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Cinequest Screenwriting Competition

Cinequest Screenwriting Competition

Contact

San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 638-0644 (voice)

Web: Click here
Email: screenplay@cinequest.org

Contact: Antonea Colon, Screenwriting Competition Coordinator

Report Card

Overall: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.4/5.0)
Professionalism: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.2/5.0)
Feedback: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.3/5.0)
Signficance: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.2/5.0)
Report Cards: 33    
Have you entered?
Please submit a Report card.

Objective

Cinequest voted Best Film Festival by USA Today Readers.

Submissions open May 1st, 2017!

The Cinequest Screenwriting Competition continues to empower global screenwriters through discovery, recognition and opportunity. Cinequest loves writers, and we welcome you to submit your screenplay or teleplay to our renowned competition. The Top 10 Finalists receive many empowering benefits including: All Access passes to the Cinequest Film & VR Festival and the exclusive Writers Celebration, plus exposure to leading industry players and inspiring luminaries.

Finalists are presented alongside high profile Maverick Spirit awardees like: J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, Chuck Palahniuk, Neil Gaiman, Philip Kaufman, Michael Arndt, Diablo Cody, Dennis Lehane, Jason Reitman and more at the highly anticipated Writers Celebration during the Cinequest Film & VR Festival.

WRITERS CELEBRATION

Celebrating the Screenplay Competition’s Top 10 Finalists, the electrifying Writers Celebration occurs during the Cinequest Film & VR Festival (February 27 - March 11, 2018) and includes opportunities for writers to connect with producers and enhance their careers, networks and opportunities. Writers Celebration events will include:

  • Business of Writing Forum
  • Writer Meets Producer Mixer to connect with industry leaders
  • Pitch Training with expert pitch coaches
  • Pitch Challenge to a panel of industry powerhouses
  • An inspiring Maverick Spirit luminary event.

FEATURES

A $5000 cash prize will be presented to the winning feature-length script. Finalists will also get their scripts read by industry professionals. Previous industry readers have included: ICM Partners, Lions Gate Films, Happy Madison Productions, Entertainment One, XYZ Films, First Light Films, Lupovitz Productions, Echo Lake Entertainment, Verve, and Popular Films.

“After the Cinequest Writers Celebration, an angel investor has swooped in and offered to finance my film. WorkingMan will begin immediate pre-production and will be shot next winter/early spring.  Thanks so much to everyone at Cinequest for opening doors to filmmakers and artists everywhere!” -- Robert Jury, Feature Finalist, WorkingMan

SHORTS

Our short-film script category continues to attract a diverse international pool with a $1000 cash prize and future screening opportunity at Cinequest Film & VR Festival for the winning script.

“We had an incredible time at the festival, and are very much still in complete awe of the amazing response to the film…pretty much everything you'd ever want as a filmmaker. It was a very surreal experience.”-- Travis Neufeld, Shorts Winner, Tinwife (premiered at Cinequest in 2017)

TELEPLAYS (60 minutes)

A $1000 cash prize will be presented to the winning 60 minute teleplay. Finalists will also get their teleplay read by experts from companies like FX Network, ABC Signature Studios, and PBS.

"I was thrilled when Cinequest selected my pilot script as a finalist for the teleplay competition. Writers need all the support they can get and Cinequest gave it in abundance. Not only at the festival, with conferences and events for the writers, but long afterwards, when you’re back at the desk and find an email from one of the devoted people at Cinequest in your box. When they get behind you, they stay behind you and continue to do everything they can to help push your project forward." -- Matthew Dixon, Teleplay Finalist, The Glass Hotel (optioned by HBO in 2016)

TELEPLAYS (30 minutes)

Our 30 minute teleplay category offers writers a chance to showcase what could be the next hit series on TV! $1000 cash prize to the winner.

