2018 Short Film Competition
Final Extended Deadline: September 23rd
Must submit via FilmFreeway
$2,500 | script development | production assistance
Final Extended Deadline:
September 23rd, 2018
(must submit via FilmFreeway)
The 1st Annual Film Pipeline Shorts Competition seeks remarkable directors and diverse, engaging content--the type of work defined by forward-thinking perspectives and unconventional yet universally appealing stories. For those who have undertaken the colossal task of producing their material, Film Pipeline has created a platform significantly different from the typical festival: selected entrants are given introductions to managers and agents for potential representation, one-on-one collaboration with Film Pipeline to develop or produce other scripts, and extended promotion of their short film or series pilot.
After almost two decades of discovering new projects through screenwriting, TV writing, and pitch competitions, Pipeline Media Group (PMG) brings a dynamic, hands-on process of industry facilitation to Film Pipeline. This allows both emerging and seasoned filmmakers a shot at financing and producing their work, as well as spotlighting their talents to garner interest from execs capable of advancing careers.
Winner and runner-up awarded:
- $5,000 to winner; $2,000 split between two runners-up
- Industry circulation to select partners, including agents and managers
- Additional reviews of other shorts or scripts, with circulation consideration
- Invitations to private writer/industry events hosted by Pipeline Media Group
Submissions required through:
- ABOUT FILM PIPELINE -
Launched in 2018, Film Pipeline searches for extraordinary directors, produced shorts, unproduced scripts, and other content from a growing field of talent worldwide. Filmmakers and writers discovered through ongoing annual competitions receive circulation assistance to agencies, managers, and executives on the lookout for the next wave of artists, with a sharp emphasis on inclusive storytelling and stylistic originality. Unlike a traditional festival, the company champions individual writers and directors, playing a central role in getting projects produced and distributed over the long-term.
Film Pipeline joins Script Pipeline (est. 1999) and Book Pipeline (est. 2014) as part of PMG’s suite of platforms connecting creatives with the film and TV industry. Through Script Pipeline, numerous writer/directors have produced their work, sold screenplays and pilots, and found representation due to the guidance of PMG’s development staff--a team fully committed to replicating the success of Script Pipeline with Film Pipeline.
Grand Prize Winner - announced December 1st, 2018
- Immediate circulation to Film Pipeline industry partners
Runners-up (2) - announced December 1st, 2018
- $2,000 total ($1,000 to each runner-up)
Finalists (up to 10) - announced November 15th, 2018
The Grand Prize Winner and Runners-up both receive the following:
- Industry circulation to select partners, including agents and managers
- Additional reviews of other shorts or scripts, with circulation consideration
- Exclusive invitations to private writer/industry events hosted by Pipeline Media Group
- Submission must be a standalone short film, series pilot episode, or proof-of-concept. No limit on runtime.
- Any genre accepted, including non-narrative or experimental shorts.
- Link to the film preferred, but we'll also accept larger files via Dropbox or other file-sharing sites.
- If submitting a proof-of-concept film, entrants may also send supplemental info, such as a pitch, series outline, or full treatment of the story. Full screenplays, however, are not accepted but may be entered into any open Script Pipeline competition.
- Films co-written or co-directed are allowed. Only one person on the filmmaking team needs to register, be it the writer, director, or producer.
- The film may have been screened or entered into festivals prior to or after entry. There are no restrictions if there was prior distribution.
- No limit on the number of entries. Each entry is a separate fee.
Success stories from Pipeline Media Group's screenwriter and filmmaker contest winners. . . .
– PIPELINE MEDIA GROUP SUCCESS STORIES –
Script Pipeline Contest Winner Spec Sells to Universal for $3 Million
After introductions by Script Pipeline to management, Evan Daugherty sold Snow White & the Huntsman to Universal for $3 million. It marked one of the biggest studio spec sales of all-time and subsequently made Evan one of the most in-demand writers in the industry. The film has grossed over $400 million worldwide and spawned the 2016 film The Huntsman.
"Immediately after the competition, Script Pipeline introduced me to a manager, and the connection helped launch my screenwriting career."
- Evan Daugherty (Rose Red, Divergent)
Shortly after the Script Pipeline screenwriting contest, Evan landed an assignment with Warner Bros. to rewrite an adaptation of He-Man, which led to the sale of SWATH.
Evan co-wrote an adaptation of the young adult novel Divergent for Summit Entertainment (Twilight). The film released March 2014 and stars Shailene Woodley (The Spectacular Now) and Academy Award-winner Kate Winslet.
After selling a pilot pitch, it was later announced Evan would be one of the writers and executive producers on an adaptation of the DC comic franchise Midnight, Mass. for NBC and Five Ghosts for Syfy. He was one of the writers on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Michael Bay reboot starring Megan Fox. Evan was tapped to write and executive produce the event series Esmeralda for ABC Studios and signed on to pen the third installment of the GI Joe franchise for Paramount. Disney's Rose Red, based on an original script by Justin Merz and a pitch by Evan, will serve as a companion piece to the Snow White story.
