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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 (4.5/5.0)
Professionalism: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.3/5.0)
Feedback: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.4/5.0)
Signficance: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.3/5.0)
Report Cards: 32    
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

Deadline Date Entry Fee Days till Deadline
Early Bird July 14, 2017 $45 Features;$30 Short;$35 Teleplay (60min):$30 Teleplay (30min)
Regular September 22, 2017 $55 Features;$35 Short;$40 Teleplay (60min):$35 Teleplay (30min)
Late October 13, 2017 $60 features;$50 Short;$55 Teleplay (60min):$50 Teleplay (30min)
Extended Late (WAB only) November 3, 2017 $65 Features; $55 Shorts; $60 Teleplay (60min): $55 Teleplay (30min) 13

Submissions open May 1st, 2017! Submissions are accepted via www.cinequest.org and Withoutabox.com

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 (4.5/5.0)
Professionalism: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.3/5.0)
Feedback: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.4/5.0)
Signficance: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.3/5.0)
Report Cards: 32    
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 (4.5/5.0)
Professionalism: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.3/5.0)
Feedback: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.4/5.0)
Signficance: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.3/5.0)
Report Cards: 32    
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: Antonea Colon, Screenwriting Competition Coordinator

Report Card

Overall: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.5/5.0)
Professionalism: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.3/5.0)
Feedback: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.4/5.0)
Signficance: 4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars4.5 stars (4.3/5.0)
Report Cards: 32    
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
Eight Managers. Your Script.
Eight Managers.  Your Script.