Pitch Competition: Rules & Regulations

ATX Television Festival
4th Annual Pitch Competition
Official Rules & Regulations

1. ELIGIBILITY: The Pitch Competition (“Contest”) is only open to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and Canada who are the age of majority in their state or province of residence at the time of entry (generally, at least eighteen (18) years of age). Persons in any of the following categories are NOT eligible to participate: any person who, at any time on or after November 1, 2012, was or is a director, officer, or employee of ATX Television Festival (“Sponsor”) or their parents, subsidiaries, divisions, or affiliated companies, dealers, or service agencies, independent contractors, web hosting or service or fulfillment providers, including, without limitation, Final Draft, Inc., First Round Judges, and Contest Judges (collectively, the “Contest Entities”) and their immediate family (defined as spouse, parents and step-parents, siblings and step-siblings, and children and step-children or dependent or spouse of any of the foregoing) and household members (people who share the same residence at least three (3) months out of the year). Persons who are members of any performance guild or who are under contract with any person or entities that would prohibit them from granting the rights set forth herein in connection with their entry and/or entering into an agreement with Sponsor without additional compensation are also not eligible to enter or win. This Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited. Participation constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules (“Rules”) and Sponsor’s decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Contest. Winning a Prize (as defined below in Section 5) is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.

2. SPONSOR: The Contest is sponsored by ATX Television Festival, LLC. doing business as “ATX Television Festival,” with a principal place of business at 2210 S. Congress Ave., Austin, Texas 78704 (“Sponsor”).

3. CONTEST TIMING: The entry submission period for the Contest begins December 4, 2015 at 10:00:00 a.m. Central Daylight Time (“CT”) and ends on January 15, 2016 at 11:59:59 p.m. CT (“Entry Submission Period”). Sponsor’s computer is the official time-keeping device for this Contest.

The Contest Period will be divided into three phases, as follows:

  1. Entry Submission Phase: December 4, 2015 at 10:00:00 AM to January 15, 2016 at 11:59:59 PM
  1. Semi-Finalist Selection Phase: January 16, 2016 at 12:00:00 AM to February 26, 2016 at 11:59:59 PM
  1. Finalist Selection Phase: February 2, 2016 to April 15, 2016


*All times are CT.

The Grand Prize Winner Judging Period will take place during ATX Television Festival Season 5 (June 9-12, 2016) in Austin, Texas.

4. HOW TO ENTER/ENTRY FEE: To enter, visit www.atxfestival.com/pitch (“Website”).

Remittance of Forty Dollars (US$40.00) (“Entry Fee”) to Sponsor during the Entry Submission Period, together with your completed form and video clip, no longer than 90-seconds in length, describing your original elevator pitch for a scripted (non-reality) series (“Idea”) entitles you to participate in the Contest and shall constitute your entry (“Entry”) in the Contest. There is no limit to the number of unique Ideas that a single entrant can submit during the Entry Submission Period, but each Idea must be separate and distinct from any other Idea submitted by that entrant and requires the payment of an additional Entry Fee (i.e., submitting three Ideas requires payment of US$120.00). Any form of entry other than that described herein is void. Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, invalid, unintelligible, or misdirected registrations or entries, which will be disqualified.

As conditions of Contest entry, each entrant acknowledges and agrees that:

(a) Sponsor, Contest Entities and other participants may have access to and/or may create literary, film, tape and/or other materials, ideas and concepts which may be similar or identical to the entrant’s Entry, ideas, and/or concepts;

(b) the entrant will not be entitled to any compensation or other consideration because of the use by Sponsor, Contest Entities or any other participant of such similar or identical material, ideas and/or concepts; and

(c) Sponsor’s, Contest Entities’ or other participant’s use of material containing elements similar to or identical with those contained in the entrant’s Entry shall not obligate Sponsor to negotiate with nor entitle entrant to any compensation or other claim.


