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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: Angela Ostermeier, Screenwriting Competition Coordinator

Report Card

Overall: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.5/5.0)
Professionalism: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.1/5.0)
Feedback: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.3/5.0)
Signficance: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.3/5.0)
Report Cards: 37    
Have you entered?
Please submit a Report card.

Objective

Cinequest voted Best Film Festival by USA Today Readers.

Cinequest voted Best Film Festival by USA Today Readers. 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. Show More

Deadline/Entry Fees

Deadline Date Entry Fee Days till Deadline
Early Bird July 12, 2019 $45 Features; $30 Short; $40 Teleplay (60min);$30 Teleplay (30min)
Regular September 20, 2019 $55 Features;$40 Short; $45 Teleplay (60min); $40 Teleplay (30min) 29
Late October 11, 2019 $65 features; $50 Short; $55 Teleplay (60min); $50 Teleplay (30min) 50
Extended November 1, 2019 $70 Features; $55 Shorts; $60 Teleplay (60min); $55 Teleplay (30min) 71

Notification: March 15, 2020.

Rules

All genres accepted. Especially seeking drama, comedy, thriller/mystery, action, drama, sci-fi, action, bio-pic, rom-com, horror, and highly original material.

Script must be submitted in English and must be properly formatted according to industry standards.

Length (not including title page):

  • Feature-Length Scripts must be between 70 -125 pages
  • Short Film Scripts must be 40 pages or fewer
  • Teleplays (60 minute) must be between 45-70 pages
  • Teleplays (30 minute) must be 45 pages or fewer

Only PDFs will be accepted for submission. Printed scripts are not accepted.

Script must be properly formatted according to industry standards.

Please include ONLY your script’s title on the cover page so that readers may remain unbiased in their decisions. Your FilmFreeway tracking number will automatically be assigned to your uploaded script.

Maintain your full contact information in your FilmFreeway registration. Do not include any contact information on your submitted script.

RESTRICTIONS

Once the entry is received no rewritten/corrected pages will be accepted.

Submission fees are collected by FilmFreeway. Cinequest does not accept payment by cash, check, or money order. There is no entry fee refund for any scripts submitted.

Winning scripts by more than one writer will have the prize split evenly between members of the writing team.

Any script that becomes purchased, optioned, goes into production, or is produced before the final Jury decision on February 19, 2020, 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.

FEEDBACK & NOTIFICATIONS

Contestants will receive 3 lines of consolidated reader feedback on their script if requested.

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 and Top 10 notified in December 2019.
  • Top 10 Finalists listed on Website end of January, 2020.
  • Top 3 and Winners Announced in the March 2020 Festival Awards Press Release.

Awards

FEATURE-LENGTH SCRIPTS:

1st Place
(1) Receives $5000 USD cash prize. Winning script by more than one writer will have cash prize split evenly between members of the writing team. (2) Presented with an inscribed Crystal Award during Cinequest Film & VR Festival. (3) Amenities listed in Finalist sections.
Cash Award Value: 5,000 U.S. Dollar

Top Three Finalists
1) Opportunity to have script read by top level industry producers and writers (Jury will be announced in July 2019)
2) All of the amenities of the Top 10 Finalists

Top Ten Finalists
(1) Recognition (script title, genre and tagline) on Writers Celebration event page on Cinequest Film & VR Festival website. (2) Recognition (script title, genre and tagline) in printed Cinequest Film & VR Festival Guide (3) Invitation to Cinequest Film & VR Festival with two Artist festival passes (passes valued at $1,000). (4) Exclusive invitation to Writers Celebration (March 2020), which includes a BUSINESS OF WRITING FORUM, WRITER MEETS PRODUCER MIXER to connect with industry leaders, PITCH TRAINING & CHALLENGE to a panel of industry powerhouses, and an inspiring MAVERICK SPIRIT luminary event. (5) Special discounts and rates on accommodations during Cinequest Film & VR Festival.

