Friars Club Film Festival to be held September 23-26 in New York

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Thu, 04/01/2010 - 20:00 -- Nick Dager

The second annual Friars Club Comedy Film Festival will take place September 23-26 in New York City. July 30th is the deadline for submitting films. 
This year’s film festival will again be a four-day celebration of comedy movies presented by the legendary Friars Club – whose iconic membership includes the world’s funniest actors and comedians. Proceeds from the festival will benefit the Friars Foundation.
Events will include premieres of the very best new comedy films panel discussions with comedians and filmmakers as well as curated screenings of classic comedy movies many featuring legendary Friars such as W.C. Fields Jerry Lewis Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.
 In addition to conventional submissions this year the festival is inviting sketch and improv teams to take part in the FrISC (Friars Club Improv + Sketch Competition) and the winning submission from each of those categories will be awarded a $10 000 prize to create a short film to debut at the film festival.
According to festival’s executive director Charlie Prince it is a way to encourage the next generation of comedy filmmakers. “We know that there is incredible talent among sketch and improv troupes and by offering them this $10 000 prize ” he says. “We hope it will encourage them to continue bringing their comedic work to the big and small screen.”
To enter sketch and improv teams must send in a demo of their show postmarked by May 1. The top five from each category will be invited to battle it out for the prize money on June 25-26 at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Manhattan. The two winning teams will then have three months to prepare their film to premiere in September’s festival. 
 There will be three general categories of movies being screened during the festival:
Spotlight Films – the best and brightest comedies from top film festivals around the world
Submission Based Films - giving new filmmakers a platform to screen their work – the submission process will begin shortly
Selected Screenings of Classics - a small number of special screenings in which luminaries from the world of comedy will introduce their favorite classic comedy films and host a discussion 
  Welcoming the festival Friars Club executive director Michael Gyure said it was a logical extension of the club’s comedic history.
“Many of our Friars have starred in some of the world’s classic comedy movies from the days of Sinatra and the Rat Pack to Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg. This festival will showcase both classic comedies and give new comedy films an arena to find an audience ” says Gyure.