CineStory is a nonprofit organziation dedicated to nurturing emerging screenwriters through mentorship programs. Winners of our competition have gone on to pen films such as CAKE, IRON MAN, THE CHILDREN OF MEN, BALLAST, KING OF CALIFORNIA and 11:14.

The CineStory Foundation has always believed in helping writers find their voice. We’re entering a world in which the ways to tell stories are limitless. Those stories always begin with a blank page. Our goal with the Feature Retreat is to assist writers in their development of the craft.

The CineStory Feature Retreat will take place over four days in the beautiful mountains of Idyllwild, California. Attendees will receive three one-on-one, one and a half hour sessions with CineStory mentors during which they can discuss everything from the project they submitted for feedback to jump starting their writing careers.

Our mentors are all committed industry professionals who work with alumni to raise the level of their craft and enhance the marketability of their projects. CineStory mentors include key creative personnel behind such films as COWBOYS AND ALIENS, IRON MAN, THE CHILDREN OF MEN, FRACTURE, MAD MONEY, THE DANGEROUS LIVES OF ALTAR BOYS, FIREWALL, FINDING NEVERLAND, BAND OF BROTHERS, THE PACIFIC, WIT, NINE LIVES, PETER PAN, EVENT HORIZON, FINAL DESTINATION and many others.

Grand Prize
The Grand Prize of our annual retreat and fellowship competition is the CineStory Fellowship, a 12-month mentorship program. During this time, the Feature Fellow works with 2 Hollywood professionals hand-picked to help the Fellow advance his/her craft and career.

The Fellow also receives:
$10,000 cash award
Free Retreat tuition
12 month fellowship program with two industry mentors ($9000 value)

Second Prize:
$1,000 cash award
Discount on Retreat tuition

Third Prize:
$500 cash award
Discount on Retreat tuition

All Finalists & Semifinalists:
Receive an invitation to the exclusive CineStory Retreat as well as prizes worth over $200, including:
**Discount on retreat tuition
**Three 90-minute one-on-one sessions with working Hollywood agents, managers, producers, development executives and other pros to discuss the writer's work and career strategy.
**Open access to 15+ hours of small group sessions covering a wide rage of creative and business topics.
**Film screenings and other events.



--Screenplays are judged anonymously; therefore they must have a CLEAN COVER PAGE (i.e., title only on the cover, no author’s name/contact information) and have no identifying information anywhere in the body of screenplays or in the PDF file name.
--Screenplays must be feature film screenplays from 85 to 125 pages in length (excluding cover page).
--No teleplays of any kind will be accepted.
--No substituted pages or other revisions will be accepted once you have submitted your script.
--Materials will not be returned under any circumstances.
--Body pages must be numbered.
--No additional materials, artwork, illustrations etc. should be attached to the script.
--Screenplays must be in English.
--Entries that do not satisfy all Rules & Guidelines will be automatically disqualified and the submission fee WILL NOT be refunded.


As author(s) of the submitted material, I/we attest(s) to the following:

--All information I/we have entered herein is accurate.
---I/we are 18 or older.
--The submitted material is my/our original work, with all rights to said work held by me/us.
--I/we will indemnify CineStory, hold it harmless and defend it against all claims, demands, losses, costs, damages, judgments, liabilities, and expenses arising out of or in connection with any and all claims of third parties, whether or not groundless, based on any stories submitted to the CineStory Screenwriting Awards or on any screenplay developed out of such stories.
--I/we understand that CineStory judges, directors, officers, employees or agents may be exposed to or may develop materials and ideas that may be similar to those of the submitted material. I/we understand and acknowledge that I/we will not be entitled to any compensation from such similar material that is independently conceived and created.
--I/we agree that I/we will never assert against CineStory (or any of its judges, directors, officers, employees or agents) any claim based on an assertion of plagiarism, idea theft, confidential or fiduciary relationship or any other theory relating to the submitted material.
--I/we understand that individual feedback is not provided and that CineStory notifies winners only.
--I/we have read, understood and complied with all guidelines and rules herein, and failure to do so may result in disqualification.

