13th Annual

Big Bear Lake Screenwriting Competition

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P.O. Box 1981
Big Bear Lake CA 92315-1981
Phone: 909.866.3433

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Feature Screenplay Competition
The Big Bear Lake Screenwriting Competition is now in its 13th successful year. We are very pleased to provide the spotlight that has given many screenwriters the attention they need to ignite their screenwriting career. We know there are still many excellent, yet undiscovered, screenwriters out there, so we welcome your submissions, promise to give you our best consideration and sincere evaluations—in writing. We look forward to shining the spotlight in your direction. Best of luck in the competition!

This year we will award a $1000 Grand Prize to the screenplay winner!


The Big Bear Lake International Screenwriting Competition stresses providing opportunities for winning screenwriters to make key film industry contacts and to have their script read by our jury panel of Hollywood professionals.

We also strive to provide all entrants with valuable feedback. We are one of very few competitions that send back written evaluations on every screenplay entered---for no additional fee! Every screenplay receives a minimum of three brief written evaluations from our competition readers. Those that advance to the second level of reading or beyond, receive three additional brief written evaluations, a total of six evaluations!


The Big Bear Lake International Film Festival was established in 2000 and the Big Bear Lake Screenwriting Competition in 2002.

With contacts made through our competition, one of our winners, Iris Yamashita, worked directly with Paul Haggis and Clint Eastwood to write the Academy Award nominated film, Letters From Iwo Jima, the companion movie of Flags of Our Fathers. 2011 Winner Amy Lowe Starbin's winning script, "Kelly & Cal" is in post production, starring Juliette Lewis, Cybill Shephard and Josh Hopkins. Other winners have sold their entered script, sold other scripts and/or signed with agents or managers.

Our past participants recommend our competition. Here are some of the comments we have received back from writers:

"Thank you for sending Evaluation Forms for the screenwriting competition. Though my entry did not advance in the competition, I am finding the evaluations very helpful in planning a rewrite of my script. You are running the competition in a very professional and writer-friendly way."

"I would like to pass along my compliments regarding the feedback you give. Your letter is gracious and sensitive. And the feedback forms give concrete suggestions, noting both the strong and the weak. They are of tremendous value to me, and I just wanted to let those who took the time to give the comments know that they were greatly appreciated"

"Your festival really stands out as a thoughtful and professional operation."

"Thank you for the judges notes, a totally unexpected and rare benefit. I know many writers who would pay for such excellent notes."

"If more contests were run like yours we would have better writers and movies made from their scripts."


Andrew Piggott (Screenwriting Competition Director); Erica Tennyson (Co-Executive Director)


General rules:

1. Screenplays must be written in English, in feature format, and of a length no less than 90 pages and no more than 130 pages. (No exceptions will be made.) Screenplays must be in 12 point Courier font and pages must be numbered. All submissions must be in PDF format. Only online submissions will be accepted, and any revisions after submission will not be accepted.

2. Submissions must be the original work of the entrant(s) and may not be based, in whole or in part, on any other fiction or non-fiction material, published or unpublished, produced or unproduced. If the script is based on a true story, historical or contemporary, notification should appear on the title page (i.e. “based on a true story”).

3. The title page should include the script’s title and the logline/synopsis ONLY. The entrant(s) name(s), contact information, or any other identifying information should not appear on the title page or any other page of the script. Scripts that contain identifying information such as writers name(s) and/or contact information WILL BE DISQUALIFIED.

4. All judging will be anonymous.

5. No promotional materials, illustrations, or shooting screenplays will be accepted.

6. Screenplays should not have been produced nor optioned. Screenplays that are currently optioned or have negotiations pending and/or are sold before Big Bear Lake International Film Festival ends are not eligible for competition.

7. To accompany the online submission, all entries must include complete writer contact information where requested by the withoutabox system. Any entries not including an E-mail address for the evaluations will not receive the written reader evaluations for their script.

8. You may enter more than one screenplay, but you must submit a separate entry form, release form and entry fee with each submission.

9. Screenplays must be copyrighted with the Library of Congress and/or registered with the Writers Guild of America (WGA). It is the responsibility of the screenwriter to ensure that their work is protected.

10. All payments must be in U.S. Dollars and must be paid online through the withoutabox payment system.

11. Finalists and winners will be determined by a judging panel comprised of professionals in the film Industry. Winners in this competition will receive a trophy and all Finalists will receive certificates at the Awards Ceremony. Other prizes will be awarded as available on a year-by-year basis.

12. Finalists will be posted on our website on September 1st. Winners will be posted on or after the date of the Awards Ceremony at the Film Festival around mid-September.

13. Participation in the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival implies understanding and acceptance of all terms included in this application. By submitting your screenplay, you acknowledge that you understand and agree to the General Rules, and to the Terms and Conditions listed below.


By entering, you agree and attest:

1. The information supplied in this entry form is complete and correct.

2. As the author(s)/director/producer of the screenplay submitted to the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival, I (we) warrant as sole and exclusive owner(s) of all legal and title thereto have absolute authority to submit the enclosed material to the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival.

3. I (we) will indemnify and hold harmless Big Bear Lake International Film Festival, its judges, sponsors and partners, individually and collectively, from and against all claims, demands, losses, damages, costs, liabilities and expenses including legal expenses arising out of or in connection with any and all claims, or third party claims based on material submitted to Big Bear Lake International Film Festival.

4. Competition finalists and winners authorize Big Bear Lake International Film Festival to use their script title, log line, name and/or likeness & publicity stills in pre & post-competition publicity and marketing materials, including the festival website.

5. I (we) assert that I am (we are) eligible for the competition, and that I (we) will notify the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival if I (we) become ineligible prior to the conclusion of the competition.

6. I (we) have read, understand and agree to, and will abide by, all of the rules & regulations posted for the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival.

7. I (we) understand and agree that providing false or misleading information on this entry form, or failing in any other way to comply with the rules of the competition, will subject me (us) to disqualification, forfeiture of prize(s) and/or other penalties.

8. By submitting my (our) screenplay through withoutabox.com, I (we) understand and agree to all the terms and conditions of screenplay entry.