2023 Breakout Comedian of the Year Competition

2023 Submissions Closed

2023 Submissions Closed

Contest Overview:

The centerpiece of the BTF festival is the "Breakout Comedian of the Year" competition, a national platform to discover unrepped emerging BIPOC comedians and guide them to career opportunities in film and television. The annual competition will attract hundreds of submissions from across the country. The top ten will be invited to perform at the festival and compete for $25K in cash prizes, the opportunity to open for a major headline act and representation by a Hollywood talent agency.

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. You must be a legal United States resident, with the unrestricted right to work for any U.S. employer and to live in the United States and you must be eligible to accept the applicable prizes, if awarded. You must provide Producer with any documentation or proof that Producer requires to confirm the foregoing, including, without limitation, (i) a valid US passport or combination of valid US driver’s license and valid social security card, and (ii) any work permits required by the state of California (if any).
  2. You must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age. All applicants who meet this criterion, including all persons significantly older than twenty-one (21) years of age, are welcome and encouraged to apply to be a participant.
  3. You must be of African descent or identify as Black, Latino, Indigenous American, Asian American, Pacific Islander, or Middle Eastern.
  4. If you are selected as a contestant, you must be willing to travel to Los Angeles, CA on September 6, to perform to perform live for the Semi Finals qualifying round. If you are selected as a Semifinalist, you must be willing to travel to Washington, D.C. from October 6-8 to perform live at the Comedy Festival for the Finals qualifying round. If you are selected as a Finalist, you must be willing to perform live in the Finale show, where a Winner and four (4) Runner-Ups will be selected by a panel of esteemed industry professionals. All travel, lodging, and other expenses incurred in connection with the foregoing will be paid for solely by you.
  5. You may not participate in the Competition if your participation creates impropriety or the appearance of impropriety, as determined by the Producer and the other Affiliated Entities in their sole discretion.
  6. You do not have any contractual arrangement that would prohibit you from fully participating in the Competition and/or entering into any contracts required by Producer, including, but not limited to, an agreement for the Comedy Tour (defined below), an agreement for the Comedy Special (defined below), an agency live performance booking contract, and an exclusive management contract.
  7. You must not currently be a candidate for public office.
  8. You may not participate in the Competition if you or any of your immediate family members are an employee, officer, director, or independent contractor of the Producer.
  9. The foregoing eligibility requirements may be amended, revised, or changed at any time and in any fashion in the Producer’s sole discretion.

How To Enter/Audition Video Submission Requirements:

  1. Complete all required fields and upload one (1) audition video featuring a stand-up comedy routine performed solely by you, of between 4-5 minutes in length, recorded after January 1, 2022.
  2. Please state your name and hometown at the top of the submission and record horizontally.
  3. All backgrounds, clothing and any product(s) that appear(s) in the video must be free of trademarked materials (such as logos, artwork, type treatments, etc.).
  4. Audition video must be an MP4 or MOV file and available online (via video sharing sites Vimeo.com or YouTube.com). If the link is private, you must also provide the password.
  5. One (1) entry per person only.
  6. Submission Deadline: July 10, 2023

Judging and Selection of Quarterfinalists, Semi-finalists, and Winner:

  1. All eligible submissions will be judged by a panel of industry experts, The Selection Committee, whose decisions are final on all matters relating to this contest. The Selection Committee will base its evaluation on the following criteria: Performance - 50%, Originality of Material - 50%.
  2. Quarterfinals – Up to twenty (20) comics will be selected from the pool of submissions to perform live in Los Angeles quarterfinals round taking place on September 6. Ten (10) contestants ("The semifinalists") will be selected by a panel of esteemed industry professionals to advance to the next round.
  3. Semifinals – The semi finalists will be invited to perform at the festival in Washington, DC, in one of two semifinals shows on October 7. Five (5) contestants ("The finalists") will be selected by a panel of esteemed industry professionals to advance to the finale show on Sunday, October 8.
  4. The Finale – Each finalist will compete in the finale show. One (1) contestant ("The winner") will be selected by a panel of esteemed industry professionals and receive a grand prize of $20,000. The four (4) runner ups will receive $1,250.