Image: Shout Factory TV

Now this is the kind of shelter-in-place activity we can really get into!

Professional and amateur filmmakers alike are tapping their own creative energy to pass the time during COVID-19 quarantine — and we plan to champion their efforts here the same way we cover films in “normal” times. But legendary (and honorary Oscar-winning) director, producer, writer and distributor Roger Corman wants in on the action too!

Yesterday, Corman shared an Instagram video in which he invites filmmakers around the world to shoot their own stay-at-home movies — for what he calls “the first (and hopefully last) Roger Corman Quarantine Film Festival.”

Remember the old “Dogme ’95” wave of gonzo-style filmmaking that followed a rigid set of rules to focus on storytelling and performance? Corman’s rules for short film submissions are a little bit like that… but way simpler, and a lot more fun:

  1. You have to stay home and stay safe, and film the video inside your house or in the backyard.
  2. Your actors can only be people currently sheltering with you (see above rule to “stay home and stay safe”).
  3. The short must be filmed on a cell phone.
  4. The only lighting allowed is what you already have illuminating your home.
  5. The film must be under 2 minutes.

That’s it! Well, except for one more step…

When your film is ready for screening, tag #RogerCorman and #CormanChallenge when you post, and Roger himself will take a look at what you’ve created.

As you may recall, Corman kicked off the careers of several award-winning directors — including (but not limited to) Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Ron Howard, James Cameron, John Landis, Joe Dante, Jonathan Demme, Stephanie Rothman, Jack Hill and John Sayles — so you may be his next big find!

Roger kicked off the fest by nominating Eli Roth, Andy Muschietti, Peter Bogdanovich, Rodman Flender (SCREAM TV Series), Amy H. Jones (The Resident), and Troma president Lloyd Kaufman to submit entries, so you’ll be in excellent company. The festival winner will be posted to Corman’s website and socials, along with a trailer specially-made for their film, and Roger will present the winning director with the award and signed certificate.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot: you have just two weeks to turn in your submission — so you’d better start writing that micro-epic ASAP!