Smile Politely

Pens to Lens announces its 5/3 annual competition!*

This is the 5th year of the Pen to Lens Screenwriting Competition, and the 3rd year of the Filmmaking Competition, and submissions will begin to be accepted on Wednesday, February 1st. 

For the Screenwriting Competition, students in grades K-12 in East Central Illinois are invited to draft original short screenplays in the hopes that the story will be chosen to be filmed by Champaign Movie Makers featuring local actors and scored by local musicians. Check out all the details, regulations, and fine print online. The final submission date will be Tuesday, February 28th.

For the Filmmaking Competition, high school students grade K-12 are welcome to submit their completed films by June 30th, 2017. The films must be written, directed, and crewed by students, but minimal adult assistance is permitted; again, check out the fine print online

Local filmmakers are willing to make classroom visits or join after-school functions, and there is a request form online. CUFS is also hosting a writing workshop on February 11th, from 11 a.m. – noon with limited seating, so get there early! Follow the link for more details. 

“Students” include those in public, private, or homeschool environments.

Date breakdown:

  • February 1st, 2017: submissions accepted
  • February 11th, 2017, 11 a.m.-noon: Writer’s workshop
  • February 28th, 2017: Screenwriting competition final submission date!
  • June 30th, 2017: Filmmaking competition final submission date!
  • August 2017: Red Carpet Gala Screening of all the films

[Revision: an earlier version of this notice incorrectly stated that the Filmmaking Competition was only open to students 9-12. At the request of the organization, the text has been emended to show that any student K-12 can submit a fully finished film to the Filmmaking Competition.]

*Growing up in the ridiculous place which is Ohio, there was a bank that had a nonsense name: 5/3 Bank (pronounced “Fifth-Third Bank”). Anyway you approach it, you’re bound to get a headache. All my childhood perplexity surrounding this issue is put to bed, however, because of this headline. You have no idea how cathartic that was. 

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