Guides & Resources

The British Independent Film Festival is a festival run by independent filmmakers for independent filmmakers. It is organised by the Film Festival Guild and therefore has links to festivals around the world. 


We also run a SCREENPLAY COMPETITION every year. Previous winners have gone on to receive production deals, representation and options on their screenplays. 


Our Screenplay Competition seeks to find innovative new screenplays, from writers looking to bring attention to their scripts. Each year one winner will receive an Award for Best New Screenplay, where they will be presented with their Award at a ceremony in Leicester Square during the festival. They will also receive invites to the famous After Party, where festival staff will ensure they're introduced to Producers, Distributors and Financiers.   

The Festival provides opportunities for independent filmmakers to have their films screened at great red carpet-style venues to a passionate audience of film professionals, film students, journalists and the general public.

Registration ended: 04/01/14

Brownfish Short Film Festival NYC

November 1-3, 2013


From page to production, from production to profession, the Brownfish Short Film Festival NYC seeks bold, creative, new voices in filmmaking and screenwriting. 


This is a judged contest awarding cash and prizes because we believe the greatest support given to filmmakers and screenwriters are resources and funding to make more films. 


Officially Selected screenplays receive a staged reading with professional actors in New York City during the festival along with an audio copy of the reading.


Awards are given for Best Comedy Screenplay and Best Drama Screenplay.


Screenplay Requirements:

15 pages or less

Comedy or Drama

Screenplays must have been written in the past 12 months.

All screenplays must be in English.


Early-bird submission deadline is May 15, 2013.

  • Screenplays $30. Student rate* $25


Regular submission deadline is July 10, 2013

  • Screenplays $35. Student rate*$30


Late deadline is August 1, 2013

  • Screenplays $45. Student rate* $40


Submit through Without A Box for an additional $5 off.



All deadlines are based on the submission's postmark date.

*Filmmakers eligible for the STUDENT RATE must provide supporting documentation stating student's name, institution name and current date/term such as a valid student I.D., report card, or tuition bill.


For more information and a complete list of rules & regulations visit: www.brownfish.com/BSFFNYC

Registration ended: 08/01/13

Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival is calling for entries for its 2014 edition, which will run from Friday, November 7th - Thursday, November 13th. The festival celebrates multiple genres - science fiction, fantasy, horror, action, thriller, animation, cult and fan films - in three divisions: National, International and Western New York.


The foundation to any good narrative film is a strong screenplay, and Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival is holding this Original Screenplay competition to encourage quality independent filmmaking. We are looking for feature length submissions (at least 85 pages) in the following genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror, action, thriller and cult/bizarro. Please note that action can include crime drama, western, war and martial arts subject matter. We require a PDF for each submission. We will award certificates for first, second and third places. Our nominating committee will include festival director Gregory Lamberson, who is a published author and has directed several of his own screenplays, and we plan to enlist a professional screenwriter to make the final selections. 


The mission of the festival is to bring the best independent films from around the world to Buffalo, New York, and to celebrate the work of the most talented regional filmmakers. In 2013, Buffalo Dreams screened 85 films from around the world: 26 features, 59 shorts, 27 international films, and 13 Western New York productions. Thirty filmmakers visited Buffalo to attend the event.


Registration ended: 09/01/14

Our mission is to promote up-and-coming artists by providing a gateway to expand their careers in the entertainment industry. We shine a light on the unknown artist of today, helping them become the celebrated filmmakers and storytellers of tomorrow.

The seventh annual Burbank International Film Festival will include an Opening Night Ceremony and featured film, film screenings, seminars and panels featuring industry professionals, parties and special events that will culminate with an Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony on the final day of the Festival.

BIFF also honors Industry Icons in the world of film, music and art. These include, IRON MAN 3 Director SHANE BLACK, Academy Award-winning Actor John Savage DEERHUNTER, Creature and Concept Designer Neville Page OBLIVION, AVATAR and BRAVE Academy Award-winning Animation Director Brenda Chapman among others.

BIFF has also introduced new award categories to keep its festival at the forefront of the industry. Celebrities and industry professionals from behind and in front of the camera play crucial roles in the festival's selection process. Guest judges have included RJ Mitte (Breaking Bad), Patricia Bethune (True Blood/Mad Men), Daniel Roebuck (Lost), writers Andy Glickman (Mad About You), Ben Bledsoe (Glee) as well as legendary animator Bill Plympton to name a few.


