Cinema is your passion? You want to write a short film script that tells a meaningful and touching story with a few characters in plain settings? You can restrict yourself to the essentials? You want to see your ideas in a movie in cinemas at last? Congratulations: You’ve just found the right opportunity!

Create pure narrative live-action cinema without extravaganza! Make the audience care! Only the awesome idea counts, because the film crew will have only a few days for the complete production from casting to cinema premiere. Yes, we are fast and furious.

Invent characters and stories that inspire, captivate, or shock audiences! Fascinate with artful language or plain miniatures! Amuse, surprise, and impress your audience! Free yourself from the myth that films cost a lot of money or have to use cliches! The digital age offers ample opportunities to create memorable films with little means and zero budgets. Become part of the biggest global movement of active film enthusiasts! Find the right balance between images and dialogues! Less talk, more deeds.

I have often asked myself where to find talented writers, gifted storytellers. Now FilmFreeway offers the possibility to create screenplay contests. Why would you write for us? I belong to the most popular directors at international film festivals, because of my style, experience, passion, taste, and openness. Maybe my opinion matters now.
See for yourself:

*** We do not offer fee waivers, so please refrain from asking for them. ***

An extremely experienced and successful group of filmmakers selects the winners. We have produced / distributed over 180 shorts and enabled more than 2000 other directors to create theirs.

The PRICE is the adaptation of the script into a short film by director Dave Lojek or associates under the minimalistic micro-cinema no-budget conditions listed below. It is not a cash prize but has the value of $ 2000. It should be noted that directors and script doctors could make minor production-related changes in the script or dialogue. We see a screenplay as a working tool to incite the team work of film crews. The winners of the screenplay competition will be informed once the production has begun.

We will transfer the finished movie to the writer digitally and screen it in cinemas, broadcast it on TV, put it online with all credits after the festival circuit. If the film is selected for film festivals, we will publish this information on our facebook profile and tag cast and crew, so the writer and all cast and crew can amend their filmographies. If the writer is pleased with the resulting film, he or she can contribute to the festival distribution costs as well.

Screenplay awards from film festivals are also shipped to the writers, of course. This has happened already.

This competition is aimed at writers who want to see their short scripts made into films by us and have no illusions about selling a product. We don't buy or sell anything.
PLEASE only submit screenplays for filmable narrative live-action short films (not web-series, not advertising, not music videos, not animation, not SFX), not finished films either!

Write short films that can really be made with cameras and actors and without any budgets! Most prior submissions failed these criteria, having ignored the contest text completely. Be aware of all the rules and descriptions of this contest. We expect you to read them. Writers should be capable of that.

Apart from commercial music videos, web-series, and advertising, there is no real commercial market for shorts. These three genres are excluded from our contest, anyhow. This is good, because you can try out new things as the audience of fiction shorts loves to visit film festivals.

Our submission fees symbolize the time we will spend on reading and maybe commenting your work. Long texts will cost us more time. Feedback will cost extra time.

Why should you care about our opinion? Our productions and distributions were screened over 1935 times at international film festivals in 65 countries and won 240 awards. So a few programmers, audiences, and juries seem to like our popular works.
Who am I? Filmmaker, producer, festival director, film association president, distributor, film critic.

You should be of legal age (18+) and write texts in native German or English. Depending on our filming locations, the language of the dialogue might be translated into the native tongue of the actors.

Writing style and feasibility are paramount. Storytelling experience through classical film school or literature studies may be helpful, but is not mandatory. We simply expect talents.

The running time should not exceed 2 to 10 minutes. In exceptional cases 15 to 20 minutes are conceivable, but audiences are easily bored these days and such productions can become very costly. One to three days of filming and up to three days for editing should be calculated while writing. Therefore it is necessary to reduce your ideas to the essentials.

ASK YOURSELF: What is the core idea? What is my story about? (Premise) Who is it about? (Protagonist) What is the genre and style of my screenplay? Who or what is giving the Protagonist grief? (Antagonist) What is the question of my story? Whose POV is the story told from? What happens in my story? (Plot) How does it happen? (Structure) What is my screenplay about thematically? How can I convey my plot, action and theme in images, sound?

Thematically, these narrative short films have no limits. The choice of genre is free, although we prefer comedies, romances, fantasy, art, magical miniatures and light entertainment. Most festival audiences crave these.
Observe the filming conditions below and focus on certain key areas! In addition, no illegal things should appear.
We make films for fun and to explore the medium. Emotional cores, originality, suspense, and character development mark the good story. Consult books and websites about screenwriting and directing, whenever you are lost. Then delete everything from your text that would cost money or time to prepare or in postproduction. Ask many people to help you, if you are a beginner.

