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The Life andDeath Project




This is a feature length anthology of visionary short films that will address the all too relevant topic of suicide.

The films will be gathered from proposals submitted by the community and compiled together to create a multi-perspective meditation on the most important questions.

The final compilation will be given a theatrical and streaming release so that important conversations can be had and the liberatory power of the short format can be revealed.

Anyone can submit a screenplay or project proposal for consideration. The most effective and imaginative will be produced and distributed by Take Your Medicine and Smile Productions throughout the year.

All shorts will be shot digitally


Green Screen Requirement

A key requirement of all the shorts is that they be shot in front of a green screen (or blue screen). This stipulation is essential for a few reasons.

1. It brings visual unity to otherwise disparate projects. 

2. It opens up a broader range of experimental possibilities.

3. It reduces location costs.

4. The accessibility of green screen technology will be key to the democratization of the medium.

These shorts should be stylized and visually bold. So embrace the artificiality and explore the possibilities chroma keying provides.










Narrative and experimental proposals are accepted!


You may submit an eight to fifteen page screenplay of any genre (or no genre!). Even very experimental ideas are often best expressed this way.




If you're proposal is too abstract for the screenplay format, you may submit a DETAILED written proposal with some illustrations. Be sure to indicate the length of the project. The clearer you can make the proposal the more likely you are to be picked. Vague proposals will not get far.


It is assumed the author of the script or proposal will also direct the film. If you do not wish to direct please indicate this in your e-mail.

Send submissions to



Submission limit: No more than TWO submissions per person.

Theme: The short must revolve around the theme of suicide or self-harm.

Tone: Any tone! It doesn't have to be dark or sad. Finding hope is a big part of this project. Humor can be cathartic. Somber works can be cathartic too. Be honest and be yourself!

Uniqueness: Be bold! We want unique visions, bold visuals. Experimentation is gold. Weirdness is a treasure.


Length: The film must be eight to fifteen minutes in length (8-15 pages for screenplay).


Technical requirement: All projects will be shot in front of a GREEN SCREEN. This opens up more possibilities for experimentation, saves money and creates a certain amount of visual cohesion amongst the projects. Embrace the artificiality! Keep this in mind when generating your proposal.


Budget: Individual projects should be in the $5,000 or less price range. The green screen makes some things cheaper, but don't get too crazy with those effects and please don't write Jennifer Lawrence into your story unless you know her personally.


Music: We will have to obtain the rights to use any music featured in these projects, so don't write any Beatles songs into your screenplay. Either small local artists or music composed specifically for the project is best.


Content Limits: Keep it R-rated or less. Nothing pornographic please. That's still lots of wiggle room, right?


Proposal Format: Documents should be PDF. Pictures should be Jpegs. If incorporating a video, keep that file size small.



Send screenplays or proposals to


Deadline: May 22nd


I bet you have questions. GREAT. It helps us clarify things. Send questions to:



What does submission cost?



When is production?

Production on selected projects will be completed by the end of the year. Exact dates will be determined with the filmmakers after selection.


What if I'm not picked?

Even if we aren't able to produce your project, YOU STILL CAN. Something amazing can come out of this, either way.


Who can submit?

Anyone based in the United States.

Are you accepting animated projects?

We are not accepting fully animated projects. Films that combine live action and animation are accepted.


Want inspiration?

Check out these visually inventive and/or thematically resonant films!


It's Such a Beautiful Day (2012)

Labyrinth of Cinema (2019)

Waking Life (2001)

The Mill and the Cross (2011)


Womb (2007)

The Facts in the Case of Mr. Hollow (2008)

Hymn of Reckoning (2006)

Asparagus (1979)

Once It Started It Could Not End Otherwise (2011)

Submission Info
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