MovieGras film festival is on Fat Tuesday every year.
2023 MovieGras was February 21, 2023
2024 MovieGras was February 13, 2024
Scroll to the bottom of the page to see previous winners!
2025 MovieGras will be on Tuesday, March 4!
2025 MovieGras will accept entries
Starting Tues Jun 4 (www.filmfreeway.com/moviegras)
Early Bird Deadline: Tues Dec 31 $25
Regular Deadline: Tues Jan 28 $30
Late Deadline: Tues Feb 18 $35
Final Notification Date: Tues Feb 25
is a Citizen Studios original Short Film Festival and Screenwriting competition. Enter your fully produced short film or any length screenplay (per our criteria) for the first annual film competition celebrating the mantra of Mardi Gras, "Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler."
Chosen short films will be screened and winners announced across 12 categories.
Winning scripts will be announced across 6 categories.
Awards & Prizes
This is the second year of our film festival and the prizes include bragging rights, digital laurels, and a myriad of physical/actual prizes for filmmakers (or their proxy) in attendance.
If someone from your filmmaking (or screenwriting) team cannot be present at the event, your project is still eligible for awards / laurels (and bragging rights), but will not receive physical/actual prizes. (We are not shipping prizes, but you can still win awards.)
Physical prizes will come from several partner organizations as donations (gift cards and more).
Awards / laurels are listed below...
Short Film Awards
Best Lead Performance
Best Supporting Performance
Best Lighting Design
Best Sound Design
Best Special Effects
Best "Good-Time-Roller" (best embodiment of the theme)
Best Use of Beads
Best Student Short
Best Use of Theme ("Good Time Roller" Award)
Best Short Script (45 pages or less)
Best Feature Script (46 pages or more)
Best Script Structure
Best Character Arc
Best Student Script
Winners will receive a high resolution digital laurel (with transparent background) and a digital certificate of award via email sent to the submitter regardless of attendance at the event.
Participants are strongly encouraged to attend the event for networking opportunities and extra prizes!
Rules & Terms
Short films submitted must be less than 15 minutes long, including all credits. They must embody the theme of "Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler" (let the good times roll), and must include "mardi gras beads" somewhere in the film. The beads do not have to be central to the story. The film does not have to be made solely for this festival and the festival does not have to be mentioned in any credits, but the film does have to have been produced within the 12 months prior to the festival date.
All genres are welcome, but films with significant sexually explicit content, or other content that the judges deem un-friendly to older children will not be accepted. Your short film should be acceptable for 13-year-olds to watch, as we recommend only 13 and over attend the film festival event. All language (including language considered "foul" to some) is permitted, but films must be submitted in English or with accurate English subtitles.
Submitted screenplays can be any length (micro, short, feature, and everything in between), but must be one, singular story (not an episodic / part of a story). They must embody the theme of "Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler" (let the good times roll), and must include "Mardi Gras beads" somewhere in the story. The beads do not have to be central to the story. The screenplay does not have to be made solely for this festival and the festival does not have to be mentioned but the screenplay has to have been within the 12 months prior to the festival date.
All genres are welcome, but the screenplay must be written in English.
All projects must be submitted (and tickets for attendees purchased) via FilmFreeway at https://filmfreeway.com/moviegras
What to Expect
Like all of our previous screenings, competitions, and festivals... MovieGras will be held at the studio at 2722 Carolina Beach Rd, Wilmington NC. The doors open at 630pm. From 630-730pm, we will network and eat dinner. Dinner and non-alcoholic beverages will be served free of charge. Additional refreshments will be available for purchase. Viewing/screening of selected short films will begin promptly at 730pm. There will be a brief intermission mid-way through our screenings. At 9 or 930pm (depending on the number of selected projects), award winners in both the short film and script writing categories will be announced and prizes will be distributed for winners in attendance. All attendees also have a chance to win some fun door prizes.
Please note, per NC state law, attendees over the age of 21 may purchase beer and wine at the event. IDs will be checked for those consuming beer or wine. Beer or wine must come from original container (no flasks etc...). Hard liquor not permitted. Drink responsibly. Do not drink and drive.
2023 MovieGras winners February 21, 2023
Found Your Phone by Joel Getty
Parade Renegades by Nichole Anne Heller
Bad Love Tigers by Keven Schewe
Erichthonius & Smiley by Wayne Heiser
Winning Short Films
Early Birds, Luke Gura
Render_Error, Jay Shackleford
Big Ask, Cody Mark Hanna
Erichthonius & Smiley, Wayne Heiser
The Mardi Gras Thief, Anthony Gabriele
2024 MovieGras winners February 13, 2024
Metanatural by Joel Getty: Best Feature Script and "Good time Roller" (best use of theme)
Kiss Daddy Goodbye by Bruce Hickey: Best Script Structure
False Start by Glenn Lissner: Best Character Arc
Winning Short Films
Girls Gone Wise, Matt Senter:
Good Time Roller (Best embodiment of the theme)
Best Sound Design
Masks, Anthony Gabriele:
Best Lead Performance
Refried Beads, August Schaller:
Best use of beads
Best special effects
Honorable mention for artistic vision
Again, James Wemmitt:
Best Supporting Actor, Mike Esposito
La Muneca Candy, Juliana Rodriguez:
Honorable Mention for Color