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Call for Entries: MBC Short Film Festival 2021

Geared towards its vision of showcasing stories on how Filipinos rise above adversity and to celebrate the creativity of amateur and professional filmmakers, Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC) launched its first ever digital filmmaking competition.

MBC Short Film Festival 2021 is open to all Filipino filmmakers nationwide and the deadline of entries is until June 15. Film entries must be a maximum of 20 minutes long and can be in any medium such as English, Filipino or regional dialect as long as it has English subtitles.

There are 3 genres wherein participants can choose from such as Short Feature, Narrative Documentary and Animation. “Short features” must be able to tell a fictional story using actors in certain locales or sets, with or without costumes. It could be romance, drama, action, or comedy among others. On the other hand, “Narrative Documentary” can be Non-fictional film, intended to document reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record, using a narrator to guide the viewer. While the “Animation” genre can be a film in which characters’ performances are created using a frame by frame technique involving animation through drawings, computer graphics, photographs of static objects, including all techniques other than continuous filming of live-action images.

The entries should also revolve around human interest stories and can be based on real life characters or situations to show how they overcame any adversity.

The films that qualify for the Final Screening will automatically be given Php.15,000 and certificate as a finalist and one winner per category/genre will be chosen to receive Php.75,000.

Final roster of festival entries will be shown nationwide over MBC digital platforms with the option to air it on MBC’s Cable TV and Free to Air TV channels from August 16-30, 2021.

Here’s the full contest guidelines:


  • Open to amateur and professional Filipino filmmakers nationwide

  • A film must be a maximum of 20 minutes long;

  • Maximum of three submissions per filmmaker but only one entry per producer is allowed in the Final Screening. Should a producer have multiple entries that will qualify, the film with the highest score will advance to the Final Screening as determined by the jury.

  • Films that qualify for the Final Screening must be given a rating of either General Patronage, Parental Guidance or Strict Parental Guidance based on standards of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).


  • All entries must be submitted together with the Application Form via and must include the following:

  1. Duly-completed application form

  2. Final work in HD mp4 format, with watermark, properly labeled with the title, production company address and contact numbers, production date, director’s name and running time that should not exceed 20 minutes, inclusive of credit titles; with English subtitles if in the vernacular;

  3. one (1) trailer of not more than one minute in length

  4. one (1) digital poster

  5. eight (8) captioned production stills in jpeg format to be used for promotional purposes;

  6. Soft copy of synopsis in English;

  7. Final script

  8. Soft copy of brief résumé / bio-data and two (2) high resolution jpg photos of the filmmaker(s).

  9. Soft copy of the cast and production personnel credited for the film, along with their functions

  10. Deadline for submission of completed requirements is June 15, 2021.

Questions/queries: email address (

Festival Competition Proper

  • Submissions shall go through a screening committee.

  • A maximum of five (5) entries per genre will be chosen for the Final Screening and will be announced on June 30, 2021.

  • To qualify, entries for Final Screening must meet a minimum score of 80% and must be within the GP, PG or SPG rating of the MTRCB.

  • Final roster of festival entries will be shown nationwide over MBC digital platforms with the option to air it on MBC’s Cable TV and Free to Air TV channels from August 16-30, 2021.

  • Awarding of the category winners and the Gran Prix winner will be on August 28, 2021


  • Entries that have been featured in other local and international festivals and competitions are qualified;

  • Revised versions of an existing film, or a film submitted under a different title shall be disqualified;

  • Employees of MBC and its affiliates are disqualified from joining the competition;

  • If the production team includes several individuals, they must assign a single representative to act on their behalf. All official communication shall be addressed to the representative;

  • MBC will not be liable for any controversy regarding the sharing of awards/prizes/incentives among the members of the group.

Criteria for Judging

  • Films will be judged on originality and creativity, storytelling, technical qualities, as well as on effectiveness of the message and the ability of the filmmaker to reach, engage, and entertain the viewing audience.

Storytelling (30%)

  • Does the story have a clear structure and plot?

  • Are the characters adequately developed and relevant?

  • Is the story original and engaging?

  • Are the images arranged logically and effectively in a way that fits the film

  • Does the film have pace and continuity?

Creativity and Originality (30%)

  • Do the writing and direction use imaginative and creative ways to convey the theme?

  • Does the film exhibit originality?

  • Does the film display innovative ideas or story telling techniques?

Engagement (20%)

  • How strongly does this entry stimulate thoughts and ideas?

  • Does the film provoke an emotional response?

Cinematography (10%)

  • Is the camera steady and are the shots framed and focused?

  • Are close-ups and camera angles used to add meaning to the story?

  • Is the lighting and camera positioning visually effective?

Editing (5%)

  • Does the editing help to clarify the story and enhance the pacing and flow of the story?

  • Are transitions smooth and well-paced or distracting?

  • Are the opening titles and closing credits appealing and easy to read?

Audio, Music, Sound Effects (5%)

  • Do the audio and soundtrack complement the story?

  • Is the dialogue and/or narration clear and easy to understand?

  • If there are sound effects, are they appropriate to the story or do they detract?

TOTAL -- 100%

Awards / Incentives

  • The films that qualify for the Final Screening (maximum of 5 per genre) will automatically be given P15,000.00 and certificate as Finalist

  • One winner per category/genre will be chosen to receive P75,000.

  • A participant with entries in the different categories is allowed to win multiple times

  • The Grand Prix winner to be selected among the category winners will receive additional P75,000

  • Prizes are tax-free.

This film festival is something you shouldn’t miss! Hone your filmmaking skills and share wonderful narratives that the world needs to hear today.



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