Make a Name for Yourself and Build Your Screenwriting Career

The Flip The Script ™ Filmmaking Competition starts with writers then brings in the full indie filmmaking pipeline for a competitive film school experience that culminates in a showcase of 3 short films developed with the support of a fully funded professional production cast and crew.

2021 Season Partners/Sponsors:

Title Sponsor: Final Draft Software

DCASE: Chicago Film Office
Camera Ambassadors
Periscope PA
IFA Chicago

Aspiring screenwriters work side by side with industry professionals to master the art and process of rapid filmmaking.

Learn as you develop your short film script from concept to completion to production and beyond!

Wish there was a way you could enter a competition that gave you more than feedback, but an actual chance to bring your story to life?

Tired of entering screenwriting competitions only to get vague notes that says the readers DON’T understand your stories?

We heard you! That’s why we’ve developed The Flip The Script Filmmaking Competition to create real learning and opportunities for aspiring BIPOC filmmakers.

You Should Submit If You:

• Are a writer ready to develop short script and lead a team through filmmaking
• You could use more than $5000 in production support to develop your script
• You'd like to try your hand at directing professional actors on a LIVE film set
• Want to see your film screened at Film Festivals across the country

It's so easy to submit, you might be surprised.

Step 1: Create a 90 second pitch video & your written personal statement telling us about yourself, your work and why you are ready to Flip The Script

Step 2: Upload Your Submit information

If you are a selected quarter-finalist, we'll schedule your interview with producers and judges.


No, you don't have to submit a script first.
No, you don't have to run out and create a professional video

20 aspiring filmmakers will be invited to compete LIVE in the semi-final round of Flip The Script Filmmaking competition. Three Finalists will each direct their short film in hopes of winning the coveted Best Picture Award.

Based in Chicago and managed by The WordSmith Writer’s Lab, we Flip the Script from start to finish. This unique competition doesn’t require you to already have proven success – just solid potential, "coachability", and a strong desire to elevate your skills.

We know you are learning and growing. We want to help you get there. You just need to be ready to roll up your sleeves and grind hard.

Our seasoned mentors will guide you through 10 POWERFUL concepts:
• Concept Development
• Scripting for Optimal Production
• Lighting and Grip Techniques
• Receiving Constructive Feedback
• Leading Productive Teams
• Shooting for The Edit
• Production Support Roles in Filmmaking
• Delivering Under Pressure
• Marketing Your Project
• Building Your Brand as a Filmmaker

NOTE: This experience requires you to be available for specified dates (indicated below) participate in the competition. If you can do that, we got the rest covered. Participants may be dismissed if availability becomes an issue.

DATES: August 13 - August 31

Our mission is to create a real pathway for BIPOC Filmmakers by equipping them with vital skills and connecting them to the industry in a meaningful, energetic, and inspiring way. 


1. Experience Level
Q: What if I've never written a script or produced or filmed anything?
A: We recommend you have a bit of experience in your chosen discipline so we don't lose you during the competition however, it's not necessary that you be an award-winning artist. We want you to be coachable and ready to learn

2. Team Entry
Q: I have a team that I already work with. Can we enter to work together?
A: No, every writer must enter on their own and will act as a one person team.

3. Cost
Q: How much does it cost to get the mentoring and film my project:
A: The only cost for this immersive experience is the submission fee. If you're selected, we foot the whole bill for your competition project.

4. Project Length
Q: Is this only for short films?
A: Yes. Flip The Script exclusively focuses on short script production

5. What's Your Why
Q: Why are you doing this?
A: The Flip The Script Filmmaking Competition is here to bring real, exciting opportunities for creatives to tell their stories and share them in a way that helps carve a path to a filmmaking future. That's the whole mission. We want to see YOU win!

6. Staying Power
Q: How long has this competition been around?
A: This is the first year for Flip The Script but your 2nd year running dope competitions. In 2019, we brought the Script To Silver Screen Pitch Competition to The Chicago South Side Film Festival. This year, we wanted to bring more to the table so, we are starting with the personal pitch, but ending with a greater investment in Chicagoland Creatives.

