Founded in 1969 as the Sinking Creek Film Celebration, Nashville Film Festival (NashFilm) is one of the longest-running film festivals in the country and one of the most acclaimed festivals in the South. Hosted in Music City, NashFilm attracts enthusiastic film lovers from all across the country and has been praised by film-goers and filmmakers alike for its unique combination of big city festival atmosphere and laid back Southern hospitality. Showcasing approximately 200 films from over 30 countries, a screenplay competition, episodic competition, live music showcases, the Creators Conference and parties almost every night, the 51st Festival will be one to remember.

Nashville Film Festival offers $100,000 in cash and in-kind sponsor prizes to filmmakers with winners selected by industry power players – including studio representatives, producers, and fellow filmmakers.

Winning screenwriters will receive $750 or $1,000 in cash prizes, depending on the category, and each feature-length category winner.

1. Original Content: All entries submitted to the Nashville Film Festival (NashFilm) Screenwriting Competition must be original works by the applicant. If the script is an adaptation or based on source material to which the entrant doesn't own the rights, permission to adapt the original work must be submitted as the first page in the screenplay PDF.

2. Submissions: Submissions must be made online. No mailed or emailed entries are accepted. NashFilm does not allow changes to the categories after submission. All submissions are final, and NashFilm does not issue refunds or adjustments of entry fees. Each submission will be sent a confirmation email once payment is processed.

3. Multiple Categories: Entrants may submit the same entry to more than one category. Each category entered requires an entry fee for that category.

4. Formatting: Screenplays must be formatted according to industry standards. Pages must be numbered and typed in 12 point Courier font. All entries must be submitted in English. Include title only on title page. The author’s name should NOT appear on the title page or anywhere on the script, to preserve anonymity and fairness.

5. Lengths:
• Feature Scripts: 75 – 110 pages
• Short Scripts: under 45 pages
• Teleplay (30 minute pilot): 25-40 pages (longer lengths formatted with acts)
• Teleplay (60 minute pilot): 59-70 pages (longer lengths formatted with acts)

6. Revisions: NashFilm considers all entries to be complete. You may not send in revisions after the screenplay or teleplay has been submitted.

7. Ineligibility: The NashFilm Screenwriting Competition does not accept novels, short stories, stage plays, treatments, synopses, reality show concepts, scripts for existing TV series, or works that are not original. Scripts also must not have been sold or currently be under option prior to 10/3/2020. NashFilm employees, including seasonal staff, board members, sponsors, and their immediate families, are not eligible to submit in any category.

8. Judging: Scripts will be judged based on final scores that cover multiple criteria including, but not limited to, structure, premise,entertainment value, and commercial viability. All decisions are final.

9. Notifications: Quarterfinalists will be notified by July 10, 2020. Semifinalists will be notified no later than July 31, 2020. Finalists will be notified by email no later than August 21, 2020. Winners in each category will be announced at the Screenwriting Competition Awards Ceremony during the festival in October 2020.

10. Co-Authors: 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 email. Awards are given per entry, not per author. Therefore, groups of authors associated with one entry are responsible for the division of award. NashFilm does not assume responsibility for arrangements with regard to award divisions.

11. Tennessee Category: The writer must have been born in Tennessee, or currently reside in Tennessee. 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.

12. Copyright: All entrants are encouraged, but not required to register their screenplays with the Writers’ Guild of America, East or West:, or

Overall Rating
  • I'm so glad I had a chance to drive up from Atlanta and attend the 2019 Nashville Film Festival. I felt very welcome as a finalist, and subsequent winner in the screenwriting competition; and really enjoyed the table reading of the finalist screenplays.
    I appreciated most that so many blocks were allotted for NextGen shorts. Thanks for supporting young/student/up-and-coming filmmakers!

    November 2019
  • I had an amazing time at the Nashville Film Festival, one of the best festivals I’ve ever been to. I was one of the screenplay finalists and had a VIP pass. I got to see some amazing films, mingled with the cast & crew of some of these productions and took part in some great networking events. As a surprise, the organisers arranged for some actors to perform a live table read from the scenes of each finalist. It was amazing to see my screenplay brought to life. A particularly big shout out to the screenplay contest organiser, Cat Stewart, who took such great care of all the writers. Highly recommended!

    October 2019
  • Anne Abramowitz Junget

    Nashville is a uniquely great screenwriting competition. The coordinator, Cat Stewart, goes far above and beyond any other competition. I was a finalist in the comedy feature category, and Cat made every effort to help finalists with networking and featuring our scrips to interested industry folks. I reached out with questions and she gave great advice. Also, one of the best parts of being a finalist was having a panel do a table read of a scene from my script at the awards ceremony. Super cool! Would definitely recommend Nashville to everyone.

    October 2019
  • Christopher OBryant

    What a fantastic experience. Cat Stewart, The Screenplay Coordinator truly went above and beyond! Giving a sense of unity and community throughout! This is definitely a festival you want to attend!

    October 2019
  • Harish Kumar

    I was a finalist in horror-thriller category screenwriting competition 2019. Could not attend it but it was well organized. Each and every step was informed and coordinated by the amazing Cat Stewart. They even uploaded the table reading of a selected scene from all the finalist's scripts and uploaded it to youtube so that those who could not attend see it. Thank you very much -Team Nashville film festival! love you folks.

    October 2019