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The Debra Hill Fellowship Presents Weekend Shorts Contest 2012

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Update 3/15/13:  If you missed the announcements back in November you can check out all of the 2012 winners and finalists HERE

You can also read about the contest and awards ceremony in the Awards Edition of the Produced By Magazine, HERE
The Production Period of the Producers Guild Weekend Shorts Contest Has Begun!

The production period of The 2nd Annual Producers Guild Weekend Shorts Contest has begun!

A significant proportion (30%) of your film’s evaluation will be based on your entry’s EXECUTION OF ASSIGNMENT - a requirement that your film include certain story and thematic elements. The degree to which your film organically incorporates the elements of the assignment will dictate judges’ scoring of your film in this area.

Each iteration of the PRODUCERS GUILD WEEKEND SHORTS CONTEST will be characterized by a specific ASSIGNMENT, requiring films to include certain story and thematic elements. The degree to which each film organically incorporates the elements of the assignment will dictate judges’ evaluation of the films’ EXECUTION OF ASSIGNMENT

For the 2012 WEEKEND SHORTS CONTEST, the contest draws on key aspects of Debra Hill’s modern classic, THE FISHER KING. If you haven’t watched THE FISHER KING recently, you may wish to take a moment to refresh your memory of this wonderful film.

The elements of this year’s assignment are as follows:

Setting: A CITY or TOWN

THE FISHER KING memorably utilizes several New York City landmarks and locations. For the purposes of this year’s contest, any setting in a city or town will serve.

Story Elements: a GRAIL; a HAT; a DOLL

Each of these objects plays a key role in THE FISHER KING. Entries in the contest must include all three of these items in some fashion. Furthermore, at least one of the items must have a central or important function in the story.


Entries in the PRODUCERS GUILD WEEKEND SHORTS CONTEST must include one of these thematic elements.

These themes are among the fundamental archetypes of storytelling; each has potentially limitless applications and manifestations. Indeed, one of the defining qualities of THE FISHER KING is its explicit transposition of such archetypal themes into a highly specific and contemporary setting. In the event that a PRODUCERS GUILD WEEKEND SHORTS CONTEST participant requires further direction on how these themes might be interpreted, we can only suggest: Consider the movie. If you haven’t seen it recently, some quick internet research will help you out; Debra and her collaborators have already given you all of the examples and inspiration you might need.

Good luck with your productions. We can’t wait to see your films.

Please contact with any technical difficulties you encounter on their site.

The Producers Guild has got a challenge for you. Make a film – write, shoot and edit it – in two days. The 2nd Annual Weekend Shorts Contest takes place September 28-30, 2012.

We know that there are some great undiscovered producers out there. This is the chance for them to show us what they're made of. How fast can you mobilize your team? Craft your story? Find your locations? Hunt down your costumes? Call in your favors? Cut the pieces together?

We're not looking for Lawrence of Arabia, here. Your running time should be three to five minutes. For a great producer, that's plenty of time in which to tell a mesmerizing story.

Of course, just to keep you honest, we have some specifics that your story must include. (We can't have you go shooting the whole thing in advance, after all.) When the contest opens, we'll post the specific elements that your film will have to utilize. Because THE PRODUCERS GUILD WEEKEND SHORTS CONTEST has been established to honor the legacy of Debra Hill and support the Producers Guild's Debra Hill Fellowship, the specific details will be drawn from Debra's films. These elements will be announced at the start of the filmmaking period: the evening of Friday, September 28. But that's all we can tell you for now.

The films entered in THE PRODUCERS GUILD WEEKEND SHORTS CONTEST will be evaluated by a remarkable group of judges, including Bruce Cohen, Gale Anne Hurd, Paul Reubens, Stacey Sher, and Cathleen Summers. Each of the judges had the opportunity to work closely with Debra Hill, and we deeply appreciate their honoring her legacy by providing their time and expertise.

There are some terrific prizes, of course. THE PRODUCERS GUILD WEEKEND SHORTS CONTEST is being held through

Got questions? Please see the FAQ page. If, and only if, you do not find your answer there, email us at

Congratulations, you now know what you're going to be doing over the weekend of September 28-30. Start getting your team together now; and we look forward to seeing your film!

NOTE: Certification statement, release agreement, and entry agreement documents are available for download at the bottom of the Rules page.

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