21st Annual

Playhouse West Film Festival

March 23, 2018 to March 25, 2018

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10638 Magnolia Bl.
Studio 3
Los Angeles CA 91602
Phone: 323-574-1920

CLOSED FOR THE SEASON • Information may be outdated. Add this event to your Watch List and set a Remind-Me if you want to be notified when the next Call For Entries is posted.

Narrative Feature Film
Any film over 60 minutes.
Narrative Short Film
Film length: 11 minutes to 30 minutes.
Narrative Short Short Film
Film Length: 0 to 10 minutes
Narrative Long Short Film
Film Length: 31 minutes to 60 minutes


The Playhouse West Film Festival is sponsored by the Playhouse West Film Foundation, a 501(c)3 Non-Profit organization dedicated to the inspiration, education and development of motion picture and theater artists of independent vision, and to the exhibition of their work.
By sponsoring programs such as the Playhouse West Film Festival, we can also educate the public about the art of filmmaking, and introduce them to the work of aspiring new film artists of the future.



The Playhouse West Film Festival was created primarily to exhibit the film work of present and alumni members of the Playhouse West Acting School, and to inspire and educate not only our membership but others to make better movies. The festival is well-know as one of the most positive, filmmaker-friendly festivals in the country. Each year we hear more and more from filmmakers that our festival has been their favorite. From our well organized, run-on-time format, to our unique Q&A's after each screening block, giving filmmakers a platform to discuss their films at length with our audience, we take great pride in making our festival a fantastic experience for filmmakers.


Playhouse West is a training ground for actors, writers and directors founded by Robert Carnegie and Jeff Goldblum in 1981. As an adjunct to our on-going acting classes, we produce plays in repertory, using exclusively our current students, which are directed and often written by Playhouse West staff members and students. Modeled upon the Group Theatre of the thirties, and owing much to its founders, Sanford Meisner, Stella Adler, Harold Clurman, and Elia Kazan, Playhouse West has been dedicated to keeping alive and promulgating a passion for realistic acting and the presentation of ensemble productions that address the current social moment.

This idea of an ensemble of actors who train and do plays together has grown to include films productions. In 1995, our long-time staff member, Jeff Goldblum, directed a film for Showtime, "Little Surprises", which starred an ensemble of Playhouse West actors along with such notables as Rod Steiger and Julie Harris. This short film went on to garner an Academy Award nomination for Best Motion Picture Short.

Progressively over the years, more and more film projects have been initiated, written, produced, directed and acted almost exclusively by our members. This eventually prompted, in 1997, the conception of the Annual Playhouse West Film Festival. Since its inception, the Playhouse West Film Festival has exclusively been dedicated to screening the best films that have either been written, produced, directed or acted in by one or more of our current or alumni members.

In 1999, Tony Savant became the director of the Festival and led the evolution of the event into it's current three day format, educating and inspiring hundreds of actors, directors, producers, filmmakers and film lovers each year.

Last year we screened a record 62 films (3 features & 59 shorts). Each year, many of our films are accepted and screened at numerous film festivals around the country.

Once again, as we have for the past eleven years, our Festival will be held at the beautiful El Portal Theatre, in North Hollywood, California. It has proved to be a wonderful venue, we are grateful for their wonderful hospitality and very happy to be returning for another year.


Over the years, many of the films which have debuted or screened our festival have gone on to gain notoriety and acclaim.

Playhouse West member Henry Barrial's film, "Some Body, which premiered at our 4th Annual Film Festival, broke ground by becoming the first ever digital feature chosen as a finalist at the Sundance Film Festival in 2001. In 2002, our Festival had the distinction of premiering the TNT original movie, "James Dean", starring long-time Playhouse West member James Franco, which went on to receive rave reviews and a Golden Globe Award for James? performance. In 2003, a film written, directed and starring PW member Scott Caan, "Dallas 362", garnered the Critic's Choice Award for Best Feature Film at the CineVegas International Film Festival. The film also played as an Official Selection at Toronto, London and Denver Film Festivals, and opened in theaters in April 2005. In 2004, Marty Sader's gripping feature, "Most High", took home awards at three major film festivals, winning Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director and Screenplay at Chicago's IndieFest, the "Golden Starfish Award" for Best Feature Film at The Hamptons International Film Festival, and most recently Best Picture at Atlanta Film Festival. Most recently, in 2016, Chris King's short film "Birthday" was accepted to over 120 festivals, including Cleveland, Tribeca and St. Louis, winning over 50 awards including Best Short Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actress and Actor.

In 2017 we expect to host other films which will make a mark in the independent film community.

Over 400 films which have debuted at our Film Festivals have gone on to win hundreds of awards at other festivals around the world, including Los Angeles, Chicago, The Hamptons, San Diego, Cleveland, New York Independent, Miami, Cinequest, Toronto, Montreal, Berlin, Las Vegas, Tribeca, Austin, San Francisco, St. Louis, London, San Jose, Atlanta, Venice, and many more.

