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3×5 Filmmaking Competition



What is the 3×5 Film Competition?

The Lee Strasberg 3×5 Film Competition is an independent short film festival. Creators are given a prompt and have five days to create a three minute film. The contest culminates in a public screening of the selected films and an award ceremony announcing the competition winners.  

Why enter The Lee Strasberg 3×5 Film Competition?

The Lee Strasberg 3×5 Film Competition is a celebration of the creative spirit. It is a unique platform that values the innovation of up-and-coming talent and celebrates cinematic creativity. The competition provides an opportunity for filmmakers at all levels to exhibit their work in a supportive environment. All films selected will be screened at the prestigious Lee Strasberg Theatre in West Hollywood, California and will be judged on their overall creativity and technical quality. 

How to Enter:

  • Team captains (the primary contact for the team) must declare their intention to enter by completing an entry form no later than Monday, November 27th.
  • At midnight on Friday, December 1st, team captains will be contacted with a story prompt and a final submission form. All completed films must be submitted through this official form.

Dates and Deadlines:

Deadline to Register Team: Monday, November 27th at 5:00pm PST
Story Prompt Sent: Friday, December 1st at midnight (PST)
Deadline to submit finished films: 5:00pm PST on Tuesday, December 5th
Notification of selections: Friday, December 8th
Competition Screening: Thursday, December 14th 

Competition Entry Fees:

General: $25

Competition Judges:

  • LSTFI Faculty
  • LSTFI Alumni


  • All films must have a total run time (TRT) of 3 minutes or less (including credits).
  • All films must be created within the five days designated.
  • The Lee Strasberg Institute is not responsible for any injuries or damages as a result of participating in this contest. We encourage safe and smart filmmaking.
  • We reserve the right to disqualify any films or film makers that do not follow the competition guidelines or the The Institute’s code of conduct.
  • At least one team member must be a current or alumni student of LSTFI.


  • General – All films will be entered into this category
  • Smartphone – Films shot on smartphones
  • International – Filmed/produced outside of the USA
  • Drama
  • Comedy
  • Genre (Horror, SciFi, Noir, Experimental, etc.


Cash Prize(s)

  • Best Acting* – One hour private coaching with LSTFI faculty of choice. 
  • Best of Competition* – $300 cash prize
  • Best Smartphone Film – $100 cash prize

Competition Laurel(s)

  • Best Smartphone Film
  • Best International Film
  • Best Screenplay
  • Best Drama
  • Best Comedy
  • Best Genre Film (horror, sci-fi, noir, etc)

Screening Details:

All filmmakers are invited to attend the in-person screening. There is a suggested donation of $5 at the door. Seating is first come, first serve.