We want your stories!

Welcome to Maine, the way film should be. We have beautiful locations, talented and professional crew, and an unexplainable mystique that brings millions of tourists to us every year. Our film production community is growing quickly, and we need films to make. That's where you come in!

We want your screenplays and pilots. We want films that we can make here in our wonderful state, stories that will take advantage of everything Maine has to offer as a filmmaking destination. Give us something we can make here, and we will make it.

One grand prize winner will be produced here in Maine using funds from the application process. Aside from the fees associated with running and producing the contest, all funds will go into the production of one of the winning pieces. Your entry fees will go directly towards making a film. Maybe even one you wrote! It will be produced on a micro-budget, here in Maine, with a talented cast and crew

We are about good stories, made well.

(Total dollar value depends on the number of submissions).
Your script goes into production using a fund created from the submission fees of your fellow writers. They pay for your film to get made. They'll be jealous, but they'll get over it.


Best Feature Script – $500
Best Feature About Real Stuff (Drama, Thriller, Action, Adventure) – $100
Best Feature About Funny Stuff – $100
What Did I Just Read? (Genre Defiers and Weird Stuff) – $100
Best Feature About Unreal Stuff (Sci-fi, Horror, Fantasy) – $100
Best Maine Feature Screenplay – $100

Best Pilot - $500
Best 30 Minute Pilot – $100
Best 60 Minute Pilot – $100
Most Binge-worthy Pilot - $100

Best Short Screenplay – $400
Best Short About Real Stuff (Drama, Thriller, Action, Adventure) – $100
Best Short About Funny Stuff – $100
What did I Just Read? (Genre Defiers and Weird Stuff) – $100
Best Short About Unreal Stuff (Sci-fi, Horror, Fantasy) – $100
Best Maine Short Screenplay – $100

Your piece will be judged using the following guidelines -

Lets face it, there are fewer and fewer stories to be told in our business. The most important thing that we want tons ee in your script is something new. Something beautifully original, something unseen. That’s what anyone is looking for, so it’s really in your best interest anyway. Make us say “Huh, that’s interesting”.

We like to make up words. This pertains to your ability to create great characters. Does your story involve compelling characters that people care about? More importantly, will said roles be good enough to draw name talent? Major points for diversity - a female lead is great, a lead with an actor of color is even better. Good characters. Write us some of those.

Do these characters have an interesting obstacle to overcome, and how do they do it? We aren't necessarily looking for things that fit into the Field/Mckee/Snyder template. In fact, it's probably better if they don't. We need things that step away from convention. But we do need to care what happens next. Usually, if the Character is good (see above) than the story will be fine too.

Is that a word? Probably not. Regardless, this is just a general term for our taste. We like weird. It’s similar to originality, but has the added benefit of being entirely indefinable.
Not a word? Fine. So we just made a word about it. This is the sense that “this could get made”. There are concrete considerations, such as number of characters, effects, locations. But there is also a general concept that its a piece that will get made and will be sold. We’re not looking for boring chamber pieces or a story told exclusively from the point of view of a chair (Although the latter would certainly get points for Originality - see above.) But we will have limited resources, so keep that in mind.

Our favorite scripts will be stories we have never heard about people who are rarely portrayed in film. Stories that have good roles for women or minorities are highly encouraged to apply. If your script is just about white dudes complaining about white dude problems, we may very well not finish reading it.

Can we make this movie in Maine, on a small budget? Your movie doesn't have to be about lobstermen who eat potatoes and chop down pine trees. It's better if it isn't, actually. Most of this stuff has been covered before anyway. But we need stories we can make here in Maine, on a micro-budget scale. Ideally, something that resonates with a state full of weirdos and ne'er-do-wells. We have cities and small towns, mountains and oceans, forests and even a small desert (look it up). We are unique. Your story should be too.

Original Content: All entries submitted to the Maine Film Initiative (MFI) must be original works by the applicant.

Submissions: Submissions must be made on-line. All submissions are final, and MFI does not issue refunds. Each submission will be sent a confirmation email once payment is processed.

