Just For Laughs and the IAWTV Present Beyond the Box: Playing It Short

February 26, 2015


Just For Laughs and the International Academy of Web Television (IAWTV) have teamed-up for the fifth iteration of Beyond the Box: Playing It Short, a pitch program for web series creators which takes place during ComedyPRO, the industry section of the annual Montreal Just For Laughs Festival, presented by Videotron in association with Loto-Québec.

The call for submissions to Beyond the Box: Playing It Short is for digital-first shows with episode lengths no greater than 15 minutes.

Pitches can include scripted, animated, factual, variety and sketch — but must be short-form series ideas aimed at digital video platforms.

Deadline for submissions is May 8, 2015 at midnight (PT).

Finalists will present their pitches before a jury of industry executives on Saturday, July 25, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Montreal during the 2015 edition of Just For Laughs ComedyPRO. Past jury members have included senior executives from Cracked, CollegeHumor, Fullscreen, Funny or Die, Maker Studios, Yahoo and YouTube.

Beyond the Box: Playing It Short is fast-becoming a magnet for up-and-coming talent as well as for video stars such as Epic Lloyd (Epic Rap Battles) who participated last year.

“Just For Laughs ComedyPRO is the premier place to pitch digital-first decision-makers,” says ComedyPRO’s Director, Paul Ronca. “Our partnership with an experienced and leading brand such as the IAWTV allows us to strengthen our offering to web series creators.”

“We’re excited to partner with Just For Laughs, and look forward to supporting web series creators through this program,” says IAWTV Chairman, Jeff Burns. “For anyone interested in digital entertainment content, now is the time, and this is the place!”

Previous participants in Beyond the Box: Playing It Short have not left the pitch empty-handed. Last year’s winning team of Nadine Djoury and Aurora Brown received an option from Defy Media for their web series, Newborn Moms. 2012 winners Mark Little and Daniel Beirne picked-up a development deal with Canada-UK production, SOS: Save Our Skins, which got its start at ComedyPRO, is now in pre-production for a second season with BBCWorldwide and Hollywood Suite.

Beyond the Box: Playing It Short is open to international applicants ages 18 and over. Submissions can be made online at A non-refundable fee of $45.00 USD must be included with each submission.

Just For Laughs ComedyPRO runs from July 22 – 25, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Montreal.

Registration starts now, with Early Bird prices in effect for industry members (you know who you are) until March 20, 2015 at the ComedyPRO website.

About ComedyPRO:
Just For Laughs ComedyPRO is a unique, annual global gathering of the biggest players in the comedy industry. The event takes place during the peak industry/media/performer dates of the Just For Laughs Festival. You simply cannot get any closer than this to the people who truly make comedy happen, and in ComedyPRO’s relaxed, laid-back atmosphere, we’re all equals! Registrants for this one-of-a-kind, three-day conference gain exclusive access to some of the most sought-after events in all of comedy, including industry luncheons, cocktail parties, and exclusive live performances of comedy’s buzziest podcasts.

About Just For Laughs Group:
Founded in 1983, the Just For Laughs Group has had but one goal in its 30-plus years of operation: Make People Happy. To achieve this goal, the Just For Laughs Group has focused on four major products: festivals in Montreal, Toronto and Sydney; television production including Gags seen in over 140 countries and on over 100 airlines and stand-up specials; live shows, such as Canadian tour dates for Jerry Seinfeld, Louis C.K., Jim Gaffigan and the Capital One Just For Laughs Comedy Tour; and talent management. The Just For Laughs Montreal Comedy Festival is the world’s largest and most prestigious comedy event welcoming on average 1.35 million visitors to Montreal each summer and generating approximately $80 million for the city’s economy. The Group has offices in Montreal, Paris, Los Angeles, Toronto, London and they are all connected to each other via the Internet.

About IAWTV:
The International Academy of Web Television (IAWTV) is a nonprofit organization comprised of leaders in the field of web video, and the digital entertainment industry. Founded in 2009, the IAWTV is helping to shape the rapidly evolving digital entertainment industry while providing a venue for the acknowledgement of artistic and technological achievement in original entertainment distributed on the open internet.

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