Third Coast Short Docs Challenge, deadline April 30

It's time for the Third Coast Short Docs challenge – all about APPETITE. Details HERE and below. -Mia

The Third Coast ShortDocs Challenge is back! Here's your chance to take part in an international audio mega-project, whether you can produce radio in your sleep, or have always hungered to utter the words "Testing, 1, 2, 3. Testing" into a microphone. ShortDocs are for everyone.


As always, the ShortDocs Challenge comes with a set of rules inspired by a partner. For 2013 that's the James Beard Foundation – a great organization that celebrates, nurtures, and preserves diverse culinary heritages through awards, education, and outreach. 

Additionally, four Chicago-based "ShortDocs Chefs" will concoct original dishes (!) inspired by the winning ShortDocs stories. Starring: Rick Bayless (Frontera), Jason Hammel (Lula Cafe), and Iliana Regan(Elizabeth Restaurant) and one more, TBA.



The 2013 ShortDocs Challenge invites anyone and everyone to produce audio stories that are:

– inspired by the idea of “appetite
– two to three minutes in length

– presented in three “courses” (think: chapters)
– include one of the five tastes in the title: bitter, salty, sour, sweet, umami. (Kudos to you umami-goers.)

The deadline for submitting your ShortDoc is April 30.


Submitting your ShortDoc is simple. Behold!

1. Fill out this form.

2. Email us your 2-3 minute story (MP3 please), an accompanying story image (mandatory) and a producer photo (optional).


– If attachments total more than 7 MB, send your audio and images separately.

– Please name your files thusly. Please.

Audio: lastname_taste.mp3 (i.e. obama_umami.mp3)

Accompanying image (mandatory): lastname_taste.jpg
(i.e. obama_umami.jpg)

Producer photo (optional): lastname_biopic.jpg
(i.e. obama_biopic.jpg)

Questions about how/what to submit? Check out the FAQ and/or feel

free to ask.



Inspired by the James Beard Foundation's 2013 Conference theme, we encourage you to interpret "appetite" broadly, from the literal to the figurative. Consider stories of hunger and obesity, craving and satiety, profit and desire. Make us laugh, make us cry, make us angry, make us think – so long as your story explores appetite in some way, and follows the other ShortDocs rules.


We're excited to let YOU have your say in this year's Challenge. Eight finalist submissions will be posted online in July and voted upon for the first ever People’s ShortDoc Award. 


– Four winning submissions will each inspire an original dish from a ShortDocs Chef (listed above).

– Winners and ShortDocs Chefs’ will take the stage to present their creations publicly at the Third Coast Filmless Festival (TCFF), October 19-20, in Chicago.

– Eight finalists (including winners) will receive a free pass to the TCFF.

– All submissions are archived permanently on this site, and all producers are added to the Third Coast Producer Index.

– All participants receive a free one-year Pro SoundCloud account.

– All eight finalists will receive a free two-year SoundCloud Pro Unlimited account.

– Top submissions will be featured on Third Coast’s Re:sound (WBEZ, Chicago) and podcast, and presented on PRX's Public Radio Remix, and at Third Coast listening events in Chicago and beyond.


March 12 – through April 30 – Submissions accepted

July 1 – Eight finalists announced online
Mid-July – Voting open for People’s ShortDoc Award
Early August – Winners informed
October 19 – Winning producers and ShortDocs Chefs take the stage at the TCFF
December – Top 12 – 15 submissions featured on Re:sound



– Producers retain non-exclusive rights to their submissions.

– TCF retains the right to showcase all ShortDocs in service of Festival happenings – including at Listening Rooms, on Re:sound, on PRX’sPublic Radio Re:mix. (Note – producers may also license ShortDocs themselves, through

– Four winners will be selected by Third Coast staff, with help from the James Beard Foundation and ShortDocs chefs.

– The People’s ShortDoc Award will be presented in addition to these four winners.

Questions about how/what to submit? Check out the FAQ and/or feel free to ask.


Our apologies for all the food metaphors and puns, but we've found them near-impossible to avoid in, um, cooking up this year's Challenge.

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