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Canadian Short Screenplay Competition

Canadian Short Screenplay Competition

Contact

#1108 - 33 Mill Street
Toronto, ON M5A 3R3

Web: Click here
Email: CSSC@yearoftheskunk.com

Contact: David Cormican, Founder
MovieBytes Interview: DAVID CORMICAN

Report Card

Overall: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.0/5.0)
Professionalism: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars (5.0/5.0)
Feedback: n/a (0.0/5.0)
Signficance: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.3/5.0)
Report Cards: 4    
Have you entered?
Please submit a Report card.

Objective

The Canadian Short Screenplay Competition, administered by Year of the Skunk Productions (Regina), and established in 2008, is the premiere script contest for short film screenplays. With over $50,000 in prizing, CSSC is the single-most competitive, prestigious, short screenplay festival in Canada open to international writers, a champion for screenwriters everywhere and a launching pad for writers' professional careers. One of the top three winning screenplays will be produced by Year of the Skunk productions and premiered at film festivals worldwide. Past productions have screened in Cannes, Worldwide Short Film Festival, Yorkton Film Festival and on television. See website for additional information.

Deadline/Entry Fees

Contact contest for this year's deadline.

WinningScripts Pro $10 Off Coupon

Rules

All genres, short film (15 pages, or less) scripts only. Must be wholly original works. Online Application and credit cards accepted. See website for full details.

Awards

Over $50,000 worth in prizes.

1st Place (GRAND PRIZE): The ''Writer's Block'' Award. There will be one (1) ''Grand Prize'' title awarded to the screenplay deemed to be the overall best screenplay by the competition judges. The ''Grand Prize'' title also comes with an option and purchase agreement for One Thousand Five Hundred Canadian Dollars (CAD $1,500.00) cash prize, accreditation to attend the 2012 Yorkton Film Festival (including complimentary shuttle ground transportation from Regina airport to Yorkton and one (1) ticket to attend the Golden Sheaf Awards gala event), an Apple iPad, Writer's Block crystal award and additional prize package TBD and subject to availability from competition sponsors.

2nd PLACE PRIZE: The ''2nd Place'' Award. There will be one (1) ''2nd Place'' title awarded to the screenplay deemed to be the 1st runner-up to the Grand Prize by the competition judges. The ''2nd Place'' title also comes with an option and purchase agreement for Three Hundred Fifty Canadian Dollars (CAD $350.00) prize, accreditation to attend the 2012 Yorkton Film Festival (including complimentary shuttle ground transportation from Regina airport to Yorkton and one (1) ticket to attend the Golden Sheaf Awards gala event) and additional prize package TBD and subject to availability from competition sponsors.

3rd PLACE PRIZE: The ''3rd Place'' Award. There will be one (1) ''3rd Place'' title awarded to the screenplay deemed to be the 2nd runner-up to the Grand Prize by the competition judges. The ''3rd Place'' title also comes with an option and purchase agreement for Two Hundred Fifty Canadian Dollars (CAD $250.00) prize, accreditation to attend the 2012 Yorkton Film Festival (including complimentary shuttle ground transportation from Regina airport to Yorkton and one (1) ticket to attend the Golden Sheaf Awards gala event) and additional prize package TBD and subject to availability from competition sponsors.

Additionally, there are ten (10) finalist prizes:

Finalists will each receive One Hundred Canadian Dollars (CAD $100.00), accreditation to attend the 2012 Yorkton Film Festival (including complimentary shuttle ground transportation from Regina airport to Yorkton and one (1) ticket to attend the Golden Sheaf Awards gala event) and additional prize packages TBD and subject to availability from competition sponsors.

Canadian Short Screenplay Competition

Contact

#1108 - 33 Mill Street
Toronto, ON M5A 3R3

Web: Click here
Email: CSSC@yearoftheskunk.com

Contact: David Cormican, Founder
MovieBytes Interview: DAVID CORMICAN

Report Card

Overall: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.0/5.0)
Professionalism: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars (5.0/5.0)
Feedback: n/a (0.0/5.0)
Signficance: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.3/5.0)
Report Cards: 4    
Have you entered?
Please submit a Report card.

Contest Comments

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Canadian Short Screenplay Competition

Contact

#1108 - 33 Mill Street
Toronto, ON M5A 3R3

Web: Click here
Email: CSSC@yearoftheskunk.com

Contact: David Cormican, Founder
MovieBytes Interview: DAVID CORMICAN

Report Card

Overall: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.0/5.0)
Professionalism: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars (5.0/5.0)
Feedback: n/a (0.0/5.0)
Signficance: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.3/5.0)
Report Cards: 4    
Have you entered?
Please submit a Report card.

