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Screenplay Contests & Script Writing Competitions

For your convenience please find below a number of Film Festival and Screenwriting Competitions for you to consider.

HSX does not endorse any specific script writing competition or film festival (except the Script Studio Screenplay Competition) and has listed them for information purposes only. Please do your research to determine which competition best suits your screenplay.

* Please Note: Festival addresses and submission requirements frequently change so it is best to contact the Film Festival or Screenwriting Competition first.

The Austin Film Festival was the first film fest dedicated to celebrating the writer as the heart of the collaborative filmmaking process. The festival holds a Heart of Screenwriting Conference and Competition which attracts major screenwriters and producers as speakers. For more details, go to:

The Los Angeles Film Festival presents "Coffee Talks" with a panel of screenwriters and holds a 7-week Screenwriters Lab.

The Nantucket Film Festival offers a number of panels focusing on screenwriting as well as a series called "Morning Coffee With...", which enables festival-goers a chance to meet with screenwriters. For more info, go to:

The Rhode Island International Film Festival presents a Master Class in which the grand prize winner will have segments of the work produced and video taped. For more info, go to:

The San Diego Film Festival collaborates with the American Screenwriters Association to present the "Selling to Hollywood" conference. Also a competition with cash and prizes and a development package. Go to:

Each February the Santa Barbara International Film Festival manages to round up all or most of the recently Oscar-nominated screenwriters for a seminar held during their festival February. Go to:

The Sundance Film Festival is sponsored by the Sundance Institute. In addition to the annual festival, the Institute puts on a Screenwriters Lab (a five-day workshop for developing scripts) twice a year in January and June. Those chosen to participate develop their films under the concentrated guidance of veteran filmmakers and actors. Go to:

Scriptapalooza Screenwriting Contest... 7th Annaul Scriptapalooza Screenwriting Competition. Also Scriptapalooza TV competition and Scriptapalooza professional coverage....

At the Atlantic Film Festival one writer will be chosen to receive a live staged full read-through with local actors at the Scrip Out Loud session during the festival. Go to:

The L.A. International Short Film Festival (L.A. Shortsfest) provides staged readings of selected screenplays by professional actors. Go to:

The Slamdance Film Festival holds an annual screenplay competition and then puts on a staged reading of the winning script during the festival held each January.

The Seattle International Film Festival presents a theatrical read-through of the winning script in the Washington State Screenwriting Competition. For more information, go to:

The organizers of the Nantucket Film Festival describe it as "a screenwriter's festival presenting features, short films, documentaries, staged readings and panel discussions." Writers are encouraged to present their films and works-in-progress and get feedback from other writers and filmmakers.

The The Ohio Independent Film Festival presents a year-round screenplay reading program called Script Mill. In addition, the winner of the Ohio Independent Screenplay Awards will be read at the fest.

The Rhode Island Film Festival holds a script competition. The winning screenplay receives a staged reading at Scriptbiz, a script marketplace and seminar. www.film-festival.org

The Tribeca Film Festival develops and showcases scripts with scientific and technological themes and or characters in its Tribeca/Sloan Screenplay Program. Go to:

The Women's Image Network, which puts on the WinFilm Fest, conducts "WinFemme Monthlies," an industry staged reading of selected screenplays. www.winfemme.com

The Breckenridge Festival of Film gives awards to screenplays in each of four categories: Adult Drama, Comedy, Action-Adventure and Children-Family.

The Great Lakes Film Festival has a scriptwriting competition for screenplays, stage plays, and teleplays. Prizes for the winning script include $500, 2 complete passes to and accomodations at the festival.

The motto of the Hollywood Film Festival is: "Bridging the gap between Hollywood and emerging independent filmmakers and storytellers." Toward that end, it presents Discovery Programs and Awards.

Film Fest New Haven hosts the not-for-profit New Century Writer Awards which is open to writers of all nationalities, backgrounds and countries. Works accepted in two categories. Category I includes screenplays and stage plays. Category II includes short stories and novel exerpts. The top three prizes are cash awards for both categories I and II. Top fiction winners are also considered for publication in Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope All Story literary magazine. One screenplay or stage play is selected from each year's competition to be presented as a stage screenplay reading during the film festival weekend.

The Nantucket Film Festival (see above) gives the Tony Cox Award for screenwriting, sponsored by ShowTime Networks, Inc. The winner receives a cash prize and a first-look option from ShowTime.

The Ohio Independent Film Festival awards for Best Screenplay and Best Northcoast Screenplay.

The Santa Monica International Film Festival has included a screenwriting competition as part of its Moxie! Awards.

The International Family Film Festival in Santa Clarita, California is a family-themed festival which has a showcase for screenplays that have "no gratuitous sex, violence, nudity or obscene profanity." Go to:

The Flicks on 66 Wild West Digital Shootout solicits short scripts from around the world, selects the six best, then brings the writers to Albuquerque for one week in July to shoot, edit and class="tableHeading" their movie. For more info, go to:

Moondance Film Festival has an award program "to promote and encourage women screenwriters, playwrights and filmmakers." Go to:

WinFilm Fest (formerly the WIN Femme Film Fest), the Women's Image Networks' Film/Video/Screenplay Festival, is dedicated to promoting positive images of women in the media. Screenplays must have a positive female protagonist. They award a staged reading of the winning screenplay and hold a screenplay pitch session with film executives. For more info, go to:

The Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema presents a "Set in Philadelphia" Screenwriting Competition. The scripts must be set primarily in the greater Philadelphia area and preference is given to "scripts which capture the spirit, characters and/or locations of the region."The winning screenwriter is awarded cash and two professionally cast readings of the screenplay.In addition, the Irene I. Parisi cash award is given to an outstanding writer under 30. Go to:

The Hollywood Black Film Festival, held at the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television, holds a "Storyteller Competition" for black screenwriters only. For more information call (310) 348-3942 or go to:

The IFP Market gives a cash award -- The Gordon Parks Award -- to an African American Screenwriter. Go to:

Urban World Film Festival holds a screenplay competition with the 5 finalists presenting staged readings at Tribeca during the festival.

The IFP has a sidebar entitled No Borders for approximately 50 screenplays or works-in-progress in need of financing.Distributors meet with producers, directors or writers who are selected for No Borders. For more info, go to:

The Hollywood Film Festival has a market for works-in-progress.
Call (310) 288-1882 or go to:

Worldfest Houston has an entry category for unproduced screenplays.

Big Bear Lake Film Festival

Carolina Film & Video Festival and Screenwriting Showcase

Cinequest (San Jose Film Festival)

Great Plains Film Festival

Jackson Hole Film Festival

Jacksonville Film Festival

Kern Film Festival

Lake Arrowhead Film Festival

New Hampshire Film Expo

Screamfest Horror Film Festival


SoCal International Film Festival

Valley International Film Festival

* Please Note: Festival addresses and submission requirements frequently change so it is best to contact the Film Festival or Screenwriting Competition first.

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