Tag Archives: screenplays

4 Fests You Should Enter This Week

…because all it takes is ONE festival screening to change everything.

2014 BlackStar Film Festival Screenplay Competition
July 31 – August 3
Deadline: May 15

This year’s short screenplay competition gives the winner the unique opportunity to have the script produced by BlackStar and directed by a renown director [Terence Nance, “An Oversimplification Of Her Beauty”]. To determine the winner, the finalists will be read by a prestigious jury of film industry professionals. The winning script will receive the BlackStar festival “greenlight” and will be read live at the festival by professional actors.

Short film screenplays must be written by a person of African descent.

Website: http://blackstarfest.org/screenplay-competition14/
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4 Fests You Should Enter This Week

…because all it takes is ONE festival screening to change everything.

Sidewalk Film Festival

August 22 – 24

Late Deadline: March 15

“The 16th annual Sidewalk Film Festival, a celebration of new independent cinema in downtown Birmingham, is set to take place August 22-24, 2014. Since its debut in 1999, filmmakers from across the country and around the world have come to Birmingham to screen their work at Sidewalk and have been thrilled to discover fresh, enthusiastic crowds eager to devour new independent cinema.”

Accepts narrative & doc features, narrative & doc shorts, animations and short screenplays

website: http://sidewalkfest.com/submit-a-film/
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Say Hello to Screenwriting Competition Season!

Get ready to mark your calendars, folks. Many indies have gotten their big break from the following competitions, labs and fellowships (Benh Zeitlin & Lucy Alibar, Destin Cretton, Dawn Porter, Lucy Malloy and Edward Ricourt). What’s the worst that could happen? You spend $50 and turn that idea you’ve been working on FOREVER into an actual script you can shop around or even produce yourself? Sounds like a win-win to me.

If you have any others to add, leave a comment below and I’ll gladly update the list.

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4 Fests You Should Enter This Week

First Glance Film Fest Philadelphia (Fall 2013)

Next deadline: April 16

“Our 16th annual FirstGlance Film Fest Philly is open to professional, first time, graduate and undergraduate filmmakers from down the street and across the globe. FirstGlance showcases the best indie filmmaking from around the world and celebrates Philadelphia filmmakers with a festival described as, “one of the most entertaining festivals out there” and “Philadelphia’s answer to Sundance”

Accepts narrative & doc features, narrative & doc shorts, student shorts, music videos, animations and web series pilots

website: http://www.firstglancefilms.com/philadelphia/callforentries
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APPLY: theOffice’s Fellowship Comes With Your Own Writers Cave (Enter by Mar. 15th)


theOffice Fellowship (2013 Edition)

Deadline: March 15th (by midnight PST)

(1) Winner receives 6 months of free access to theOffice in LA (a quiet communal workspace in Santa Monica, CA). This is equivalent to a Premium Membership, the highest level of membership we offer, worth upwards of $2500. 
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Screenwriting Competition Season Is Officially Open. Are You Ready?

The worst feeling as an indie just starting out is hearing there’s a great opportunity to jumpstart your career, only to find out the deadline already passed. Well get ready to mark your calendars, folks. Let’s make 2013 the year of starting, finishing AND submitting our dream scripts. 

  • Outfest Screenwriting Lab

2013 Deadline: February 11th

“What began as a screenwriting competition has expanded into a dynamic three-day, mentor-led workshop in Los Angeles for selected screenwriters. The authors of five screenplays will be invited to participate in an intensive laboratory during which they will work closely with Lab Mentors — established writers who will critique and encourage their work.To be held in June 2013, with a follow up event during Outfest Los Angeles 2013, the lab will include sessions with other industry professionals, structured career development opportunities and participation in ongoing festival events.”


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Read The Indie Screenplays That Could Win Oscar Gold

It’s finally here! Awards season is my favorite time of the year. Indie film has never felt stronger to me and I think that there are quite a few little guy (and gal) contenders for Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay noms.

