The 8th Annual New Hope Film Festival Script Competition will take place from July 23-August 1, 2021.
Hollywood screenwriter and member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Mark Rosenthal serves an adviser to the New Hope Film Festival and he makes himself available for consultations with annual Best Script winners. Other benefits of selection include: 1) free feedback from Festival organizers and judges upon request, 2) opportunities to network with directors who might collaborate on a script project, 3) complimentary Festival access passes that offer a chance to learn about the film business through immersion in a dynamic annual festival event and 4) the prestige and credibility that comes from earning Official Selection laurels, awards, social media visibility and potential press coverage.
About the Festival
Touted as the "Sundance East" in a Huffington Post article, this internationally respected indie fest was founded by D. F. Whipple, an author screenwriter and long-time resident of the New Hope, Bucks County area. Whipple formed New Hope Film Festival with a group of artists who shared his passion for discovering and nurturing independent artists, especially those who’ve been overlooked by established festivals.
What Makes the Script Competition Different
The primary objective of the script competition is to advance the careers of competition finalists.
Every work submitted is read with a keen perspective on quality and artistic expression. Artistic standards are extremely high, but neither intended budget nor prior notoriety is a determining factor—the art must shine through. This approach brings significant prestige, satisfaction and credibility to writers whose works are accepted as finalists. With a strong publicity and marketing program that includes an annual awards announcement in Variety as well as press coverage in mainstream outlets such as NBC, ABC, The Huffington Post and more, this cutting-edge and growing Festival is a bridge between indie obscurity and the mainstream.
Script finalists and filmmakers are equal peers during the annual event, making this competition a golden opportunity to meet and gain advice from producers, directors and other industry professionals. Script finalists are offered two (2) all-Festival passes and share the awards ceremony with filmmakers. Submission fees are non-refundable for any scripts not accepted. Scripts accepted are also subject to the no refund policy except in the highly unlikely event that no Program Guide listing for the script is offered.
The Festival's organizers avoid the sweepstakes model of many other competitions. Instead of offering prize money and trips, the Festival focuses on assisting the immediate and long-term careers of its finalists.
Over the years, New Hope has attracted and been home to many talented producers, screenwriters, actors, playwrights, and performance art enthusiasts. Home of the Bucks County Playhouse, where actors such as John Travolta, George C. Scott, Robert Redford, Helen Hayes, Andrea McArdle and Colleen Dewhurst have graced the stage, the village is centrally located less than an hour from Philadelphia and an hour and a half from New York.
Acrylic trophies and/or certificates and an annual Variety ad campaign aimed at putting top NHFF Script winners on Hollywood's radar.
Additionally, subject to availability and at the sole discretion of NHFF Script, the annual Best Script winner receives a free consultation with Hollywood screenwriter and Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Mark Rosenthal, who has long served as an advisor to the New Hope Film Festival.
All scripts accepted by NHFF Script are considered Official Selections of the New Hope Film Festival in the same manner in which a film is named an Official Selection. Screenwriters are not considered finalists. The distinction means scripts accepted may use the Festival's official laurel for marketing purposes and screenwriters are equal to filmmakers in terms of Festival passes and access to all Festival events. Official Selections, including scripts, are not guaranteed a nomination or mention at the awards ceremony gala, but they are guaranteed a listing in the Program Guide, subject to abiding by the Festival's terms and conditions.
The Best Script winner annually receives a consultation with Academy of Motion Pictures member and longtime Hollywood screenwriter Mark Rosenthal, who has served as a Festival advisor throughout the Festival's history. This consultation is revocable at the Festival's sole discretion and is subject to Rosenthal's availability. The Festival has called attention to its award winners and nominees via Variety print and/or digital ads throughout the Festival's history. The Festival plans to continue its Variety ad campaign indefinitely, but at its sole discretion and it reserves the right to delay, modify or cancel any ad campaign, including the annual awards announcement, without prior notice.
