Filmmakers Behind Unfriended, Search and Profile to Fully Finance and Produce Projects for Winners Across Four-Categories
AUSTIN (March 10, 2018) – Director/producer Timur Bekmambetov’s production banner Bazelevs announced today the launch of the “Screenlife Project,” a pitching contest that will see winners receive a special mentoring session with Bekmambetov, as well as the much-coveted greenlight of a feature film or series. The announcement comes on the heels of the successful premiere of Search at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was acquired by Sony Pictures Worldwide and won the NEXT Audience Award, and Profile at the Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Panorama Audience Award. The Screenlife Project will build on the genesis of Search and Profile, as well as Unfriended, with a call for submissions using a unique “Screenlife” storytelling format that focuses on the intimate and intricate relationship people have with their screens – computers, mobile devices and tablets. Bazelevs will be hosting a panel at the upcoming SXSW festival, “Clickable Storytelling: Dig into Your Online World”, which will explore the new form of filmmaking and the potential of creating interactive content.
The Screenlife Project, which is accepting submissions now through May 1, 2018, is looking for pitches in four different categories: feature films, short films, short form series and long form series. Bazelevs will select five finalists from each category, who will have the opportunity to attend a one-week master class and a pitch session with Bekmambetov. Winners from each category will then be selected for the distinctive opportunity to have their projects fully financed and produced.
“Screenlife films tell the stories of our everyday lives on computer screens and that seems to really resonate with audiences,” said Bekmambetov. “Every one of our films has been launched at a film festival and we have been honored with each of the three films’ premieres winning their respective audience award section. It is only suiting that we offer the audiences their own chance to make a Screenlife film themselves. We want to offer the opportunity to greenlight it.”
Bazelevs kicked off the Screenlife genre with Unfriended, which won the Most Innovative Film Award at the 2014 Fantasia Film Festival, partnering with Blumhouse Productions. Universal Pictures gave the film a global theatrical release in 2015 and grossed over $64M at the box office.
Their Screenlife follow-up Search, starring John Cho and Debra Messing, premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival where it received the Alfred P. Sloane Feature Film Award for works pertaining to science and technology. It was acquired by Sony Pictures Worldwide for U.S. distribution.
Bazelevs’ third film Profile, a thriller about ISIS’ recruiting of European women, directed by Bekmambetov, premiered last month at the Berlinale and received the Panorama Audience Award. Profile will have its North American Premiere at SXSW on March 11th.
Bazelevs and Blumhouse are partnering on another co-production following the success of Unfriended in the same Screenlife format, which will also premiere at SXSW in the Midnight Section on March 9th.
View Screenlife Video:
To learn more about the Screenlife Project and submit a pitch, go to: screenlifecontest.com.