2nd Act Film Festival

Returned for its third year, the 2nd Act Film Festival is a unique take on the curated film project. The mission of the 2nd Act Film Festival is to encourage and promote the growth of independent filmmaking in South Carolina and nurture South Carolina’s community of independent filmmakers.

Here’s how it works: One selected SC writer (past authors have included Janna McMahan and James D. McCallister) works with project principals Wade Sellers and Cindi Boiter to create a screenplay that includes the 1st and 3rd acts of a film. After a process of adjudication by a committee of filmmaking experts, a group of ten filmmakers are selected from the several dozen who typically enter. The selected filmmakers’ job is to write the second act of the screenplay they are given and make the film in its entirety. All films then screen at the 2nd Act Film Festival at Tapp's Arts Center in Columbia, SC held this past year on October 14th, 2016.

  • There is never an entry fee or any charge to the filmmaker. 
  • Adjudicators review all entries received from interested filmmakers. From those entries we select a group of ten filmmakers to participate in the project. 
  • Upon notification that they have been selected to participate, selected filmmakers receive the 1st and 3rd acts of the screenplay. After that it is the filmmakers’ responsibility to complete the script by writing the 2nd act and make the film in its entirety. (Specific guidelines can be found at http://secondactfilmfestival.com/.)
  •  In addition to having their film screened at the 2nd Act Film Festival, selected filmmakers also receive a bound compilation of all scripts written for the festival as well as a DVD compilation of all the created films.
  • This past year, each filmmaker received a financial stipend to help offset costs of filmmaking. (Filmmakers are not restricted in their use of stipends.)
  • A People’s Choice Award Winner receives a prize package including software, cash, and a unique hand tropheé de l’art crafted by a noted Columbia, SC visual artist. (Past trophies were created by sculptor Matthew Kramer.)
  • Anyone who lives in South Carolina can throw their hat into the ring, but we are looking for experienced filmmakers who will take charge of their project. If you are a first time filmmaker submitting your name for consideration, we strongly encourage you to put together an experienced team (cinematographer, editor, etc.) before applying.
  • Past 2nd Act Film Festivals (2013 and 2015) have screened to sold out SRO audiences who paid a modest admission.
  • Past 2nd Act Film Festivals have included several opportunities for filmmakers to gather together to build community while comparing notes and processes, with participants from former festivals serving as mentors and advisors to current project participants.
  • Collectible 2nd Act Film Festival merchandise is offered for purchase at the festival event as are perfect-bound archival copies of the collected screenplays and DVDs of the collected films.

Visit the 2nd Act Film Festival Website