FFTF 2009 Short Screenplay Competition

Filmmakers For Tomorrow Foundation (FFTF), a Washington, DC based non-profit organization, is holding an open call competition for short screenplay submissions (25 pages or less).   The SUBMISSION DEADLINE is now CLOSED.

We are looking for a "winning" screenplay to produce and shoot for our 2009 Summer Film Project. The winner will receive a $500.00 cash prize and other non-cash awards. Runner-up will receive non-cash awards only.

The screenwriter of the winning screenplay will retain writer's credit.  However, the winner will NOT be allowed to direct the short film.  Our 2009 Featured Filmmaker, once determined, will direct the short. Upon completion, we will submit the film to local and national film festival competitions.

 Acceptable Genres:
We are looking for a winning screenplay from one of the following genres:
At this time, we are NOT seeking screenplays from the Sci-Fi, Animation, Action, Horror, or any other genres other than those listed above.  Please do not submit as screenplays from these genres will not be considered.  We are looking for character driven stories with little to no special effects.  We have a limited budget to produce the film.

Also, FFTF does NOT make awards to screenplays or films of an R-rated nature (i.e., depictions of extreme violence, graphic nudity, etc.) or those that glamorize the use of drugs, cigarettes or alcohol.   FFTF promotes and encourages youth and family-oriented programming. 

 New Submission Deadline:  April 6, 2009 (Entries may be submitted until midnight Pacific Time on the deadline date)

 Notification Date:  No later than Monday, April 27, 2009
The winner will be notified by email.  Cash prize and non-cash awards will be presented to the winner (in-person or by mail) and runner up within 4 weeks of the notification date.

  Rules, Qualifications, Guidelines:
  1. We will NOT consider or evaluate any screenplays or films that are of an R-rated nature (i.e., those that depict extreme violence, graphic nudity, or glamorize the use of drugs, cigarettes, or alcohol)
  2. All scripts must be less than 25 pages (excluding cover page and one page treatment). 
  3. All scripts must be in proper screenplay format (The Screenwriter's Bible by David Trottier is commonly used as a guideline for screenplays)
  4. All Scripts must be 12 point font and include correct margins
  5. All scripts must be in English
  6. All pages must be numbered
  7. We recommend that you register your script before submitting it to us.  You can do so by mail or online at the U.S. Copyright Office  (www.copyright.gov)  or the Writer's Guild   (http:www.wgawregistry.org/webrss)
  8. Only residents of the District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia are eligible for submission.
  9. You must be at least 16 years of age to participate in the competition.  If you are under 18 years of age, we require that you submit a signed parental consent form along with your submission.  Any writers who do not meet the minimum age requirement at the time of submission will be disqualified.
  10. Preference will be given to screenplays by aspiring writers between the ages of 16-25. However, aspiring writers of all ages may submit screenplays for consideration. (We are only looking for local aspiring writers who have not earned more than $25,000.00 for their work as a screenwriter.)
  11. FFTF Board Members and employees and their immediate family members, independent contractors, and competition judges are NOT eligible to participate.
  12. No more than two (2) screenplay submissions per writer will be considered.   We want your best work that meets all of the requirements and qualifications listed.
  13. Scripts must be the original work of the author and may not be encumbered by any 3rd party. Scripts that have been sold, produced, or are currently under option are not eligible and adaptations of books, plays or other source material that has been sold, produced or currently under option are not eligible.
  14. Adaptations of books, plays, or other source material written by another author are NOT eligible.
  15. You may submit a one-page treatment/summary of your screenplay.  However, the summaries/treatments will not be included in the judging.
  16. FFTF is NOT responsible for submissions that are lost, stolen, or damaged in transit, and we cannot return scripts once they have been submitted.  Please retain an original copy of your screenplay.
  17. Please do NOT submit any other materials or documentation other than those requested.
  18. Decisions of the judges are final and may NOT be disputed.  The judges will adhere to our contest guidelines, criteria, and procedures.  However, FFTF may  not be held responsible for any errors or omissions on the part of the judges.
  19. Due to FFTF's limited staff and resources, we can only evaluate the first 100 screenplays received that meet our qualifications and guidelines.  We may choose not to evaluate any screenplays after the first 100 received.
(back to top of page)
     Judging Process:
    Karen L.B. Evans, President and Founder of the Black Women Playwrights' Group, is our Featured Judge on this year’s evaluation panel. Her work has been presented and published by Meriwether Publishing, Applause Theatre Books, The Discovery Channel Magazine, American Showcase Theatre and PBS. Ms. Evans holds a BA with honors from Dartmouth College and an MFA in playwriting from the Catholic University of America.

    Ms. Evans and our evaluation team will review this year's submissions and select a great story for our 2009 Summer Film Project. Our evaluators include a mix of industry professionals, educators and patrons of the arts, and young aspiring filmmakers.

    Judging Criteria:
    At each level of the competition, judges will evaluate screenplays based upon but not limited to the following elements:
    • Premise/Concept of the Story (including alignment of story with the FFTF mission objective to promote diversity in filmmaking)
    • Format/Typos (incl. spelling, punctuation, grammar, and usage)
    • Plot
    • Pacing
    • Characters
    • Dialogue
    • Style and Tone
    • Audience Appeal
    • Production Feasibility
    The most important criteria are: 1) the premise/concept of the story including its alignment with the FFTF mission objective to promote diversity in filmmaking; 2) audience appeal;  and 3) the screenplay's production feasibility.

       Submit Your Screenplay by Mail or Email:
      Submissions may be received via email or mail.  
      You may send an electronic version (.pdf Adobe format, .doc Microsoft Word format, or celtx format) of your screenplay to screenplay@filmmakersfortomorrow.org  

      You may also mail your screenplay to the address below (no binders please):

      Filmmakers For Tomorrow Foundation (FFTF)
      P.O. Box 5687
      Takoma Park, MD 20913

      Any entries received after the final deadline of April 6, 2009 will be disqualified.

      Please include a cover page or note with your screenplay submission that provides the following details: 
      1. Your Name
      2. Title of Screenplay
      3. A Short Biography (no more than 2-3 paragraphs)
      4. Your Date of Birth (only if you are between the ages of 16-25)
      5. Your Mailing Address 
      6. Residential Address if different from mailing address (proof of residence may be requested, if needed)
      7. Your Phone Number
      8. Your Email Address
      Please make sure you include all necessary information and abide by the qualifications.

      IMPORTANT: Anyone under the age of 18 must get their parents approval to participate in the competition. (Please submit a signed parental consent form along with your submission.) 

      * All screenplay submissions will be considered confidential and screenplays that are not selected will be deleted and/or shredded to protect the rights of the writer. 

      (back to top of page)

      You can send your questions to us at screenplay@filmmakersfortomorrow.org. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.  We will only respond to your questions via email.  We will try to respond within 24 hours.  Due to our limited resources and staff, we are not able to take phone calls or respond by phone.

      Filmmakers For Tomorrow Foundation (FFTF)

      Website Builder