You know, trying to imagine what skeptical short-films might look like makes me realize that, gosh, there isn’t a lot of high-quality, mainstream, skeptical filmmaking out there. I blame Steven Spielberg.

Anyway — consider this note, excerpted form a press release from the Freethought Film Festival Foundation, which seeks to change that situation:


In honor of the United States’ National Day of Reason, a contest titled “Skeptical Satirical Shorts Under 666 Seconds” is being held by the organization behind the International Freethought Film Festival. The challenge is for filmmakers to create a short film that satirizes incredulous truth-claims, such as those of paranormal activity, psychic abilities, the efficacy of astrology, homeopathy, faith healing, alien abductions, and conspiracy theories — just to name a few. The length of the film must be under 666 seconds.

Online viewers will rate the entries on the “freethoughtfilmfest” channel at, and five finalists will be selected based on rating statistics. The top five films will be screened at the International Freethought Film Festival, and the first place winner will be voted upon by a panel of skeptical-celebrity judges. Among the confirmed judges are D. J. Grothe, president of the James Randi Educational Foundation; Barry Karr, director of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry; James Underdown and Joe Nickell of the Center for Inquiry; as well as several more, who have yet to be announced.

The first-place winner shall receive $1000 in cash and prize awards, courtesy of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry & Skeptical Inquirer magazine, and the James Randi Educational Foundation. Film entries for the contest will be accepted until July 31st, 2010. Viewer ratings will be tabulated through August 31st, 2010, and the finalists and first place winner will be announced on September 6th , 2010.

“When a freethinker hears a claim that makes one’s face twist with doubt; there is very little hesitation to challenge the claim. If evidence is not available to confirm or disprove it, many freethinkers are comfortable with indefinitely suspending their judgment.”, said Andrea Steele, founder and director of the International Freethought Film Festival.

For more information contact:

Andrea Steele

Executive Director

Freethought Film Festival Foundation


andrea.steele - at – freethoughtfilmfest - dot - org