2015 DC Shorts Film Festival

SEPTEMBER 10–20, 2015

Screenplay Competition Casting

Thank you for your interest in reading for the 2015 DC Shorts Screenplay Competition.

The DC Shorts Screenplay Competition is a very different kind of screenwriting competition. A panel of reviewers consisting of filmmakers, screenwriters and critics reviewed over 165 screenplays — and selected the top 6 to be performed in front of a live audience!

We need actors to read for this performance. This is a non-paid gig. SAF/AFTRA members may participate.

To participate, please review the script breakdowns for each project. If you believe there is a role (or two) you wish to be considered for:

  1. Make sure you are available on Friday, September 18 @ 10:00am for a live audition, 12:00pm rehearsals and the 7:00pm evening performance. If you are not available all day on 9/18 — do not participate.
  2. Email your headshot (JPG only) and resume (PDF only) to the email address listed.  The subject line must contain the ROLE for which you want to be considered.
  3. Do not send large files, Word documents, or ay photo format other than JPG — your email will automatically be rejected.
  4. If you want to be considered for multiple scripts, you must email your information to each project.

After sending your information, the writers will review your information and will call those they believe are best suited. Those contacted will “audition” via telephone and might be asked to attend the live audition on Friday, September 18 @ 10:00am at the E Street Cinema, corner of 11th and E Street NW (Metro Center station). After the live audition, selected actors will rehearse the piece before the performance at 7:00pm. Those selected will receive two free tickets to attend (one for the actor, one for a guest) and a discount code for additional tickets.

DC Shorts does not interfere with the casting process. Each writer has a different process. Do not call the DC Shorts office with questions or updates.

No resumes will be considered after September 4.

Gravel Heart


A well-intentioned 14-year-old gets more than he bargained for when he confronts a violent neighbor. Based on actual events, “Gravel Heart” is a gritty coming of age story exploring loss and the limits of retribution.

TOMMY – (early teens) – Protagonist.  Well-intentioned, but not quite as ready to be man of the house as he thinks he is.  A good kid who isn’t always in control of his emotions. Impulsive. Tired of being thought of as a kid, yearning for independence. Feels things deeply. Loves his dog, Soma, and considers her to be his best friend.

BRICK – (40s) – Antagonist. Tommy’s erratic neighbor on the farm next to theirs. Suffers from an undisclosed illness. He’s tormented, alone… a rattlesnake with a temper.

COSGROVE – (60s) – Close friend of Tommy’s family. A lifelong bachelor, Cosgrove has a good heart and is well-liked in the community. Man of few words. He runs a small repair garage in town, occasionally lets Tommy sweep up or do odd jobs for a few bucks.

CELIA – (30s) – Tommy’s mom. Working class. Attractive, faded – a little worn down trying to raise Tommy alone with limited resources. Not yet bitter, she’s embarrassed having to rely on her son (and others) as much as she does.

To be considered for a role in GRAVEL HEART, email your headshot and resume to cast+gravelheart@dcshorts.com. Make sure to include the role in the subject line.

Over & Easy


A young woman’s screwball quest to donate her eggs before her 30th birthday.

Elly Gale Garrison — Female, 29. Casual and sporty. She is a fearless girl with star quality; Spontaneous with charm and energy; Enjoys verbal sparring matches. Unapologetically silly with an ounce of cynicism; Stubborn with a habit over-sharing. Elly is a shapely girl, curvy in the right places.  Confident girl on a mission/a neurotic girl on a mission.

Jimmy —  Male, 35ish. Easy and laidback. He is never upstaged by his style. Calm in nature, though occasionally suspicious of everyone and anything. Razor sharp wit; bold and clever. Unemployed. His wife / the struggles to become a father. A slender guy with the unconscious grace of an athlete. Smart and resourceful, yet melancholy and vulnerable

Mr. Chu — Male, 20. A neat trendsetter. Everything about him is always in the right place. Extremely annoying smart-ass with a superior demeanor. Strongly susceptible to brain freezes. Overly honest. Fertility Representative. Committed/Unyielding and obstinate.

Ms. Peters — Female, 40ish. Sharp and sophisticated. Speaks b.s w/ a poetic flair; Bottomless conceit. Has attitude and anger to burn; overzealous yet loyal to her job. Fertility Representative. Athletic, kind of scary; Looks like she lives on the stair-master. Will stop at nothing to get business done/ Will stop at nothing to get business done.

Narrator — Male, 30-50. Preferably with an English or Australian accent

Rachael/Margaret/Woman #2 — Females, 25-40. Keen, spirited, mouth for dry wit.

Sarah/Woman #1/Dr. Norris — Females/Male, 25-40. Savvy, yet spoiled; skilled and uninhibited.

To be considered for a role in OVER & EASY, email your headshot and resume to cast+overeasy@dcshorts.com. Make sure to include the role in the subject line.

Claus v Hollywood


When Santa Claus gets fed up with Christmas movies and holiday specials portraying him as a buffoon, he hires a Jewish lawyer to sue the studios for defamation of character.

KRIS KRINGLE  – (centuries old, male) – Santa Claus. The opposite of jolly. He’s desperate to clean up his reputation which has been sullied by years of Hollywood movies.

MRS. CLAUS – (centuries old, female) –  Her husband’s better half. Worried about the stress he is under.

GOLDMAN – (40s, male) – Jewish attorney. Bulldog inside the courtroom, dutiful Jewish husband outside. He tries to hide his resentment that Hanukkah gets overshadowed by Christmas.