SHORT FILM SCRIPTS:

1st Place
(1) Receives $1000 USD cash prize. Winning script by more than one writer will have cash prize split evenly between members of the writing team. (2) Presented with an inscribed Crystal Award during Cinequest Film & VR Festival. (3) Invitation to screen winning short at a future Cinequest Film & VR Festival. Film is limited to a 20-minute run time (maximum). Cinequest is not responsible for the production of the film. (4) Amenities listed in Finalist sections.
Cash Award Value: 1,000 U.S. Dollar

Top Three Finalists
1) Opportunity to have script read by top level industry producers and writers (Jury will be announced in July 2019)
2) All of the amenities of the Top 10 Finalists

Top Ten Finalists
(1) Recognition (script title, genre and tagline) on Writers Celebration event page on Cinequest Film & VR Festival website. (2) Recognition (script title, genre and tagline) in printed Cinequest Film & VR Festival Guide (3) Invitation to 2020 Cinequest Film & VR Festival with two Artist festival passes (passes valued at $1,000). (4) Exclusive invitation to Writers Celebration (March 2020), which includes a BUSINESS OF WRITING FORUM, WRITER MEETS PRODUCER MIXER to connect with industry leaders, PITCH TRAINING & CHALLENGE to a panel of industry powerhouses, and an inspiring MAVERICK SPIRIT luminary event. (5) Special discounts and rates on accommodations during Cinequest Film & VR Festival.

TELEPLAYS (60 MINUTES):

1st Place
(1) Receives $1,000 USD cash prize. Winning script by more than one writer will have cash prize split evenly between members of the writing team. (2) Presented with an inscribed Crystal Award during Cinequest Film & VR Festival. (3) Amenities listed in Finalist sections.
Cash Award Value: 1,000 U.S. Dollar

Top Three Finalists
1) Opportunity to have script read by top level industry producers and writers (Jury will be announced in July 2019)
2) All of the amenities of the Top 10 Finalists

Top Ten Finalists
(1) Recognition (script title, genre and tagline) on Writers Celebration event page on Cinequest Film & VR Festival website. (2) Recognition (script title, genre and tagline) in printed Cinequest Film & VR Festival Guide (3) Invitation to 2020 Cinequest Film & VR Festival with two Artist festival passes (passes valued at $1,000). (4) Exclusive invitation to Writers Celebration (March 2020), which includes a BUSINESS OF WRITING FORUM, WRITER MEETS PRODUCER MIXER to connect with industry leaders, PITCH TRAINING & CHALLENGE to a panel of industry powerhouses, and an inspiring MAVERICK SPIRIT luminary event. (5) Special discounts and rates on accommodations during Cinequest Film & VR Festival.

TELEPLAYS (30 MINUTES):

1st Place
(1) Receives $1000 USD cash prize. Winning script by more than one writer will have cash prize split evenly between members of the writing team. (2) Presented with an inscribed Crystal Award during Cinequest Film & VR Festival. (3) Amenities listed in Finalist sections.
Cash Award Value: 1,000 U.S. Dollar

2nd Place
1) Opportunity to have script read by top level industry producers and writers (Jury will be announced in July 2019)
2) All of the amenities of the Top 10 Finalists

Top 10 Finalists
(1) Recognition (script title, genre and tagline) on Writers Celebration event page on Cinequest Film & VR Festival website. (2) Recognition (script title, genre and tagline) in printed Cinequest Film & VR Festival Guide (3) Invitation to 2019 Cinequest Film & VR Festival with two Artist festival passes (passes valued at $1,000). (4) Exclusive invitation to Writers Celebration (March 2020), which includes a BUSINESS OF WRITING FORUM, WRITER MEETS PRODUCER MIXER to connect with industry leaders, PITCH TRAINING & CHALLENGE to a panel of industry powerhouses, and an inspiriting MAVERICK SPIRIT luminary event. (5) Special discounts and rates on accommodations during Cinequest Film & VR Festival.

Cinequest Screenwriting Competition

Contact

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

Web: Click here
Email: screenplay@cinequest.org

Contact: Angela Ostermeier, Screenwriting Competition Coordinator

Report Card

Overall: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.5/5.0)
Professionalism: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.1/5.0)
Feedback: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.3/5.0)
Signficance: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.3/5.0)
Report Cards: 37    
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: Angela Ostermeier, Screenwriting Competition Coordinator

Report Card

Overall: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.5/5.0)
Professionalism: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.1/5.0)
Feedback: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.3/5.0)
Signficance: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.3/5.0)
Report Cards: 37    
Have you entered?
Please submit a Report card.

Contest News

Cinequest Names 2017 Winners and Finalists

Rubbish by John Dilley & Seth Corr has been named the Feature Screenplay Winner of the 2017 Cinequest Screenwriting Competition.

Updated: 04/24/2017

Cinequest Names Contest Winners

Wheelman by Jeremy Rush has been named the Feature Script Winner of the Cinequest Screenwriting Competition. Shiva by Vishnu Sekar won the Short Script Competition, and the TV Script Winners were Brooklyn Bus by RJ Marx (60-minutes) and Patient by M. Rowan Meyer (30-minutes).

