We are a team of artists, writers, directors, and producers that want nothing more than to support the next generation of filmmakers and screenwriters from around the world. Specifically, those storytellers that passionate about telling stories about our 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.

Our 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 forge a screenwriting competition that will launch the careers of cinema’s next generation of 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, not just African Americans. 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 our communities.

Our goal is to inspire more black authors to write, more black stories to go into production, and to connect production companies that tell our stories to the exceptionally talented storytellers who are writing them. We want to inspire generations of filmmakers to tell great stories that will inspire future generations to tell great stories.

(A percent of all submission fees will be donated to black charities).

Awards & Prizes

Black Screenplays Matter rewards screenwriters with various prizes including distribution of your script to top industry executives at several production companies and talent agencies in both New York and Los Angeles as well as to our database of A list agents, managers, and festival winners on both coasts who are looking for clients and material to produce. Three winners will also receive an InkTip Script Listing of your script on InkTip so that even more producers and reps can find you.

Please note that only our Grand Prize Winner and top two finalists will receive industry distribution and prizes. Semi-Finalists will only be rewarded with recognition.

Rules & Terms

Submissions are accepted via electronic submission only through our partner website FilmFreeway.

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.

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

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

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.

All writers at least 18 years of age are eligible.

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.

9 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Phillip Hardy

    It was an honor to be a semi-finalist in the Black Screenplays Matter contest. They were prompt with their communication and decision.

    January 2018
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    Yvette Rios

    Technically, I'm only half African-American and half Puerto Rican, but my script was about both sub cultures and I think it's so cool that they liked it. It's such a validation of all the work I put into it. Thank you so much for these laurels.

    January 2018
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    Sara Yee

    So great to be a semi-finalist in such a cool contest. It's given me so much more confidence to go out and write about all the different people from varied cultures that make the world such a wonderful place.

    January 2018
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    Nadia Fenty

    Excellent festival and not because my screenplay JUST LIKE MUMMY won the Fall Grand Prize. I entered from the UK and I have to say communications and support from Janet and Joseph have been fantastic. Would defiantly recommend entering, no matter where you are in the world.

    January 2018
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    Al Mertens

    A class act from start to finish. What nurturing folks. All the better when my feature screenplay, "Thank You, Amelia Earhart," was announced a Finalist.

    January 2018