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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 (4.2/5.0)
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) 52
Regular September 20, 2019 $55 Features;$40 Short; $45 Teleplay (60min); $40 Teleplay (30min) 122
Late October 11, 2019 $65 features; $50 Short; $55 Teleplay (60min); $50 Teleplay (30min) 143
Extended November 1, 2019 $70 Features; $55 Shorts; $60 Teleplay (60min); $55 Teleplay (30min) 164

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 (4.2/5.0)
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 (4.2/5.0)
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 (4.2/5.0)
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 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