Categories for Submission

  • Adapted Screenplay: An adapted screenplay is a screenplay that interprets another source, like a novel, a short story, a play, or even another film.
  • Original Screenplay: Original screenplays are based on original ideas and not adapted from an existing idea/stories.


Registration ended: 05/31/15

Big Vision Empty Wallet wants to help you move your writing career forward NOW!  Two writers will receive a free trip to Costa Rica (March 26-29, 2015), develop relationships with amazing mentors, and create an actionable career plan for this year and beyond at BVEW’s 2015 Screenwriters Career Lab.


On March 2nd, we’ll announce the two screenwriters selected for the lab. The winners will receive:

  • Writers retreat in Costa Rica (complimentary housing and round trip airfare)
  • A private table read for special guests in NYC this Spring.
  • A meeting with each of the lab mentors, listed below.
  • All of BVEW’s educational programs for one year, worth several thousand dollars.

Mentors include:


Anna Gerb is a film producer best known for JC Chandor’s MARGIN CALL, ALL IS LOST & A MOST VIOLENT YEAR.


Marcus Dunstan is a screenwriter and director who wrote the screenplay for the film FEAST, which was the winner of Season Three of Project Greenlight, and is best known for writing SAW IV and THE COLLECTOR.


Melissa Breaux is an LA-based talent manager at Washington Square Films, who represents directors, writers, and actors.


James Belfer is an independent content producer and curator. He’s the Founder and CEO of Dogfish and an Adjunct Professor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.


Steven C. Beer is a partner at Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo and concentrates his practice on film, television, and music matters.


We’re looking for well-crafted scripts that are truly original and compelling.  And we love people who break the rules.  More that anything else, we’re looking for submissions that reflect the unique, creative badasses who comprise our collective.


Submissions will be accepted through February 13th, 2015.

All ISA registrants will receive a FREE 1 year membership with with Big Vision Empty Wallet - valued at $160!


The two winning writers will be announced on March 2nd, 2015

Registration ended: 02/13/15

Although the Byron Bay International Film Festival is now in it's 11th year, for the festival's Screenplay Contest, this is its inaugural year. Set in beautiful Byron Bay on the Far North Coast of New South Wales, Australia, the festival is one of the most ecclectic and creative festivals in the country. And it now offers a contest that is open to screenwriters the world over, boasting $2500 U.S. in prizemoney, as well as Final Draft screenwriting software for the top three placegetters.


The inaugural Byron Bay International Film Festival Screenplay Contest is one of the only screenplay contests run in conjunction with a major film festival in Australia. This competition is open to feature-length screenplays in all genres that are between 80 and 120 pages in length. BBFF screens an eclectic selection of films and this screenplay competition is sure to match that same diversity and creativity. The winners will be announced during the Byron Bay International Film Festival in October, 2017.


1st prize - $2500 U.S. cash prize, screenwriting software courtesy of Final Draft, and a contest certificate.

2nd prize - Screenwriting software courtesy of Final Draft, plus a contest certificate.

3rd prize - Screenwriting software courtesy of Final Draft, plus a contest certificate.

Official Finalists - Top Ten (other than first three placegetters) receive a contest certificate.

  • Earlybird Deadline

    Standard Fee: $35 USD

  • Regular Deadline

    Standard Fee: $45 USD

  • Late Deadline

    Standard Fee: $55 USD

  • Extended Deadline

    Standard Fee: $75 USD


Registration ended: 06/23/17

My thanks for creating the Capital Fund Screenplay Competition and giving us writers a way to get our work directly into the hands of those who love movies and also have the means to fund them. I feel this is one of the best run and most significant of any of the newer screenwriting competitions that have come along in recent years.                                                                      Lee Tidball, IMDB




The Capital Fund Screenplay Competition is where your scripts are read directly by investors who buy projects and fund films at the studio level - domestically and abroad.

While The Capital Fund Screenplay Competition does offer money, prestige, and the possibility of industry exposure, the sole object is to get your movie made and make investors happy.

About the Contest:

The contest came about for a simple reason: writers want to sell their scripts, and buyers who cut the check are the hardest people to get in front of - period. While taking pitches at Cannes from writers around the world and then in Los Angeles at the 2014 Great American Pitchfest for a new film fund, writers commented to us that they were thrilled to be pitching to the actual money people, rather than agents, managers and producers.

