I'm often skeptical of "Film Competitions", especially the ones where a company will ask "Make a commercial and the winner gets $5k" or whatever. The company gets to sit back while hundreds or thousands of filmmakers work away for free to come up with the best idea. It's a very small investment for the company. With Rodriguez's competition, who is making the profit here? If Rodriguez is making a profit off the sweaty backs of desperate filmmakers, than shame on him for putting down such a low amount of cash. But if he is offering the money and not keeping the rights to the film or profiting from it, than great. But I have a suspicion that he would distribute it. As filmmakers, we are not often compensated for our skills. It would be like me asking "Carpenters, build me a house for 7k and the best house wins." I then get a bunch of desperate carpenters building great houses and then I get to live in it for $7k. Carpenters are not that desperate, but why must we scrape the bottom for any little bits that people throw at us. Hey, if a competition gets you out of your chair and making a film (although 95 percent of making a film is sitting in a chair, writing, editing, promoting), then that's fantastic, but it's sad that it takes a competition to get people motivated.