Just For Laughs to stream its industry insider sessions | Montreal's festival-within-a-festival goes virtual

Just For Laughs to stream its industry insider sessions

Montreal's festival-within-a-festival goes virtual

Montreal’s Just For Laughs festival will stream all its industry sessions online this year.

The ComedyPro section of the festival features expert discussions on the state of the industry, insider panels about some of comedy’s biggest hits, and showcases of new talent, among other elements.

And although the exact format and scale of the full festival, including its programme of stand-up performances, has yet to be set - organisers have vowed to put the four-day industry conference online. 

The line-up has not been announced, but Just For Laughs says it will include the usual mix of  ‘pitch sessions, illustrious New Faces showcases, network meetings with power-brokers, keynotes and in-depth conversations with the  most influential and impactful voices in comedy as they tackle many prominent business topics; including assessing the current state of the industry, and discussing plans to move forward to invigorate the comedy industry.’

ComedyPro runs from July 28 to 31 and early-bird passes have gone on sale today from the Just For Laughs website, with an early bird price of US$99 (around £72).

One of the most popular strands of the conference invites comedians, writers and producers to pitch ideas to a panel of industry experts.

Submissions have opened for this year’s event, with the invitation to present single or multi-camera scripted sitcoms, game shows, reality shows, variety, sketch or animation series intended for a half hour or longer. The deadline is May 14.

The festival has also opened submissions for its  short films showcase, Eat My Shorts, which has formerly included projects from the likes of Jason Reitman, Trey Parker & Matt Stone, and Bill Lawrence.

The films selected this year will be screened digitally from July 26 to 31, 2021, and will be voted upon by a jury of programming experts.

And a separate strand, Beyond the Box: Playing It Short, seeks short-form TV show ideas –  scripted, animation, factual, variety and sketch – of 15 minutes or less.

All submission guidelines, rules, and prize details for the various submissions can be found at  the ComedyPro website.

Last year’s usual Just For Laughs was cancelled because of Covid, but organisers staged a two-day free, digital festival in October instead with a line-up that included Jimmy CarrNoel FieldingGina Yashere, Chelsea Handler, Kevin Hart, Judd Apatow and Howie Mandel.

Published: 17 Feb 2021

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