We are San Francisco. And we love film and we love writers. In fact, we care so deeply about developing the next generation of filmmakers from around the world that we founded what we hope will be one of the most prestigious screenwriting competitions in the world for serious writers and serious subject matter.

We are an independent screenwriting competition founded by artists, and while we are artists, a lot of artists come from backgrounds in journalism, publishing, and in some cases some very grisly real life experiences and we like serious subject matter. A lot of other festivals do as well, but that’s really all we are interested in. We are only really interested in finding the next Schindler’s List, Judgement at Nuremburg, Saving Private Ryan, Shawshank Redemption, Lincoln, Reservoir Dogs, 12 Years a Slave, the Godfather, Sling Blade, Frida, or even Shine.

We want to find scripts so good they not only get made, but that they find their way to Sundance, Venice, Cannes, Edinburgh, and San Sebastian. We not only want to recognize the best of the best. We want to find the best writers first.

We want to support serious writers who take on serious subject matter. That’s what we’re all about. We are located in the heart of California and are proud to be the only international screenwriting competition in the Bay Area. We are committed to fostering the careers of local talent as well as finding the next generation of talent from New York, Hollywood, Toronto, and around the world.

Hollywood is all about cinema and we want to find the next generation of talent capable of delivering great cinema for the next fifty years. We are dedicated to developing new artists with visual talent. That's why we connect our winners with the agents and managers that will ultimately put them in front of the producers who can get their films made.

Great films come in all shapes and sizes, from thrillers to dramas from blockbusters to indies, as such we love all kinds of scripts from big studio projects to arthouse indies. We believe everyone has a story to tell - no matter where you come from. So whether you’re new to writing, you’ve been doing it for years, or you’re just now thinking about starting, send us your script and if it’s good we’ll deliver to the people you need to read it. We accept scripts from all over the world and from writers with a wide variety of backgrounds and we never discriminate on any basis.

Men and women have been making great films for over a century now and we want to continue that tradition. We want to develop writers and filmmakers to work in every facet of production. We want to support writers at all levels to make great films. We love film and we love filmmakers. And we want to do everything we can to support and inspire the next generation of filmmakers to tell great stories that will be told for generations to come. The San Francisco Int'l Screenwriting Competition is a Cinema Public House production. We are a US based independent festival company that produces festivals all over the world.

Our grand prize winner receives a consultation package provided by RoadMap Writers that includes consultations with three separate top talent managers and or producers in New York or Los Angeles. 2021's grand prize winner received a consultation package with talent managers and executives at ROAR!, Guy Walks into a Bar, and Charles Osowik Management. Our top two finalists also received consultations with executives at Content House and Tradition Pictures. 2020's grand prize winner was introduced to talent managers at Fictional Entertainment, the Bohemia Group, and Kersey Management. They also received a one hour script consultation with a top producer/manager from Content House. 2019's winner also received consultations with three separate talent managers in addition to our grand prize winner receiving script notes and a personal consultation from none other than a top talent manager at Insignia Entertainment.

Please note that only the top three screenwriting finalists receive industry introductions and semi-finalists only receive laurels and online recognition like at most festivals. Prizes and recognition are not awarded to any other entrants.

Submissions are accepted via electronic submission only through our partner websites like FilmFreeway.

No limit to the length of the projects you submit. Projects can be in script or treatment form.

No limit to the number of projects you may submit.

Scripts must be written in English, but can be in any film or television genre in either script or treatment form.

Entry fees for screenplay entries are posted on our partner websites and are non refundable.

Employees and family members of the film festival are not eligible.

Entrants must be 18 years or older to enter the contest. Misrepresentation of age, upon discovery, will forfeit entry and fees to the contest.

Entries must be received on or before the deadlines and submission fee payment must be made in full at time of the submission. All entry fees are non-refundable

All submitted material must be original, and all rights must be wholly owned by the writer(s).

All entries must be the original, and unpublished, un-produced, un-optioned work of the entrant. The entrant ensures that he or she is the sole author of the work and that it does not infringe on any existing copyright.

All winners are responsible for their own U.S. income tax withholding.

The competition, its judges, and its officers accept no liability whatsoever for any claims of damages, real or perceived, by any entrant(s) as a result of their participation in this contest.

Industry distribution should in no way be interpreted as a guarantee of future representation or success. Whether or not industry partners choose to work with finalists, or even contact finalists, is done so at the sole discretion of each and every individual company. We can not force our industry partners to option your property and or sign you as a client.

Contest is void where prohibited by law.

All entrants must be eighteen years of age.

All people of all shapes and sizes from anywhere in the world are eligible; however all material submitted must be in English.

Material submitted to other competitions or contests is eligible.

Professional writers, journalists, poets, and previous contest winners are eligible.

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

Material must be your original work.

The material submitted must not be encumbered by any obligation to, or option held by, a third party prior to entering the competition.

We do not provide feedback, notes, grades, or rankings of any kind. We assume you already know how to write at a professional level and that is why you are entering this contest.

By submitting your material you agree to be added to our email list, but can remove yourself by unsubscribing at anytime.

This festival is produced by Cinema Public House, a US based company that produces festivals, events, and competitions all over the world.

Please note that the San Francisco International Screenwriting Competition is in no way affiliated with any other film festival, screenwriting competition, film school, or film related enterprise or organization including, but not limited to SIFF, ACT, SFIA, the City of San Francisco, or any other civic organization.

By submitting your material you agree to be added to our email list, but can remove yourself by unsubscribing at anytime.

SFISC reserves the right to revoke recognition status at any time with or without cause.
Only our Grand Prize Winner and top two Finalists will receive industry distribution and prizes. Semi-Finalists will only be rewarded by recognition like in most screenwriting competitions.

Past prizes listed in winner reviews should not be construed as current prizes. All current prizes are spelled out on our website. We also do not reveal the names of recipients on our industry distribution list.

All judging is done at our sole discretion. We may have outside input, but all judging and all decisions are made at our sole discretion. Furthermore, unless otherwise noted, we do not use "celebrity" judges or "industry" judges and we do not advertise that we use "celebrity" judges. We use intelligent readers with a passion for cinema who love to read. We distribute our winners' scripts to industry executives who provide consultations, but those executives do not judge our contests. To prevent tampering we do not reveal the identities of our judges. Entrants are prohibited from contacting the judges during the competition. Any entrant who attempts to contact a judge will be disqualified and their entry fee forfeited. The decision of the judges is final.

We do not offer script notes and or script advice. We are looking to reward professional level writers that we can help get to the next level by recognizing their work. If these are services you desire, we recommend hiring a script consultant. These services can be found via a simple google search.

By entering the competition you hereby accept these competition rules.

See festival website for complete list of terms and conditions.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Paula Rossman

    Great communication and resources made available. Grateful for the opportunity to share this story!

    February 2021
  • Dena Pech

    This festival has, by far, been the most reliable in term of communication. When I was announced as a Semi-Finalist for my screenplay, The Grin, I replied with a thank you with other comments. They immediately answered! This may seem small, but It's a big deal. I am honored to have been selected for my writing this year. I hope to enter more of my other work in the future.

    February 2021
  • John Dorsey

    The encouragement and resources afforded to winners of this festival is humbling. They are upfront with you about the next steps of your career and even suggest further festivals to submit to if you are interested.

    I cannot suggest this festival enough.

    February 2021
  • It was a great pleasure and a honor, thank you!!

    February 2021
  • Madison Flannery

    Such a great experience with them!

    February 2021