Internet or the Website; unauthorized human or non-human intervention of the operation of the Project, including without limitation, unauthorized tampering, hacking, theft, virus, bugs, worms; or destruction of any aspect of the Project, or loss, miscount, misdirection, inaccessibility or unavailability of an email account used in connection with the Project. FCSD and Project Parties are not responsible for any typographical errors in the announcement of prizes or these Official Rules, or any inaccurate or incorrect data contained on the Web Site or social media sites maintained by the Film Consortium San Diego. Use of Web Site and the FCSD's social media sites is at user's own risk. FCSD and the Project Parties are not responsible for any personal injury or property damage or losses of any kind which may be sustained to user's or any other person's computer equipment resulting from participation in the Project, use of the Web Site or the download of any information from the Web Site. By participating in the Project, Entrant agrees to release, indemnify and hold FCSD and Project Parties harmless from any and all claims, damages or liabilities arising from or relating to such Entrant's participation in the Project.


First Place will receive $300 towards film festival submissions via FilmFreeway

List of Winners will be posted online at

“Best of” will be Broadcast on KPBS (up to 4 selected films)

All entries will be screened at SD Film Week 2018

All entries are eligible for the 2019 San Diego Film Awards



Does my team have to be fully formed by time of Launch?

No. You can build out your team after the launch tomorrow. You just have to have one person, who is representing your team as a whole, sign the necessary release documents and be responsible for communicating with your team and the Film Consortium.

How big does my team need to be?

Team can be as large or as small as you desire. We highly encourage that you have different people in key production roles so as to not put too much on one person and to help maintain proper roles of responsibility.

Why 60 days?

We want the participants to have time to make a full, well executed film.  With ample time to complete the film, the overall pool of films that are handed in should be well executed.

Why So Say We All stories?

We’ve worked with So Say We All in the past and find their stories to be compelling, true and not overly complex from a production point of view.  They have also spent a lot of time developing their stories.  They are also local which is part of our mission as an organization and community.  This also helped us secure a partnership with KPBS as they are strong supporters of So Say We All.  

What kind of stories will we get?  

You will get short stories, based on true events from writers who lived them.  They range in genres, topics and styles.  Here’s an example of one (that will not be in the competition):

To learn more about So Say We All check out their website:

How long does the film have to be?

The film should be no less than 7 minutes and no more than 15 minutes.  

When do we have to pick the story by?  

You will have 24 hours to determine which of the three stories given to your team to adapt and produce.

Will more than one team have the same story?

While we are giving each team three stories to choose from, there is a strong chance more than one team will end up adapting the same story. We think this will be a very interesting challenge to see how different teams choose to adapt their stories into screenplays.

When will the Winner be announced?

The winning film will be announced during the 2018 San Diego Film Week

What does the Winner Get?

We’ll be sending out a final prize package on 12/1/17 before the competition launches.

Who’s going to Judge these films?

Our judging committee will be comprised of persons from KPBS and So Say We All. No one directly involved with the FIlm Consortium will be judging this competition. We will announce the judging committee at a later date.

Can actors or crew be involved in more than one project?


Who is responsible for Casting Calls?

You are. Each team will be responsible for setting up casting calls and determining your actors for your film. We are happy to help you with this process and encourage you to use to post your casting call.  Wired Casting is free for producers and Actors get 60 days free using the promo code: sdfilm

What’s the Range of Genres?

Primarily comedy and drama. All stories fall under the umbrella of realism and/or true stories from real people. Aka, there will be no horror or sci-fi this year.

Who’s responsible for getting SAG Waiver for SAG team members?

Your team representative is responsible for getting the required paperwork necessary for SAG members to participate in this all volunteer competition.

Project Organizer

Film Consortium, 2801 B Street, #30, San Diego, CA, 92102