--Entrants must be 18 or older.
--The Grand Prize Feature Fellowship winner must attend the Feature Retreat in order to receive the cash award and other prizes. If a Fellowship winner cannot attend the Retreat, that person will be disqualified and a new winner will be determined.
--Replacement pages and/or new versions of a script WILL NOT be accepted once the script has been submitted. A new version of a script may be resubmitted by filling out a new entry form and paying a new entry fee.
--Promo/discount codes may only be used in the CineStory Store. No promo/discount codes may be used with the Early Bird Submission Fee. Only one promo/discount code per submission is allowed. Failure to comply with these promo/discount code guidelines will automatically disqualify a submission and there will be no refund of the submission fee.
--Any feature film screenplay from any genre will be considered.
--Entrants must not have sold and/or produced (or had produced by a third party) a feature-length screenplay or pitch for a feature-length screenplay in the last 5 years. Entrant also must not have written any first draft feature-length screenplays as a work-for-hire writer for third parties in the last 5 years. Performing rewrites or polishes of feature-length screenplays originally written by someone other than the Entrant does not exclude the Entrant from entering the contest.
--CineStory notifies winners only. Entrants are advised to check CineStory's website and e-newsletter for judging announcements.
--Entered screenplays must not be optioned, sold or produced at the time of entry.
--Multiple entries are accepted, provided a signed entry form and appropriate entry fee is attached to each submission.
--Multiple authorship is acceptable. However, if the screenplay wins an award, only one award will be given and it will be divided equally among the writers.
--Screenplays must be the original work of the author. If based on another person's life story, a statement attesting to the rights obtained must be attached.
--No adaptations of other written work will be accepted unless the writer owns the rights to the original material.
--Any adaptation of written work that is in the Public Domain is eligible for submission.
--There must be no dispute about the ownership of submitted screenplays or the writer's right to submit a screenplay.
--CineStory recommends registering screenplays with the WGA or the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress.
J--udges' decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into. Sorry, we cannot provide individual feedback from the judges.
--Entrants acknowledge that CineStory, its judges, mentors and officers may be exposed to or may develop materials and ideas that may be similar to those of the submitted material. Entrants acknowledge they will not be entitled to any compensation because from such similar material which is independently conceived and created.
--Entrants agree to never assert against CineStory (or any of its judges, directors, officers, employees or agents) any claim based on an assertion of plagiarism, idea theft, confidential or fiduciary relationship or any other theory relating to the submitted material.
--Winners will be responsible for their own U.S. income tax withholding.
--Entering the contest constitutes permission to use the winners' names and likenesses for publicity and promotions with no additional compensation.
--All entries must be uploaded by the appropriate deadline.
--CineStory reserves the right to extend the final deadline however an extended deadline is not guaranteed.
--CineStory is not responsible for entries lost, stolen or damaged in transit.
--Finalists are required to submit a letter and video as part of the finals judging process.
--Entries that do not satisfy all Rules & Guidelines will be automatically disqualified and the submission fee WILL NOT be refunded.

**All Rules & Guidelines are subject to change without notice.**

Overall Rating
  • Definitely worth the time and effort to get there. Your brain will explode from so much good information, and your heart will feel fuzzy with all the new friends you meet there, after four days of rubbing elbows with industry pros and aspiring screenwriters like yourself.

    November 2017
  • Jeffrey Massie

    The best experience I’ve ever had at a film festival, bar none. CineStory holds its annual retreats in the mountain resort town of Idyllwild, giving its winners a unique one-on-one experience of meeting with renowned professionals who mentor your project. Also included are lectures and panel discussions. I made contacts and friends with both pros and fellow winners. I'd give anything to get to go again!

    February 2017
  • Michael Begg

    The CineStory Feature Retreat provided five fulfilling days. I was thrilled to work with top-notch industry professionals as my mentors... and to be given opportunities to collaborate as colleagues. The experience left me prepared to take on the challenges of reaching the next level.

    October 2016
  • Fight or Play Basketball screenwriter is VERY HONORED to be included in CineStory! I will be entering again in the future and hope to join you in person someday soon... All SCREENWRITERS , please consider this festival! I posted and promoted your festival on my website: Best to CineStory! - MIKE

    June 2016