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***FALL ’13 CONTEST***

Since 2008, we at Hammer to Nail have committed ourselves to spreading love for all the great and often underseen films made on a dime and fueled by a love for cinema. Until this year we have focused on films on the festival circuit, in theaters, and available on home video and VOD. Now we are taking the next step with our Short Film Contest, which aims to seek out the best short work—of all genres and styles, made by filmmakers from all over the world—and help to get that work seen and discussed by our dedicated audience of online cinephiles.

Winners will receive a full review by one of our critics on and the opportunity to share their film with our readers online, plus the potential to screen their film in our Hammer to Nail screening series in Brooklyn, NY. Winners and runners-up will also receive submission waivers to several major U.S. film festivals, worth up to $200. Your submission to these festivals will come stamped with a Hammer to Nail seal of approval (*please note, you will still be responsible for submitting your film through the proper channels according to the terms of each festival*). We will also continue to support and promote your film throughout its life on the festival circuit.

Perhaps most importantly, all finalists will have their film judged by a rotating panel of industry insiders like Ted Hope (Double Hope Films), Jeff Deutchman (IFC Entertainment), Chris Horton (Sundance Institute) and Richard Lorber (Kino Lorber Inc.); filmmakers like David Gordon Green, Lena Dunham, Craig Zobel, Alex Ross Perry and the Safdie brothers; and film critics from our experienced group of contributing writers as well as previous contest winners.

If you have a completed short film (19-minutes-and-59-seconds or less!) that you want the world to see, submit it by midnight on October 1st to be considered for our current competition. The fee for entry is $30. The participating fests in our Fall ’13 contest include: Slamdance Film Festival, Sarasota Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Maryland Film Festival, RiverRun International Film Festival, IFFBoston, Nashville Film Festival, and New Media Film Festival.

Fall ’13 Judges

Matt Porterfield (b. 1977) has written and directed three feature films, Hamilton (2006), Putty Hill (2011) and I Used To Be Darker (2013), all produced and filmed in Baltimore. He studied at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and teaches screenwriting, theory and production at Johns Hopkins University and Maryland Institute College of Art. In 2012, Matt was a featured artist in the Whitney Biennial, a Creative Capital grantee, and the recipient of a Wexner Center Artists Residency. His work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art and the Harvard Film Archive and has screened at Anthology Film Archives, BAM, Centre Pompidou, Walker Art Center, Cinémathèque Française, Northwest Film Forum and film festivals such as Sundance, the Berlinale, and SXSW. Currently, he has two new projects in development, Metal Gods (IFP No Borders, 2012) and Sollers Point (IFFR’s Cinemart, 2013; Berlin Co-production Market, 2013). I Used To Be Darker opens in NYC at the IFC Center on October 4th via Strand Releasing.

Nellie Killian, Programmer at BAMcinématek, the Brooklyn Academy of Music‘s film program, has curated many series and retrospectives, as well as the shorts programs for this year’s edition of BAMcinemaFest, a showcase for emerging voices in American independent cinema. She is the founding director of Migrating Forms, an annual film and video festival cited by Film Comment for having the “the highest revelation-per-event ratios of any festival in New York.” She was the director of Migrating Forms’ predecessor The New York Underground Film Festival from 2007-8. Before joining BAM, Nellie was the archivist for the estate of famed British filmmaker Michael Powell. She also spent two years working on art funding and policy for New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs, focusing specifically on the City’s support of Film, Video and New Media organizations and the development of a film curriculum for the Board of Education.

Grainger David‘s NYU Grad Film thesis The Chair was the only American short film nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. He is currently at work on a feature script with support from the San Francisco Film Society, and in post-production on a new short starring Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men). ***The Chair was the winner of the Spring ’13 HTN Short Film Contest***

So what are you waiting for? Submit your short film now!

Have a question about the contest? Email us!


Summer 2013Winner: Social Butterfly (Lauren Wolkstein); Runner-up: FLO (Riley Hooper); Judges: James Ponsoldt, Kate Brokaw, Zach Wigon, Mauro Mueller

Spring 2013Winner: The Chair (Grainger David); Runner-up: Gold Party (Nellie Kluz); Judges: David Lowery, Dustin Smith, Adam Keleman

December 2012Winners: Someone Else’s Heart (Zachary Wigon) and A World For Raúl (Mauro Mueller); Judges: Ira Sachs, Matt Grady, Penny Lane

August 2012Winner: Long Days (Adam Keleman); Runner-up: Green Plastic Sandals (Stephani Wu & Andres Rosende); Judges: Ry Russo-Young, Brent Hoff, Gus Péwé

July 2012 — Winner: The Voyagers (Penny Lane); Runner-up: Arkadya (Alexander Kaluzhsky); Judges: Benh Zeitlin, Mike Plante, Levi Abrino

June 2012 — Winner: This Vacuum is Too Loud (Gus Péwé); Runner-up: Doris & the Intern (Laura Terruso). Judges: Josh and Benny Safdie, Richard Lorber, Jonas Carpignano

May 2012 — Winner: Little Horses (Levi Abrino); Runner-up: Priceless Things (Sarah-Violet Bliss). Judges: Alex Ross Perry, Chris Horton, Christina Choe

April 2012 — Winner: A Chjàna (Jonas Carpignano); Runners-up: Brute Force (Ben Steinbauer), Terrebonne (Jeremy Craig). Judges: Lena Dunham, Jeff Deutchman, Kelly Sears

March 2012 — Winner: I Am John Wayne (Christina Choe); Runner-up: Figure Father (Andrew Ellis). Judges: Craig Zobel, Alison Willmore, Mike S. Ryan

February 2012 — Winner: Once It Started It Could Not End Otherwise (Kelly Sears); Runner-up: Cork’s Cattlebaron (Eric Steele). Judges: David Gordon Green, Aaron Hillis, Michael Tully

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Michael Tully was born and raised in Maryland and now lives on Tennis Court in Brooklyn. His most recent narrative feature, Septien, world-premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was picked up for distribution by Sundance Selects. In addition to directing Cocaine Angel (2006) and Silver Jew (2007), he is also a proud alumni of Filmmaker Magazine's annual "25 New Faces of Independent Film" club (2006). Visit his indieWIRE blog Boredom at its Boredest——for more sporadic personal updates.

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