Contest News

Canadian Short Screenplay Competition Announces 2011/12 Winners

David Gott's An Incandescent Light has been name the winner of the 2011/12 Canadian Short Screenplay Competition.

Updated: 06/21/2012

CSSC Winners Announced

Jesse & Zachary Herrmann have been named co-winners of the Candiania Short Screenplay Competition for their short film script "Elijah the Prophet".

Updated: 05/29/2011

Canadian Short Screenplay Competition Announces Top 13 Finalist Screenplays

The Canadian Short Screenplay Competition has announced their top 13 finalists. One of the top three winners' script will also be produced into a short film later on this year. Last year's 2nd place script, "Minus Lara" (written by Surita Parmar), will receive its World premiere as an official selection of the Yorkton Film Festival. "Minus Lara" has also been nominated for the Golden Sheaf Ruth Shaw Award for Best in Saskatchewan.

Updated: 05/02/2011

Canadian Short Screenplay Competition Winner Rusted Pyre to Bow at Festival de Cannes Telefilm Screening

The Canadian Short Screenplay Competition's 2008 3rd place script Rusted Pyre, written by Daniel Audet, will bow as part of Telefilm Canada's Canadian Perspectives screening series taking place during the 2011 Film Festival in Cannes.

Updated: 04/19/2011

Canadian Short Screenplay Competition Winner Rusted Pyre to Bow at 17th Worldwide Short Film Fest

The Canadian Short Screenplay Competition's 2008 3rd place script 'Rusted Pyre" written by Daniel Audet will have it's world premiere bow as part of the 17th annual Canadian Film Centre's Worldwide Short Film Festival May 31-June 5, 2011 in Toronto.

Updated: 04/09/2011

Canadian Short Screenplay Competition

Contact

#1108 - 33 Mill Street
Toronto, ON M5A 3R3

Web: Click here
Email: CSSC@yearoftheskunk.com

Contact: David Cormican, Founder
MovieBytes Interview: DAVID CORMICAN

Report Card

Overall: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.0/5.0)
Professionalism: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars (5.0/5.0)
Feedback: n/a (0.0/5.0)
Signficance: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.3/5.0)
Report Cards: 4    
Have you entered?
Please submit a Report card.

Interviews

MovieBytes Interview: DAVID CORMICAN

An interview with DAVID CORMICAN regarding the Canadian Short Writing Competition.

Q: Who sponsors this contest, and what is their background in the industry? When was the contest founded?

A: The Canadian Short Screenplay Competition (CSSC) is a short film script contest that was founded in 2008 by myself under my production shingle Year of the Skunk Productions. I'm a producer and actor, and I have also developed a bit of a reputation for my story writing/editing abilities. I also am the head of development for Minds Eye Entertainment, one of Canada's leading producers of feature length films. The CSSC is fortunate to be sponsored by many fine organizations, which can all be found by visiting our website under the sponsors tab: http://www.screenplay-contest.com/about-2/sponsors/

Q: What role do you play personally in the adminstration of the contest?

A: A pretty big one. Probably I'm too involved. But I guess I have control issues.

In addition to founding the competition, I read all of the short film scripts that are submitted each year. I know we have a team of readers, but I'm too paranoid that something will slip between the cracks. So, I read all of the scripts, I am one of the 13 judges, as well as the producer of the winning screenplay / film. I also tend to answer a lot of our email inquiries, especially the more difficult/involved questions we receive from screenwriters. I try to make myself available to writers to help answer their questions or offer advice.

I also oversee the website and branding along with all the media and PR, in addition to drumming up our sponsorships, but those are the niggly bits. I'd rather be working with the writers and producing more than just one script each year out of the competition.

Q: Have any of the winning scripts from the contest been sold or produced?

A: YES! Our very script we produced was Gordon Pengilly's 'SEEING IN THE DARK'. And we are in pre-production right now on Daniel Audet's 'RUSTED PYRE', which was a part of the National Screen Institute's Drama Prize program as a result of it's placement in the CSSC. We also just received some funding from Bravo!FACT to produce Surita Parmar's 2nd place short film script from last year's screenplay contest, 'MINUS LARA'. And I hope to be in production next year on both Neil Graham's incredibly poignant and touching script 'SOMETHING POINTLESS' and David Carey's 'NO MAN'S LAND', a World War I set short film that reminds me of the book 'All Quiet on the Western Front'.

