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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: 38    
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) 1
Late October 11, 2019 $65 features; $50 Short; $55 Teleplay (60min); $50 Teleplay (30min) 21
Extended November 1, 2019 $70 Features; $55 Shorts; $60 Teleplay (60min); $55 Teleplay (30min) 42

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: 38    
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: 38    
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: 38    
Have you entered?
Please submit a Report card.

Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Allen Wolf

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

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

A: The title of my script is Hooked. It's about a man who is desperate to find his soulmate but when he finally meets his dream girl, his autism keeps him from understanding she's actually a prostitute.

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

A: I have always heard terrific things about Cinequest and knew it was known as one of the top discovery film festivals.

The script for Hooked has been previously honored with these accolades:

3rd Place at the Las Vegas Film Festival Top 5 Finalist for the Kairos Screenplay Competition Semi-finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenplay Contest Quarterfinalist in the BlueCat Screenplay Competition Quarterfinalist in Scriptapalooza Semi-Finalist for Table Read My Screenplay Rated Top 3% of Screenplays at Script Shark Honorable Mention at the Colorado 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: I was very satisfied with how the contest was run and they met their deadlines. I received all the promised awards.

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

A: I started with a treatment and used that process to work out all the story beats and define the characters. I then completed the first draft quickly because I believe the magic happens in the rewriting. I wrote the first draft in seven weeks and then spent the better part of a year rewriting and polishing the story.

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 use Final Draft to write my screenplays.

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

A: I typically write in large blocks of time with a goal of writing between 10 and 15 hours a week. I wrote Hooked at Disneyland. Every week, I trekked down to the park from Santa Monica and wrote in different places around the park. Whenever I got tired, I rode a ride to get the creative juices flowing again. I found it inspiring to write at Disneyland because everything there is built around a story concept. Plus the fireworks were a celebratory way of ending my writing day.

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

A: If I reach a point when I'm unsure of the direction I'm going to go, that's a great opportunity for me to put the script aside for a week or so and work on writing something else. That gives my mind time to rest and think of something new. I also find it important to visit museums, travel and embark on adventures to keep myself artistically recharged and inspired.

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

A: I graduated from New York University’s film school where my senior thesis film, Harlem Grace, received various festival honors and was a top five finalist for the Student Academy Awards.

I have won multiple awards for my storytelling as a feature film writer, director and producer. My first feature film, In My Sleep, was released theatrically in the U.S. and sold to over 70 countries. It was honored at nine film festivals and is available on Amazon and iTunes.

I'm also an award-winning board game creator. My games – You’re Pulling My Leg!, Slap Wacky, JabberJot, You’re Pulling My Leg! Junior and Pet Detectives – have brought smiles to hundreds of thousands of people around the world and are available on Amazon.

Currently, I am working on developing several screenplays and film projects, including Hooked, through my production company, Morning Star Pictures.

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

A: I recently adapted my screenplay for Hooked into a novel which is now available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Kirkus Reviews writes this about my novel for Hooked: "The high-concept narrative is entertaining, well-paced, and highly visual … it’s a charming, humorous, and hopeful tale. A quirky, touching love story that offers insights into autism, religion, and personal tragedy.”

I'll be traveling around the US for book signings to promote Hooked. People can track what's happening with the project at http://www.HookeNovel.com or follow what's happening with the movie at http://www.TheMovieHooked.

Meanwhile, I'm also developing other film projects and screenplays and working on a novel that is a sequel to Hooked.

Posted Wednesday, March 11, 2015

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