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Cinequest Screenwriting Competition

Cinequest Screenwriting Competition

Contact

San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 995-5033 x125 (voice)

Web: Click here
Email: screenplay@cinequest.org

Contact: Antonea Colon, Screenwriting Competition Coordinator

Report Card

Overall: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (3.8/5.0)
Professionalism: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.1/5.0)
Feedback: 2.5 stars2.5 stars2.5 stars (2.6/5.0)
Signficance: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.5/5.0)
Report Cards: 36    
Have you entered this contest?
Please submit a Report card.

Objective

Cinequest voted Best Film Festival by USA Today Readers.

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: VIP All Access passes to the Cinequest Film Festival and 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, and more at the highly anticipated Writers Celebration during the Cinequest Film Festival.

Deadline/Entry Fees

Expired. Previous Deadline: 11/04/2016

WinningScripts Pro $5 Off Coupon

Notification: Finalists will be notified January 2017. Winners revealed at Writers Celebration during Cinequest Film Festival, February 28-March 12, 2017.

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.
  • Feature-length screenplays must be between 70 -125 pages (not including title page).
  • Short Film screenplays must be 20 pages or less (not including title page).
  • Teleplay (60 minute) must be between 45-70 pages, approx. 1 hour show (not including title page).
  • Teleplay (30 minute) scripts should be 40 pages or less(not including title page).
  • Any script over the indicated page limit will receive automatic point deductions per page over. Maximum points achievable are 50 per round.
  • Script must be properly formatted according to industry standards.
  • Digital submissions in PDF format only.
  • Cover Page Instructions:
    • Withoutabox Submission: Please include ONLY your script’s title on your cover 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’s title and tracking number on your cover 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.
  • Any script that becomes purchased, optioned, or put into production before the Final Jury decision on February 24, 2017 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 2-4 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 included screenplay@cinequest.org in your contact lists to receive these notifications. See below for selection process:

  • Quarter Finalists notifications sent in Dec 2016
  • Semi-Finals notifications sent in Jan 2017
  • Finals (Top 10) notifications sent week of Jan 23, 2017
  • Winners Announced during Writers Celebration (TBD Date) at the Cinequest Film Festival, February 28 – March 12, 2017.

Awards

TOP TEN FINALISTS (Feature, Short & Teleplays)
  • Recognition on Cinequest website and press release.
  • Invitation to Cinequest Film Festival with two (2) Artist festival passes (all-access passes valued at $1,000).
  • Participate in Writers Celebration March 2017 (date to be determined), which includes:
  • Writer Meets Producer Mixer
  • Pitch Practice session
  • Pitch Challenge to industry professionals
  • Business of Writing Forum
  • Maverick Spirit Event & Competition Awards Ceremony (past Maverick Spirit honorees: J. J. Abrams, Neil Gaiman, Lawrence Kasdan, Denise Lehane, and more).
  • Special discounts and rates on hotel accommodations.
  • Opportunity to have script read by industry professional.
  • Six month membership to ISA Network.
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 Top Ten Finalists.
  • IMDb’s listing on Cinequest Event page.
  • InkTip Prize membership package to help promote your script.
  • ISA Network one year complimentary membership.
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 Festival (runtime no longer than 20 minutes and must be independently produced, Cinequest is not responsible for production).
  • Amenities listed above for Top Ten Finalists.
  • IMDb’s listing on Cinequest Event page.
  • ISA Network one year complimentary membership.
TELEPLAY (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 Top Ten Finalists.
  • IMDb’s listing on Cinequest Event page.
  • ISA Network one year complimentary membership.
TELEPLAY (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 Top Ten Finalists.
  • IMDb’s listing on Cinequest Event page.
  • ISA Network one year complimentary membership.

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Contact

San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 995-5033 x125 (voice)

Web: Click here
Email: screenplay@cinequest.org

Contact: Antonea Colon, Screenwriting Competition Coordinator

Report Card

Overall: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (3.8/5.0)
Professionalism: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.1/5.0)
Feedback: 2.5 stars2.5 stars2.5 stars (2.6/5.0)
Signficance: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.5/5.0)
Report Cards: 36    
Have you entered this contest?
Please submit a Report card.

