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FrightFest, Movie Mogul, Horror Channel launch short film competition

666 Short Cuts to Hell will see one filmmaker win £6,666 and the opportunity to develop a horror short or feature idea under mentorship from Movie Mogul.

FrightFest and Movie Mogul, in association with Horror Channel, have launched a short horror film competition.

666 Short Cuts to Hell offers the chance for one filmmaker to receive a £6,666 prize ($10,000), donated by Horror Channel, and the opportunity to develop a horror short or feature idea under mentorship from British production company Movie Mogul.

To enter the competition, filmmakers must choose one of six different titles - Sweet 6Teen, 6 Shooter, 6th Sense, 6 Seconds to Die, 6 Degrees of (Limb) Separation or 6 Feet Under - and follow a series of restrictions, such as the shorts having to last a maximum of three minutes and feature a maximum of six lines of dialogue. Among the other restrictions, the shorts must also stick to a maximum budget of £666.

Movie Mogul MD John Shackleton told Screen that he believes the restrictions will help focus the projects. “In my experience, I find the more restrictions, the more it focuses your creativity and you become more resourceful in your solutions,” explained Shackleton.

He continued: “I think horror is a really good genre to get started on just because you can be creative: you don’t need a lot of money and you don’t need big stars, you just need some good ideas that are entertaining. For me, what’s going to be interesting is seeing filmmakers who haven’t even considered horror in the past, applying themselves to these restrictions and seeing what comes out. It will force people to look at the genre more closely.”

Shackleton also believes the competition, open to everyone from first-time filmmakers to established directors, will be a “leveller” as a result of the restrictions and that the competition will prove beneficial to everyone.

“To get a first film under your belt whatever its success, whether it gets into the top six or not, will have a positive impact,” noted Shackleton. “For us, we would love to find someone whose talent genuinely shines so that we can provide an opportunity for them and hopefully we can go on to make a film together.”

Chris Sharp, CEO for CBS Chello Zone Channels, commented: “Horror Channel has a rich history in supporting new film making talent through Directors’ Nights, new talent seasons, its FrightFest Short Film Showcases and Horror Club. We’re looking for the next talent which we will support with on air exposure and undoubtedly feedback from our loyal viewers.

“We know there are many keen filmmakers among our audience - this is their chance to get their work in the spotlight and get noticed by the UK film industry.”

Paul McEvoy, co-director of FrightFest, added: “We want filmmakers of all kinds to take up the gauntlet and entertain horror audiences with some bold, fun and original ideas. An army of inspired filmmakers all equipped with the same limitations of genre, budget and duration, should really make for a very exciting competition.”

The best six films, selected by the jury including Horror Channel presenter Emily Booth, McEvoy, Shackleton and director Paul Hyett, will be broadcast on the Horror Channel in the run up to Film4 FrightFest 2013, where they will be screened in their own segment of the festival with the overall winner to be announced following the screening.

Entrants must submit their completed film by 6pm on June 6.

For more information, visit www.shortcutstohell.com.

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