2019 Short Script Competition

September 1st, 2019 - Regular Deadline

$55.00

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You can upload your submission material below, or email it to entry@filmpipeline.com after you’ve completed your order.

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Early Deadline: May 31st, 2019

Winner Receives:
$5,000 | script development | production assistance

The 2nd Annual Film Pipeline Short Script Competition provides an opportunity for writers and directors to get their material produced. Long-recognized by the industry as an avenue to scout unique, diverse voices, short-form content has become a vital calling card in attracting representation or seeing a proof-of-concept adapted into a feature. Film Pipeline eases the immense challenge of making a short by collaborating with selected entrants from development to production. Open to any genre, experimental or narrative, the contest supports imaginative storytellers in carrying their vision to screen.

After 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; $1,000 split between runners-up
  • Script development and notes from Film Pipeline's executive team
  • Industry exposure to specific partners for production support
  • Additional reviews of other film and TV scripts, with circulation consideration
  • Potential financing of the short, separate from the winner and runner-up prizes
  • Invitations to annual writer and industry events hosted by Pipeline Media Group

Submissions also accepted via. . . .


- 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. Across all three submission outlets, numerous writers and directors have produced their work, sold screenplays and pilots, set up projects at studios, and found representation due to the guidance of PMG’s development staff.

Grand Prize Winner - announced December 1st, 2019

  • $5,000
  • Pre-production support to get the film produced (varies by project)

Runners-up (2) - announced December 1st, 2019

  • $1,000 total ($500 to each runner-up)

Finalists (up to 5) - announced November 15th, 2019

The Grand Prize Winner, Runner-up, and Finalists all receive the following:

  • Script development with Film Pipeline execs
  • Additional reviews of other film and TV scripts, with circulation consideration
  • Potential financing of the short beyond the winner and runner-up prizes
  • Industry circulation to select producers or financiers (varies by project)
  • Invitations to annual writer and industry events hosted by Pipeline Media Group

GUIDELINES

- Any genre accepted, including non-narrative or experimental shorts, proof-of concepts, and teasers.

- We don’t have any requirements, and all script lengths are accepted, but the submission must be intended as a short film or digital series pilot. Anything from one to (roughly) 50 pages for short films, and 30 pages max for pilots. Feature-length scripts and longer "traditional" TV pilots may be entered in any open Script Pipeline competition.

- Script must be unproduced at the time of entry. Produced films are allowed only in the Short Film Competition. If the film is produced any time after entry into the competition, it will still be eligible for awards.

- Only completed scripts are allowed. No pitches.

- If submitting a proof-of-concept script, supplemental info on the project, such as the synopsis for a feature, is more than welcome. We'll review a full package or proposal in addition to the short script.

RULES

  • Cover page should include the title only. Remove any contact information (name, email address, etc.) on the script. Logline and genre on the title page is preferred, but not required. If contact info is left on the script, we'll adjust the file accordingly (errors on the cover page will not result in disqualification).
  • Co-writers allowed. Only one writer needs to register.
  • Any file format. PDF should be standard, however.
  • No limit on the number of entries. Each entry is a separate fee.
  • Simultaneous submissions are of course allowed (i.e. you can enter other contests with the same script).
  • All rights to the material remain with the entrant, whether they place as a finalist or not.
  • Electronic submissions only. No mailed entries.

View complete rules and guidelines

  

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 open to reviewing feature material, proof-of-concept shorts, and unrepresented writers includes:

In addition to over 100 other managers, producers, and agencies.

What are the deadline dates?

Early: May 31st - $45
Regular: September 1st - $55

Does this contest accept international entries?

Absolutely. Writers worldwide are welcome to participate in this and any Film Pipeline, Script Pipeline, or Book Pipeline competition.

What are the page length requirements?

We don’t have any requirements, and all script lengths are accepted but the submission must be intended as a short film. Anything from one to (roughly) 50 pages.

If my short script is already produced, can I submit?

The contest only accepts short scripts that have not been produced at the time of entry. Anything that has already been produced in any capacity would not qualify. However, scripts produced after the date of entry are still eligible for awards and may remain in competition.

How do I submit my short script?

You can upload your script direct to the site during registration or email the materials after registering.

What kinds of short scripts do you accept?

Any genre is accepted, including stories based on true events and experimental work. We’re looking primarily for great storytelling and diverse, fresh concepts.

Can I submit additional materials with the script?

Yes, we would encourage writers to include supplemental materials (such as a synopsis, an outline for a feature version, etc.) along with their short script. You can email those materials direct to our coordinator. There’s no formatting requirement for supplemental materials, but we’d prefer they be sent as a PDF.