Semifinalist Selection: A panel of at least six (6) people selected by Sponsor (“First Round Judges”) will judge all the eligible Entries received during the Entry Submission Period and will select the top twenty-five (25) Entries (“Semi-Finalists”) based on the following criteria (“Judging Criteria”):

  • creativity/originality of the Idea
  • series potential (would this be a TV show that audiences would like to watch?)
  • description of characters/world
  • clearness/conciseness of the Idea

The First Round Judges’ decisions shall be final and binding. An additional “tie-breaking” First Round Judge selected by Sponsor will break any ties, based on the criteria listed herein. Sponsor reserves the right to select fewer than twenty-five (25) semi-finalists if, in its sole discretion, it does not receive a sufficient number of eligible entries. If an entrant submitted more than one Entry, only one of entrant’s Ideas can advance to the next round (as determined by the First Round Judges).

In order to move on to the Finalist Selection, the twenty-five (25) semi-finalists must submit a writing sample to pitch@atxfestival.com within ten (10) days of being announced as semi-finalists. All writing samples must be a narrative piece of fiction (script, short story, portion of a longer story, etc.) to qualify for advancement to the final round. The writing sample does not have to be related to pitch submission but must be an original piece of writing by the semi-finalist.

Finalist Selection: A panel of at least six (6) television industry professionals selected by Sponsor (“Contest Judges”) will judge the Entries from the Semi-Finalists and will select the top ten (10) Entries (“Finalists”) based on the Judging Criteria. Finalists will be invited to the ATX Television Festival (June 9-12, 2016) to pitch their Idea to the Contest Judges in front of a live audience (“Live Pitch”). Finalists must confirm their attendance at the Festival no later than May 6, 2016. Sponsor reserves the right, but is not obligated, to invite a Semi-Finalist(s) to replace any Finalist(s) who is/are unable or unwilling to attend the Festival or who does not confirm by 11:59:59 PM CT on May 6, 2016.

Grand Prize Winner Selection: The Contest Judges will select one (1) grand prize winner (“Grand Prize Winner”) from the Finalists based on the Live Pitch. The Live Pitch must not exceed three (3) minutes or the Finalist may be disqualified. The Grand Prize Winner will have the chance to meet with a Contest Judge or ATX Television Festival specified mentor (to be selected by Sponsor based on the Idea’s genre/judges’ availability) to discuss the Idea in more detail and gain notes on how to better develop the Idea. After the pitch is honed, the Grand Prize Winner will have the chance to “pitch” his/her Idea to a studio/network selected by Sponsor and based on the show’s genre/style to try and sell his/her pilot for production.

In consideration of the Semi-Finalists, Finalists, and Grand Prize Winner, if the Idea (in any form) is subsequently produced by a Contest Entity (including, but not limited to: producer, judge, studio/network), ATX Television Festival, LLC. shall be credited as a “Producer” of said content in substantially the same manner as other producers of such content and shall be entitled to a gross profit participation to be negotiated in good faith and in accordance with industry customs taking into account the content’s budget and cast.

Each Semi-Finalist, Finalist, and Grand Prize Winner may be called a “Winner.” Winners’ names will be listed on the website at www.atxfestival.com/pitch as follows:

Semi-finalists: February 26, 2016

Finalists: April 8, 2016

Grand Prize Winner: June 9-12, 2016

6. PRIZES: Prizes are non-transferrable, and no substitution will be made except as provided herein at the Sponsor’s sole discretion. Unless otherwise indicated, there is no cash equivalent for the prizes. Winners are responsible for all taxes and fees associated with Prize receipt and/or use. Odds of winning a Prize depend on the number of eligible entries received during the Entry Submission Period.

