For 25 years the San Francisco Independent Film Festival has developed a great reputation for filling theaters, getting press, and throwing great parties. Films at our fest regularly get Variety reviews, picked up at other fests, and find rabid groupies following the makers around town demanding autographs and buying them drinks.

Our screenplay contest has the goal of expanding our filmmaker reach. We are very excited for screenwriters to participate in the festival and we promote them right alongside our films. Participants will enjoy live reads, parties, panels, film screenings and more!

A representative at United Talent Agency requested access to the scripts of the finalists of our 2019 competition.

For the 2023 competition a top management and production company in the industry has requested a look at the top 10 scripts.

Some feedback from competition participants:

"I believe you have identified my weaknesses that I have a difficult time seeing on my own,,, you did a nice job!" - Russel J

"...winning this festival helped me to secure a producer to finance the production of North Star...." -PJ, 2019 SF IndieFest Screenplay Award Winner

"I can’t thank you enough for your feedback and encouragement. Everything you’ve put in will help get this right. My experience is military and police work so I know breaking into the film world is tough so I appreciate everything you have gave me and I have the patience to get this right. " - Andrew K

"Thank you for the excellent coverage. Your notes are very helpful and well conceived. They are very much appreciated! It seems like most of the notes I’ve gotten simply tell me about my story- hence, not very helpful. The explanations and examples you provided really help steer me to a hopefully better rewrite. " - Tom F

"Really good coverage. Helps me out a lot." - Phil L

"This coverage is fantastic – insightful, constructive & specific. What a relief to have this "North Star” to guide me through my next draft. " - Helen K

"Amazing! This is incredibly helpful, particularly how detailed the notes were with regards to the character's motivations. To quote the writing partner : "Broo! These are fantastic notes!" Thank you so much for the in-depth deep dive, the suggestions are great and we've already scheduled a writing session to start implementing them :) The speedy turnaround was also impressive and very appreciated! " - David M

"Thank you very much for all of your insights and feedback. These notes are incredibly helpful and I've found this process with you and SF IndieFest to be so valuable! " - Madeleine W

"This is excellent feedback. Totally on point and gives me some key areas to dive in and improve. " - Oscar P

"I wanted to thank you once again for the insightful and informative coverage of my screenplay. It has been very helpful indeed." - Nafi A

"Thank you so much for this very valuable feedback. This has really opened up my eyes to some critics changes to my script! So happy I sent it you and your team! All the best an really a massive massive thank you :)" - Josh T

"Please pass on my sincerest thanks to the reviewer. I believe this coverage is very detailed and constructive, and it gives me a solid direction on how to improve this piece." - Danny A.

"I just wanted to say how much I appreciate the in depth, detailed coverage you provided for my screenplay. I had never read a screenplay before, much less written one, and I do not consider myself a writer at all. The story just kind of spilled out over a couple of months last year. While it wasn’t chosen, the feedback is encouraging, highly detailed and insightful, and provides a very clear path forward." - Kirk S.

"Thank you, these notes here are super helpful. This is among the most thoughtful coverage I've gotten on this script." - David S.

"Thank you very much for the detailed and thoughtful coverage of my script. Many of the points you made are valid and I'm already thinking about ways to incorporate them into a revision. My goal is always to make the script stronger and I think these few changes will help me accomplish that. I must say, it is refreshing to get coverage where the reader truly understands (and appreciates!) the characters and what moves them forward. I have found other coverage to be slapdash and not nearly as incisive. I am so close to the script that I have reached the stage where it greatly benefits from an objective and experienced reader." - Meghan S

"Thanks for sending over the feedback, this is probably the most cogent, well thought out and clear headed feedback on one of my script's that I have gotten in a while. Really appreciate the time you or folks on your team took drafting this up." - Mishu H

"Thank you for the coverage, this is really insightful and helpful! " - Sophie W

SF IndieFest is a founding member of the FILM FESTIVAL ALLIANCE

Winning Short and Feature length writers receive:

- Cash Prize: $1000 for top feature, $500 for top short
- Delegate Badge to the Festival
- Invitation to participate at the festival's Screenwriter Panel
- Print and media coverage
- Name inclusion in Festival program materials as a competition finalist

- All submitted material must be original, and all rights must be wholly owned by the writer(s).
- Material must be submitted by the writer. Material written by writing teams must be submitted by one of the writers, with consent of the other(s).
- Substitutions of either corrected pages or new drafts of the entered material are not allowed. Please proofread your script very carefully before submitting.
- All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remains with the original rights holders.
- All persons from anywhere in the world are eligible; however the material submitted must be in English.
- Feature screenplays longer than 125 pages will not be eligible.
- The festival or any other partner, employee or agent associated with this contest claims no ownership nor first right of option to any original screenplay submitted to this contest. All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remains with the original rights holders until and unless other agreements are made.
- Except where prohibited by law, participation in the contest constitutes each entrant’s consent to the festival and its agents’ and contest sponsor’s use of entrants’ names, likenesses, photographs, and/or personal information for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration. All uses of a entrants’ information are in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
- BY ENTERING THE CONTEST YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ AND AGREE TO THESE CONDITIONS. You agree to release and hold harmless the festival, its partners, its subsidiary, parent and affiliated companies, prize contributors, judges, screenplay readers, sponsors, and any other organizations responsible for administering, advertising or promoting the Contest, and every one of their respective members, directors, employees, agents and representatives (collectively, the “Released Parties”) past and present from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liability, including but not limited to damages and negligence to property and persons, including but not limited to invasion of privacy, defamation, slander, libel, violation of right of publicity, copyright, infringement of trademark or other intellectual property rights relating to a participant’s Entry, participation in the Contest and/or acceptance or use or misuse of Prize; provided however, that such release will not apply to any commercial exploitation of the script by a Released Party in violation of your rights under applicable copyright law; and (c) indemnify, defend and hold harmless the festival and its partners, sponsor, agents and employees from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liabilities (including reasonable attorneys fees) relating to an entrant’s participation in the Contest and/or entrant’s use or misuse of Prize. Employees of the festival and their immediate families are ineligible to participate in this contest. Any such submission will be immediately disqualified. ENTRY TO THIS CONTEST IS VOID WHERE PROHIBITED or restricted by any Federal, State or Local law. Voided entries will be refunded. Recipients’ eligibility will be verified before the grant is awarded and the winner may be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility.

Overall Rating
  • We're thrilled that our short, "After What Happened at the Library" won the short screenplay category! Jeff and Jess were very communicative, gracious and happy to connect us with fellow filmmakers. The panel was fruitful and fun, and we were able to make lasting connections and experiences. Definitely would recommend!

    February 2023
  • Charlie Nadler

    Great forum for writers and their passion projects!

    February 2023
  • Rebekah Louisa Smith

    We were thrilled that our client's feature film screenplay 'THE BURDEN OF LIGHT' made it to the finals round. The entire festival was very supportive and were great to communicate with.

    February 2023
  • I'm truly honored to have my post-apocalyptic thriller, “BLOOD OF ANGELS”, and my horror feature, “FAITHFUL SHADOW” selected as Quarter-Finalists in 2023! Also, my science fiction feature "THE CELESTIAL HIGHWAY" was selected as a Semi-Finalist in 2021! The feedback I received was so kind and encouraging. Thank you so much!

    February 2023
  • Michael Clifton

    Truly honored to win the short screenplay category with 'Gloves'. The communication with director Jeff Ross was seamless and the quality of films outstanding. Placement in SF Indie Fest not only generated several requests but it put a spotlight on my other scripts. Thank you, thank you!

    February 2022