Anonymity: The author’s name should NOT appear on the title page or anywhere on the script, to preserve anonymity and fairness.

Feature Scripts: 40 – 130 pages
Short Scripts: 1 – 40 pages
Teleplay (30 minute pilot): 1 – 30 pages
Teleplay (60 minute pilot): 31- 60 pages

MFI considers all entries to be complete. No revisions of submitted material will be considered.
Scripts also must not have been sold or currently be under option prior to June 2017. MFI employees, including seasonal staff, board
members, sponsors, and their immediate families, are not eligible to submit in any category.
Scripts will be judged numerically on 7 different criteria, as outlined above. Awards, selections, and decisions of MFI are final.
Semi-finalists and finalists will be notified by May. Winners will be announced in June 2017.

If a screenplay has more than one author, it is up to the authors to decide how many authors to list on the application and who will be the primary contact e-mail. Awards are given per entry, not per author. MFI does not assume responsibility for arrangements with regard to awards.

Maine Category: The writer must have been born in Maine, or currently reside in Maine. The entrant is responsible for the authenticity of this claim and any inquiry regarding that authenticity. You may be asked to provide proof of residence at any point during the duration of the contest.

Copyright: All entrants are encouraged to register their screenplays with the Writers’ Guild of America, East or West: www.wgaeast.org/script_registration, or www.wga.org/registration/index.html, and with the U.S. Copyright Office.


By submitting my screenplay to the Maine Needs Your Stories Screenwriting Competition, I:
1. Recognize that MFI, its representatives and files are replete with ideas and stories for theatrical motion pictures and television programs and that new ideas for motion pictures and television programs are constantly being submitted to MFI. I also recognize that many stories and ideas are similar and often different stories and ideas are related to one or more common underlying themes.
2. I agree to indemnify MFI and its representatives, including its judges and readers, against any and all claims, expenses, losses or liabilities that may be asserted against MFI and its representatives at any time in connection with said Material, or any use thereof, including without limitation those arising from any breach of the warranties and promises given by me herein.
3. I hereby release and discharge MFI and its representatives, including judges and readers, from any and all claims and demands and will not assert, maintain, or assist any party in asserting or maintaining any claims or demands against MFI arising out of, or in connection with the Materials, including without limitation, any and all claims for libel, rights of publicity, theft, or misappropriation of ideas or trade secrets or infringement of copyright or other intellectual property rights.
4. I warrant I am the sole owner and author of the Material submitted.
6. MFI shall not be under any obligation to me with respect to the submitted material except as may later be set forth in a fully executed written agreement between us.
7. I understand that prize money is dependent on the number of submissions, and that lesser or fewer prizes may be awarded than stipulated above if the number of submissions does not exceed 100.
8. I have retained a copy of the Material and agree that MFI shall not be obligated to return the Material to me.
9. I acknowledge that MFI is under no obligation to use the Material in any manner. I warrant it is original to me and that I am the author and owner of the Material.

Overall Rating
  • I must paraphrase my eldest daughter because she nailed it: Seeing those letters in that shape & sequence: M-A-I-N-E, brings comfort and a sensation like no other. This Initiative, I’m guessing the first of its kind, will attract great story telling… M-A-I-N-E story telling…. like no other. It’s a crime when a “Mainiac” watches a film set in Maine and there is NOT one attempt of our unique accent, or even filmed in Vacationland! (example: SHUT IN with Naomi Watts….set in Maine, filmed in Vancouver & not one attempt to pull off our special speech patterns & accent) For those nursing a love affair with Maine via living, working of vacationing, the MFI will be that storytelling platform for writers & filmmakers alike, paving the way for Maine Lights! Camera! Action! A story never shared is a story never told. God, I’m so d*** homesick for MAINE!

    July 2017
  • The only thing sexier than a festival's goal dripping in "characterosity" is an email stating, "D***! I really want your script." Thank you Team Maine for giving writers worldwide a reason to fantasize.

    July 2017