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'Project Greenlight': Matt Damon and Ben Affleck give directing prize details

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They’re baaack! Oscar winners and self-professed BFFs Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are giving another talented unknown hopeful a huge shot at breaking into the film industry via the return of their HBO reality series “Project Greenlight.” This time the notably beautiful Boston natives are looking for an aspiring first-time director and they revealed a few details in the attached YouTube series promo video that was posted by HBO on June 25.

Affleck describes the competition's grand prize saying, “The winning candidate will lead a Hollywood-vetted script from pre-production to casting through principal photography and on to post-production.” Affleck and Damon will serve as mentors throughout the process, along with veteran producers. The tongue-in-cheek promo also features the executive-producing pair joking about their lack of new ideas since the show's original air date 13 years ago.

Per “Project Greenlight” submission guidelines, entrants must submit a short film from one to three minutes in length that they have directed and they must be first-time directors with no significant film credits. The submission period begins July 24 and ends Aug. 8.

HBO ran the first season of the popular series in 2001 in which the Oscar-winning screenwriting duo (“Good Will Hunting”) searched for an unknown screenwriter. After 7,000 submissions Pete Jones won for “Stolen Summer.” The series returned for a second season in 2003 with writing and directing categories and screenwriter Erica Beeney won for “The Battle of Shaker Heights” which was directed by winning directing duo Kyle Rankin and Efram Potelle. The film starred Shia LaBeouf (“Transformer” franchise) and Amy Smart (“Just Friends”).

Season three transitioned to Bravo in 2005 and a horror script “Feast” by Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton won.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s long list of achievements is staggering since their fledgling TV series endeavor originally aired. Damon snagged three Oscar nominations and one Oscar win, five Golden Globe nominations with one win and two Primetime Emmy nods for his astounding work on the Liberace biopic film “Behind the Candelabra" and his guest role on “30 Rock.” He’s also enjoyed huge box office success with the “Ocean’s” trilogy and the “Bourne Identity” franchise.

Affleck has been getting a lot of buzz about donning the Batman suit for his upcoming role in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” But the talented actor has also proven his own directing prowess with his incredible work on “The Town,” “Gone Baby Gone” and Best Picture Oscar winner “Argo.” He also earned four Golden Globe nods with three wins.

Both Damon and Affleck garnered three Primetime Emmys for “Project Greenlight’s” prior seasons and earned the distinction of being “People’s” Sexiest Man Alive. It makes perfect sense the highly-decorated pair wants to give back at arguably the pinnacle point of their success by helping an unknown director land the ultimate Hollywood break.

Plus, the dream-come-true concept should appeal to both entrants and aspiring filmmaker viewers. “Project Greenlight,” overall, is a highly-visible televised film festival that provides an amazing opportunity for unknown filmmakers to emerge from obscurity.

Who doesn't want to follow in Ben Affleck and Matt Damon's mega-successful footsteps? Their meteoric rise to fame after their pivotal 1997 screenwriting Oscar for "Good Will Hunting" (in which they also starred) is the stuff fairy tales are made of.

"Project Greenlight's" fourth season is being released in the digital age, which makes the prospect of its newest installment even more exciting. The show will be produced for HBO by Adaptive Studios, Damon and Affleck’s Pearl Street Films and Miramax.

Stay tuned to for series updates.


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