International Documentary Challenge

The Goal: Write, shoot and edit a short non-fiction film in just 5 days. With teamwork and complete focus you can make a cohesive and entertaining movie in an exceptionally short time frame.

The following rules apply to each participating group/production team. Be sure to read them carefully as they have changed since last year!

1. Times: The International Documentary Challenge will occur between Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 8 a.m. and Monday, March 10th, 2008. (Local time)

2. The participating group must complete its film/video work in time to ship via FedEx or Express Mail, with the mailing date documented, on Monday, March 10, 2008. Shipping Documents or labels must be store generated. No home/office created shipping documents or labels will be accepted. Only works that meet the deadline will be eligible for awards. Films postmarked after March 10, 2008 are not eligible.

3. IDC entrants are accepted on a first come, first served basis. The IDC organizers reserve the right to limit the total number of teams.

4. During the official competition period, all creativity will take place, including but not limited to:

Researching the subject matter
Writing the script (if applicable)
Graphics & Visual Effects
Sound Design & Music

5. The only work to begin prior to the official competition period is:

Organizing Crew
Securing Equipment
Acquiring rights to music

6. At least 50% of the footage must be shot within the time period of the project-March 6, 2008 at 8 a.m. local time and ending March 10, 2008 (local time). Stock footage and photographs are permitted but cannot account for more than half of the footage used.

7. To ensure the films were made within the required time frame, each team must prove the date the film was made by adding a time element to the film or credits. Feel free to be creative, but make sure that it is obvious to the judges. If the judges have a hard time determining the time element, the film will be disqualified. An example of an accepted time element: The main subject is holding a newspaper and the date is large enough to read. This can be done in the credits of the film so as to not affect the flow of the film.

8. Each participating group must provide the International Documentary Challenge organizers with two e-mail addresses. Each team will receive a username and password to log onto our secure site to receive their genres and theme on Thursday, March 6, at 8 a.m. local time. To qualify as an official “International Documentary Challenge Film,” each group’s film must be in one of the genres it receives and must contain a reference to the theme and the required time element.

9. All cast and crew must be volunteers.

10. The finished film must be a minimum of four (4) minutes in duration, and a maximum of seven (7) minutes in duration.

11. Any type of video or film camera may be used, however, a maximum of only two cameras may be used.

12. The finished film/video must be submitted on VHS (PAL or NTSC), any type of DVD, or any type of standard definition miniDV tape. We also now accept self-contained Quicktime files on a data DVD. Be sure to doublecheck your file to be sure that it includes the actual media. HD is not an accepted format yet.

13. Tape preparation: Finished film should have a minimum of 5 seconds of bars and tone and 5 seconds of black, then the following slate-Team Name, City & Country, Genre, Film Title-before the film begins.

14. If shot in a 16:9 ratio and/or anomorphic, your film must be letter-boxed.

15. Each team must secure talent releases and location releases, which must be mailed to the project organizers with the finished film/video. The film/video will not be eligible for awards until the IDC organizers receive the signed releases.

16. Content of the movie/film/video is at the discretion of the participating groups. The organizers reserve the right to disqualify any film that contains images of graphic sex. There is no prohibition on nudity or foul language, however, either could limit distribution outlets.

17. Music: Participating group must have the rights to any music used in its film. Groups are encouraged to work with local composer and/or musicians to write and record music for the films. It is permissible for a participating group to use pre-recorded music (e.g., royalty-free music, a friend’s band’s music) but the group must have a signed release.

18. Credits at the end of each film are limited to a maximum of 60 seconds. This is in addition to the 7-minute maximum time limit. (For example, you may have an 7-minute film plus 1 minute of credits for a total running time of 8:00:00.) Films longer than 8:00:00 are not eligible.

19. Films must include the following credit: “This film made as part of the International Documentary Challenge 2008.”

20. To be certified as a “International Documentary Challenge Film,” each participating group’s film/video production must follow all rules herein. The IDC Organizers reserve the right to judge only certified “International Documentary Challenge Films.”

21. All certified “International Documentary Challenge Films” are eligible for judging. A panel of independent judges will select twelve IDC Finalists from which one Grand Prize winner will be selected. All 12 finalists will screen at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival in April of 2008.

22. Team will submit the following documents with its completed film/video: Signed Participants Agreement, Statement Certifying Compliance, Team Roster, Wrap-Up Questionnaire, and Talent/Location/Music Releases.

23. The International Documentary Challenge Organizers reserve the right to amend these rules up until the beginning of the Challenge.