Deadline is Aug. 31 — enter PDN-PDQ Three-Minute Film Competition

Deadline is Aug. 31 — enter PDN-PDQ Three-Minute Film Competition

WHETHER YOU ARE a seasoned film veteran, an amateur or a filmmaking team who is just getting started, if you know how to create a 3-minute video, we invite you to enter the 2013 PDN-PDQ Film Competition.

Sponsored by the Port Townsend Film Institute and Peninsula Daily News, this contest is for “pretty darn quick” films of 3 minutes or less taken on your video camera or cellphone.

And you have until Aug. 31 to make your film, polish it and enter the contest.

A panel of film-loving judges will select three winners.

The winning films will be screened at the outdoor Taylor Street movie during the Sept. 20-22 Port Townsend Film Festival,

In addition, each of the three winners will receive a FourPass, an $85 value (this pass will get you into four films during the film festival); a one-year membership to the Port Townsend Film Institute; use of the film institute’s awesome film library; 20 percent off bread at Pane d’Amore in Port Townsend; and $1 off First Tuesday salon tickets at Port Townsend’s Rose Theatre.

Winners and their “pretty darn quick cinema also will be showcased on the Peninsula Daily News’ website,

How it works:

There is no entry fee. But you or someone on your team must be 18 or older.

Make a film on any subject you like, as long as it’s suitable for a family-newspaper audience and the family audience on Taylor Street during the film festival. Please, no nudity, sex, graphic violence or bad obscene language.

Your film can be a comedy, drama, documentary, experimental, poetry, animation — we encourage all filmmakers to participate, regardless of skill level and production value.

But it must be 3 minutes or less. Entries cannot exceed the 3-minute mark — and that includes credits, fades, music or other filmic bells and whistles.  No exceptions.

How to enter:

Upload your film to YouTube and then fill out the entry form at this link:

Don’t forget to include the YouTube link, your name, phone number, street and email addresses and movie title.

You can entry as many films as you like. This contest is for up-and-coming and established filmmakers alike.

Important to remember:

1. If you use music, make sure you have written permission from whoever owns the rights to it. Or, better yet, write your own music!

2. By submitting, entrants agree to all terms of exhibition and the official Peninsula Daily News Contest Rules, posted at

3. Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31.

Winners will be notified by email on or before Sept. 15.

Questions? Email Rex Wilson at Peninsula Daily News, (technical questions) or Janette Force, executive director of the Port Townsend Film Institute, (content questions). No phone calls, please.


1. Make every second count.

Taken on a cellphone or with a camera, it has to work from the very beginning, it has to work on one viewing (even if it is so good, people will want to watch it again) and it has to make maximum use of its three minutes — not a shorter film spun out, or a longer film cut short. 

2. Filmmakers just learning the craft can glean some good, quickie advice at, the home page of the Three Minute Film Fest in Santa Fe, N.M. Founded in 1998, it has a long track record in honoring the best in ultra-short cinema. 

Advice includes using a clip-on mic for on-screen interviews (“i.e. don’t have them hold a mic on camera”) and to “avoid using special effects unless you know what you’re doing.”

There are also links at to winning films from past years.

3. The Seattle Times and the Seattle International Film Festival sponsor the annual 3-Minute Masterpiece film contest.

This year’s 11 winners are posted at

UP TO THE CHALLENGE? Great! The clock is ticking!

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