2022 Winter Film Challenge Genres, Prizes, & Judges

COMPETITION: Feb. 3-6
PREMIERE: NOW Feb. 10!

REGISTRATION
Registration for Challenge participation is now FULL – add your name to the waitlist.
Regular: Nov. 15 – Jan. 20
Late: Jan. 21 – Feb. 3

2022 CHALLENGE WEEKEND
Thurs., 2/3 @ 8PM: Kickoff
Feb. 3-6: make great films
Sun., 2/6 @ 8PM: Drop Off

OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS
2022 Official Rules
2022 Participant Release
2022 Location Release

2022 MFA WINTER FILM CHALLENGE GENRES

Ten genres have been selected for the 2022 MFA Winter Film Challenge. With 20 teams participating in the competition, each genre listed below will be represented in two films in the 2022 program. Teams will draw genres in the order in which they registered for the Challenge.

Creature Feature or Horror
Action or Thriller
Road Trip
Science Fiction or Fantasy
Mystery or Detective Story
Film Noir
Mockumentary or Biopic
Musical or Western
Melodrama
Rom-Com/Romance

2022 CHALLENGE PRIZES & JUDGING CRITERIA

“BEST FILM”
a.k.a. “The Eddy,” presented by Damnationland ∙ $1,000 Grand Prize
This award is presented to the film that tells the most entertaining story, showcases the filmmaker’s creativity, and demonstrates technical skill in the movie making process. The judges will base their decision on a 3-part criteria: Creativity (50%), Technical (30%) and Challenge Requirements (20%).

CREATIVITY – First and foremost, this competition is judging filmmakers’ creativity and originality:
– Did the filmmakers showcase imagination in their storytelling and interpretation of their selected genre
– Did they use available resources in interesting and unexpected ways?
– Is the plot, structure, characters engaging and holds your attention?

TECHNICAL – Secondary consideration will be given based on how well the final film looked and sounded:
– Visuals – the images are in-focus, well-lit and visually interesting
– Sound quality – sound levels are consistent throughout the film (ex. the dialogue is clear, music and sound effects are well mixed, etc.)
– Edit – the final edit has good pacing, smooth transitions and follows continuity

CHALLENGE REQUIREMENTS – Final consideration will be given to how well the film followed the rules and aligned with the spirit of the challenge:
– Genre – the filmmakers used appropriate form, style and subject matter to tell a story in the genre they are assigned
– Prop – the prop played an interesting and significant role without distracting from the scene or story
– Line of Dialogue – the line of dialogue is used in a unique and unexpected way that did not distract from the scene or story

“FAN FAVORITE”
presented by p3 ∙ $500 High Output Gift Certificate
At the Official Screener, the MFA will pass out voting ballots to all in attendance (a digital copy will be made available for those watching virtually) and people will vote for their favorite film. Filmmakers are allowed to choose the film they worked on but are not allowed to submit more than one ballot. At the end of the screener, a representative from the MFA will collect the ballots and tally up the winner.
 

“BEST DIRECTION”
presented by Blaze Partners ∙ $100 Prize
This award is presented to the film that delivers the most distinctive and consistent style and tone. The filmmaker(s) achieve this by creatively using all the elements of the movie making process, including on-screen talent, to support their vision and tell a cohesive, clear, and engaging story.
 

“BEST WRITING”
$100 Prize
This award is presented to the film with the most engaging and well-written script. The writer(s) create characters that are multidimensional, their interpretation of the genre is original and breaks conventions, finally the story has a clear structure, and the plot keeps the audience entertained.
 

“BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY”
$100 Prize
This award is presented to the film that displayed the most impressive and interesting visuals. The cinematography must be in the style of the required genre. The shots are in focus, well-lit and the filmmaker used camera angles and shot sizes in deliberate ways to add meaning to the story.
Best cinematography does not necessarily mean best camera. This award is celebrating how the film is shot NOT what the film is shot on.
 

“BEST ACTING”
$100 Prize
This award is presented to the film that showcases believable and entertaining performances from the actors. The judges can make their selection based on a single actor’s performance or the performance of an ensemble.
 

“BEST EDITING”
$100 Prize
This award is presented to the film that has the smoothest and most technically proficient edit. The final film has good pacing, follows appropriate continuity (such as eye-line), and uses transitions and cuts that are not distracting or confusing. The editor uses creative techniques to enhance the style of the genre and director’s vision.
Extra consideration will be given to films that have excellent color grading and sound design.
 

“BEST MUSIC”
$100 Prize
This award is presented to the film that best uses music to complement the story and tone. The music never distracts the audience, but instead it enhances the themes, visuals, and genre of the film.
Extra consideration will be given to films with original music.
 

“BEST USE OF PROP”
$100 Prize
This award is presented to the film that uses the required prop in a clever and/or unique way. The appearance of the prop can be unexpected or unique but does not feel random or out of place in the film. In fact, it fits seamlessly into the overall story.
 

“BEST USE OF LINE OF DIALOGUE”
$100 Prize
This award is presented to the film that uses the required line of dialogue in the most unique and interesting context. The line exists as part of a larger conversation, drives the narrative and is not a throwaway.

THANK YOU TO OUR 2022 JUDGES!

Louise Rosen Louise is a media executive with over 25 years of experience in the international television and film business, project development, production and distribution. She has worked with a wide range of program genres and formats and set up major international co-productions. Louise was based in Europe for almost ten years and has particular interest in the cross-cultural aspects of all forms of media. She has been honored to have among her projects Oscar, Emmy, FIPRESCI, Sundance, Prix Italia,Teddy, International Emmy and other award-winning films. She is currently the chair of the MFA Advocacy Committee.

Alecia Jean Orsini Lebeda Alecia is a prominent voice in the region’s film community as President Emeritus of Women in Film and Video of New England. She is an award winning Producer, Director and multi-media professional with 15+ years experience working in the film industry. She has worked for GBH fundraising and marketing for local NPR stations, owned her own video production agency as well as advised productions as a consultant. 

Dennis Perkins Dennis is a freelance entertainment writer whose work regularly appears in The A.V. Club and The Portland Press Herald, where his column, “Indie Film” covers the Maine movie scene. He lives in Auburn with his wife, the writer Emily L. Stephens.

 

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS FOR THEIR GENEROUS SUPPORT!