Few living people embody the spirit of independent film-making better than Roger Corman, a man who never let anything—finances, legal obstructions, basic cinematic practicalities—stop him from popping out movies on a frankly unprecedented scale. (There’s a reason the man’s got 415 production credits and counting listed on IMDB.) Now, in the wake of the COVID-mandated shutdown of the Hollywood system he spent his life working on the outer fringes of, Corman is hoping to impart a little of that “Fuck it, we’ve got a camera, let’s do this” spirit to internet filmmakers, too, announcing the first (and hopefully last) Corman Quarantine Film Festival on social media today.
The rules of the competition are simple: No endangering anybody—i.e., leaving your home, or bringing other people into it. Everything has to be shot on a cell phone, the end result can’t be longer than two minutes in length, and you’ve got to tag Corman when you post it so that he can give it a look—and potentially name you the Best Picture winner for his informal little fest. There’s no cash prize or anything, but the winning film will be featured on Corman’s social media, and—as the producer himself notes—working with Roger Corman has always been a surprisingly effective way of paving the way for mainstream Hollywood success. The due date for the festival is roughly two weeks from today.