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Make Your Mark Competition - About
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Congratulations To The Winners!
  • 1st Prize: End Of The Line. Produced by Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote
  • 2nd Prize: Loose Ends. Produced by Carlos M. Jimenez and Auriel Jimenez
  • 3rd Prize: Edge Of Internment. Produced by Tricia Lee and Ally Iseman
View all of the winners and finalists' videos below:



2018 Production Period Assignment Brief


To avoid disqualification, it is recommended that you closely review the Official Rules & Regulations for Make Your Mark – A Short Film Competition Presented by the Producers Guild of America. Please ensure that you adhere to all guidelines and specific requirements detailed (in particular, Section 7) prior to submitting your film and forms.

MAKE YOUR MARK, a Short Film Competition Presented by the Producers Guild of America is 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.

The PGA is pleased to honor producer Sydney Pollack in this year’s competition.

“If you have a career like mine, which is so identified with Hollywood, with big studios and stars, you wonder if maybe you shouldn't go off and do what the world thinks of as more personal films with lesser-known people. But I think I've fooled everybody. I've made personal films all along. I just made them in another form.” – Sydney Pollack

Drawing on some of the signature elements of Pollack’s filmography, this phase of MAKE YOUR MARK will prompt you to “fool everybody” in characteristic fashion, working within the strictures of the contest to arrive at your own personal exploration of the subtleties of human nature and identity. Your short film must incorporate the following specifics:

Setting (choose one)

  • Law Firm
  • Train Station
  • Any Post-War Era


Elements/Props (choose three of five; one element must play a

significant role within the story)

  • front page of a newspaper
  • wig
  • eyeglasses (i.e., not sunglasses)
  • body prosthetic
  • mirror


Theme (choose one)

1)   Human Nature in Public – Political/Corporate Thriller: In Pollack’s films, characters are often tested and revealed through encounters with shadowy or sinister forces that undermine public institutions from within. Characters such as Joseph Turner (Three Days of the Condor), Mitch McDeere (The Firm) and the eponymous Michael Clayton all arrive at a more profound understanding of human nature—both their own and the other characters’—through their discovery of and engagement with corrupt or criminal elements, often unsettlingly proximate to their own lives.

2)   Human Nature in Private – Personal History, Re-Told or Invented Characters in Pollack’s films often are actively engaged in creating their own histories, either by re-telling their own stories in retrospect (as in Out of Africa or The Reader), or obscuring their true selves behind a façade (as in Tootsie or The Talented Mr. Ripley).  In both cases, a picture of human nature emerges as a work-in-progress informed by the interplay of the past vs. the present, or the authentic self vs. the simulated self.

Good luck!

IMPORTANT NOTE: How do I attach a screener to my festival submission?

You can follow the steps below to include the video to your submission:

  1. Upload your screener to Withouabox
  2. Once the video has processed (up to 2 hours), select Submissions from the left-side navigation
  3. Select “Make Your Mark”
  4. Select the "View Confirmation Page" link below the submission
  5. Select the version you want to send and click “Save”



Are You Ready To


By producing a 3-5 minute short filmover the course of 


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 at the beginning of the competition, Friday, August 24, 2018. Elements will be drawn from the work of our Honoree Producer.

This year’s 2018 Competition honors the legacy of Producer/Director SYDNEY POLLACK.

Sydney Pollack worked in, and excelled, in just about every area of the Stage, Film and TV Industries; first as an actor, and then as an acting instructor working with Sanford Meisner in New York. 

Mr. Pollack transitioned into directing for TV, where he earned Emmy Award Nominations and the DGA statue for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Drama.  

From TV, Sydney moved into feature films where he directed and/or produced Academy Award winning films Out of Africa, Tootsie, The Reader,  Michael Clayton and Cold Mountain; just to name but a very few of his iconic films.

Sydney Pollack’s list of films and his legacy are substantial, working with some of the greatest actors to bring stories to life, telling stories that entertained and enlightened audiences through a range of dramatic and comedic genres.

Check out the Rules, the FAQ, the Prizes, the Judges and our Mission pages to learn more.

Finally, the top 10 Finalists will be honored and their short films screened at the Awards Show held on Saturday, November 10, 2018 in association with New Filmmakers LA.



1) Click the WAB button below (or go here) and create a Withoutabox Project titled “Make Your Mark” with your team’s information (cast, crew, etc. if available)

2) "Submit" (i.e. Register) your project via Withoutabox and pay the entry fee by August 22.

3) Complete the following forms located at

a) Certification Statement
b) Release Agreement
c) Entry Agreement
d) If using SAG Actors, please also complete the SAG forms available on the page.

4) On Friday August 24, 2018 all Entrants will receive the same assignment and be given exactly 51 hours to make and submit a film/video. The assignment will be emailed and posted on the web site commencing at 5:00PM EDT/2:00PM PDT on Friday August 24, 2018.


6) Your completed film must be uploaded as a screener to Withoutabox by 8:00PM EDT/5:00PM PDT on August 26, 2018.

7) Email completed forms, as PDF document, directly to Please include all forms on the same e-mail and include your team's name in the subject line.

8) Winners will be posted online at after the awards show on November 10, 2018.



2017 Promo Reel: