Cinequest Screenwriting Competition
Submissions for this festival season have closed. SUBMISSIONS BEGIN AGAIN IN MAY 2019. Please sign up so you can be the first to know when submissions are open.
The Cinequest Screenplay Competition empowers 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: passes to the Cinequest Film & Creativity 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 & Creativity Festival.
Celebrating the Screenplay Competition's Top 10 Finalists, the electrifying Writers Celebration occurs during the Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival 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.
HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR SCRIPTSubmissions through Withoutabox accepted from MAY 1ST - NOVEMBER 3RD, 2018 (Extended Deadline)
Cinequest direct submissions accepted MAY 1ST - OCTOBER 13TH, 2018 (Late Deadline)
See fee schedule and all deadline dates below.
A $5,000 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. This year the jury will include executives from Netflix, HBO, CBS, Vimeo, Music Box Films, Film Movement, Bond 360 and Women Make Movies. (Rules and More Information)
“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
Our short-film script category continues to attract a diverse international pool with a $1,000 cash prize and a future screening opportunity at Cinequest Film & VR Festival for the winning script. (Rules and More Information)
“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)
A $2,000 cash prize will be presented to the winning 60 minute teleplay and an opportunity to be read by some of today’s top television studios. (Rules and More Information)
"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)
Our 30 minute teleplay category offers writers a chance to showcase what could be the next hit series on TV! $1,000 cash prize to the winner. (Rules and More Information)
“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
Top 50 and Top 10 Notified in December 2018.
Top 10 Finalists listed on Website January 25th, 2019.
Top 3 and Winners Announced in March 2019 at Script to Screen Event and in the Festival Awards Press Release.
Click here for screenplay finalist testimonials.
Please join us in celebrating this year's winners and finalists!
WINNER: The Exchange by Jeff Meyers
2ND PLACE: Lenore by Goldie Jones
3RD PLACE: A Prospect of Death by Ash Corristine
In Burton's Shadow by Michael Selditch
Tug by Eli Elbogen
Petrova by Bec Peniston-Bird
Daruma by Kelli McNeil
Pride & President by John Pisano-Thomsen
Speak English by Kieran Angelini
Unidentified Minor by Shannon Walsh
WINNER: Bone Music by Jessica Leonard
2ND PLACE: The Plague Doctor by Jon Mennella
3RD PLACE: Cambodian Lullaby by Anthony Nelson
Cicada by Curtis Matzke
Crossing Dreams by Diego Rojas
Dope Mister Dee by Juliet DeVette
Arthur Summerfield by Alvin Easter
What Goes Up by Jeannette Savage
Protection by Lara Haynes Freed
Strong by Jean Lee
TELEPLAY 60-MINUTE FINALISTS
WINNER: The Hunt by Jonathan Redding
2ND PLACE: Pen by Jean Ansolabehere
3RD PLACE: Burning Alive by Garrett Oakley
End of Life by Sean Collins-Smith
Bluebirds by Simon Wilkinson
Between the Eyes by Gregory Levy
Tall Tales by Alex Wilson
Powerball by Fredrik Colting
Yellow by Zara Meerza
Loose Canon by Jennifer Bouani & Jacqueline Schumann
TELEPLAY 30-MINUTE FINALISTS
WINNER: Going Under by Harold Schmidt
2ND PLACE: The Trials of Alison by Kyle Art
3RD PLACE: Spider Lane's Rock Logic by Deborah Pearl
Holy Unexpected by Samantha Levenshus
Cloudland by Kincaid Walker
The Assistant by Nicole Rodrigues & Jordan Burbank
Ryders by Brian Koonce & Elizabeth Jordan
To Eddie, From Life by Eddie Mauldin
The Bitch From Season 3 by Carmen Angelica
Alpha Dogs by Joe Cataline