With each Oscar season, it seems like studios are growing more comfortable with audience transparency. This is a huge advantage for us aspiring screenwriters. Now the words of today’s most talented scribes are right at our fingertips. A big thanks to Scott Myers of Go Into The Story  for reblogging the script catalog from Brad Brevet’s Rope of SiliconMy favorite thing to do is read scripts of films that I’ve already seen (LOOPER, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, MIDDLE OF NOWHERE) and discover the story changes from page to screen.

PDFs of those films and many more are waiting for you HERE. Gotta do something productive until February 24th, right?

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Filmmaker Quote of the Day: Anna Hamilton Phelan

“When I get bogged down I say, ‘ No attachment to outcome. Don’t worry about what’s going to happen to this. Just write the next word.”

– Anna Hamilton Phelan, Screenwriter (GIRL, INTERRUPTED, GORILLAS IN THE MIST)

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Have You Read a Script Today?

Since there are still 10 long days until Season 5 of Breaking Bad premieres and my local movie theater chain is never going to screen Moonrise Kingdom, I thought I’d start out this month easing back into a scriptwriting schedule. While I’m not quite ready to outline, I did glance back at a bookmark from my favorite site, Go Into The StoryOne of my unofficial gurus for all things screenwriting, Scott Myers, offers a gem called “1, 2, 7, 14.” for writers (season and emerging) that I think is worth trying out.

It goes a little something like this…

It is a simple formula to do three things — Read Scripts. Watch Movies. Write Pages. — you need to do to expand and deepen your understanding of the screenwriting craft. 4 numbers for you to remember: 1, 2, 7, 14.

  • Read 1 screenplay per week.
  • Watch 2 movies per week.
  • Write 7 pages per week.
  • Work 14 hours per week prepping a story.
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FADE IN: Upcoming screenwriting contests

With two of the most competitive screenwriting competitions (Nicholl Fellowship and Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab) now past us, we are officially at the halfway mark of screenwriter season. Now’s the time to stretch away from the keyboard, revise the latest draft, and repeat the wonderful application process all over again. Although I am no longer a soldier fighting the good fight against mediocre scripts (see here), I am absolutely cheering you all on from the sidelines. Stay strong in believing the countless hours spent in the writer’s cave will payoff as placing as a finalist in any of the competitions below could be the big break of your career. If you haven’t considered entering the following contests before, why not take the risk?
  • Austin Film Festival Screenplay Contest 

deadlines: May 15th and June 1st

“The rewards are endless. 
AFF awards are career-starters, but just entering your script insures other profound returns. Advancing writers and their scripts enjoy one-of-a-kind industry attention, networking opportunities and dream workshops. At the semifinalist level and beyond, judges include professional writers and representatives from major studios and production companies actively seeking scripts and talent”


  • Slamdance Screenwriting and Teleplay Competition

deadlines: April 6th, June 11th, July 23rd and July 31st 

The Slamdance Screenwriting and Teleplay Competition is dedicated to discovering and supporting emerging writing talent. We welcome screenplays in every genre, any budget, on any topic, from anywhere in the world. A unique feature of the competition is providing constructive feedback for every entrant”


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Deadlines, Deadlines, Deadlines for Screenwriters

Ah, it’s that time of year again. The sun is shining, flowers are beginning to bloom, Spring is finally showing its beautiful face. However, this time of year, particularly this month is when aspiring writers throughout the world will spend the most time indoors. Why? Say it with me: Deadlines, deadlines, and yes, more deadlines. The countless hours spent in the writer’s cave can absolutely payoff as placing as a finalist in any of the competitions below could be the big break of your career. I’ve shared the lineup that I’ve selected for myself and my first feature screenplay. Perhaps you’d like to join in on the fun?
  • Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting

deadline: May 1st

“The Academy’s Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting is an international screenwriting competition established to identify and encourage talented new” screenwriters. Up to five $35,000 Fellowships are awarded annually”


  • Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab 

deadline: May 1st

“A five-day workshop for developing scripts held twice a year in January and June. Those chosen to participate develop their films under the concentrated guidance of veteran filmmakers and actors”  


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