After a successful 2023 edition, Manchester Film Festival is excited to join forces once again with ScriptUp for its 2024 Screenplay Competition.

Now in its tenth year, the Manchester Film Festival is proud to champion independent work and provide screenwriters with a chance to see their scripts read and appraised by industry experts. This year's competition has partnered with Arc Studio to provide industry-leading screenwriting software to the writers who deserve it most.

ScriptUp is a script consultancy that works to bring out the best in your screenplay. Their script services give you industry-informed insights and unbiased feedback on your work, helping you take it to the next level.


At MANIFF 2024, all Screenplay Competition submissions will be read by a team of industry readers with a strong background in screenwriting appraisal.

The top third of these screenplays will progress into the Quarter Finals and will receive MANIFF laurels. From these, ten will be selected for the Semi Finals and will receive the matching MANIFF laurels.

From the ten Semifinalists, five screenplays will be selected as Finalists and will be read in full by a jury of industry professionals. Each of these jury members will give written feedback on the screenplays, which will be compiled into an overall script report. The script with the highest aggregate score from the jury will be crowned winner of the MANIFF Screenplay Competition 2024.

(Please note: Shorts, TV Pilots and Feature Screenplays will be considered alongside each other. The reading team has no bias towards format: high-quality writing is high-quality writing, regardless of the length.)

The top script in each format (short, TV, feature) will have the opportunity to have their screenplay introduced to independent film producers and independent filmmakers.

Finalists will be invited to the Manchester Film Festival in March 2024, giving a fantastic opportunity for writers to network with film professionals, take in the films of the festival and attend the after parties.

In response to writer feedback from previous editions, this year we're offering writers the chance to receive a detailed script report from their first-round reader. The report will assess the strengths and weaknesses of your script, making recommendations for improvement in future drafts. It should also provide valuable context as to why your script has/hasn't been selected for the next round - a feedback system lacking from other competitions.

Our Script Reports include:

Around 1,200 words of concise commentary (no padding!).
Short bio of your industry reader - accountability matters to us.
Written analysis of: Premise, Story Structure, Characters, Setting, Final Thoughts.
Prompting Questions to help guide a re-write of your next draft.
Comprehensive Scoring Grid based on agency and production company in-house models.
All neatly formatted in a PDF.

Reports will be returned within a month of the final submission deadline.

Please go to for a sample report based on one of last year's entries. Or go to this form to get in touch with our team to ask any further questions. We'd love to hear from you!


The jury for this years competition is still being confirmed, but will be made up of top-name executives, writers and agents from leading companies within the industry. For an illustration of the make-up of last year's jury, see below:

• Charlotte LeMaire, Film Advisory, Endeavor Content
• Henry Holmes, Script Development, PBJ
• Lare Oyefusi, Commercial Planning, Disney+
• Rupert Stonehill, Literary Department, Independent Talent
• Camila Legaspi, Chief Content Officer, Latina Media Ventures
• Archie Thomson, screenwriter represented by Independent Talent, winner C21 Drama

Quarterfinalists (top third) will receive:

MANIFF Quarterfinalist Laurels.

Semifinalists (top 10) will receive:

MANIFF Semifinalist/Top 10 Laurels.

Finalists (top 5) will receive:

MANIFF Finalist/Top 5 Laurels.
Full reads from industry jury.
Comprehensive creative and commercial notes from all jurors, neatly compiled into a
Script Report.
Free lifetime subscriptions to Arc Studio screenwriting software.
Invitation to Manchester Film Festival 2024.
Introduction of your script to international literary agents.
Introduction of your script established executive producers of independent film.
Introduction to established directors of independent film.


1. Scripts submitted to the competition must NOT have been previously optioned, purchased or produced at the time of entry.

2. Submissions must be in English.

3. To enter the Manchester Film Festival Screenplay Competition, you must agree to its Terms and Conditions.

4. The Manchester Film Festival Screenplay Competition readers’ decisions are final.

5. Manchester Film Festival is not responsible for screenplays or coverage stolen or lost in transit.

Overall Rating
  • It was a great honour to be a finalist in the Manchester Film Fest screenplay Competition. It was a brilliantly organised festival with loads of great filmmakers and parties. The programming was top notch so no fake praise was needed.

    March 2022