Among all these projects, he wrote an initial draft for Warner Bros. and MGM's Tomb Raider reboot, starring Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina), and is on the Paramount film Earthseed and Hulu's adaptation of Myst.
Tripper Clancy Sells Multiple Specs to Studios, Including the Action-Comedy Stuber
Contest winner Tripper Clancy signed with a Script Pipeline partner following a top-four finish in the contest. A few months after the screenwriting competition ended, 20th Century Fox selected Tripper for their feature comedy writing team to help develop new material.
"The impact Script Pipeline had on my writing career is extraordinary. Winning the contest directly led to my new representation, which in turn led to working with studios such as 20th Century Fox and Paramount."
- Tripper Clancy (Stuber, High Five)
In September 2013, he sold the comedy The Ambassadors, and Tripper's buddy-comedy pitch Winter Break was picked up as the last spec sale of the year. In early 2014, he was hired to write the animated comedy Shedd for Paramount and, in 2016, the comedy Hacker Camp for Hasbro.
Tripper's biggest script sale to date: Fox picked up his spec Stuber for the mid-six figures. The action-comedy is based on an idea developed by Tripper and his manager. Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy, Blade Runner 2049) co-stars alongside Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, Silicon Valley), Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite), and Betty Gilpin (Glow). The film releases May 2019.
In addition, his contest-winning script Henry the Second is being shepherded by Shawn Levy's 21 Laps (Stranger Things) and 3311 Productions. Tripper is also adapting the acclaimed novel The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach, and is one of the writers on Amazon's High Five.
Screenwriting Contest Winner in Post-Production, Releasing 2019
Henry Dunham's The Standoff at Sparrow Creek began production in 2018 with an ensemble cast featuring James Badge Dale (Rubicon), Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker), Happy Anderson (Mindhunter), Robert Armayo (Game of Thrones), and Gene Jones (The Hateful Eight). Dallas Sonnier, Jonathan Brownlee, and Amanda Presmyk producing. Dunham makes his feature directorial debut.
The film premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, where it was acquired by RLJ Entertainment. It's due for an early 2019 release.
The project, originally titled Militia, won the 2015 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition. Writer Henry Dunham was connected with representation less than a month after contest results were announced, signing with Pipeline industry partner Madhouse Entertainment and UTA.
"Without the momentum my win gave me, I don’t know where my screenplay would be. I owe Script Pipeline for everything."
- Henry Dunham (writer/director, The Incident at Sparrow Creek Lumber)
The script was a unanimous pick amongst Script Pipeline staff for top honors. Both CEO Chad Clough and Senior Executive Matt Joseph Misetich pegged the screenplay as a fresh, relevant spin on the genre, and an "unquestionably strong calling card" for the up-and-coming Dunham.
Robert De Niro Stars in Script Pipeline Contest-Winning Script
The Script Pipeline contest-winning screenplay Shrapnel was turned into the film Killing Season, starring Robert De Niro and John Travolta. Corsan and Millennium Films produced the action/thriller and rehashed the original plot during development. It was released in 2013.
– Other Notable PMG Success Stories –
- Howard Jordan (Family Be Like), runner-up in the TV Writing Competition, signed with Madhouse Entertainment and Paradigm. He wrote for the CBS sitcom Superior Donuts until 2018 and continues a career in TV writing.
- Searching, written by Sev Ohanian and Aneesh Chaganty (winners of the First Look Project), was selected for the 2018 Sundance Festival--and soon after picked up by Sony for $5 million. Sev previously co-produced The Intervention and Fruitvale Station. The film is Aneesh’s feature directorial debut. The film released in August 2018.
- Chrissy Metz (This is Us) to star in Will O Wisp, written by Script Pipeline Screenwriting Contest finalist Evan Cooper. Evan previously placed in the competition with the thriller Ballerina Girl. He’s repped by manager Kailey Marsh and UTA.
- The Devil in Evelyn, winner of the 2016 First Look Project (Teleplay), was picked up for development by Mandalay Entertainment in September 2017. Script Pipeline set up the writers, brothers Ben and Tyler Soper, with meetings after extensive circulation to Pipeline's industry network.
- Screenwriting Contest finalist Max Martini directing his feature Will Gardner starring Martini in the lead role alongside an all-star cast including Elisabeth Röhm (American Hustle), Lily Rabe (American Horror Story), Dermot Mulroney (August: Osage County), and Gary Sinise (CSI: NY). Martini's company, Mona Vista Productions, will be donating 30% of the film's profits to charity.
- Nir Paniry's Princesses to be produced by Grey Matter Productions and Disney. Joachim Røenning (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) directing. Nir placed second in the Script Pipeline contest with his action screenplay The Coyote.
