(Boston, MA – January 11, 2019) – Presented by HBO, the Women in Comedy Festival (WICF) marks its 10th anniversary Thursday, May 2 through Sunday, May 5 at various venues throughout the Greater Boston area.

The Festival will bring together approximately 150 to 200 performers, artists, and storytellers to commemorate its decade-long efforts in increasing the representation of women in comedy in Massachusetts and across the country. “HBO is excited to be a part of this wonderful festival which showcases great comedy talent. This will be our third-year attending, and our second year as a sponsor.  We’re looking forward to getting to know a new group of WICF comics,” said Kelly Edwards, Vice President of Talent Development, HBO.

The Women in Comedy Festival is thrilled to partner with HBO, NBC and Showtime’s Frankie Shaw to work towards closing the gender gap in the film and television industry.

Of her participation in this year’s fest, Shaw says, “I’m honored to be involved with the Women in Comedy Festival. Ten years ago, the producers saw a void where women’s voices weren’t being heard nor shared. Over the years, the festival has made a conscious effort in presenting the diverse perspectives that we as women have. I look forward to working with the Festival in creating new opportunities for women of all backgrounds to share their stories.”

In addition, Phoebe Robinson (HBO’s 2 Dope Queens) and Nikki Glaser (Comedy Central’s Not Safe with Nikki Glaser) have been confirmed with a location, date and time, TBA.

Live show submissions are open to comedians of all genders in the categories of improv, musical comedy, sketch, and stand-up. Live show applicants may also submit their podcasts as part of their applications at www.wicf.com/apply/ through January 21, 2019.

WICF will also hold three film and screenplay competitions (Frankie Shaw’s Comedy Short Challenge, WICF Comedy Short Contest with NBC and HBO Pitch Your First 5 Pages) in search of female-driven short comedy films that go beyond the typical tropes.

All genders are welcome to submit but the film protagonist must be female-identifying protagonist, and a woman must hold AT LEAST ONE of the following roles: producer, director or writer. The script must have a female-identifying protagonist.

Frankie Shaw’s Comedy Short Challenge is accepting a one to five-minute short comedy film using this opening line of dialogue (provided to WICF by Frankie Shaw): “TRY HARD NONE OF IT MATTERS!”

The winner will be awarded $1,000 plus a one-on-one mentoring phone/skype call with Shaw.

WICF Comedy Short Contest with NBC is accepting comedic short films or single episodes of web series that are between two to 10 minutes. This contest is a great opportunity for filmmakers to submit comedic content that they have already created with a chance to win a one-on-one mentoring call with Karen Horne (Senior Vice President, Programming Talent Development and Inclusion, NBC Entertainment and Universal Television) and Jandiz Cardoso (Senior Director of Talent Development Programming, NBC).

In addition to the $1,000 award, the winner will have the opportunity to submit a sketch packet for consideration into the final round for NBC’s Late Night Writers Workshop in New York City for the 2020 submission period. (http://www.nbcunitips.com/late-night-writers-workshop/).

IMPORTANT NOTE: There are no dialogue requirements for WICF Comedy Short Contest with NBC.

The deadline to upload content for both Frankie Shaw’s Comedy Short Challenge and the WICF Comedy Short Contest with NBC is 11:59PM (PST) March 14, 2019. Submissions can be uploaded to www.filmfreeway.com.

HBO Pitch Your First 5 Pages Competition: Submit the first 5 Pages of an original 30-minute comedy or dramedy television pilot.

The TOP five scripts will have the chance to pitch in-person and receive live feedback from an Industry Pitch Panel moderated by Kelly Edwards, Senior Vice President of Talent Development, HBO, in front of a live audience at the 10th Annual Women in Comedy Festival on May 4, 2019. The prize-winning script selected by the Industry Pitch Panel will have a mentoring call with an HBO creative executive, along with a $500 cash prize.

All genders are encouraged and welcome to submit. The script must have a female-identifying protagonist.

Creator, writer, producer and star of Showtime’s hit comedy SMILF, 2018 Golden Globe nominee Frankie Shaw will be the face of one of our film competition categories. The Frankie Shaw Comedy Short Challenge will call filmmakers to create an original, 1 to 5 minute short comedy film using an opening line of dialogue provided by Frankie Shaw.