Non-profit US production company Shine Global has launched a contest to promote and fund the development of documentary films.

From now until Mar 19 the company will solicit treatments and budgets from both established and first-time documentary film-makers whose films aim to end the exploitation and abuse of children by raising social awareness and effecting political change.

Shine Global was founded by the husband-and-wife team of Albie Hecht and Susan MacLaury and recently premiered its first feature, the Uganda-set documentary War/Dance, at Sundance. THINKFilm holds worldwide rights.

'Shine Global is committed to illuminating circumstances in which children struggle against potentially catastrophic circumstances with strength and resiliency,' MacLaury said. 'Our films focus on hope within horror.'

'Shine Global is continually looking for ways to expand both the creation of, and audience for, socially conscious films that can really cross over to a broader audience,' Hecht added.

'We are also mindful that there are scores of film-makers working on ideas that would resonate with us. This competition is just one of the many ways we are looking to find these films and filmmakers and support their development and production.'

The contest will be administered by Hecht, MacLaury and Andrew Herwitz, president of The Film Sales Company, who served as a co-producer on War/Dance.

At least one film-maker will be awarded a $20,000 stipend to fund an expanded treatment and the production of a five-10 minute trailer for a feature. Shine Global may then elect to fund and produce the feature film based on the submission.

The winner of the contest will be announced on May 2007. It is anticipated the competition will become an annual event. For more details visit