Cinequest Screenwriting Competition Call For Entries: Empowering the Maverick Screenwriter

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Cinequest's 21st Annual Screenwriting Competition Opens for Submissions. Cinequest, delivers a screenwriting contest empowering screenwriters through discovery, acclaim, international recognition and professional career development.

Cinequest proudly announces submissions for the Cinequest 21 Screenplay Competition are now open. Cinequest delivers a screenwriting contest empowering screenwriters through discovery, acclaim, international recognition and professional career development.

Cinequest accepts feature length scripts (70-125 pgs.) scripts in all genres. They will be judged for Maverick vision, story, character development, dialogue, marketability and originality. An outstanding jury including top industry professionals will read the Top 10 finalists’ screenplays.    

The deadline to submit is October 2nd, 2010. A discounted entry fee of $45 will be given to those who submit through the Cinequest website by July 24th, 2010. Please see the Cinequest Web site for official rules and regulations, which include detailed instructions on script format and how to submit screenplays.


Top Prize
USD $5,000

ALL Top Ten Finalists will:
Get their script read by top industry professionals on the finalist panel. Past final jury panelists have included:
    Tim Albaugh, Producer at Popular Films.
    Nate Bolotin, Co-Founder, Production and Film Financing for XYZ Films.
    Gilles Chiasson, Director of Development at Moresco Productions.
    Josh Grossman, Senior Vice President of Development for The Goldstein Company (Pretty Woman, The Mothman Prophecies, Under Siege, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, Ringmaster).
    Leslie Kallen, Manager at Leslie Kallen Management.
    Eugene Mandelcorn, Principal for Film Artists Cinema & Television (FACT).
    Judit Maull, Production Executive at Happy Madison Productions (You Don't Mess With the Zohan, Click, The Longest Yard, Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore).
    Hernany Perla, Creative Executive at Lions Gate Films.
    Kate Sharp, Occupant Films.
    Lucy Shuttleworth, Co-Writer and Associate Producer of The Secret of Moonacre.
    Nancy Rae Stone, President and Producer at First Light Films.
    Jacques Themalaque, President of Filmmakers Alliance, President of 5 Minute Film School and Co-President of FA Productions.
    Jessica Yingling, Production Executive at Cheyenne Enterprises (Live Free or Die Hard, Hostage, The Whole Ten Yards).
    A Roundtable session during CQFF21 with industry producers, agents and experts to discuss the business aspect of writing.
    Exclusive roundtable at CQFF21 on "The Business of Screenwriting" with producers leading.
    Be invited to the Screenwriters Appreciation Lunch.
    Be invited to the Screenwriters Networking Reception including world-renowned writers—past participants included Academy Award® Winners Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine), David Peoples (Twelve Monkeys), Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects), and Diablo Cody (Juno).
    Receive two Filmmaker Passes with all access to films, forums and parties at CQFF21.
    Receive filmmaker hotel deal during CQFF21.
    Be given exposure and further opportunities to have scripts read by literary agencies, studios and influential producers.
    Receive recognition in two Cinequest press releases.
    Receive recognition on the Cinequest website.

Festival expert Chris Gore (Author of Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide; Editor of named Cinequest as one of “Best Festivals for Screenwriters.” First Place screenwriter from Cinequest 18, Bill Schreiber describes his Cinequest Screenplay Competition experience:

"Cinequest has given me renewed fire as a screenwriter. The people I met were incredible, from passionate festival staff, to industry pros, to fellow writers and filmmakers.    
The festival works hard to publicize the top-finishing writers because they believe in the power of the script as the place where it all starts, and my cell was ringing with option interest before I even left San Jose. The Cinequest win helped me land representation in L.A., which resulted in attaching a seasoned producer who loves the script. I'm now being read by some of the most well-known production companies and all the major studios in Hollywood. As someone who lives 2,514 miles away from Hollywood, I'm living proof that Cinequest lives its Maverick spirit by providing an incredible opportunity to break in and get noticed, no matter how far away it all seems!" –Bill Schreiber, Switchback, First Place at Cinequest Film Festival 18.

The stellar reputation of its program, as well as the multiple distribution arms, makes Cinequest a top strategic choice as a platform for emerging Maverick writers. Winners from the Cinequest 21 Screenwriting Competition will be announced during the festival.

Submit screenplays at or

Cinequest Empowers the Maverick via:

  •     Cinequest Film Festival 21, February 22 – March 6, 2011: discovery, innovation and connecting.
  •     Picture the Possibilities: providing underserved youth with innovative tools and training to turn their stories into film, spearheading change in their community.
  •     Cinequest Mavericks Studio: producing and distributing A-list movies, episodic television and new media.


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Darnisha Bishop
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