In addition to screening films, past Film Festivals have featured different special guest speakers; professionals of great accomplishment in the film industry, including directors Sydney Pollack, John Landis, Garry Marshall, Mark Rydell, and Joe Carnahan, as well as actors James Caan, Jeff Goldblum, James Franco, Ashley Judd, Scott Caan and Giovanni Ribisi.

As a result of the Playhouse West Film Festival, dozen of production companies have been developed, and partnerships have been struck with other outside production companies and facilities. This has helped provide, and will continue to provide, opportunities for many filmmakers to act, write, direct and produce their own motion pictures for years to come.


Laura Fortino; Laura Fortino; Tony Savant; Tony Savant (Director); Tony Savant (director); Wolfgang Bodison; Wolfgang Bodison


General PWFF Entry Information

1. ALL FILMS screened at our festival MUST involve at least one Playhouse West member, current or alumni.

****PLEASE NOTE: ALL ENTRIES MUST INCLUDE A COVER LETTER stating the name, role or other involvement of any PLAYHOUSE WEST MEMBERS in the making of the film (actor/actress, director, producer, writer, editor, director of photography, music composer, etc).

2. Projects may originate from anywhere in the world. Any foreign language film must be subtitled in English.

3. We will pre-screen rough-cuts of films, but we only accept and screen completed films at the festival. If you are submitting a rough-cut, please include detailed and specific notes regarding what will actually be finished by the deadline for final screening copies. If the film is at an early stage of post-production your chances of being selected are much more narrow, as we need to know your film will be completed and the exact running time, including credits. Also, we may request to screen a more completed cut of your film before making a final choice to accept it.


**If it is not possible to submit via a WAB SECURE ONLINE SCREENER, please contact Festival Director Tony Savant at tonysavant@playhousewest.com or Wolfgang Bodison at wolfbodison@playhousewest.com.

Playhouse West Film Festival prefers online entries submitted via Withoutabox.com, which provides cost-saving, paperless submission to film festivals around the world. Withoutabox’s internet-only submission platform features online applications via one master entry form, online fee payments, press kits, and the option to use Secure Online Screeners, an economical, eco-friendly, and secure alternative to traditional hard-copy DVD submissions. Fill out one master entry form and take advantage of quick entry, extended deadlines, and powerful submission management tools. There’s no extra cost to you, and by submitting, you’ll join Withoutabox’s global filmmaker community and stay in the loop about international exhibition opportunities.

5. The PWFF Director, Jury or Committee members will not respond to questions regarding why an entry was selected or not.


1. Notification of acceptance/non-acceptance will be via email.

2. If your film has been chosen to be screened, a member of our Festival team will contact you for any further requirements and information.

3. We welcome all filmmakers to be present at the Festival to represent their film and invite them to participate in a question and answer session following the screening. However, not being available to be present at the screening will not be a factor in whether your film will be chosen, nor will it affect its eligibility to be recognized for an achievement award.

4. Each selected film receives one (1) Filmmaker Pass good for entry to the screening of their film, reserved for the Director. If the director chooses not to use the pass, it may be given to the Producer.

This pass can be used to attend the screening of their film/film block only. *This is not a Full Festival Pass.

If the director or producer cannot attend, the pass may be used by the writer.

*(Due to financial and budgetary reasons the PWFF no longer provides complimentary festival passes for filmmakers to attend all the events of the festival. We do welcome all filmmakers to attend as many events as possible, or to buy a full festival pass.)

All directors, producers and cast will be admitted to the Sunday night PWFF Awards Ceremony.

5. All other members of the production team, cast, crew, family or friends who wish to attend the Film Festival must purchase either a Festival Pass or tickets for any individual screenings, events or seminars.

6. SCREENING COPY POLICY: The SCREENING FORMAT at the Festival this year will be a HIGH RESOLUTION DIGITAL FILE (ProRes Quicktime .MOV or possibly a DCP). [Absolutely NO MP4s or other digital files accepted.]

If an accepted film submit and accepted screening format (HIGH RESOLUTION .MOV file) by the screening copy deadline, then the film will be replaced by an alternate. If your film is selected a representative of PWFF will forward details for sending your film via digital file or hard drive.


As the authorized owner of rights for the submitted film, I accept the conditions described on this entry form. If this film is selected for the Playhouse West Film Festival, I grant the Playhouse West Film Foundation, sponsor of the Playhouse West Film Festival (PWFF), rights to publicly exhibit this film during the Film Festival, occurring tentatively on MARCH 24, 25 & 26, 2017, at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood, California. I also grant the Playhouse West Film Foundation and the PWFF rights to use my above-mentioned film and any video, images or photographs thereof in any publicity materials, including posters, flyers, advertisements and programs. I will not hold Playhouse West Film Foundation or PWFF 2017 liable for any loss or damage which occurs to the screening copy of the film I deliver to them for use during the Festival.