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The Film Lab

The Film Lab

Presented by

The 6th annual Film Lab, Celebratory Reception


4:30p.m. Thursday, March 19th 

Tito’s Handmade Vodka Filmmaker Loft

Congratulations to My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To, the winner of the 2020 Film Lab!

This fall, Academy Award winner Peter Farrelly selected work-in-progress film My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To as the 2020 winner of the Film Lab, presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Pete said it was “one of the spookiest films he’s seen in a long time” and that he thinks “this film’s commercial prospects are very good.” After a successful work in progress screening with the Austin Film Society, MHCBUYTIT travelled to Los Angeles for post-production sound work with Film Lab partner Formosa, who offered over $100,000 in post services at no cost, which makes a massive difference for any small budget film. We’re so proud the film will make its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival this April, complete with Tito’s and Film Lab logos in the credits. Mr. Farrelly said he expects writer/director Jonathan Cuartas is “going to have a nice long career”. We agree. Come celebrate a Film Lab success story with Tito’s Handmade Vodka and the Film Lab winners during an open-to-the-public reception at Tito’s Filmmaker Loft.

Call for Entries

  • Early Bird Deadline: August 9th
  • Regular Deadline: August 30th
  • Late Deadline: September 23rd

Submissions exclusively through FilmFreeway

Peter Farrelly will judge this year’s Film Lab. Farrelly is a two-time Academy Award winner who has garnered notable and global commercial success and accolades by writing, directing and producing numerous heartfelt and raucously funny film and television projects for a quarter of a century.

His latest film, Green Book, starring Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, and Linda Cardellini debuted in the fall of 2018 and quickly became a favorite amongst moviegoers and critics alike. This solo project was a departure for Farrelly, earning him two Academy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards including Best Picture and Best Screenplay, the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer’s Guild Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures as well as the Best Picture Award from the National Board of Review. Written, directed and produced by Farrelly, Green Book was included in over 25 critics‘ top ten lists for 2018 and won the coveted Audience  Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. Farrelly received nominations from BAFTA, the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the Director’s Guild of America and the Writer’s Guild of America.


  • All participants must be 21 and over to be eligible.
  • A Project must be a “Work In Progress,” with no screening engagements prior to December 2019.
  • A Project must be in process beyond first assembly; while editing does not have to be finished, the Project is expected to be past the rough-cut phase [missing elements like sound design, color correction, score, VFX, etc. is understandable and expected].
  • The winning participant must agree to screen the Project as a work-in-progress at The Film Lab event in Austin, TX on October 10th, 2019.
  • The winning participant must agree to screen the Project during the Sun Valley Film Festival in March 2020.
  • Any Project currently available to the public on the internet, DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, that has had significant television play, or currently in wide theatrical release is not eligible.


The Lab Award

The winning participant will be eligible for the following:

  • Travel & lodging for the director and producer of the Project to/from Austin in October, 2019
  • Up to $185,000 worth of post-production services from the Farm at its post-production facilities located in Los Angeles, CA. The services to be provided by the Farm shall be subject to a separate agreement between the winning participant and the Farm. The Farm will not cover the costs for VFX, FOLEY, and MUSIC RIGHTS but can help negotiate deals for those services on behalf of the filmmakers. A full list of included services will be shared with finalists.
  • The prize amount is determined on a project by project basis taking into consideration the winning project’s needs as determined by SVFF and the Farm in their discretion; $185,000 is the maximum total for awarded services rendered by the Farm.
  • The benefit of SVFF marketing and promotion of the competition and the issuance of The Film Lab Award.


Credit and other Obligations

Each of SVFF, Tito’s and The Farm shall be individually credited as follows “Made with the Support of [_______]” in the end credits of the completed Project.
The winning participant agrees that it must enter into a separate agreement with each of SVFF, Tito’s and The Farm that acknowledge the contribution to the Project. The agreement shall contain customary terms and conditions generally found in agreements for the provision of services and capital contributions in the United States entertainment industry and shall be negotiated in good faith between the winning participant and SVFF.

* Full Rules, Terms & Conditions, and pricing on FilmFreeway listing


Thank you to our partners who made the Film Lab possible:




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