Welcome to the Lonely Seal International Film, Screenplay, and Music Festival, the home of “Stories Aching To Be Told.” Nestled in a 106-year-old classic cinema house in Arlington (Boston), MA, with showcase screenings on Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach, Florida, The Lonely Seal International Film, Screenplay & Music Festival showcases “Stories Aching To Be Told.” Furthermore, we support you far beyond our festival dates, so we’ll be in your corner throughout your career. 

Special focus is put on Female Filmmakers, as well as LGBTQIA, Minority, Indigenous, and Disabled Filmmakers. HOWEVER, WE LOVE AND SUPPORT ALL CONTENT CREATORS, SO DON’T HESITATE TO APPLY!

Our prizes include showcases for Worldwide Buyers at Cannes, cutting-edge websites, prominent placement on a new crowdfunding platform, Final Draft software, strategic advice, and other career-enhancing gems.

Here is how it all started: 

Circa: Overland Park, Kansas, 1970’s.

Hammad Zaidi, a disabled kid with a rail-thin left arm, useless hand a cowboy limp, watched a documentary on the clubbing of harp seals with his little sister Mona. All of the snow-white pups perished, except for one called “The Lonely Seal.” The name stuck, as did Hammad’s intent to make the world a better place. A few decades and several charitable endeavors later, Hammad started judging film festivals. His first opportunity was at Flickerfest in Bondi Beach, Australia in 1997, a timeless experience where he and his fellow judges would dive into the ocean in between screenings. From there, Hammad went on to become a judge, world cinema screener, filmmaker advisor, panelist, screenwriting contest founder/judge, program curator, advisory board member, and or sponsor at multiple film festivals, including, but are not limited to, SundanceSlamdance, and SXSW. Hammad also produced and wrote independent films and TV, and Executive Produced and wrote numerous video games. He also started an international film distribution company, wrote 300+ published film-industry-related articles (256 of which were posted on FilmThreat), and became a member of the Producers Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America, and became a certified buyer at several film sales markets worldwide, including Cannes. 

Then, in 2018, The Lonely Seal Film, Screenplay, and Music Festival was born.