The second annual New Orleans Film Festival Screenplay Competition will coincide with the 2019 festival, set to take place October 16-24.

Now in its 30th year, festival has grown into an internationally respected annual event. It is one of the few film festivals that is Oscar-qualifying in all three Academy-accredited categories: Narrative Short, Documentary Short, and Animated Short—and it’s been recognized by MovieMaker Magazine as one of the “25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” and as one of the “Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” every year since 2012 (one of only two fests to receive that recognition for seven straight years).

The festival’s growing reputation is built upon a commitment to discovering new and diverse voices. Paste Magazine praised the festival for offering “a platform to voices that still fight to be heard,” and indeed, 2018’s festival saw 54% of its films helmed by filmmakers of color and 60% from female filmmakers. Among the 28 finalist projects in the 2018 screenplay competition, 17 (61%) were from female or gender-nonconforming writers, and 14 (50%) were from writers of color. In total, 24 of the 28 (or 86%) were from female writers, gender-nonconforming writers, or writers of color.

The festival is excited about discovering new and diverse voices and connect them to gatekeepers, industry leaders, and career-advancing opportunities at the New Orleans Film Festival.

The top ten finalists in all categories will receive two All-Access Passes to attend the 2019 New Orleans Film Festival October 16-24. The writers will be invited to all panels, roundtables, receptions, networking events, and screenings over the course of the nine-day event.

Additionally, winners of each category will receive a cash prize.

The winner of the Feature category (for screenplays 40 pages or longer) will receive an unrestricted cash prize of $1000. Runner-up will receive $250.

The winner of the Short category (for screenplays under 40 pages) will receive an unrestricted cash prize of $500. Runner-up will receive $150.

The winner of the Episodic category (for pilots, web series, teleplays, etc.) will receive an unrestricted cash prize of $500. Runner-up will receive $150.

For Louisiana residents, two additional awards sponsored by the LOUISIANA FILM & ENTERTAINMENT ASSOCIATION will be given out: one unrestricted cash prize of $1000 to the Louisiana writer with the best screenplay (whether Feature, Short, or Episodic) and one $500 prize to a runner-up.

1. All entries submitted to the New Orleans Film Festival Screenplay Competition must be original works by the applicant.

2. All submissions must be in English.

3. Submissions must be made online. No mailed or emailed entries are accepted. All submissions are final and once submitted may not be replaced or edited in any way.

4. Screenplays must be formatted according to industry standards. Pages must be numbered, and please include title only on title page.

There are no requirements as to when the material was written.

5. Length:
Feature Scripts: 40+ pages
Short Scripts: less than 40 pages
Episodic: less than 70 pages
Louisiana: unrestricted

6. The New Orleans Film Festival Screenplay Competition does not accept treatments, novels, short stories, stageplays, synopses, reality show concepts, scripts for existing TV series, adaptations, or works that are not original.

7. All scripts will reviewed by festival staff, but due to the high volume of submissions we will not be able to provide feedback on entries. Awards, selections, and decisions of the New Orleans Film Festival Screenplay Competition are final.

8. Finalists will be notified by mid-August.

9. Awards are given per entry, not per writer (in the case of multiple writers on a given screenplay).

10. There is no limit to the number of entries you can submit, but each entry must be a different screenplay and must pay a separate entry fee.

11. Louisiana Screenplay category: The writer must currently reside in Louisiana. You will be asked to provide proof of residence. This category encompasses screenplays of any kind: feature-length, short, episodic, pilots, etc.

Overall Rating
  • Charliese Elisah West

    We were so happy to find such an amazing screenwriting competition close to home! We had an amazing time at the festival too.

    November 2019