FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Do I have to be Asian to submit?
A: No. All races and ethnicities may submit. The only Asian requirement is that the Director and Lead Character must be of Asian heritage.
Q. How many winners are there?
A: Only one, the first place script will be deemed the winner. The top 3 finalists will have their scripts read in front of a live audience by local actors.
Q. Why must the film be set in the DC region?
A: For budget and logistic reasons, we only have the resources to produce the film in the greater DC area.
Q. Can I just take the cash and film it myself?
A: No. This is a special program designed to foster more APA talents onto the big screen. The majority of screenplay contests already offer cash prizes to the winners with few restrictions.
Q. When will filming take place?
A: Sometime during the summer of 2017. It all depends on the scope of the script, accessibility to locations, actors, etc…
Q. How is the winning script chosen?
A: We are looking for stories with strong Asian American leads, set within 25mile radius of DC that stays within the $4,000 budget. Try to keep it to a small cast (1-2 main characters and a few supporting characters). Story is king. We’ll rank by best story first and then narrow down by most film-able under a $4K budget.
Q. Are you looking for stories with cultural Asian themes?
A: In keeping with the mission of DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival, we are seeking stories with a lead character who is Asian American. This does not mean the story has to be centered around the fact that the lead is an Asian. Too often in Hollywood, Asians are cast upon to fulfill an age old stereotype, we prefer stories that break those stereotypes.
Q. Is it okay if I wrote a race neutral script and just changed the lead to an Asian American?
A: Yes, this fits the bill. As long as the lead character is Asian American, the script qualifies.
Q. In addition to the $4K budget, what else will be available to produce the film?
A: Gear is provided by Dimension FX, which includes a Red Epic Dragon package, Full set of Schneider Xenon T2.1 cine primes, Ronin handheld stabilizer, DJI Phantom 3 drone, and a package of cinema lights and grip to film a short. DC APA Film will supply the base crew.
Q. After the film is complete, who will own the film,? Can I shop it around?
A: DC APA film and Dimension FX will own the rights to the film. You will be credited as writer and/or director and will be given a copy to use for your reel.
Q. Do I have to be present to win and/or do I need to be on location during the shoot?
A: Yes, new for 2017, the screenwriter will also direct his/her film. DC APA Film will be providing guidance and required pre-production element for the writer/director before moving onto production.
Q: If I live outside the Washington, DC region, can I still participate?
A: Yes, but only if you can arrange to be in the DC area during the days of the filming. You must provide your own travel arrangements.
Q. Is the winning script subject to changes and edits?
A: It depends on the script. During the script breakdown process we may need to modify a few things to accommodate the budget/locations available, or the director may adjust something to better translate on screen. Any changes will be made in conjunction with the writer to ensure the intent of the story remains true to the writer’s vision.
Q. I’ve never made a film before and not sure what a $4K budget entails?
A: Typically something at this budget are stories rooted in characters, plots, and ideas. No period pieces with fancy costumes and exotic locations, set dressing and visual effects. This does not mean the script needs to be dialogue heavy. Don’t forget that film is a visual medium. The more that can be told visually the better. Think 2-3 locations, 1 main character, 1 main idea/concept.