"The other guests and I found ourselves in front of a small screen, similar to those we use for projections, and after a few minutes,
a stationary photograph showing the Place Bellcour in Lyons was projected. A little surprised, I scarcely had time to say to my neighbour:
"Have we been brought here to see projections? I've been doing these for ten years." No sooner had I stopped speaking
when a horse pulling a cart started to walk towards us followed by other vehicles, then a passerby. In short, all the hustle and bustle of a street.
We sat with our mouths open, without speaking, filled with amazement".
 Georges Méliès




In the spirit of Lo/No Budget Filmmaking, Zed Fest is hosting a  Silent Movie Challenge, an ongoing project dedicated to DIY Movie Making. We challenge you to make a two minute black & white silent movie in the turn of the century (20th century) style of filmmaker extraordinaire, Georges Méliès.


Georges Méliès was perhaps the most important pioneer of early filmmaking. He was the ultimate DIY’er, writing, building and painting sets, acting, directing, and presenting many of his movies himself. With a background as a magician, he invented many of the “camera tricks” or “Special Effects” still in use today. His best known film is “A Trip to the Moon” made in 1902. He was also the first filmmaker to have a robot as a central character in his 1897 offering Gugusse et l'Automate” (The Clown and the Automaton).
(frame from "A Trip to the Moon")

The films should be shot like the old silent movies in the 1900’s in proscenium style with a single locked off camera. No sound or music.
(example of Georges Méliès on a proscenium style set)

Subject matter:

Science Fiction


(Robots and Zombies preferred)



Format Requirements

Video Format: MPEG-4

Maximum length: 2 minutes

Maximum file size: 1 GB


By submitting your work to this challenge you give Zed Fest permission to present and display it at our festivals and internet entities.

If you need a script, or would like to see what a silent movie script looks like, go to our Free Silent Movie Script page.


Email your entries to: