The Academy Qualifying HollyShorts Film Festival (HSFF) is an annual short film festival showcasing the best and brightest short films and short screenplays from around the globe. The festival showcases the top short films produced 40 minutes or less and is looking for the best short screenplays 30 pages or less and TV pilots 50 pages and under.

The 10th annual HollyShorts Screenplay Contest is part of the 19th annual HollyShorts Film Festival (August 10-19th 2023). We are looking for short screenplays 30 pages or less. All Quarter, Semi, and Finalists will be announced and invited to the festival with an all access pass. Top 5 screenplays will be announced/awarded at the HollyShorts Awards Ceremony and the winning scripts receives production deals courtesy of The Seattle Film Summit, Hawk Films, and 88th Street Productions. ISA story prize rounds out the top 5. The completed shorts will screen at the 2024 HollyShorts Film Festival at the TCL Chinese Theatres and receive automatic distribution on Bitpix!

Best Short Screenplay
The first place winning short screenplay will get produced by our production company sponsors Seattle Film Summit and 88th Street Productions, to be completed and screen at the HollyShorts Film Festival in 2024. Finished film will get an automatic screening at HollyShorts, including Academy Award Qualified by HSFF and distribution on Bitpix! Top winner will also receive a meeting with Alta Global Media.

Sponsors: Seattle Film Summit + 88th Street Productions + Bitpix
Cash Award Value: $25,000 U.S. Dollar
Value of Goods/Services: $35,000 U.S. Dollar
*all completed winning scripts get automatic distribution on Bitpix, will screen at HollyShorts, and be Academy Award qualified by HSFF.

Hawk Films Short Screenplay $20,000 winner
Hawk Films will award one winner with a $20,000 dollar production prize. Hawk Films will produce the Award Winning script and provide all nuts and bolds to the production. Your script will be produced into a film in the UK. The award winner will have all travel expenses paid for to attend the shoot.

Hawk Films is a London-based production company founded by DoP and Producer Matthias Ashford.

With over 10 years of experience in storytelling, they have collaborated with names such as Richard Branson and Usain Bolt, and created content for brands like Lego, Ford and Kickstarter.

They work across feature and short films, documentaries, music videos and commercials, and rely on a strong network of award-winning professionals and creatives, armed with industry-leading equipment, to bring the best stories to life.

ISA story Award
ISA prize
Sponsor: ISA
Value of Goods/Services: $1,000 U.S.

Best TV pilot
Optioned by 88th Street Productions.
Value Goods/Services: $2,000 U.S. Dollar

Quarter and Semi Finalists
All Quarter and Semi finalists get invite to attend the festival, all access pass.
Value of Goods/Services: 1,000 U.S. Dollar

Best Female Screenplay
$1000 cash for the shoot and Becine providing rental camera gear for the shot for the winner of Best Female Screenplay, along with guaranteed screening at HollyShorts and distribution on Bitpix along with Academy Award qualification by HSFF!
Value of Goods/Services: $5000 U.S. Dollar

All entries submitted are eligible to win the top prizes.

Employees (and their immediate families (parent, spouse, child, sibling and their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside) and those living in their same households, whether or not related) of HollyShorts and any of their respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies or festival sponsors, are not eligible to win. There is no limit on the number of short screenplays you can submit; however, each short screenplay submitted by you must be original and different from any other short screenplay submitted by you, submitted separately and accompanied by its own completed submission form and participant agreement. Short screenplays may be a maximum of 30 pages, must be in English and must be submitted in proper script format. HollyShorts reserves the right to reject any short screenplay that it determines, in its sole and absolute discretion, contains prohibited content or is offensive, inappropriate or otherwise unacceptable. All eligible entries received by HollyShorts will be judged by the HollyShorts selection committee and the production company sponsoring the contest.

By submitting your script for consideration for the HollyShorts Screenplay Contest, you agree for HollyShorts and its contest sponsor to produce your short screenplay if selected as the overall winner. The completed film(s) will premiere at the HollyShorts Film Festival and on our distribution platform Bitpix.

Overall Rating
  • Kristen McNaule

    It was great that writers were given free passes, even as a quarterfinalist. Most screenwriting contests don't enable writers to connect with filmmakers, but HollyShorts provided a wonderful opportunity to meet talented filmmakers coming up in the industry and start to build a network. There were so many opportunities to meet people and the parties were great. I had a blast and would love to come back.

    September 2022
  • Melissa Mars

    It was an honor to reach the semi finals at this prestigious contest. I couldn’t attend in person but the festival had a virtual version including
    the panels and discussions, which was amazing to be able to watch! It was educating and helpful. Loved it. 🤩🙏🏼

    August 2022
  • I was unable to attend at the last minute, however, the communication is top notch and they do a great job of keeping everyone informed and included on all the events. I will definitely be submitting again.

    August 2022
  • Lynda Dahl

    As a first time screenwriter, I was very happy to enter this prestigious contest. The communication was very clear, and they provided remote access to some of the events & films. It's been a great experience! Thanks!

    November 2021
  • We were very honoured for our script “Better Cold” to make Quarterfinalist in Holly Shorts. This festival has made regulars of us. We will be back. Thank you to the organizers and judges.

    October 2021