Montclair Film wants to hear from you

By ERIN ROLL and JONI DOS SANTOS
for the Montclair Local

Are you a college or high school student and want to learn how to write the script for your own film?

If so, Montclair Film would like to hear from you.

For 10 years, Montclair Film has been offering its Emerging Filmmakers competition to students in grade six and up. Now it’s adding an emerging screenwriters competition for young people.

“We knew there were so many talented screenwriters out there,” said Sue Hollenberg, director of education for Montclair Film. “We thought it would be a great way to celebrate them as well and give them the opportunity to compete as well.”

Students in grades eight through 12 are invited to submit their scripts to the competition by February 21.

Winners will receive feedback on their scripts from industry professionals. The Grand Prize winner’s script will be performed by actors doing a live reading.

“I’m very excited about it…I just think it’s a really great opportunity for them, and it’s something I wish I had when I was their age, so I think it’s okay. be meaningful to a lot of kids,” Moore said. , responsible for the education program for Montclair Film.

The idea was born as Montclair Film held its 10th annual competition for emerging filmmakers last year.

“It was really moving, and we realized how powerful these competitions were and how much they meant to the students who had put so much work into their submissions,” Hollenberg said.

Additionally, Montclair Film is beginning to return to live events after the coronavirus pandemic forced most events and workshops to go virtual. Hollenberg noted that at the start of the pandemic, Montclair Film received many offers from local experts to help run online classes and workshops for students.

She mentioned that the screenwriters competition takes place before the emerging filmmakers competition to allow students to produce and direct their films if they wish. The deadline for submission to the Emerging Filmmakers competition is April 27.

There are many contests for screenwriters, Hollenberg said, but she didn’t think there were many screenwriting contests specifically aimed at kids and teens. Montclair Film is well placed to run a competition and provide mentoring and educational opportunities, she said, because of all the programs it currently offers for children.

“We talk to these kids, we teach these kids, and we hear what they want and what they need,” Hollenberg said.

Many of the students who enter the contest may be doing so with the goal of eventually applying to film school. Considering how competitive admission to top film schools is, Hollenberg said, the screenwriting competition could give those students a boost.

“You know, we were also seeing kids applying to film schools, and we knew that was not only a great way to celebrate those kids, but it was also a great way to help them get their first laurels, to build their portfolio”, she says. “It really is a wonderful feather in their cap.”

For the competition, Montclair Film has recruited a panel of judges that includes several Montclair residents well known in the film and television industry, including Susan Skoog, Ryan Spindell and Tim Greenberg.

“To see kids who are just following their passion and telling their stories, and using their voice to tell their stories, is so rewarding,” Hollenberg said.

For more information on screenwriters and filmmakers competitions and how to apply, visit montclairfilm.org.