It has always been our intention to host this festival as a live festival. This was to be the first year we were going to screen films for a live audience. Unfortunately, due to the Covid Quarantine that won't be possible for some time. As such, we won't be relaunching until we find a suitable production partner and can guarantee a date to screen films. Until then be safe and god bless.

We want to support the next generation of great filmmakers from around the world. Specifically, those storytellers that passionate about telling stories about black communities in the U.S. and abroad, from inner city Atlanta, LA, New York, Oakland, Detroit, Chicago, and Milwaukee to Africa, Brazil, and the Caribbean, to Wall Street and the streets of London to the NBA.

The black community's stories are as vast and varied as any culture’s and not enough of them are being told so we want to support the artists who are telling them so we can see more of them on the silver screen. And yes, we take submissions from artists from around the world of any sex, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, White, Black, Latin, Asian, Arab, and everything in between. We believe in, support, and practice creating diversity in the workplace and support artists of all ethnicities.

Our aim is to create a screenwriting competition that will launch the careers of cinema’s next generation of great filmmakers. We are passionate about developing artists. We want our competition to bridge the gap between up and coming artists and the talent representation that will ultimately put them in front of production executives that make black films in the United States and abroad.

And we love all kinds of stories from studio blockbusters to art house fare; from silly Tyler Perry films to outrageous Ice Cube comedies. No two paths are the same and no two stories are either. And again, we accept scripts from people of all shapes and sizes, colors, ethnicities, sexes, and sexual orientations from all over the world. As long as your script is about the black community or issues affecting the black community, where ever that black community might be, be it in the U.S., Africa, or outer space. We just want to see more stories about black communities. We want to inspire generations of filmmakers to tell great stories that will inspire future generations to tell great stories.

Black Screenplays and Stories rewards our winners with various prizes including personal introductions to industry executives at least three production companies and or talent agencies in New York or Los Angeles. Our grand prize winner will also receive a one hour consultation with a top development executive.

In 2020, our Grand Prize Winner was personally introduced to several agents, managers, and production executives including Seth Parks at Guy Walks into a Bar and Dan Seco at Schemers. Finalists were introduced to Conrad Sun of Meridian and Chris Deckard of Fictional Entity. Our grand prize winner was also awarded a one hour script consultation with Nick Fullen-Collins from Artistic Vision Entertainment. 2019's winner wrote an action script and was awarded a 1 hour script consultation with Janet Jeffries from Lawrence Bender Productions.

Only the Grand Prize Winner and top two Finalists receive industry distribution and prizes while Semi-Finalists are only rewarded with laurels and online recognition like in most screenwriting competitions. Prizes and recognition will not be given to any other entrants.

Black Screenplays and Stories is an independent screenwriting competition with no affiliation to any other organization.

Writers retain all rights to their work.

Submissions are accepted via electronic submission only.

There is no limit to the length of the projects you submit. Projects can be in script or treatment form.

There is no limit to the number of projects you may submit.

Scripts must be written in English, but can be in any film or television genre.

Entrants are prohibited from contacting the judges during the competition. Any entrant who attempts to contact a judge will be disqualified and their entry fee forfeited. The decision of the judges is final.

Entry fees for screenplay entries are posted on our partner websites and are non refundable and contest is void where prohibited by law.

Employees and family members of the film festival are not eligible.

Entries must be received on or before the deadlines and submission fee payment must be made in full at time of the submission. All entry fees are non-refundable

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

All entries must be the original, and unpublished, un-produced, un-optioned work of the entrant. The entrant ensures that he or she is the sole author of the work and that it does not infringe on any existing copyright.

All winners are responsible for their own U.S. income tax withholding.

The competition, its judges, and its officers accept no liability whatsoever for any claims of damages, real or perceived, by any entrant(s) as a result of their participation in this contest.

Industry distribution should in no way be interpreted as a guarantee of future representation or success. Whether or not industry partners choose to work with finalists, or even contact finalists, is done so at the sole discretion of each and every individual company. We can not force our industry partners to option your property and or sign you as a client.

