Break Media, New Regency Launch Film Competition to Find the Next Great Filmmaker

The winner earns a development deal at New Regency

Break Media and New Regency have launched Prototype, an online film competition that will reward one aspiring filmmaker a development deal at New Regency, the two companies announced on Wednesday.

The competition will reward filmmakers struggling to find work or get one of their projects made, with a chance to submit their work to seasoned executives and secure money to shoot a short. It also helps Break and New Regency identify new talent without the temporal or financial costs of normal development.

“The development model is kind of broken,” Greg Siegel, Break Media’s SVP of Entertainment Development, told TheWrap. “Studios spend so much money with so little product coming out of it. This is a low-cost way to find new talent they can work with.”

Starting Thursday, any filmmakers can go to Break’s site and upload their script for the short, a treatment for a feature and a video evincing their filmmaking ability. Break and New Regency will pore through the submissions and select eight finalists.

Each finalist will make a five-to-10-minute short, receiving $20,000 from Break to do so. The shorts will then air on Break, YouTube and other video platforms.

The winner of the contest will earn a development deal with New Regency to turn the short into a feature. New Regency has financed and produced hits such as "Fight Club," "Big Momma's House" and "Mr. and Mrs. Smith."

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Break, once a repository for other people’s videos, has pivoted to producing its own content, as TheWrap previously reported. It recently announced its first film project in collaboration with Lorenzo di Bonaventura.

Siegel hatched the competition as a way for Break to identify filmmakers who make effects-driven action and science-fiction films.

“We were looking for a way to shoot short films we could incubate as larger things and what we realized pretty quickly is there’s limited potential in one-offs,” Siegel said. “So then why not have a series.”

He then went to New Regency, which he felt was a natural fit.

David Manpearl, SVP of Production at New Regency, said in a statement that digital platforms "have proven to be a hub for exciting new intellectual property and talent.”

Break has also reached out to film schools, agencies and management companies to spread the word to anyone who might be interested.