“I loved the artist/writer events. It was a pleasure getting to speak with other finalists— writers who are so very creative, talented and diverse in outlook…The importance of Cinequest is that it brings us together, not despite our crazy aspirations as artists, but because of them... and best of all, their encouragement stokes the fire to keep us going.” -- Ada Lee Halofsky, Teleplay Winner, Throwing Shade

Deadline/Entry Fees

Expired. Previous Deadline: 11/03/2017

WinningScripts Pro $5 Off Coupon

Notification: Finalists will be notified December 2017. Winners revealed at Writers Celebration during Cinequest Film Festival, February 27-March 11, 2018.

Rules

SUBMISSION FORMAT
  • All genres are accepted. Especially seeking drama, comedy, thriller/mystery, sci-fi, and highly original material.
  • Contestants from all countries are eligible.
  • Screenplays must be submitted in English.
  • Length (not including title page):
    • Feature-length screenplays must be between 70 -125 pages
    • Short Film screenplays must be 20 pages or less
    • Teleplay (60 minute) must be between 45-70 pages (approx. 1 hour show)
    • Teleplay (30 minute) scripts should be 45 pages or less
  • Any script over the indicated page limit will have automatic point(s) deducted. Maximum points achievable are 50 per round.
  • Script must be properly formatted according to industry standards.
  • Digital submissions in PDF format only.
  • Title Page Instructions:
    • Withoutabox Submission: Please include ONLY your script title on your title page so that readers may remain unbiased in their decisions. You tracking number will automatically be assigned to your uploaded script.
    • Cinequest Website Submissions: Please include ONLY your script title and tracking number on your title page so that readers may remain unbiased in their decisions. Your tracking number is automatically assigned once you complete the registration and payment process. You will be able to update your script file before submitting.
  • Rewritten/corrected pages WILL NOT be accepted once the entry has been received.
RESTRICTIONS
  • There are no entry fee refunds.
  • Script must not have been previously optioned, purchased, in production or produced. Any script that becomes purchased, optioned, or put into production before the Final Jury decision of February 19, 2018 will be eliminated from the competition with no entry fee refund
  • Scripts written as adaptations of other works must have secured rights before being submitted.
PAYMENT OPTIONS
  • ONLY Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover credit and debit cards accepted for submission payment.
  • Please DO NOT send cash or checks.

FEEDBACK & NOTIFICATIONS

All contestants will receive 2-3 lines of generalized feedback for improvement on their script. Full script coverage services are not available at this time.

Writers will be notified on their status in the competition via the email address provided at time of registration. Please include screenplay@cinequest.org in your contact lists to receive these notifications. See below for selection process:

  • Top 50 notified in December 2017
  • Top 10 notified and Invited to Cinequest Film & VR Festival in December 2017
  • Top 10 & Top 3 announced at Cinequest Media Launch and listed on website – January 24, 2018
  • Winners announced at Cinequest's Writers Celebration in March 2018

Awards

PRIZES Top Three Finalists (Feature, Short, Teleplays):
  • Opportunity to have script read by top level industry producer and writers. Jury will be announced in June 2017.
Top Ten Finalists (Feature, Short, Teleplays):
  • Recognition (script title, genre and tagline) on Writers Celebration event page on Cinequest Film & VR Festival 2018 Website (live on January 24, 2018).
  • Recognition (script title, genre and tagline) in printed Cinequest Film & VR Festival Guide
  • Invitation to Cinequest Film & VR Festival with two (2) Artist festival passes (passes valued at $1,000).
  • Participate in Writers Celebration (March 2018), which includes:
    • Pitch Sessions
    • Business of Writing Forums
    • Industry Mixer for Finalists, producers, executives, and special guests.
    • Maverick Spirit Event & Competition Awards Ceremony (past Maverick Spirit honorees: J. J. Abrams, Neil Gaiman, Lawrence Kasdan, Denise Lehane, Jason Reitman and more).
    • Special discounts and rates on hotel accommodations.
Feature-Length Winner
  • $5000 Cash Prize. The winning script by more than one writer will have the prize split evenly among members of the writing team.
  • Presentation of an inscribed Crystal Award during Writers Celebration.
  • Amenities listed above for Finalists.
  • InkTip Prize membership package to help promote your script.
Short Film Winner
  • $1,000 cash prize. A winning script by more than one writer will have the prize split evenly among members of the writing team.
  • Presentation of an inscribed Crystal Award during Writers Celebration.
  • Option to screen winning short film at future Cinequest Film & VR Festival (runtime no longer than 20 minutes and must be independently produced, Cinequest is not responsible for production).
  • Amenities listed above for Finalists.
Teleplays (60 minute) Winner
  • $1,000 cash prize. A winning script by more than one writer will have the prize split evenly among members of the writing team.
  • Presentation of an inscribed Crystal Award during Writers Celebration.
  • Amenities listed above for Finalists.
Teleplays (30 minute) Winner
  • $1,000 cash prize. A winning script by more than one writer will have the prize split evenly among members of the writing team.
  • Presentation of an inscribed Crystal Award during Writers Celebration.
  • Amenities listed above for Finalists.