Past prizes listed in winner reviews should not be construed as current prizes. All current prizes are spelled out on our website. We also do not reveal the names of recipients on our industry distribution list.

Entrants must be 18 years or older to enter the contest. Misrepresentation of age, upon discovery, will forfeit entry and fees to the contest.

All persons from anywhere in the world are eligible; however the material submitted must be in English.

All material submitted to other competitions or contests are eligible.

Professional writers, journalists, poets, and previous contest winners are eligible.

There are no requirements as to when the material was written. Material must be your original work.

The material submitted must not be encumbered by any obligation to, or option held by, a third party prior to entering the competition.

By submitting your material you agree to be added to our email list, but can remove yourself at anytime by unsubscribing.

We do not provide feedback, notes, grades, or rankings of any kind. We assume you already know how to write at a professional level and that is why you are entering this contest.

Please note that the Black Screenplays Matter Screenwriting Competition is in no way affiliated with any other film festival, screenwriting competition, film school, or film related enterprise or organization. Furthermore, we are not legally affiliated with any other charity, political party, political organization, or entity of any kind. We simply want to support the world wide black film community.

BSM reserves the right to revoke recognition status at any time with or without cause.
Only our Grand Prize Winner and top two Finalists will receive industry distribution and prizes. Semi-Finalists will only be rewarded by recognition like in most screenwriting competitions.

We do not offer script notes and or script advice unless paid for with your entry at the time of entry. We are looking to reward professional level writers that we can help get to the next level by recognizing their work. If these are services you desire, we recommend hiring a script consultant. These services can be found via a simple google search.

All judging is done at our sole discretion. We may have outside input, but all judging and all decisions are made at our sole discretion. Furthermore, we do not use "celebrity" judges or "industry" judges and we do not advertise that we use "celebrity" judges. We use experienced readers with a background in writing and a passion for cinema. We distribute our winners' scripts to industry executives, but those executives do not judge our contests. To prevent tampering we do not reveal the identities of our judges. Entrants are prohibited from contacting the judges during the competition. Any entrant who attempts to contact a judge will be disqualified and their entry fee forfeited. The decision of the judges is final.

By entering the competition you hereby accept these competition rules.  

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Zann Gill

    I'm honored to receive the award and valued participating in this competition. I'm sorry that, due to COVID 19, we could not meet in person.

    May 2020
  • Aaron Haddad

    My script about African-Canadian civil rights hero Hugh Burnett was selected as a semi-finalist in the 2020 competition. I was very happy to come across this competition, and I wish there was something like this competition in Canada. I was pleased that this competition was open to people from around the world, and I am very happy that this competition exists. I am disappointed that it may not happen next year. It is very important that these stories be told, and that there be such opportunities available to storytellers to get their work out there and hopefully into the right minds and hands so that the world can learn more and un-learn more.

    April 2020
  • Christina Brandon-Gómez

    I am so glad that I flexed my writing muscles and sat down to write a story I feel needs to be heard. I am honored to be recognized by the Black Screenplays and Stories Festival, as too often the stories of the marginalized remains on the margins. This festival and the encouragement from the individuals involved is the positive reinforcement so many of us need, seek, and crave but rarely receive no matter how well-deserved. I look forward to future competitions and to see the great works that this festival yields by serving as a platform to otherwise ignored voices.

    April 2020
  • Erial T.

    A huge thank you to BSM choosing my script "Living In Sin" as a semi-finalist for this year's festival. Representation matters, and seeing and hearing a diverse voice in the creative arts is truly important to the world.

    April 2020
  • Joe Montagna

    I greatly appreciate being awarded Semi-Finalist status by BSM for my "North River" screenplay. I'm happy to report that the whole submission, communication and review processes went very smoothly, which made me feel welcomed and comfortable as an entrant.

    I'm sorry to hear that this is going to be BSM's final year because I applaud BSM's mission - to focus on issues relating to the black community, while encouraging an "open arms" policy towards writers of any & all persuasions, races & ethnicities.

    Good job, BSM!

    April 2020