Updated: 05/16/2016

Cinequest Names Contest Winners

Saint Chloe by Stacie Shellner (Feature), The Yard by Eugenie Carabatsoshas (Short), and Awareness by Sean Corrigan (Teleplay) have been named the winners of the Cinequest Screenwriting Competition for 2014-2015.

Updated: 03/12/2015

CineQuest Announces Screenplay Competition Winners

Breathe has been named the winner of the 2014 CineQuest Film Festival Screenplay Competition. Travis Neufeld's The Tinwife was the winner of the Short Screenplay Competition.

Updated: 05/15/2014

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.

Updated: 04/14/2004

Cinequest Screenwriting Competition

Contact

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

Web: Click here
Email: screenplay@cinequest.org

Contact: Angela Ostermeier, Screenwriting Competition Coordinator

Report Card

Overall: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.5/5.0)
Professionalism: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.1/5.0)
Feedback: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.3/5.0)
Signficance: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.3/5.0)
Report Cards: 37    
Have you entered?
Please submit a Report card.

Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Joey Perotti

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


Joey Perotti
Q: What's the title of the script you entered in this contest, and what's it about?

A: Red Valley is about a former outlaw living out his days in anonymity; when his wife is murdered and his daughter is kidnapped, he must return to the life he gave up and confront the sins of his past.

Q: What made you enter this particular contest? Have you entered any other contests with this script? If so, how did you do?

A: Cinequest seemed very professional, if not prestigious. I have entered Red Valley into a few other contests, placing third at the Carmel Art & Film Festival.

Q: Were you satisfied with the administration of the contest? Did they meet their deadlines? Did you receive all the awards that were promised?

A: Yes, yes, and yes.

Q: How long did it take you to write the script? Did you write an outline beforehand? How many drafts did you write?

A: Overall, I would say it took me about seven or eight months to finally get it to a version I liked. I did write an outline, but the first draft (written over the course of five consecutive nights) only amounted to 55 pages. Ultimately, I wrote three drafts, but took several months off between drafts and worked on other projects. It's almost impossible to go from one draft straight into the next; I need a palette cleanser.

Q: What kind of software did you use to write the script, if any? What other kinds of writing software do you use?

A: I used Celtx before transferring the script over to Final Draft. I now primarily use Final Draft to write and Scrivener to plot out beats, scenes and character development.

Q: Do you write every day? How many hours per day?

A: Red Valley was really my first feature, so I did not have a set routine. On the first draft, I drank a bottle of red wine each night, and when the bottle was finished, I was done for the night. I wrote consecutively for five nights, usually about two hours each night.

I spend a lot of time just thinking about the characters and how they talk, and what scenes should occur in what order. I'll think about the script and plot for months and months at a time, but when it comes to actually sitting down and writing, it usually comes out all at once over the course of a little over a week. When I'm in the midst of a draft, I write five days a week every night for about three to four hours and only stop when it really isn't flowing anymore. On average, I can usually get about 10 pages in a night. I try to relax and enjoy the weekends, but come Sunday night, I'm usually itching to jump back in.

Q: Do you ever get writer's block? If so, how do you deal with that?

A: I had really bad writer's block in college, not knowing what I wanted to write about, what I wanted to say, or trying to think of a subject that was cheap and doable.

The best advice is in "Save the Cat" by Blake Snyder. He encourages you to just be stubborn and sort of bulldoze your way through. It's never going to come out right in the first draft, but once it's down on paper (or screen), it's much easier to work with it and figure out why it doesn't work.

Q: What's your background? Have you written any other screenplays or television scripts?

A: I've been writing since I could form sentences, from short stories to punk songs, to scripts. By now I have about six features completely written out (but only four that I'm actually proud of). I always knew I wanted to be a writer, and when it came time to choose a major, I chose filmmaking because I needed more schooling in that area.

Q: Do you live in Los Angeles? If not, do you have any plans to move there?

A: Currently I live in South San Francisco but I do plan on making the move to the City of Angels within the next few months.

Q: What's next? Are you working on a new script?

A: I just finished another feature length, an idea I've been mulling over for the last two years, and I'm really happy with it. I know a month from now when I go to read it I'll hate it and be totally discouraged, but that'll just motivate me to jump back in and clean it up.

Posted Thursday, May 15, 2014

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