BAILIFF – (40s, male) – Burly, no-sense but willing to buy his daughter an American Girl doll.

STUDIO ATTORNEY – (mid 30s, male or female) – A slick-suited, fast-talking hotshot lawyer who would be at home on a David E. Kelley show, minus the quirkiness.

JUDGE (early 70s, male) A typical seen-it-all judge as portrayed in movies like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Miracle on 34th Street.

ROOFING EXPERT (40ish, male)A blue collar family man who knows his business inside and out. He’s from middle America and doesn’t quite understand how he ended up in a headline-grabbing court case involving Santa.

MOVIE STUDIO BOSSES – (50s – 60s, mostly male) – Blow-hard “suits” whose first names are all initials — J.D., A.J., J.K. — just like bigwig businessmen in Rock Hudson/Doris Day films.  Picture a posh conference room full of cigar-chomping Harvey Weinsteins and J. Jonah Jamesons. Studios represented are Disney, Paramount, Dreamworks, Sony, WB, and Fox. Although the bosses are cut from the same cloth, they must all sound different.

VOICEOVER ACTOR – (any age, any gender) – Voiceover for a cheesy Hollywood law firm commercial.

STAGE DIRECTION/NARRATION – (any age, any gender) – The script is to be read like a live radio drama from the 1940s, but not as over the top. Must have an engaging, personable voice, but no scene stealing from the characters.

To be considered for a role in CLAUS v HOLLYWOOD, email your headshot and resume to cast+claushollywood@dcshorts.com. Make sure to include the role in the subject line.

Fireworks for a Funeral


Two sisters run into trouble with airport security after finding an unorthodox way to memorialize their dead uncle.

PENNY JENKINS – Female, 19. Most days, looks like someone who’s just gotten off a plane, and is comfortable like this. Could easily be mistaken for a high school student or a sort of bedraggled 30-year-old. Confident and quick- witted, she always tries to outdo her older sister in her own way.

LENA JENKINS – Female, 25. Naturally slim and effortlessly cool. Has hair that looks good no matter how much she tosses it around. Often mistaken for a younger person because of her coltish build and alternately lazy and frenetic energy. Just wants to have fun and gets along with most people.

OFFICER BURNS – Male, 40s. Would be imposing if he weren’t so generally rumpled. Uncomfortable being noticed, he tries to appear authoritative, but usually gives in to his gentler, more compassionate side.

NARRATOR – Female, 30-60.

To be considered for a role in FIREWORKS FOR A FUNERAL, email your headshot and resume to cast+fireworks@dcshorts.com. Make sure to include the role in the subject line.



A precocious 11-year-old abducts her mother’s uptight ex-boyfriend, to force him to become the parent she thinks she deserves.

ADAM, 32, male. A commercial photographer, Adam defines himself by his neat, organized, creative-professional vibe. He’s smart, driven, and a bit of a control freak. Underneath it all, what he really wants to be is an artist and creative adventurer. He doesn’t particularly like children, but he begrudgingly has a soft spot in his heart for Luna, whom he admires for her intelligence and drive.

LUNA, 11, female, open ethnicity. Luna is an exceptionally smart, very precocious kid. She is a born overachiever, and extremely mischievous. (Adam would describe her as a young evil genius). IMPORTANT: She speaks like an adult, not a kid. However, at her core she’s just an 11-year-old girl who isn’t getting the stability she needs at home, so she abducts Adam to gain a more suitable parent. Note: Interested in seeing actresses near this age, and also a few years older who can play a precocious 11.

MOUSE, 21. male. A pock-marked, sunken-eyed young man who lives in his parents basement, does too many drugs, and makes a bleary-eyed nuisance of himself at local shops around his small town. He is a very sensitive, overgrown child. He doesn’t seem particularly intelligent to others. He’s probably on the autism spectrum, but has never been diagnosed. Despite constantly getting in trouble, he sees himself as the hero of his own story.

OMKAR, 50 – South Asian / Middle Eastern / North African. A taxi driver. A gentle, kind man who has worked hard and raised kids of his own. He is a good listener with a very dry sense of humor.

MRS. LEE 72, Asian-American. A late-night gas station attendant. The owner of the service station, she doesn’t trust any of her employees to safeguard the station on the overnight shift, so she does it herself. She’s stern, no-nonsense, and tough as nails.

To be considered for a role in ADULTNAPPED, email your headshot and resume to cast+adultnapped@dcshorts.com. Make sure to include the role in the subject line.



What seems like a normal elevator ride turns into something much more when Charlotte runs into her father whom she has not seen in ten years.

CHARLOTTE – Female, Late 20s, Early 30s – Lost and struggling. She’s in a deep rut with scores of bad habits and destructive decisions to her name. She has a flare for adventure and a sharp mind but it’s all buried behind a thick wall of resentment and self-loathing. She’s self-aware but is unable to distance herself from her negative patterns.

ADAM – Male, Late 20s, Early 30s – Charlotte’s longtime boyfriend. Patient and kind at his core. He’s struggling to hold onto a relationship that’s been slipping through his fingers since it started. A foil for Charlotte, he’s not without his faults. Cracks in his core are beginning to show in subtle ways.

MARK – Male, Late 50s, Early 60s – Charlotte’s father. Caring and loving. Has lived the later part of his life in fear and with deep regrets. Is struggling to find a way towards redemption. Introspective and honest.

To be considered for a role in LIFT, email your headshot and resume to cast+lift@dcshorts.com. Make sure to include the role in the subject line.

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