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The Francis Ford Coppola Winery is offering unknown filmmakers an alternative opening to get to the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

Not in the festival, exactly, but adjacent to it.

The winery — which is a Sundance Film Festival sponsor — is running the first Francis Coppola Director's Short Film Competition, with a $5,000 top prize and a venue at the winery's lounge in Park City during the festival.

Entries must be between 3 and 10 minutes long, and be original content. Filmmakers must be 21 or older. The deadline is Sept. 5, and submissions can be made online at the website There is no entry fee.

Entries will be judged by director Roman Coppola ("A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III"), son of Francis Coppola ("The Godfather," "Apocalypse Now") and brother of Sofia Coppola ("Lost in Translation," "The Beguiled"). The top film, and four honorable mentions, will screen at the winery's lounge during Sundance next January.

(If you have a short film and want to get into the actual Sundance Film Festival, there's still time. There are three submission deadlines for short films: Aug. 7, Aug. 21 and Sept. 15. Entry fees are $40, $60 and $80, respectively, so procrastination does have its price.)

— Sean P. Means