Contest Comments

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Cinequest Screenwriting Competition

Contact

San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 995-5033 x125 (voice)

Web: Click here
Email: screenplay@cinequest.org

Contact: Antonea Colon, Screenwriting Competition Coordinator

Report Card

Overall: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (3.8/5.0)
Professionalism: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.1/5.0)
Feedback: 2.5 stars2.5 stars2.5 stars (2.6/5.0)
Signficance: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.5/5.0)
Report Cards: 36    
Have you entered this contest?
Please submit a Report card.

Contest News

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) 995-5033 x125 (voice)

Web: Click here
Email: screenplay@cinequest.org

Contact: Antonea Colon, Screenwriting Competition Coordinator

Report Card

Overall: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (3.8/5.0)
Professionalism: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars (4.1/5.0)
Feedback: 2.5 stars2.5 stars2.5 stars (2.6/5.0)
Signficance: 3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars3.5 stars (3.5/5.0)
Report Cards: 36    
Have you entered this contest?
Please submit a Report card.

Interviews

MovieBytes Interview:
Screenwriter Sean Corrigan

An interview with screenwriter Sean Corrigan regarding the Cinequest Writing Competition.


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

A: Awareness "Pilot" -- A 1-hour drama, television pilot.

It was the Grand Prize winner in the teleplay category of the 2015 Cinequest Film Festival.

LOGLINE: The FBI recruits a young man with paranormal powers to thwart a domestic terrorist threat.

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 wanted to find a screenwriting contest that was associated with a film festival. The networking and camaraderie that you glean from a film festival forum is as important as the screenwriting contest itself. Meeting other artists and sharing in their journey is an inspirational spark that I really needed. And San Jose is a great city, so I was really hoping to make the finals and get a free festival pass!

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: This was one of the finest run film festivals that I have experienced. I have lived in Austin for 25 years, so I have a pretty high bar with the Austin Film Festival and SXSW in my backyard. The Cinequest Film Festival is embraced by the San Jose community, with so many welcoming volunteers serving the festival.

All 10 finalists in each category were awarded an "Artist Pass" that gave us 100% access to all films; we could meet daily at a private artist bar with free Red Bull, regional wines, snacks, and Tito's Vodka; and there were (again free) nightly catered mixers at local restaurants, bars, and a biergarten. The winners received a beautiful customized glass award, Final Draft software, an InkTip membership, and a generous cash award. Cinequest delivered everything immediately (I received my check at the conference). I accepted my award on stage at the majestic California Theatre in front of hundreds of people, five minutes before Lawrence Kasdan spoke. It was an amazing experience.

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 wrote my first draft in about seven weeks. But, there was a thread that was missing, and I couldn't quite figure it out, so I put it away for almost a year, and then came back to it with fresh eyes.

I am constantly rewriting and updating, so there really aren't "drafts" per se. But, there is a significant difference in my original version and the newest version that I submitted to Cinequest.

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. I work in Final Draft 8, but I just won Final Draft 9 through Cinequest, so I'm eager to see the new tools.

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

A: Unfortunately, no. With my job, I work on large projects that dominate my life for 6-8 weeks at a time, whereby I simply do not have the time to write, or if I do, my creativity has fizzled by the end of the day. This is going to change soon. I simply am a better writer when I write everyday.

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

A: No. I have too many stories and have had too many crazy experiences in my life. I have outlines for 30-40 screenplays or teleplays. Certainly, I write better some days than others. But, I will run out of breath before I run out of material.

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

A: I graduated pre-law from the University of Texas in 1995, and decided to forego law school so that I could pursue this ridiculous dream of being a writer. I currently work in publishing to pay the bills.

I have written thirteen screenplays, although only five are good enough to show by my current standards. I have written several teleplays and have had three plays produced in New York. I have been a semifinalist or finalist in 35 contests for a dozen different screenplays/teleplays/plays. I have won two Grand Prize awards in the last five months; a feature called "Confession" in the Cynosure Screenwriting Competition, and now the Grand Prize for my teleplay "Awareness" in the Cinequest Film Festival. I am a SAG/AFTRA actor and I have also directed a feature film called "Insignificant Other".

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

A: I live in Austin, but I plan on selling my home this summer and moving to L.A. by the year's end.

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

A: Right now I am looking for a literary agent (hint, hint: Sean-Corrigan@mail.com). I have won two Grand Prize awards for two different scripts in the last 5 months. After 20 years of amateur writing, the stars are finally aligning and it's my time to earn a living as a writer. I plan on selling my Austin home and moving to L.A. by the end of the year.

I am almost finished with a television comedy pilot, and then I am starting a new feature.

Posted Sunday, March 22, 2015