Do I get feedback on my entry?

Feedback for the Film Pipeline competitions is kept internal. However, for script notes, writers may request a notes service via Script Pipeline.

By submitting, do I give up the rights to my work?

All rights remain with the entrant, regardless of the final contest results. For circulation, scripts aren’t sent to anyone outside of Film Pipeline without the writer’s consent.

Can I update my script after entering?

Yes, we’ll accept updated drafts any time, at no extra fee. We would need to receive the script by the contest’s final deadline.

Contact our contest coordinator with any other questions.

Success stories from Pipeline Media Group's screenwriter and filmmaker contest winners. . . .

– PIPELINE MEDIA GROUP SUCCESS STORIES –

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 (StuberHigh 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.

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 grossed $400 million worldwide.

"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 Snow White.

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 the event series Esmeralda for ABC Studios, and wrote an initial draft for Warner Bros./MGM's Tomb Raider reboot.

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. Vinson Films co-producing. The film is in development.

Screenwriting Contest Winner Produced, Premiered in 2019

Henry Dunham's The Standoff at Sparrow Creek was produced 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 served as producers.

The film premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, where it was acquired by RLJ Entertainment. It was released in January 2019.

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 Lit Entertainment Group (formerly Madhouse) 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 Standoff at Sparrow Creek)

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.

Top critics praised the directorial debut, including:

"This debut shows pulpy promise and is a step ahead of its genre peers." - The Hollywood Reporter

"A pitch perfect example of low budget craft." - Birth. Movies. Death.

"Deafens through sensationalized silence. . . . You’re not supposed to feel safe or comfortable, precisely as Henry Dunham plans." - Slash Film

And Rolling Stone selected Standoff as one of the top 10 films to see in January 2019.

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 helmed the action/thriller and rehashed the original plot during development. It was the first Script Pipeline winner to be produced.

– Other Notable PMG Success Stories –

  • After extensive development with Script Pipeline, Eddie Mensore produced his gripping drama Mine 9, released in 2019. The film won top honors for Best Film at Cinequest and The Arizona International Film Festival.
  • 2018 Screenwriting winner Peter Malone Elliott (Junior) signed with manager Zach Book. Peter's biopic on Frank Sinatra Jr. was hailed as one of the best true story screenplays Script Pipeline ever reviewed. He wrapped production on his first feature, Wired Shut, in 2019 and has multiple other film and TV scripts in development.
  • Octagon Entertainment signed Screenwriting Competition winners Joshua Johnson and Jamie Napoli (Getaway). Script Pipeline execs introduced Octagon manager Jeff Diamond to the writing team, who have another feature in development.
  • 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 and released in August 2018.

"Film Pipeline somehow understood the idiosyncratic, hybrid tone of our script better than anyone. The fact that they could hear our partnership’s original voice on the page was very reinvigorating at a pivotal time on our creative path, and pushed us to stick to our guns rather than pander to more “accessible” sensibilities."
- Spencer Mandel & Dikega Hadnot, Film Pipeline Winners (Little Brother)

  • Director Scott Speer (Midnight Sun) is set to helm Script Pipeline finalist and "Recommend" writer Greg Wayne's dark romcom S21. Catapult and Needle's Eye producing.
  • Sara Monge signed with Josh Dove at IPG Management in August 2018, after receiving circulation by Pipeline execs. Her pilot SOS placed in the top 10 of the 2017 TV Writing season.
  • 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 First Look Project (Teleplay), was picked up for development by Mandalay Entertainment. 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, donated 30% of the film's profits to charity.
  • Writers Burke Scurfield and Adam Lederer signed with manager Drew Shenfield at Mosaic in 2018. Their comedy pilot, Big Boy, was circulated by Script Pipeline to Mosaic execs after the script's top 10 placement in the Script Pipeline TV Writing Competition.

"Placing as a finalist brought me into the Film Pipeline family and has opened up a network of support for me as both a director and a writer. It's been invigorating to have some great people read my scripts and pass them to appropriate people that may help with the journey. It's energizing to know Film Pipeline is on your side supporting you through the long-haul."
- Jerell Rosales, Film Pipeline Finalist (These Things Take Time)

  • 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's written the reboot for Child's Play and has multiple film and TV projects in development.

"Film Pipeline is more than a competition. It's a safe place for development. "
- Shannan E. Johnson, Film Pipeline Finalist (Daughters)

  • 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 (Get out, Us) 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.

Over the course of 20 years, many other writers have optioned their work, found paid writing jobs, produced their films, and garnered management or agency representation through Pipeline Media Group's exhaustive process of industry facilitation for screenplays, pilots, films, books, and other creative material.