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SCREENPLAY COMPETITION

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SCREENPLAY COMPETITION

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The Forest City Film Festival Screenplay Competition is for writers living in Southwestern Ontario looking for an opportunity to gain visibility, showcase their work, and receive credible feedback that will aide in developing their skills as screenwriters.  

 

The Grand prize winner will receive $500, feedback from our readers and coverage from industry professionals! Do not miss out on this opportunity to share your work and win! 

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JUDGED BY KERRY BALL

LITERARY AGENT AND HEAD OF DEVELOPMENT AT MERIDIAN ARTISTS


 

Meridian Artists is a premiere full service agency and leading entity in the entertainment industry. With principal offices in Toronto and Los Angeles, Meridian Artists represents and manages the careers of a select roster of the most talented writers, directors, actors and producers in North America. Kerry joined the Meridian team in 2010 as an Associate where she worked closely with the Agents and roster to facilitate employment opportunities and project sales in both Canada and the USA.  She transitioned to the role of Agent in 2014 and covers primetime production and development in Canada.  Kerry also manages Meridian’s internal development slate to maximize opportunities for the client’s original material.  Prior to Meridian, Kerry worked at Achilles Media as a Content Producer for television production and programming events such as the Banff World Media Festival, Just Comedy at Just For Laughs in Montreal, and History Makers in New York City. In 2013 Kerry was awarded the CBC Business of Broadcasting mentorship through Women in Film and Television Toronto (WIFT-T). Kerry is an active member of WIFT-T and in 2016 completed their inaugural Shaw Media Management Accelerator program through Ryerson University.  

SCREENWRITING RULES


 

Rules

  1. This competition is for “Feature Length” screenplays with a minimum of 75 pages and a maximum of 120 pages. 

  2. Only one screenplay may be submitted per writer or team of writers. 

  3. Entries must be received on or before the deadline date by 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time.

  4. The fee for any accepted scripts is non-refundable.

  5. All submitted material must be original, and all rights must be wholly owned by the writer(s).

  6. Material must be submitted by the writer. 

  7. Material written by writing teams must be submitted by one of the writers, with consent of the other(s). All writers must be credited on title page.

  8. If a writing team is chosen as a winner, prizes will be given to the person who submits the project. Each team is responsible for dividing or sharing the prize money.

  9. It is recommended that original material be registered with the Writers Guild of Canada or the like before submitting to any competition, however, we do not require registration.

  10. Contact info may be included on the cover page of the screenplay, however it is not required.

  11. All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remains with the original rights holders.

 

Eligibility

  1. All writers at least 18 years of age are eligible. However, a writer who has earned more than $50,000 (or equivalent currency) from professional writing services for film or TV in the preceding year is not. (Contest winnings not included.)

  2. Only persons who are permanent residents of Southwestern Ontario are eligible.

  3. All material submitted to other competitions or contests are eligible for this contest.

  4. There are no requirements as to when the material was written.

  5. Screenplay and intellectual property must be wholly owned and submitted by the writer(s).

  6. The material should be submitted in standard screenplay format, font, spacing and margin.

  7. We have no preferences regarding title page content. Title and name of writer would suffice.

  8. Adaptations are ineligible unless the underlying rights are owned by the writer or the work is in the public domain.

  9. Feature Length screenplays longer than 120 pages will not be eligible.

  10. All material must be submitted electronically as a PDF or it will not be eligible.

 

Competition Structure

  1. The Forest City Film Festival does not limit the number of scripts accepted into our annual screenwriting competition. To better accommodate the large number of scripts being submitted, the first round of eliminations will be determined by what each screenwriter believes is their TEN BEST PAGES. This means that with your submission, you are required to instruct the festival which ten pages you want our readers to read first. If no such instructions are included with the submission, the FCFF readers will default to reading pages 1-10. 

