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About The Challenge

The Mystery Box Film Challenge is a film challenge

for all who love to make films. Anyone can participate!

Be a team of 6 or a team of 1.


Filmmakers get items/prompts that must be

used in their film.


Filmmakers have roughly 2 months to complete a film. Those who submit finished films will have them premiere at the Northeast Pennsylvania Film Festival followed by a short Q&A and small awards presentation. So are you up for the challenge? Follow us on Instagram or Facebook

for updates!


The Mystery Box Film Challenge is run by Desiree Zielinski in partnership with Luz Cabrales of Scranton Films.  


Thank You To Our Partners

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Meet The Judges


Tony Susi is a filmmaker, designer, and multidisciplinary artist based in Pennsylvania. He creates a variety of work through the mediums of film, video, graphic design, and experimentational projects for himself, clients, and others. After working for a wide variety of clients in Pennsylvania and New York City advertising agencies, he decided to turn his professional creative focus to filmmaking and telling compelling stories using his unique view of design and communication for narrative and commercial projects.

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Bridget LaMonica is a cinematographer originally from Hamlin, Pennsylvania. Bridget attended East Stroudsburg University for Media Communication, and when her student loans simply weren’t high enough, went for an MFA in Film and Television at the Savannah College of Art & Design. 


Bridget spent a couple years as a newspaper reporter after grad school, then devoted herself to filmmaking full time and moved to Atlanta. Bridget has operated camera and Steadicam on a wide range of projects.


When Bridget’s not on set, she’s a writer of geeky content for the website Den of Geek and designated belly-rub enthusiast for her dog Bailey


Luz Cabrales' experience ranges from creating small promotional videos for local companies to overseeing and producing films, web series and television shows.

She is currently in pre-production of a new web series called PAlette: Exploring the Colors of Pennsylvania (2022). 


Luz is an advocate for the arts and strives to foster young talent and help them develop their professional skills  to take them beyond what they can imagine is possible. 


Luz holds a Bachelor of Science in Media Arts and Animation and a Master of Arts in Communication Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a limit to the number of people on my team?

No, there is no limit to how many people are on your team. You can have 6 or more on your team or be a team of 1. Whatever you need to get the job done. 

Is this challenge only for those living in Northeast Pennsylvania? 

Nope, we want to welcome all to participate in this challenge. We had a few in the past participate out of the NEPA area but were still in Pennsylvania. We did have two teams participate out of the state. We did have two international as well.  

How do I get the items/prompts? 

Items and prompts will be listed on our Facebook page and Facebook Group. They will also be listed on our Film Freeway page.

How long do participants have to make their film?

They have about 2 months to make their film roughly.  

Are there any other requirements for the films?

The films created for the challenge should align with the PG-13 rating. R or NC-17 films will not be accepted. You must use all items/prompts in your film.

Are there any technical specifications?

Films should be 1920 x 1080 (aspect ratio 16:9) full HD, 24fps. The film may be in other aspect ratios & resolutions, as long as it fits within the 16:9 1080 24P display. H.264 is the preferred codec with a MP4 or MOV wrapper/file type. 

My film is finished how do I submit?

Go to our Film Freeway page to submit. We do not accept physical copies. We can make alternate arrangements with you if need be just send us an email. 

Why is the challenge on Film Freeway with a submission fee?

We wanted to expand and grow the Mystery Box Film Challenge. Film Freeway is the premiere site to find film festivals and film challenges. And to reach a wider audience. We also wanted to streamline the submission process. We enacted a fee to help off set the cost for The Best of Show award and prizes. And also any marketing, advertising, and miscellaneous costs that were associated with the challenge the fee would go towards. 

Contact The Coordinator
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