One other thing we do, which I am really proud of, is we offer all of our finalists an non-exclusive ePublishing agreement, whereby we publish copies of their short film scripts so that other writers can see what it takes to both place and win in a script contest. AND the best part, is that the writers get paid royalties for this! And at the end of the day, that is what I am all about, getting screenwriters, exposure, paid and noticed!

Q: Who judges the early rounds of the competition? What are their qualifications? Who judges the final rounds?

A: The early rounds of screenplays are judged by a team of interns and myself. All of our interns are typically film school students or grads from all across Canada. The good news, is that my eyes go over every script too, so there will be no golden needles missed into the final rounds.

Once we get down to the final round of judging and into the top 13 as well, we crank it up a notch and bring in some heavy hitters, as well as some emerging artists. They range from actors, writers, former CSSC winners to producers and film school grads, directors to agents, broadcasters and distributors. A nice cross-section from the industry of folks who are well versed in the art of screenplays and short film scripts.

Last year's 13 industry judges included:

David Carey, Writer and 2nd place winner of 2008 CSSC Anna Tsouliagiannis, Broadcast Executive and Programmer — Movieola, the Short Film Channel Josh Strait, Actor and Song Writer Joanne McDonald, Broadcast Executive — SCN Stephen Huszar, Producer — Hulo Films Dillon Andrews, CSSC Social Media Coordinator & Web Entrepreneur Michael Bien, Producer Glenn Cockburn & Sheron Scherba, Agents — Meridian Artists Tyler Ward, Actor Shaista Ahmed, Series Creator Laurence Cohen, Director Jeff Boulton, Producer/Director — Dante Media Group David Cormican, CSSC Founder & Producer

Q: Do the early-round judges read the entire script, or do they stop after a certain number of pages?

A: From fade in to fade to black. The interns have it easy, as they don't read all of the scripts. They are only responsible for a selection of all of the entries. Me on the other hand, I read all of them from front to back.

Q: Are the judges looking for any specific type of script? Are scripts of a certain genre more likely to do well?

A: My judges have a score card that they are ranking scripts on; however, at the end of the day I ask them to pick what turns them on. I try to surround myself with greatness and I ask the judges to pick out what they think will make a GREAT short film from the crop of screenplays they are asked to rank. In terms of the genre, it ranges from comedies to mockumentaries, to great and epic drama to tragedy and horror/thriller. Write from your heart and passion and that will transpire and bleed in to the read.

Q: What do you do promote your winning writers, and to publicize their scripts?

A: All of the final round scripts get read by some of the top literary agents in Canada. We also profile all of our final 13 on our website and as well as on our Facebook and Twitter accounts on a regular basis.

We also publish press releases throughout the year with key annoucements.

We're pretty active in the social media sphere of things, so we are all about building a writer's online profile. Ideally they will also be in a position to leverage off that extra push/publicity we give them.

Another avenue we have explored this year is that we offered one of the top 13 writers an opportunity to become our #WW Laureate. For those of you not familiar with twitter, #WW stands for Writer Wednesday. We invited two time 5th place finalist Carlynne Ciceri to become our very first #WW Laureate, where Carolynne posts weekly and muses on the topic of writing from the emerging writer's perspective. This has been a VERY effective tool for Carolynne's career and has brought her a fan base that is growing with each week and every new post on our blog.

Also, we often get requests for interviews from our winners and production companies often request copies of the winning and finalists scripts for talent scouting.

Also, as I mentioned earlier, we have published eBooks of some of the finalist scripts along with the winning entries, which is another way of validating their status as bonafide professional writers!

And one of the coolest things we have done, is partnered with the Yorkton Film Festival, which is the oldest film festival in all of North America. We announce our winner as part of the Golden Sheaf Awards gala, but more importantly, ALL of our top 13 finalists are invited and accredited to attend the film festival, which gives them unparalleled access to Canadian broadcasters, distributors, other filmmakers and funding agencies, in addition to a chance to attend the many networking events and industry panels and information sessions.

Q: What advice can you offer to writers entering your contest?

A: We stand behind our mantra: Short. Is. Better. Look at Surita's screenplay 'MINUS LARA' and what she was able to accomplish in only 2 pages. She placed second and is now in pre-production on her script with the support of Bravo!FACT, a major Canadian commissioner of short films.

Other tips: Ensure proper formatting within your scripts, eliminate ALL spelling errors (there is no excuse for typos in a 15 page screenplay), and above all... enter the contest. Short film scripts that go no further than the screen on your computer or the desk of your work station are of no value to you or your career. Get your work out there. Be seen, be read, and if you place in the CSSC, be published, and if you win, be produced and make waves in your career as a professional screen writer!

Posted Sunday, October 3, 2010