- Andy Tennant (Hitch, Sweet Home Alabama) set to direct the Script Pipeline finalist screenplay Everything's Gonna Be Okay, written by Jen Goldson. It will be Jen's third produced film after meeting execs at the 2015 Script Pipeline writer/industry event, joining the romcom Off the Menu, directed by Jay Silverman and starring Santino Fontana (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) and Dania Ramirez (Devious Maids), and the thriller Snatched, produced by Nasser Entertainment. Off the Menu was released in 2018 and screened at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
- Android, written by Script Pipeline Fellowship selection Matt O’Reilly, attached Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad, The Path) in October 2016. Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace) set to co-star in the sci-fi/thriller and had been attached since 2015. Niall Johnson (White Noise) directing, with Infinite Studios and Picture Films producing.
- Screenwriting winner Tyler Burton Smith (Henchman) signed with WME and Grandview. He has multiple projects in development with major production companies, including Spooked, with Dan Lin producing, and Five Nights at Freddy's, which he's co-writing with director Gil Kenan (Poltergeist).
- Precious Cargo, a finalist in the 2010 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition written by Max Adams, was released in April 2016. The film stars Bruce Willis, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, and Claire Forlani.
- Script Pipeline "Recommend" Micah Barnett sold a one-hour drama, Ricochet, to NBC, a few years after finding management through a Script Pipeline industry contact.
- The Living Wake, Script Pipeline's first produced film, starring Academy Award-Nominee Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) and comedian Mike O'Connell, was released theatrically in 2010, eliciting from Variety: "A stunning feature debut. . . . Eisenberg is note-perfect. Supporting ensemble couldn’t be more colorful."
- Brian Watanabe's "Recommend" script Operation Endgame was produced with Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover), Adam Scott, Ellen Barkin, Ving Rhames, Maggie Q, Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), and an ensemble cast. Script Pipeline CEO and producer Chad Clough first brought the screenplay to Sean McKittrick (Donnie Darko, Bad Words) at Darko Entertainment.
- Screenwriter Rob Nelms was hired to pen the script Between after introductions to a director by Pipeline's Chad Clough. The film premiered at Sundance and later aired on Lifetime.
- Script Pipeline Screenwriting Contest winner Slammin' sold to Warner Bros. for six-figures in 2003. It was the competition's first major success story, and the first Script Pipeline writer to sell a spec for over six-figures.
Pipeline Media Group has cultivated relationships with a number of production companies, managers, agents, directors, independent producers, and other executives over the past two decades, leading to several success stories annually.
Industry in the PMG network includes:
- UTA, CAA, WME, Paradigm, and Verve
- Madhouse Entertainment - Prisoners
- Anonymous Content - The Revenant, Spotlight
- QC Entertainment - Get Out
- Silent R Management (reps Academy Award winner Barry Jenkins)
- 21 Laps - Arrival, Stranger Things
- Brooklyn Weaver (Energy Entertainment) - Extant
- Good Fear Film + Management - Polaroid, Mulan
- Lakeshore Entertainment - Million Dollar Baby, Underworld
- Zero Gravity Management - Ozark, The Accountant
- Mosaic Media Group - Talladega Nights, Get Smart
- Liz Destro (producer) - The Butler, Cake, The Little Hours
- Scott Free Productions - The Martian
- Rob Deege (producer) - Soul Surfer, Crash Pad
- Fuqua Films - The Magnificent Seven, Southpaw
- LBI Entertainment - We Bought a Zoo
- Cross Creek Pictures - Black Swan, Hacksaw Ridge
- Jeremy Garelick (American High) - The Wedding Ringer, The Break-up
- Vinson Films - Intelligence
In addition to over 100 other managers, producers, and agencies.
What are the deadline dates?
Does this contest accept international entries?
Absolutely. Anyone worldwide is welcome to participate in any Pipeline Media Group competition.
If my short has already screened at a film festival, is it still eligible?
Yes. As Film Pipeline is not a festival, we don’t have any restrictions on when and where the film was screened, or if it received distribution at any point.
How do I submit my short film?
Entrants may send a link during or after registration, or if the film is not available online, it can be sent via Dropbox or another file sharing site.
What kinds of short films do you accept?
All genres accepted, including non-narrative or experimental work. At this time, however, we only accept scripted content (narrative-based).
Can I submit a rough cut of my short film?
Rough cuts are fine to submit. Our criteria is primarily based on the storytelling, the premise, and the directing ability. If you do send a rough cut, please let our coordinator know after submitting so we can take that into account when judging.
Can I submit supplemental materials with my short film?
Yes, in fact we would encourage writers to include supplemental materials (synopsis, a director’s statement, etc.) along with the film. You can email those materials direct to our coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. There’s no formatting requirement for supplemental materials, but we’d prefer they be sent as a PDF.
Do I retain all the rights to my film after submitting?
All rights remain with the entrant, regardless of the final contest results. For circulation, material isn’t sent to anyone outside of Film Pipeline without the filmmakers’ consent.
Am I allowed to submit a different link or materials for the film after submitting?
Yes, we’ll accept updated materials any time, at no extra fee. We would need to receive the film and all supplemental info by the contest’s final deadline. Entrants may email their updates direct to our coordinator at email@example.com.
Contact our contest coordinator with any other questions.