Cinequest Screenwriting Competition

Contact

San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 638-0644 (voice)

Web: Click here
Email: screenplay@cinequest.org

Contact: Antonea Colon, Screenwriting Competition Coordinator

Report Card

Overall: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.4/5.0)
Professionalism: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.2/5.0)
Feedback: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.3/5.0)
Signficance: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.2/5.0)
Report Cards: 33    
Have you entered?
Please submit a Report card.

Contest Comments

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Cinequest Screenwriting Competition

Contact

San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 638-0644 (voice)

Web: Click here
Email: screenplay@cinequest.org

Contact: Antonea Colon, Screenwriting Competition Coordinator

Report Card

Overall: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.4/5.0)
Professionalism: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.2/5.0)
Feedback: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.3/5.0)
Signficance: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.2/5.0)
Report Cards: 33    
Have you entered?
Please submit a Report card.

Contest News

Cinequest Announces Screenwriting Contest Winners

Cinequest has announce that The Imperfect Cell, Mister Dunbury’s Exotic Lunatic Caravan, and Marcus were the winners of the Cinequest 14 Screenwriting Competition. Finalists were judged for Maverick vision, story, character development, dialogue, marketability and originality. The final jury commented that their decision was made extremely difficult due to breadth and quality of the finalist scripts. In the end Lance Hammer’s The Imperfect Cell was awarded first place, followed by Peter Alton’s Mister Dunbury’s Exotic Lunatic Caravan, and in third place was Steve Warren’s Marcus.

Winners will receive cash prizes of $2,000, $1,000, and $500 respectively. In addition the winners will receive prize packages from Writers Script Network / Inktip.com and Write Brothers / Screenplay.com. Hollywood by the Bay will also award the winners a pass to the 2nd Annual Hollywood by the Bay Writer’s Seminar / Conference. In its inguaral year Cinequest’s screenwriting competition received 271 entries and organizers look forward to its second incarnation which begins in April 2004. A list of the finalist scripts along with writer contact information is listed below.

SCREENWRITING FINALISTS

Breaker

A troubled teenager invades an empty seaside town and the life of her estranged father.

Lisa Robinson & Alex MacInnis
Phone: (212) 343-0128
Email: rock-garden@earthlink.net


The Bridge Café

A young woman uses a network of homeless people to search the streets of San Francisco for her mentally-ill brother.

Tifa Boss
Phone: (415) 531-9142
Email: tefawefa@yahoo.com


The Devil Protects His Own

In 1943, an Allied special operations team parachutes into Germany to assassinate Hitler at his Berchtesgaden compound.

Kris Hall
Phone: (310) 397-2150
Email: krishall@aol.com


Fugacity


A beaten and bruised girl runs away with a heartbroken musician to San Francisco and learns the true value of her relationship.

Vita Lusty
Phone: (310) 577-0295
Email: lustyvita@yahoo.com


The Ghosts Of Bull Run

During the Civil War, 16-year-old Clinton Brodie learns about loyalty and honor from a father who has none.

