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, 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 black communities.

Our goal is to inspire more storytellers to write great stories about the black community, to see more black stories to go into production, and to connect production companies that tell black 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.

Last year's winner wrote an action script and got a 1 hour script consultation with Janet Jeffries from Lawrence Bender Productions.

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.

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.

Black Screenplays Matter is an independent screenwriting competition.

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. To prevent tampering we do not reveal the identities of our judges.

By entering the competition you hereby accept these competition rules.  

Overall Rating
  • Deborah Harris

    This was an excellent screenwriting competition! I am extremely grateful they recognized my work. It gave me confidence to continue on this journey!!

    March 2019
  • Awesome screenwriting competition! Thank you for recognizing black writers. You rock!

    March 2019
  • Awan Wye

    I love this contest. It gives me hope to know and believe that someone else finds my work good and funny. Good enough to make the semi finals. Although I wish I had won, it let's me know that I'm on the right path. Thank you!

    March 2019
  • Eric Sollars

    Great professional contest. Excellent feedback on scripts with professional readers. Highly recommend the contest.

    March 2019
  • Tony Hendriks

    As a Jamaican to have my screenplay SHOOT THE GIRL win the Black Screenplays Matter contest in 2017 was an amazing personal validation to be recognised internationally.

    Winning BSM gave me much needed confidence and propelled me to enter other contests. I won a ScreenCraft contest and became a finalist in Cannes Golden Plume and WeScreenplay Diverse Voices as well as a semi finalist in others.

    The peeps at BSM were kind and courteous and send my script to their data base and got me read. What more can you ask?

    I am entering my next screenplay as we speak this year as we speak.

    August 2018