HATCHfest ’06 Is Open for Business

HATCHfest, which happens in Bozeman, Montana October 3 through 8, has sent out a call to 250 colleges and universities worldwide for entries to their 2006 event. They are seeking competitors in feature films, shorts and student films as well as for fashion and for the Gibson Guitar New Musician Award.

The executive director of HATCHfest, Brian Skuletich, is anticipating a thousand student submissions plus another hundred each for the short films and feature films. Deadline to respond is June 30.

This will be the third HATCHfest, which has grown every year and has been extended to six days for the first time. There are also competitions in writing, scoring and design. The most important and unusual aspect of the festival is its mentoring program, in which seasoned professionals in the various arts attend the fest as jurors or panelists and guide selected students, often for an extended period.

Ten films will be accepted in each category. The student films will be culled from 76 U.S. schools and 174 international schools. There is, however, a wild card. The tenth film can be the work of a non-film student or high school student, if it is at least as good as the other selected entries.

Various awards will be handed out to the winning students — the Moonlight Basin Outstanding Filmmaker Award offers a cash prize, a Panavision camera package, post production work at The Syndicate and a scholarship to Screenwriters’ Boot Camp. Awards will also be handed out for cinematography, editing and screenwriting.

The feature film competition is open to professional filmmakers and amateurs as well as students.

Previous finalists at HATCHfest have started successful careers. Jeff Stephenson’s film “Chasing Daylight” has garnered 18 awards and nominations. Scott Rice has shot two nationally broadcast commercials and is attached to direct a family comedy feature. “My Monster.” Chris Webster, winner of the 2005 Gibson Guitar New Musician Award recently finished a recording session in Nashville.

Past panelists and/or mentors have included Peter Fonda, Michael Keaton, Jeff Bridges, Bill Pullman, Margot Kidder, Rick Schroeder; directors David Anspaugh, Jon Amiel, Michael Anderson; film industry executives Jim Brubaker, Erica Huggins and Greig McRitchie; cinematographersJack Green and David Butler, and musicians such as Jackson Browne.