GEMFest International Screenplay Competition (Formerly the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival/VIWFF Screenplay Competition) accepts English-language screenplays written by women and gender-diverse people.

GEMFest/Gender Equity in Media Festival is organized by Gender Equity in Media Society Vancouver (GEMS) - Formerly Women in Film and Television Vancouver, a member-driven not-for-profit society based on the unceded, traditional, and ancestral territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations, also known as Vancouver, BC. By addressing systemic barriers, GEMS works towards supporting more inclusive, representative media.

The festival is a forum for collaboration and networking with other women and gender-diverse screenwriters and filmmakers from around the world. GEMFest provides a platform for challenging gender inequity and the lack of diversity in the screen-based media industry, through a combination of film screenings, discussions, and professional development and networking opportunities.

We encourage you to submit a feature film script, or TV pilot script, of any genre, challenging the perceptions of what stories women and gender diverse people write, and what we want to see.

All Official Selections (Finalists) receive a festival pass and are invited to attend GEMFest 2024. The 2024 festival will be a hybrid of in-person screenings and events as well as a virtual festival portion. (March 8 - 12, 2024, in Vancouver, British Columbia.) Travel and accommodation are the responsibility of the attendee.

The winner in each category receives a prize package that includes cash and additional prizes. Two runners-up in each category will be designated as Official Selections and will receive a festival pass.

Please note that non-compliance with the following rules and regulations will result in disqualification. Entry fees are non-refundable.

GEMFest International Screenplay Competition only accepts English language screenplays written by women and gender diverse people. Scripts are read anonymously - meaning your name should not appear anywhere on the script

The contest is open to women and gender-diverse screenwriters. Collaborations with two or more writing partners are accepted, however, all members of the team must be women or gender diverse. Only one prize can be awarded per screenplay.

Page count should be between 80-120 pages for a feature, and up to 70 pages for a TV pilot, plus an anonymous title page with the title only and not identifying the author’s name.

Please submit a .pdf document only, with no identification of the writer on any page. The title page should have the author’s name removed.

Submissions can be from anywhere in the world but must be written in English.

Please use standard industry script format, in 12-point Courier font with numbered pages.

Please include the genre, and a short log line of 40 words or less in your FilmFreeway submission.

If your script has finished as an Official Selection (Top 10) in prior years with VIWFF, we ask that you do not resubmit the same script; however you are welcome to submit a different script into the competition. Re-submissions of scripts that have not been Official Selections are welcome, including Semifinalists and Quarterfinalists. If you have re-written your prior submission that did not advance to Quarterfinals, we encourage you to resubmit your script this year.

All entries will be judged on story structure, scene construction, dialogue, characters, formatting, imagery, originality and the skill of the screenwriter – with an emphasis on the opening hook and the ability to capture the reader’s interest in the first 10 pages. Content that includes gender diversity is of special interest to this competition.

The script must be an ORIGINAL concept for a narrative feature film or TV pilot. No adaptations of books, short stories, stage plays, etc. are allowed, unless the writer owns the underlying rights.

Please do not submit stage plays or short film scripts, as this competition is for unproduced feature screenplays and TV pilots only.

Writers may apply with more than one screenplay. Each must be submitted separately, with a separate submission fee paid.

Once a script has been entered in the competition, we cannot accept substitutions of new drafts or corrected pages. If you wish to submit a revised draft of your screenplay, you must enter it as a new submission and pay the appropriate entry fee according to the current deadline.

Please submit by the deadline. No deadline waivers will be granted.

All rights remain with the writer. However, the writer does give GEMS/Gender Equity in Media Festival permission to promote, feature, or advertise the work submitted and/or the writer as part of its festival promotion and activities.

All communications will be sent electronically, including selection and notification letters. Please make sure the email address and phone number provided as the submission contact on the entry are correct.

Do not send resumés or press kits with the screenplay.

Due to the large number of screenplays we receive, we regret that we cannot provide feedback on individual submissions.

Transportation to and accommodation at the festival are solely the responsibility of the participant.

Entrants agree to indemnify and hold us, including our employees, officers, volunteers and our partners, sponsors and affiliates harmless against all claims arising out of entry or participation in the Gender Equity in Media Festival.

Entry fee is non-refundable.

Official Selections will be contacted approximately one month prior to the festival.

By submitting your screenplay to the Gender Equity in Media Festival/GEMFest International Screenplay Competition you agree that you have read, understood, and agree to all the aforementioned rules, terms and guidelines. You also assert that you are the author and owner of the original work.

Overall Rating
  • I am honoured that my Feature Screenplay '12 HOURS' & my TV Pilot Screenplay 'JUST A NURSE' both received Quarter Finalist status in their respective categories. With one screenplay being a drama, while the other is a comedy, I feel this festival strongly appreciated my unique female viewpoint. Thank you!

    March 2023
  • Bev Gandara

    I am honored to have my screenplay WHILE I WAIT place as a Quarter Finalist. The overall experience was excellent. I highly recommend this festival for screenwriters at all levels.

    March 2023
  • Sally Stubbs

    I love all the opportunities this organization and the festival create for women. I'm honoured and delighted that my first feature screenplay - Centurions - was named a Quarterfinalist. Thank you,

    April 2022
  • The festival is one of my favorites, and love what they offer for women!!

    April 2022
  • Jes Sugrue

    VIWIF is an amazing, supportive organization!

    March 2022