I'm just hearing about this today, but the Doorpost Film Project is offering crazy money to its winning filmmakers - $300,000 total with a grand prize of $100,000. Plus they're flying the finalists to Nashville for screenings and an award presentation. Submitted films agree to a 3-year exclusive distribution window on their short films -- so if you don't win, you're sunk. I'm not sure what the business model is here. Do the contest holders think they can make their money back on advertising and licensing revenue on short films over three years?
Whatever the reasoning, that's a lot of prize money just sitting there for the taking. If you've got a short film that fits one of their themes and you don't mind giving up the rights for three years, here's the link to submit.