Often the biggest challenge for a writer is to get a script in front of the people who have the cash to buy it. All too often, scripts get passed through managers or agents, producers, actors, etc. - all of whom must, in turn, pitch to the financiers that actually fund the major studio and independent films. So, with the encouragement of writers actually pitching to us on the other side of the table, this "contest" was born. One Pitchfest attendee added, "Writers would sell their kidneys for a chance to enter a contest like that." Well, keep your kidneys, but show us the absolute best script you have. This contest is looking for exceptional, entertaining scripts in any genre that appeal to a worldwide audience.

The Buyers:

Your projects are reviewed by financiers from around the world, international in scope and partnered with distributors and studios that have brought films like Frozen, X-Men, The Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit, and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit to the market. The people who see your scripts are representatives of Private Equity (wealthy individuals, families, or entities with pooled funds) or Film Funds (pools of money from pension funds, insurance funds, Wall Street, etc., dedicated to financing films at the studio level). If these buyers like your script, they have the means to option it, buy it, and finance it.

Professional Industry Coverage

Script coverage is available at time of entry for an additional fee of $90 USD, check box on entry form. If you would like coverage before you enter the competition, (sample on website here) please use the secure order form on website.

*Coverage is anonymous and does not reflect contest or investor opinion. Potential buyers and judges do not see this coverage.


Important Date:

7/1/16 - Winners Announced 

Registration ended: 06/01/19

Our script contest is one of the Catalina Film Festival's most valued contests and we subscribe to what most industry professionals' believe: every film production "begins and ends" with, and/or "lives and dies" by the pen of a screenwriter.


We look forward to publicly honororing our screenwriters, as they are the genesis and foundation of the filmmaking industry, and every screenwriting finalist (we had 10 last year) gets 2 full filmmaker passes to our annual celebration of film on the only West Coast resort island. 


From Charlie Chaplin to Marilyn Monroe, celebrities and filmmakers have flocked to Catalina for inspiration. Clear blue water and coastal breezes provide the perfect backdrop for unparalleled premieres, yacht and mansion parties, industry networking and discovering everything that the island has to offer. Films are screened at multiple venues around the island, including the iconic, art deco, 1,200-seat Avalon Theatre the world's first sound theatre.  All of this is found just 26 miles off the coast of Los Angeles.


CFF is a competitive festival with awards in up to 10 categories, including the prestigious Charlie Chaplin ICON Award, Stanley Kramer "Social Artist" Award, Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation "Great Communicator" Award and the ISLA Earth Award; an honor presented by the Festival's beneficiary, the Catalina Island Conservancy. 

Registration ended: 07/03/14

Submit today for a chance at $8000 in cash prizes! Seeking FEATURES, SHORTS, and TELEPLAYS in all genres, including comedy, thriller/mystery, sci-fi, and highly original material.


Voted Best Film Festival by USA TODAY Readers,The Cinequest Screenwriting Competition continues to empower global connectivity between screenwriters, filmmakers, producers, and innovators. 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.

FEATURES: A $5000 cash prize will be presented to the winning feature-length script. Finalists will also get their scripts read by industry professionals. Previous industry readers have included: ICM Partners, Lions Gate Films, Happy Madison Productions, Entertainment One, XYZ Films, First Light Films, Lupovitz Productions, and Popular Films.

SHORTS: Our short-film script category continues to attract a diverse international pool with a $1000 cash prize and screening opportunity at a future Cinequest Film Festival for the winning script.

TELEPLAYS (60 Minute): Back by popular demand is our 60 minute teleplay category offering writers a chance to showcase what could be the next hit series on TV! This category offers a $1000 cash prize to the winner.

TELEPLAYS (30 Minute): New to this year’s mix is a 30 minute teleplay category offering a $1000 cash prize to the winner.

Registration ended: 11/04/16

Founded in 1995, CineStory, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is dedicated to nurturing new screenwriting talent through its annual screenwriting Retreat and Fellowship. This program is aimed at writers with a high level of craft who are ready to enter the industry.


CineStory alumni have an impressive track record of both box office and creative success. Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, past CineStory Fellows, have worked on such films as IRON MAN and COWBOYS & ALIENS, while our 2013 Fellow Patrick Tobin saw his winning script CAKE produced and directed by another past Fellowship winner Daniel Barnz.


To learn more about the CineStory Foundation, please visit our website: http://www.cinestory.org/

Registration ended: 04/05/17