50th Annual

Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Competition

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161 Rains Avenue
Nashville TN 37203
Phone: 615-742-2500

OPEN CALL FOR ENTRIES • Select a Category of Entry to continue.

Drama Feature Screenplay
The winning script wins a $1,000 cash prize and is eligible for the $3,000 Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature-length Screenplay.
Comedy Feature Screenplay
The winning comedy script wins a $1,000 cash prize and is eligible for the $3,000 Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature-length Screenplay.
Horror Feature Screenplay
The winning horror script wins a $750 cash prize and is eligible for the $3,000 Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature-length Screenplay.

Genre Feature Screenplay
This category is for feature screenplays that don't quite fit into Drama, Comedy, or Horror. So, if your short is for Animation, Westerns, Historical/Biographical or just about any other genre - enter it here.

The winning script wins a $750 cash prize and is eligible for the $3,000 Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature-length Screenplay.
60 Minute Pilot
The winning 60-minute teleplay is awarded a $1,000 cash prize.
30 Minute Pilot
The winning teleplay is awarded a $750 cash prize.

Tennessee Screenplay (Feature + Shorts)
Entrant must be a resident of the State of Tennessee and provide proof by emailing a scan of a driver's license or state ID to screenwriting@nashfilm.org.

This category is open to both short and feature-length screenplays. The winning script receives a $750 cash prize and may be eligible for the $3,000 Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature-length Script.
Short Screenplay
This category is for short screenplays of all genres. The Best Short Screenplay receives a $1,000 cash prize.


The Nashville Film Festival (NashFilm) Screenwriting Competition is an international competition. It welcomes screenwriters from around the world to compete in all categories, except the Tennessee Screenwriter Category which is reserved for in-state writers. The awards presentation will be held at the 50th Nashville Film Festival, October 3 - 12, 2019.


Founded in 1969 as the Sinking Creek Film Festival, the Nashville Film Festival (NashFilm) is one of the longest-running film festivals in the country and one of the most acclaimed festivals in the South. For years, film-goers and filmmakers alike have come to experience the big city festival atmosphere and the laid-back Southern hospitality here in Music City. In the last few years, NashFilm has expanded to include several new competitions, including an Episodic Competition, Song Competition, and the reason you are here…. The Screenwriting Competition!

The Screenwriting Competition is entering its 6th year and has been met with great enthusiasm by our festival-goers and emerging screenwriters. Last year, we received over 1400 entries and awarded nearly $50,000 worth of cash and and in-kind prizes, and got to know some amazing screenwriters from all over the world. We’re positive that with your help, the 2019 Screenwriting Competition will be our best one yet!


Brian Owens (Artistic Director); Robin Robinson (Competitions Coordinator); Ted Crockett (Executive Director)



1. Original Content: All entries submitted to the Nashville Film Festival (NashFilm) Screenwriting Competition must be original works by the applicant. If the script is an adaptation or based on source material to which the entrant doesn't own the rights, permission to adapt the original work must be submitted as the first page in the screenplay PDF.

2. Submissions: Submissions must be made online. No mailed or emailed entries are accepted. NashFilm does not allow changes to the categories after submission. All submissions are final, and NashFilm does not issue refunds or adjustments of entry fees. Each submission will be sent a confirmation email once payment is processed.

3. Multiple Categories: Entrants may submit the same entry to more than one category. Each category entered requires an entry fee for that category.

4. Formatting: Screenplays must be formatted according to industry standards. Pages must be numbered and typed in 12 point Courier font. All entries must be submitted in English. Include title only on title page. The author’s name should NOT appear on the title page or anywhere on the script, to preserve anonymity and fairness. MovieMagic Screenwriter, Final Draft, and Celtx are suggested programs.

5. Length:
• Feature Scripts: 40 – 130 pages
• Short Scripts: 1 – 40 pages
• Teleplay (30 minute pilot): 1 – 35 pages
• Teleplay (60 minute pilot): 31- 65 pages

6. Revisions: NashFilm considers all entries to be complete. You may not send in revisions after the screenplay or teleplay has been submitted. In addition, we will not accept a script for a feature that is under 40 pages with a notice: “to be continued.”

7. Ineligibility: The NashFilm Screenwriting Competition does not accept novels, short stories, stage plays, treatments, synopses, reality show concepts, scripts for existing TV series, or works that are not original. Scripts also must not have been sold or currently be under option prior to 10/3/19. NashFilm employees, including seasonal staff, board members, sponsors, and their immediate families, are not eligible to submit in any category.

8. Judging: Scripts will be judged numerically on several different criteria (including, but not limited to, structure, premise, and entertainment value.) Awards, selections, and decisions of NashFilm are final.

9. Winner Notification: Semi-finalists and finalists will be notified by June 28, 2019. Winners in each category will be announced at the Screenwriting Competition Awards Ceremony during the festival in October 2019.

10. Co-Authors: If a screenplay has more than one author, it is up to the authors to decide how many authors to list on the application and who will be the primary contact e-mail. Awards are given per entry, not per author. Therefore, groups of authors associated with one entry are responsible for the division of awards, including laminates. NashFilm does not assume responsibility for arrangements with regard to laminate or cash divisions.

11. Tennessee Category: The writer must have been born in Tennessee, or currently reside in Tennessee. The entrant is responsible for the authenticity of this claim and any inquiry regarding that authenticity. You may be asked to provide proof of residence at any point during the duration of the contest.

12. Copyright: All entrants are encouraged to register their screenplays with the Writers’ Guild of America, East or West: www.wgaeast.org/script_registration, or www.wga.org/registration/index.html, and with the U.S. Copyright Office.


By submitting my screenplay to the Nashville Film Festival, I:

1. Recognize that NashFilm, its representatives and files are replete with ideas and
stories for theatrical motion pictures and television programs and that new ideas for motion pictures and television programs are constantly being submitted to NashFilm. I also recognize that many stories and ideas are similar and often different stories and ideas related to one or more common underlying themes.

2. I agree to indemnify NashFilm and its representatives, including its judges and readers, against any and all claims, expenses, losses or liabilities that may be asserted against NashFilm and its representatives at any time in connection with said Material, or any use thereof, including without limitation those arising from any breach of the warranties and promises given by me herein.

3. I hereby release and discharge NashFilm and its representatives, including judges and readers, from any and all claims and demands and will not assert, maintain, or assist
any party in asserting or maintaining any claims or demands against NashFilm arising out of, or in connection with the Materials, including without limitation, any and all claims for libel, rights of publicity, theft, or misappropriation of ideas or trade secrets or infringement of copyright or other intellectual property rights.

4. I warrant I am the sole owner and author of the Material submitted.

5. I agree that any part of the submitted Material which is not novel or original and not legally protected may be used by NashFilm without any liability on NashFilm.

6. NashFilm shall not be under any obligation to me with respect to the submitted material except as may later be set forth in a fully executed written agreement between us.

7. I have retained a copy of the Material and agree that NashFilm shall not be obligated to return the Material to me.

8. I acknowledge that NashFilm is under no obligation to use the Material in any manner. I warrant it is original to me and that I am the author and owner of the Material.