Only basic equipment of filmmaking will be available: Cameras (rarely also with steady cam and shoulder rigs, gimbals), tripods, various microphones, sound recorders, possibly minimal lighting, simple props, basic everyday costumes owned by the actors and make-up, plus editing computers.
There are probably DSLR cameras with video capture (+ lenses, Canon 5D), maybe professional film cameras (Black Magic Design, CANON C 200, rarely Arri Alexa or drones, etc.), maybe musical instruments, and catering.
If you know make-up artists and set builders, delegate them to the production! The cast and crew are recruited from enthusiastic assistant directors, production managers, technicians, DoPs, rare boom operators, ultra-rare gaffers, actors, editors, musicians and all sorts of production assistants. They beg for good stories, doable scripts. So please them first!

Substract a need for all those crew positions from normal commercial feature film credits, that are not listed above. Specifically those who never work for free.

Use easy-to-access settings that can be found everywhere without prior permissions!
If you need landmarks or if your story requires a specific place, the movie should be set in or near any of the following European cities: Berlin, Hamburg, Graz, Vienna, Dresden, Leipzig, Jena, Mayence, Brussels, Munich, Cologne, Bratislava, London, Prague, Wroclaw, Dublin, Manchester, Innsbruck, Geneva, Lublin, Naples, Paris, Linz, Lago, Rome, Lenzing, Weyregg, Helsinki, Budapest, Bielefeld.

Your chances plummet if you clutter the screenplay with costly things or long pre-production phases, too many locations, unfilmable CGI. In particular, avoid the need for lengthy rehearsals, special effects, stunts, construction or carpenting work, stars or dream cast, dolly shots, crane shots, camera flights, complicated lighting or sound post production, crowd scenes, children, animals, elderly and retirees cast, elaborate costumes, mask effects, inaccessible locations or studios, filming permits for locations, trick shots, copyrighted music, green screen studio recordings, noise, time-consuming 3D compositions, boring content, historical themes, animation.

Send a PDF document "YOUR_NAME__TITLE_OF_THE_SCREENPLAY.PDF" with a pitch and synopsis, (max. ½ page summary), the script in STANDARD formatting with numbered scenes and pages, the back story and looks for each main character profile, drawn storyboard (optional), your motivation and inspiration, your filmography and brief biography, contact information (which will be treated confidentially).
Please use only printable, numbered DIN-A4 pages!
Submit via FilmFreeway.
The document size of the text must not exceed 10 MB.

The ongoing competition is based on matching locations as we travel through Europe. So there can be many winners per year. Since 2009 we've had several winners* whose screenplays were made into 40+ movies.

The resulting films were seen by more than two million people at over 1935 international film festival screenings, won 240 awards, were broadcast on TV over 12.000 times and distributed online. Numerous talents from our cast and crews could use the footage for demo reels, show reels. Some of them were accepted at prestigious film and acting schools. Others created their own production houses.

Find many of the films and their festival circuits here:

The screenplays are written exclusively for this competition. With the submission the author permanently and irrevocably transfers all film and exploitation rights in all existing and future media to APEIRON FILMS and associated production companies, institutions, groups, individuals etc.

The scripts must have a Creative Commons License on all pages (CC-BY ... your name), so that our producers / directors can freely dispose of them and are protected from any legal claims. The Creative Commons logo should be visible in the document. The resulting films are also released under the Creative Commons Licenses (CC-BY-NC-ND).
We will not sell the films, as there is no real short film market. So don't worry, just explore your writing talent.

*The winners and collaborators for screenplays were Verena Schulemann, Rakel Sosa Mendez, Gemma Swain, Julianne Becker, Steffi Sixdorf, Sven-Friedrich Wiese, Anthony Straeger, John Alexander Fraser, Adriana Jungbluth, Alexander Gumz, Matej Podskalsky, Margie Lazou, Bastian Korff, Marion Casabianca, Holger Bode, Micke Felgner, Cédric le Doré, Peyman Tabarkhun, Tamar Inarsaridse, Natalia Irina Roman, Elke Becker, Roman Volkov, Marija Stojanovic, Mercedes Ortego, Angela Jehring, Omar Borubaev, Diana Morales Canepa, Anna Couvertoure, Camille Demoures, James Lane, Ronny Winter, Ernst-Edmund Keil, Paul Anderton, Keeley Knight, Ben Mottershead, Zazou Röver, Paul Hänsch, Dieter Primig, Peter Lutz, Niloufar Mashhori, Mikalai Vincheuski, Martha Laschkolnig, Navina Neverla, Hermann Leitner, Lukas Treudler, Irene Gruber, Linda Hecquet, Shafi Hassan, Dieter Leitner.

Overall Rating
  • Adriana Jungbluth

    I only have good things to say about this contest! It was through it that I met Dave Lojek who introduced me to KinoBerlino from which I participated and was able to film my first short film. It's a great opportunity not just for the starters, but for anyone who wants to get their screenplay filmed!
    I will be eternally grateful!

    November 2018
    Response from festival:

    Keep writing more screenplays, Adriana. We were glad to produce your first work.

  • An excellent festival, a great opportunity to develop ideas in the spirit of kinokabaret across various European locations. Inspirational!

    November 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for your ongoing support and congratulations on your screenplay for KEEPER, which we produced. It is now touring the festivals and winning awards.

  • John Darbonne

    This is a good festival. Excellent communication.

    November 2018