Steve Warren
Phone: (512) 327-7565
Email: stevewarren@aol.com


The Imperfect Cell


Vincent Cardoso, a 65-year-old waiter languishing in a life of lonely self-internment, is befriended by a vibrant young composer who brings comfort, rejuvenation and ultimately upheaval to the elder’s tedious life.

Lance Hammer
Phone: (323) 467-1612
Email: lancehammer@hotmail.com


Johnny Pigskin

A Lakota boy is forced against his traditional beliefs to play football for the Haskell Indian Boarding school in Kansas in 1914, one of the original federal schools created to assimilate Native Americans off the reservation and into White culture.

Tom Carmody & J.T. O'Neal
Phone: (310) 474-5510
Email: flydocfly@aol.com




Lucky Boy

Kay Olafson, ex-foster child, alienates her sister, exploits her nephew and accidentally corrupts a minor in her quest to make her failing foster home a sexy, A-list charity.

Carl Pfirman
Phone: (323) 634-0237
Email: cpfirman@earthlink.net


Marcus


When Christians refuse to bow to enlightened Roman law, Emperor Marcus Aurelius authorizes their persecution until he is forced to rely upon their God to save his empire.

Steve Warren (note: also wrote The Ghosts of Bull Run)
Phone: (512) 327-7565
Email: stevewarren@aol.com


Mister Dunbury's Exotic Lunatic Caravan

In 1800s England, a gentleman purchases a dozen lunatics and travels with them across the countryside as a lunatic wrestling show.

Peter Alton
Phone: (323) 223-0443
Email: peteralton@earthlink.net


The next Cinequest Screenwriting will begin in May, 2004.

Updated: 04/14/2004
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Cinequest Screenwriting Competition

Contact

San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 638-0644 (voice)

Web: Click here
Email: screenplay@cinequest.org

Contact: Antonea Colon, Screenwriting Competition Coordinator

Report Card

Overall: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.4/5.0)
Professionalism: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.2/5.0)
Feedback: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.3/5.0)
Signficance: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.2/5.0)
Report Cards: 33    
Have you entered?
Please submit a Report card.

Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:Screenwriter A. J. Bermudez

An interview with screenwriter A. J. Bermudez regarding the Cinequest Writing Competition.

Updated: 05/05/2017

MovieBytes Interview:Screenwriter Vishnu Sekar

An interview with screenwriter Vishnu Sekar regarding the Cinequest Writing Competition.

Updated: 08/16/2016

MovieBytes Interview:Screenwriter M. Rowan Meyer

An interview with screenwriter M. Rowan Meyer regarding the Cinequest Writing Competition.

Updated: 05/18/2016

MovieBytes Interview:Screenwriter Eugenie Carabatsos

An interview with screenwriter Eugenie Carabatsos regarding the Cinequest Writing Competition.

Updated: 04/05/2015

MovieBytes Interview:Screenwriter Sean Corrigan

An interview with screenwriter Sean Corrigan regarding the Cinequest Writing Competition.

Updated: 03/22/2015

MovieBytes Interview:Screenwriter Allen Wolf

An interview with screenwriter Allen Wolf regarding the Cinequest Writing Competition.

Updated: 03/11/2015

MovieBytes Interview:Screenwriter Stacie Shellner

An interview with screenwriter Stacie Shellner regarding the Cinequest Writing Competition.

Updated: 03/04/2015

MovieBytes Interview:Screenwriter Joey Perotti

An interview with screenwriter Joey Perotti regarding the Cinequest Writing Competition.

Updated: 05/15/2014

MovieBytes Interview:Screenwriter Stephen Warren

An interview with screenwriter Stephen Warren regarding the Cinequest Writing Competition.

Updated: 04/09/2004
Contest Winner? Let's talk. If you've finished first, second, or third in the Cinequest Screenwriting Competition, MovieBytes would like to interview you.