In this challenge, participants are required to take something from our reality and bend it, remove it, twist it, or question it. This can be an item, an idea, or a person. It’s your turn to interrupt and reconfigure our world into something unexpected.

Submission Deadline: April 18, 2021 @ 7:30pm PST


Welcome to AGBO’s first ever filmmaking competition for emerging creators, “No Sleep ‘til Film Fest.” The virtual short film festival invites filmmakers to make a short movie in only 48 hours.

As an artist-led company, AGBO firmly believes that great ideas can come from anyone, anywhere.  Part of AGBO’s commitment to championing emerging content creators, the two-day festival challenges participants to make bite-sized films, three minutes or less, while keeping with the latest social distancing guidelines. The virtual festival will open for submissions April 16th with a prompt released online, filmmakers will have 48 hours to create and submit their films.

The panel of judges include Co-Founders and Chairmen Anthony and Joe Russo, Vice Chairman Mike Larocca, Co-Presidents of Story Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and President of Creative Angela Russo-Otstot. The AGBO executives will select three winning films marked by creativity and ingenuity to premiere across AGBO’s social platforms, in addition to receiving prizes and mentorship from the studio.


On Friday, April 16th at 7:30pm PST, the festival prompt will be posted on this page and on AGBO social channels. Participants have until 7:30pm PST on Sunday, April 18th to submit films. Films and additional materials must be submitted via our Film Freeway submission page only, and we’ll announce the winners on Wednesday, May 12th.


Form your team. Consider your strengths and those of your friends when organizing cast and crew. Do you know who will be writing your film? Directing? Acting? Editing? Who will keep everyone on the strict timeline? Will you create original music for scoring? We encourage you to connect remotely with whomever you see fit to build your team.

Scout locations. Consider areas of your home or around your neighborhood that would be optimal for shooting and interesting to see on camera.

Gather your equipment. Consider the lighting, sound, and film equipment you have at your disposal. Will you use practical lamps or flashlights to light your sets? While an iPhone can be a powerful filming tool, you may also have an old video camera or a dSLR in your home. Be creative when gathering your materials, and remember: you have everything you need.

Brush up on the rules. Read our complete festival terms and conditions below.

Check out tips for new filmmakers. The Russo Brothers’ entire collection of Pizza Film School is an education straight from the experts.  Watch the series on the AGBO YouTube channel.


The top three winners will have their short films showcased on AGBO’s social media channels, and also be inducted into the AGBO Storytellers’ Collective, an alumni network of participants from other AGBO fellowship programs.

1st Place: Camera equipment from RED, a storyboard sketch of their film from storyboard artist Anthony Leonardi (Avengers: Endgame) and screenwriting software from Final Draft

2nd Place: An electric bike from Story Bikes and screenwriting software from Final Draft

3rd Place: Screenwriting software from Final Draft


Study before the festival with Russo Bros. Pizza Film School, a web series created and hosted by the Russo Brothers this past summer.  The Russos aim to educate and spread some love to some of the films and filmmakers who have influenced them most, while also discussing technique and enjoying pizza from a local pizzeria. 

Movies discussed on the show’s first season included La Haine; Ronin; The Evil Dead; The Empire Strikes Back featuring Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill; No Country for Old Men with Josh Brolin, Flash Gordon with Taika Waititi; Blue Velvet; Once Upon a Time in the West; and Back to the Future with screenwriter, producer, and co-creator Bob Gale. The Russos have been joined on other episodes by film critic Pete Hammond; journalist, producer and festival director Silvia Bizio; and the screenwriting duo Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely who also serve as Co-Presidents of Story for AGBO.


You must be over the age of 13 to submit your film. If you are 18 or older you may register for yourself or on behalf of your team. If you are not over the age of 18, your parent or legal guardian must submit the film on your behalf with the parental consent form.

You have 48 Hours. On Friday, April 16th, we’ll post the Festival prompt and guidelines to this page and to AGBO socials. You then have until 7:30pm PST on Sunday, April 18th to submit your film. Upload your film and additional materials via our submission page. Submissions received after 7:30pm PST on Sunday may not be considered for the winning prize. All creativity must take place during this 48-Hour window. Any creative work in advance of the competition weekend is prohibited. Creative work includes, but is not limited to: Writing the script, Rehearsing, Costume/Set Design, Shooting, Editing, Sound Design, Rendering, Uploading your film to our submission page. The only work to begin prior to the challenge’s announcement is: Forming your team (organizing cast & crew), Scouting locations, and Gathering equipment.

Respond creatively to our prompt. The film prompt will be open-ended. It’s up to you to create an engaging universe for your film.

Social Distance. We do not encourage gatherings. Please limit cast and crew to people in your home and the homes of teammates you connect with remotely, and follow social distancing guidelines in your area.

Keep films to a maximum total runtime of 3 minutes. Films must adhere to a minimum total runtime of 30 seconds, and a maximum total runtime of 3 minutes. These are the length of the entry not including end credits. Credits must be less than 15 seconds.

Keep content kid-friendly. In general, the entries must not be indecent or obscene. Please use MPAA’s PG-13 rating rubric as a guideline for acceptable content.

You are welcome to submit films in any language. Subtitles are optional but encouraged.

Adhere to our acceptable use of VFX, Stock Footage, Copyright Materials. Animation and special effects are permitted but must be created after the challenge’s announcement. No stock footage or footage shot or created at another time may be used unless the footage is part of a post-production effect or on a background monitor, i.e., a television, as long as the team has rights to the stock footage and the stock footage is placed over or under footage that is shot within the Official Time Period. Allowable stock footage includes bullets, fires, explosions, chromakeyed backgrounds, etc., but stock footage of people or other performers is not allowed. You must have authorization if copyrighted material is used. This includes music, video, and any other materials that someone else has created. (e.g., you may not use a popular song as the film’s soundtrack unless you have written permission.) 

Submission Materials. When submitting your film, we’ll ask you to include your Team Name, Team Leader Name, and Film Name, as well as a document signed by all team members certifying AGBO has permission to air this film on AGBO social channels and website. If you are under the age of 18, this document must be signed by your parent or legal guardian.

Union Members. Please note SAG has restrictions on posting films with SAG actors on the web. SAG members may wish to check with SAG if they can participate in this challenge.

Late Films. If you miss the deadline, keep working and upload your submission materials as soon as you can.


Updated as of April 15, 2021 to reflect the competition is open to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and non US residents who meet the eligibility requirements set forth in the Terms and Conditions.