Miramax Films, Miramax Television, HBO and Good Will Hunting writers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are teaming up to launch a US contest in which a totally unknown writer will have his or her screenplay greenlit.

Starting in the summer, anyone in the US can submit a screenplay electronically to www.projectgreenlight.com. The winner will be paid by Miramax to direct the feature film; Damon, Affleck and Chris Moore (co-producer of Good Will Hunting) will executive produce the film; Miramax TV will produce a cinema verite-style series for HBO covering the experience and Miramax Films will release the film in theatres.

The contest can only be entered by submitting screenplays electronically according to instructions, soon be posted on the web-site, which will also serve as an interactive on-line community where aspiring film-makers can meet and discuss each other's projects.

The 13-episode, half hour HBO series is scheduled to air in Jan 2002. The first episode will introduce the finalists and the selection of the winning script and the series will subsequently chronicle the film-making process. The series was created by Alex Keledjian and developed for TV by Eli Holzman, vice president of Miramax TV, and Kent Kubena, vice president of Pearl Street Productions - the two executives who brought the project in.