  2. Based on the merits of those TEN BEST PAGES chosen by each screenwriter (or the first ten pages if the screenwriter does not specify), TWELVE QUARTER-FINALISTS will be chosen. Our readers will then meet to discuss the merits of the TWELVE QUARTER-FINALISTS. During that meeting, the readers will agree to eliminate two more screenplays from the competition. Those that remain will become the TEN SEMI-FINALISTS.
  3. These TEN SEMI-FINALISTS will receive limited constructive feedback from each one of the FCFF readers. 

  4. In the next stage, the readers will commit to reading every page of the 10 SEMI-FINALISTS, submit constructive feedback for each, and following that, choose the top THREE FINALISTS. 

  5. All three finalists will then be submitted to our GUEST JUDGE (TBD) who works in the industry as a SCREENWRITING AGENT. This guest judge will choose the GRAND PRIZE WINNER from the three finalists. As part of the grand prize package, the GRAND PRIZE WINNER will also receive valuable written coverage (detailed constructive feedback) from the guest judge/screenwriting agent. 

  6. The process again in point form:    

  • Submit your screenplay and instruct the FCFF which 10 PAGES to read first.

  • FCFF readers then determine the TOP 12 based on the screenwriters’ 10 BEST PAGES.

  • FCFF readers then eliminate TWO more scripts, leaving 10 SEMI-FINALISTS. 

  • FCFF readers then read every page of the SEMI-FINALISTS and choose THREE FINALISTS. 

  • The THREE FINALISTS are then submitted to a GUEST JUDGE who will read all three and choose the final GRAND PRIZE WINNER from that group. 

 

Additional Conditions

The winners will be chosen based on the following criteria: (i) originality; (ii) plot/story structure; (iii) characterization; (iv) visual inventiveness; and (v) overall impression. The winner and finalists may be contacted by interested industry representatives, such as managers, agents or producers. Entrants may be required to submit further information to assist in the judges’ verification of eligibility. Any entrant may be deemed ineligible at the sole discretion of the Forest City Film Festival. Finalists may be required to sign and return within seven (7) business days of receipt a notarized Affidavit of Eligibility and a Release and Indemnification and proof of valid passport and any other documents that the Forest City Film Festival or any other partner may require before receiving prize payment. Failure to respond to the initial notification within ten (10) days or return of notification will result in disqualification. We reserve the right to amend these rules at any time.

 

Copyright and Ownership

The Forest City Film Festival or any other partner, employee or agent associated with this contest claims no ownership nor first right of option to any original screenplay submitted to this contest. All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remains with the original rights holders until and unless other agreements are made.

 

Publicity

Except where prohibited by law, participation in the contest constitutes each entrant’s consent to the Forest City Film Festival and its agents’ and contest sponsor’s use of entrants’ names, likenesses, photographs, and/or personal information for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration. All uses of an entrants’ information are in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

 

Entry Conditions and Release

BY ENTERING THE CONTEST, YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ AND AGREE TO THESE CONDITIONS. You agree to release and hold harmless the Forest City Film Festival, forestcityfilmfest.ca, its subsidiary, parent and affiliated companies, Prize contributors, judges, screenplay readers, Sponsors, and any other organizations responsible for administering, advertising or promoting the Contest, and every one of their respective members, directors, employees, agents and representatives (collectively, the “Released Parties”) past and present from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liability, including but not limited to damages and negligence to property and persons, including but not limited to invasion of privacy, defamation, slander, libel, violation of right of publicity, copyright, infringement of trademark or other intellectual property rights relating to a participant’s Entry, participation in the Contest and/or acceptance or use or misuse of Prize; provided however, that such release will not apply to any commercial exploitation of the script by a Released Party in violation of your rights under applicable copyright law; and (c) indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Forest City Film Festival and its Sponsors, agents and employees from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liabilities (including reasonable attorney’s fees) relating to an entrant’s participation in the Contest and/or entrant’s use or misuse of Prize. Employees of the Forest City Film Festival and their immediate families are ineligible to participate in this contest. Any such submission will be immediately disqualified. ENTRY TO THIS CONTEST IS VOID WHERE PROHIBITED or restricted by any Federal, Provincial or Local law. Voided entries will be refunded. Recipients’ eligibility will be verified before the grant is awarded and the winner may be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility.

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