Hal ‘Corky’ Kessler hosts $20K screenplay competition

Chicago Entertainment Lawyer Hal “Corky” Kessler, a partner at Rubenstein Business Law, is connecting Illinois filmmakers with an opportunity to win much-needed services in an upcoming screenplay writing competition.

Hal ‘Corky’ Kessler, responsible for instituting both federal and state tax incentives for filmmaking, is an adjunct professor at John Marshall Law School and a prolific speaker and leader at prestigious film festivals around the world, including the Cannes, Toronto International, and Sundance Film Festivals.

In addition to the screenwriting competition, Kessler will be hosting a “Speed Pitch” event at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where the winner will receive $20k of “in-kind services.”

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Kessler’s professional activities also include a commitment to inclusivity, and he recently hosted a panel discussion with leading women in the film industry as well as a one-on-one “Fireside Chat” with Associate Professor Angela Lawson, Ph. D. about sexual abuse in the entertainment industry.

Kessler stated that he is working with the Chicago Film office, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and other interested entities to offer filmmakers who submit a screenplay a chance to win a multitude of in-kind services.

Ahead of the Sundance announcement set for Tuesday, Jan. 28, he shared the parameters for the competition:

· The screenplay must address the topics of social injustice;
· The screenplay must be slated to film 75% in Illinois, preferably Chicago, with remaining 25% in any location.

Screenplay submissions will begin April 1, 2020 and run through August, 2020. Send screenplays after April 1 directly to Hal ‘Corky’ Kessler, Esq., 30 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 2200, Chicago, IL, 60606.

The winner, chosen by judges from around the world, will be announced on November 1, 2020.