7. Location
Q: Speaking of Chicago, do you have to be a Chicago resident to be considered?
A: The short answer is NO! We accept entries from across the United States. Be aware though, that the competition WILL take place in Chicago and surrounding suburbs.

8. Travel
Q: If I don't live in the area and win, will Flip The Script fly me out?
A: We wish we could, but we have a lean budget so you'd be responsible for getting to Chicago and staying for the duration of the competition. If you have family or friends, now is the time to ask them to help you go for your dreams!

9: Students
Q: I'm still in school. Can I submit for the competition?
A: YES! Students are welcome, we just ask that you be 18 or older.

11: COVID-19
Q: What about COVID-19?
A: We have considered this and are working to ensure the project is in compliance with COVID-19 Safety guidelines. We'll be using technology like video conferencing to help minimize unnecessary interactions while maximizing the fun. We will also have a Covid Compliance Officer on set at all times.

Three Awards Granted For:
1. Best Screenplay
2. Best Director
3. Best Overall Film – Competition Winner

In addition to your fully produced film, the winning filmmaker will receive awards commemorating their accomplishment as well as distribution strategy support.

Imagine... 100% funding, mentoring and production support to write and direct your short film for the world to see!

By submitting your pitch video to Flip The Script, you agree to the following terms and conditions:

All entrants MUST submit:
1. A written personal statement
2. One or two high resolution headshots/photos
3. A screenplay you've written to be considered as a writing sample (any length)
3. Personal a pitch video MP4 (up to 90 seconds in length) explaining why YOU should be chosen to Flip The Script.

Personal Statement
Tell us a bit about yourself in 500 words or less. Be creative, be yourself, share your world and what makes you a great fit for the competition.

Pitch Video
1. What to Include
a. Name
b. Age
c. City
d. Prior Writing Experience (if any)
e. What You Like to Write (think genre, project types, etc.)
f. Why You Should Be Chosen for Flip The Script Filmmaking Competition

NOTE: Your personal pitch video does NOT need to be professionally produced or edited.

• Scripts and film reels are NOT required for submission
• All personal pitch videos must be submitted to Flip The Script Filmmakers Competition as URL links.
• Entries are accepted from anywhere in the world however, entrants are responsible for all travel and related expenses associated with participation in the competition.
• You must submit one or more high resolution production stills and/or promotional photos of yourself.
• The submission fees are non-refundable. See schedule for rates.
• Once entered, submissions may be withdrawn however, once withdrawn, the participant may not resubmit.
• Applicant hereby grants Flip The Script Filmmaking Competition the right to utilize all submission information for promotional purposes, also to use stills, biographical material, names and likenesses from the submission for promotional purposes and in the competition program. Further to provide copies of the submissions for journalists to review, to show the submissions at press screenings, if any, and during the Competition.
• Selected Applicants hereby grant The Flip The Script Competition the right to film and utilize mentoring, coaching sessions and team interactions and film production throughout the competition.
• Flip The Script Film Competition will use its best efforts to ensure the correct title and credits are listed in all programming but shall not be held liable for inadvertent errors or omissions.
• Competition programmers and judges shall determine selections and together with the Competition audience for the award winners, if any, at their sole discretion.

Flip The Script Filmmaking Competition reserves the right to decide all questions not specifically provided for in the Terms and Conditions.

The WordSmith Writer’s Lab reserves the right to adjust dates and times of sessions without notice.

Any work produced or submitted by Competition personnel or staff involved in organizing any aspects of the Competition will not be accepted.

Writers that have previously won more than two screenwriting contests, competitions, grants, labs, fellowships, mentorships, readings or awards of any kind, are not eligible to enter this competition. Professional/working screenwriters are not eligible to enter this competition.

Semi-Finalists agree to be available for 14 Consecutive Days to participate in the development and filming of their project. Participants may be released, at the discretion of competition producers, if availability becomes an issue.

Overall Rating
  • Wayne Hazle

    In more than 20 years of entering screenwriting and filmmaking contests and actually winning the grand prize in one. The Flip the Script contest is simply the best experience I have ever had in filmmaking. I am extremely grateful for the experience.

    In a short time I learned a great deal. I also got great feedback on my writing and personal development. I felt charged and ready to keep working and getting better.

    Flip the Script has not seen the last of me. :)

    August 2020