Screenwriters seeking a waiver because the required fee is beyond their current budget are advised to wait until the next Early Submissions period, find a sponsor and/or earn the fee through an additional source of income. The Festival's organizers do not respond to pitches for individual projects, and filmmakers writing the Festival with requests or demands for other forms of preferential treatment will typically not receive a response. Submission fees are non-refundable.
The Festival reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to cancel any event due to severe weather, power outage or any other circumstance beyond the Festival's control. If an event is cancelled, the Festival will offer replacement tickets to that event and/or reschedule the event. Only if the Festival makes no such offer is the ticket refundable at its face value.
Screenwriters must behave in a professional and respectful manner at the Festival at all times or risk removal from the Festival. A 10% courtesy discount is available on submission fees for alumni filmmakers. To request the discount code, alumni should email their name and the title of the previous Official Selection to the Festival.
Screenwriters and/or submitters must be a minimum of 16 years of age by the date of the Festival's opening night.
Terms and Conditions
By submitting a script, the submitter (“Filmmaker”) hereby irrevocably offers to New Hope Film Festival Script Competition (“Festival”) the right to list the title, brief synopsis and writer's name for the script submitted herewith (“Script”) in the Festival Program Guide as determined best by the Festival in its sole discretion. Filmmaker understands and agrees that once Festival accepts Filmmaker’s offer by selecting the Script for the Festival, Filmmaker shall have no right to remove the Script from the Festival, but Filmmaker shall not be barred from submitting the Script to any other film festival or competition outside a 10 mile radius of New Hope. If Festival selects the Script for the Festival, Festival shall have the irrevocable right, but not the obligation, to announce the Script's Official Selection status in the New Hope Film Festival Program Guide, at Festival’s sole discretion.
Festival reserves the right to revoke selection of the Script for listing in the Program Guide if Festival determines, in its sole discretion, it has good cause to do so; examples of good cause as used herein would include unprofessional or derogatory behavior by Filmmaker or Filmmaker’s representative(s). Even if Festival revokes selection of the Script for cause, the terms of this Agreement shall remain binding and in force.
Filmmaker irrevocably grants Festival the right to use, for promotional purposes, a brief synopsis of the Script if it is selected as a finalist by the Festival.
The individual or corporation submitting the Script (referred to as “Filmmaker” herein) hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the script for listing and to accept the terms of this Submission Agreement as Filmmaker or Filmmaker’s authorized representative; that it understands and accepts the terms of this Submission Agreement; and that all information it has provided on the FilmFreeway submission form is accurate and may be used by Festival for promotional purposes.
Filmmaker shall indemnify and hold New Hope Film Festival harmless from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim in connection with the Script involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, and/or loss of or damage to the script submitted. In particular, Filmmaker expressly warrants it has obtained all necessary copyright clearances for original works of authorship used in the Script.
If the Script is selected as an Official Selection of the Festival and said Script is not removed from the Festival for cause, Filmmaker shall have the right to promote the Script as a an Official Selection of New Hope Film Festival in perpetuity. By clicking on Agree, Filmmaker understands and accepts that acceptance of a Script as an Official Selection does not mean or imply it is a nominee for an award, and that any award or nomination granted to Filmmaker may be promoted in perpetuity. Festival will pay Filmmaker no compensation nor be liable to Filmmaker under any circumstances.
Filmmaker additionally agrees to behave in a professional manner at the Festival at all times and understands that failure to comply with this standard may result in ejection from the venues with additional consequences according to civil and criminal law.
The Festival shall not be responsible for cancellation, postponement, change of format (e.g., an online-only event), or any other failure in performance resulting from causes beyond its reasonable control, including, but not limited to: acts of God, strikes or other labor disturbances, equipment failures, power outages, delays in transportation, inability to obtain resources needed to produce an event, war, acts of terrorism or other violence, riots, epidemics, floods, fires, unusually severe weather conditions, accidents, life-threatening illnesses, or other contingencies the non-occurrence of which was a basic assumption on which the Filmmaker submitted a film or script.