All Entrants: Each entrant who submits an eligible Entry will be entitled to receive a discount code via email to purchase the latest version of FINAL DRAFT for $129 (retail $249) and a locked-in rate of $195 for one (1) ATX Television Festival Season 5 Weekend Badge (while supplies last). Such codes will be emailed to entrants who have provided valid email addresses promptly following the end of the Entry Submission Period and any terms (e.g., expiration date) will be as provided in such email(s).
Retail Value of Savings = US$250

Semi-Finalists (15): Each Semi-Finalist that is not selected to be a Finalist will be entitled to receive one (1) weekend badge in the Semi-Finalist’s name to the ATX Television Festival (June 9-12, 2016) in Austin, TX (“Festival”) at no charge (travel not included). Retail Value = US$325

Finalists (10): Each Finalist will be entitled to receive one (1) weekend badge in the Finalist’s name to the Festival plus one (1) ticket to the opening night screening and reception at no charge (travel not included). Each Finalist will also receive a copy of Final Draft. Retail Value = US$574

Grand Prize Winner (1): The Grand Prize Winner will be entitled to one (1) meeting with a Contest Judge or ATX Television Festival specified mentor (to be selected by Sponsor based on the Idea’s genre/judges’ availability) and one (1) meeting with a studio/network selected by Sponsor and based on the show’s genre/style. The Grand Prize Winner will be responsible for all travel or other costs associated with attending such meetings.

Nothing set forth herein shall be construed to require Sponsor to produce Festival at any particular time, or at all. If, for any reason, Festival does not occur, that portion of the Prize will be forfeited without additional compensation and remainder of prize will be awarded.

In the event a Finalist or Grand Prize Winner engages in behavior that (as determined by Sponsor in its sole and absolute discretion) is threatening, illegal, places another person in danger of harm, or is intended to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any other person, Sponsor reserves the right to terminate Finalist’s participation in the Live Pitch, cancel the Grand Prize Winner’s meetings, and/or terminate other applicable experiences early, in whole or in part.


7. VERIFICATION OF POTENTIAL WINNERS: Potential Winners must continue to comply with all terms and conditions of these Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements. If requested by Sponsor, the potential Winners will be required to sign and return to Sponsor, within five (5) days of the date notice is sent, an affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release (except where prohibited by law) in order to claim their respective Prizes. If a potential Winner of any Prize cannot be contacted, fails to sign and return the affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release within the required time period, or if the Prize or Prize notification is returned as undeliverable, the potential Winner forfeits the Prize. In the event that a potential Winner of a Prize is disqualified for any reason, Sponsor may award the applicable prize to an alternate Winner from among all remaining eligible Entries.

8. NAME AND LIKENESS RIGHTS: Except where prohibited by law, participation in the Contest constitutes each Winner’s consent to Sponsor’s and its designees’ use of Winners’ names, likenesses, photographs, and/or personal information for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration. All uses of a Winners’ information are in accordance with our Privacy Policy available at http://atxtvfestival.wpengine.com/privacy-policy/.

9. REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES: By submitting an Entry, each entrant warrants and represents the following:

  • The entrant is the exclusive owner and sole author of the Idea and/or has obtained prior written authorization or license to submit the Idea from any and all third party rights holders therein, such that the Idea is the entrant’s original creative work and the entrant’s submission thereof will not infringe, misappropriate, or violate the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity; and/or the entrant has obtained prior written authorization to act on behalf of any co-creators of the Idea;
  • Execution of this agreement and participation in the Contest, including submission of the Idea, will not conflict with or violate any term or condition of any other agreement to which entrant is a party, including but not limited to any union or guild regulation;
  • The Idea is not based on an existing film or on a submitted pitch;
  • There are no threatened, pending, or current claims, actions, or lawsuits in connection with the Idea, and entrant agrees to notify Sponsor immediately upon his/her notification of any such claims, actions, or lawsuits;
  • The Idea has not been previously published, produced, sold, or optioned by or to anyone, at any time;
  • The Idea has not won previous awards;
  • He/she is submitting the Idea voluntarily on a non-confidential basis;
  • He/she is at least eighteen (18) years of age, or, if higher, the age of majority in your state or province (e.g., 19 in Nebraska and Alabama, 21 in Mississippi);
  • He/she has the right, authority, and capacity to enter into this agreement and agrees to abide and be bound the terms and conditions here;
  • Publication or other use by Sponsor of the Idea via various media including web posting, will not infringe on the rights of any third party; and
  • He/she will otherwise comply with these official rules.

