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Aug 15, 2016

JTIFF Short Screenplay Contest


The JTIFF is proud to present a different kind of screenwriting competition. A panel of readers consisting of filmmakers, screenwriters, and critics review and provide condensed coverage (feedback) for scripts of 15 pages or less.


The Second Finalist will receive a Certificate of Merit.

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Please read this agreement carefully before you submit your film. By submitting your film, you expressly acknowledge and agree that you shall be bound by the terms of this agreement.

GUIDELINES FOR ALL SCRIPTS. (a) Screenplays must have been completed after January 1, 2015. (b) Scripts must not exceed 15 pages in length, excluding cover page. (c) All non-English language screenplays must be translated and submitted in English. (d) A separate entry form and additional entry fee must be submitted for each script.

ENTRY FORM AND PREVIEW MATERIALS FOR ALL FILMS. All entry forms must be submitted and paid for through Illegible or incomplete entry forms will not be accepted. Entry forms that do not include full payment of entry fees will not be considered.

Screenplays must be formatted in standard screenwriting style and exported as an Adobe Acrobat .PDF file and be uploaded with your online application. Incomplete applications, failure to include payment, or submitting materials we are unable to read will disqualify your entry. Submissions may not be withdrawn from the Festival once they have been entered, except at the sole discretion of the Festival directors. There are no refunds for entries with incomplete entry forms, or incorrectly formatted scripts.

REVIEW AND SELECTION PROCESS. JTIFF will review scripts in their entirety. Scripts will be read and reviewed by members of the Selection Committee, a group of filmmakers, film enthusiasts and critics. Scripts are numerically scored, and in addition, each script might receive a short critique. After the final submission deadline, the Selection Committee will review the total scores of all the scripts in competition, and select final scripts from a group of the top scorers.

AWARD INFORMATION. Two screenplays will be featured as part of the competition on Friday and Saturday, September 16 and 17, 2016. Screenwriters must attend, and cast a live reading of the script from a bank of actors and directors on Friday at Noon. The JTIFF will not pay for transportation costs to the Festival, but will suggest accommodations, and provide lunch vouchers on Friday and Saturday. The live readings will be performed in front of an audience who will vote on their favorite, and, along with the scores of the readers, will determine a competition winner. The JTIFF will present $500 to the winning screenwriter (awarded immediately at the reading), plus $500 if the film is completed and delivered to the JTIFF offices by April 30, 2017. The film is also guaranteed to screen at the JTIFF 2017. The winning film must contain the final single card, on-screen credit “Produced in association with the Joshua Tree International Film Festival,” The purpose of the competition and award money is to foster the creation and successful completion of an independent short film. All film/video shooting must take place after the award presentation. If it is discovered that principal photography was begun before the live reading, the screenplay will be disqualified from the competition. Restitution for associated expenses will be sought from the screenplay submitter. Prizes are subject to change, and updates to the prize package will be posted online at

PRODUCER RIGHTS. The JTIFF retains the rights as a producer to act as a legal representative of the film and to assist the writer with developing distribution and marketing deals with other film festivals. The JTIFF reserves the right to screen the final film based on the winning screenplay at JTIFF sponsored events in perpetuity.

NOTIFICATION OF ADMISSION. Letters of Inclusion or non-inclusion, with a link to the reviewers’ comments, will be sent to the email address provided on the entry form. JTIFF does not send physical mail — please ensure that your email address is accurate in your application.

COMMUNICATIONS. The JTIFF does not send physical mail — please make sure the email address in your entry form is accurate. Changes of email address can be sent to The JTIFF is not liable for emails delayed by spam filters, server rejections, outdated email addresses or any other technical or human error. JTIFF staff can be reached by email at, or by mailing JTIFF, 6470 Ronald Drive, Suite B, Yucca Valley, CA 92284 USA. The office phone number is 760-424-6861-4266.

PUBLICITY AND MARKETING. All selected films and scripts may be excerpted for publicity purposes. The JTIFF reserves the right to promote any film or script to print, broadcast or internet media as required to market the Festival or our parent organization, the JTIFF Alliance.

INTERNET BROADCAST. The JTIFF may make scripts performed at JTIFF available for commercial internet broadcast and download. Writers participating in this venture will receive 50% of the profits (total revenues collected minus total expenses to produce and distribute the content) from the licensing for internet broadcast and download. This is an optional program in which the writer has the ability to opt-in on acceptance of the Participation Agreement, sent on inclusion into the festival.

CONTROLLING LAW, VENUE AND SEVERABILITY. This License shall be governed by the laws of the United States and the State of California without consideration of conflicts of laws, provisions and principles. All claims between the parties, regardless of legal theory and whenever brought, shall be resolved in the state or federal courts of the State of California, USA, and you stipulate that you expressly submit to the personal jurisdiction of such state and federal courts, and you further agree that any judgment may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof. If for any reason a court of competent jurisdiction finds any provision, or portion thereof, of this Agreement to be unenforceable, the remainder of this License shall continue in full force and effect.

COMPLETE AGREEMENT. This License constitutes the entire agreement between the parties with respect to the use of films and supersedes all prior or contemporaneous understandings regarding such subject matter. No amendment to or modification of this License will be binding unless in writing and signed by an authorized representative of the JTIFF. Nothing in this Agreement constitutes a waiver of JTIFF’s rights under the United States of America patent and copyright laws or any other Federal or State law, nor of any of the JTIFF’s rights under the rules or laws of any country, territory, republic, and/or province. The JTIFF reserves the right to remove a script from the festival program for any reason or for no reason and shall not be liable for any refund or claims of any kind arising out of such removal.


6470 Ronald Drive, Suite B

Yucca Valley, CA  USA


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