Entrant will indemnify and hold Released Parties (as defined below) harmless from and against any and all claims to the contrary and any demands, actions, causes of action, damages, costs or expenses brought against or suffered or incurred by the Released Parties, or any of them arising out of or in connection with the participation by the entrants in this Contest, or the use, in whole or in part, by any Released Party of any Entry (or portion thereof) submitted by the entrants in this Contest.

10. ENTRY CONDITIONS AND RELEASE: By entering, each entrant agrees to: (a) comply with and be bound by these Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which are binding and final in all matters relating to the Contest; (b) indemnify, release, and hold harmless the Sponsor, its parent, subsidiary and affiliated companies, Prize suppliers and any other organizations responsible for sponsoring, fulfilling, administering, advertising or promoting the Contest, including, without limitation, Final Draft, Inc. and the Contest Judges, and all of their respective past and present officers, directors, members, employees, agents and representatives (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liability, including but not limited to negligence and damages of any kind to persons and property, including but not limited to invasion of privacy (under appropriation, intrusion, public disclosure of private facts, false light in the public eye or other legal theory), defamation, slander, libel, violation of right of publicity, infringement of trademark, copyright or other intellectual property rights arising out of or relating to a participant’s Entry, participation in the Contest, and/or acceptance or use or misuse of Prize; and (c) indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Sponsor from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liabilities (including reasonable attorney’s fees) arising out of or relating to an entrant’s participation in the Contest and/or entrant’s acceptance, use, or misuse of the Prize.

11. CHOICE OF LAW; DISPUTE RESOLUTION: This Agreement shall be deemed to have been entered into and shall be construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of Texas as applied to contracts made and to be performed entirely within Texas, without giving effect to the state’s conflicts of law statute. Any controversy, dispute or claim arising out of or related to the agreement or your participation in the Promotion shall be settled by an arbitrator, within Travis County, Texas subject to the rules and regulations of the American Arbitration Association then in effect, except that such arbitration shall be handled by a single arbitrator selected in accordance with such rules and regulations. The arbitrator shall be well acquainted with the entertainment business, and the arbitrator’s decision shall be final and binding. Each party to any arbitration shall bear its own costs, including attorney’s fees. Failure to appear at any arbitration hearing entitles the arbitrator to proceed ex parte.

12. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS: By accepting your Entry, including your submission of the Idea, we in no way grant you any additional rights therein or otherwise expand the scope of your rights under applicable copyright laws. You are solely responsible for protecting your rights in the Idea, including without limitation, for filing or registering the Idea with the Writers Guild of America and/or the United States Copyright Office. You acknowledge and agree that Sponsor and/or any participating independent judges may independently access or develop creative concepts and/or works which resemble the Idea or incorporate similar concepts, themes, formats, plot lines and characters to those in the Idea and that you are not entitled to any compensation and have no rights of any kind in connection therewith.

13. ENTRANT’S PERSONAL INFORMATION: Information collected from entrants is subject to the Sponsor’s Privacy Policy, which is available here: http://atxtvfestival.wpengine.com/privacy-policy/

14. GENERAL DISCLAIMER: The relationship between you and Sponsor is one of independent contractors. Neither party will represent that it has any authority to assume or create any obligation, express or implied, on behalf of the other party, or to represent the other party as agent, employee, or in any other capacity, except as specifically provided herein. Sponsor reserves the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Contest, or any part of it, if any fraud, technical failures or any other factor beyond Sponsor’s reasonable control impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the Contest, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the Entry process or the operation of the Contest or to be acting in violation of these Rules or any other promotion or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. The Released Parties are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by Entrants, printing errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Promotion; (2) technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software; (3) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the Entry process or the Contest; (4) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Contest or the processing of Entries; or (5) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from Entrant’s participation in the Contest or receipt or use or misuse of any Prize.