The Tirota/Finish Line Social Impact Script Competition is back for a second year, building on the success of the initial contest, which resulted in a slew of strong contenders, the best of them being Stephanie Dunn’s screenplay, Chicago ’66.

The year 2 competition will again celebrate film and television scripts that seek to raise awareness and inspire change regarding urgent issues with critical relevance across our society now, such as racial, gender or economic inequality; climate change; drug addiction; the broken foster care system; gun violence and more.

Stories can be fictional or not, or a hybrid of both. They can examine enduring issues from the perspective of history, the present day, or even the future. The problems they probe can directly impact only discrete communities – or all of us equally. We especially encourage submissions from individuals who have been historically under-represented in scriptwriting.

First and foremost, the competition will focus on recognizing stories that, overtly or even subtly, point toward the many opportunities individuals have to help alleviate societal problems via their personal concern and action. Examples of these opportunities include:

• Building their knowledge and familiarity with an issue and its impacts;
• Lending their voices to calls for corrective measures by public leaders and officials;
• Supporting the efforts of on-the-ground, issue-focused organizations directly;
• Expressing their opposition to an issue’s “enablers,” either individuals or organizations;
• Taking proactive steps, either individually or with others, to ease an issue’s harm within their own community.

Ultimately, we’re looking for scripts that lend themselves to meaningful, constructive activism, not necessarily stories about activism.

The above list of topics is not all-encompassing. If you have another subject in mind, submit your script, along with a brief explanation of the issue it addresses. We’ll consider all submissions.

We believe that storytelling is the glue that binds humanity together. We look forward to finding content that can effectively help push forward socially conscious issues that the world needs to better understand – and resolve.

$1000 screenplay option from Tirota and Tiller LLC.
Finish Line, run by ex-literary managers, will take the script out to socially conscious members of the entertainment industry towards securing financing and production with built in marketing through Tirota/Tiller LLC
The Winner will have a filmed table tread of their script using Howard Fine's acting students.
Final Draft 11 provided by www.finaldraft.com

The Basics

What is special about the Tirota/Finish Line Social Impact Script Competition?

The most 'special' aspect is that we are looking for socially conscious material that we can help develop with the writer by getting it to the best professionals in the film and television industry in order to have storytelling make a conscious difference in the world.

As well, the writer can re-enter their script after having completed any number of rewrites. They can receive comprehensive (6+) page notes provided by a top-notch, experienced script consultant.. We have set up the competition to follow the development process where a script is submitted, receives extensive story notes, is then rewritten and resubmitted until it is in it’s best form.

We want the writer to have the best script possible by the time the winner is chosen. We want to HELP you win this competition and entrants can work closely with a script consultant to get them through to the finish line!

Can you explain the consultation and re-submission process more clearly?

Yes! We want you to have the chance to use our script consultants expert feedback to help you rework your script and resubmit it so it has the best chance possible to win The Tirota/Finish Line Social Impact Script Competition.

You can get a comprehensive set of consultation notes (from the same script consultant throughout the process, just as though you were getting notes from a producer) as many times as you like until the submission period ends. Every time you acquire new notes it will take your script consultant up to ten days to deliver them to you.

After quarter-finalists are announced, those still in the competition can continue to acquire consultations as many times as they like. The same is true after the semi-finalists are announced.. After this, the final scripts are chosen to go on to the judges to determine the Grand Prize Winner, First Runner Up and Second Runner Up.

Do I have a better chance of winning if I work with one of your script consultants?

The best chance of winning is by submitting the best script possible that suits the socially conscious theme you're writing about. There is no guarantee that a winner will be chosen from those who use our script consultant’s, but we believe their experience can only help improve your script and your chances to win should you take advantage of their expertise. Ultimately, the writing is up to you but we will help you get your script ready to be shown to managers, agents, producers and executives. Your script will leave this competition in better shape than when it came in.

Do I have to use your script consultants to enter the competition?

No. You can enter by paying the basic entry fee, which doesn’t include consultation or re-submission. However we do offer special rates for script consulting services and re-submission so it may be worth your while to see if we can help you! However, no notes or re-submission are required, just available, and you can choose to take advantage of this service at any time you wish.

Readers, Judges and Judging Criteria

What genres will you accept?

We are looking for material that focuses on change in the world. That can come through any genre as long as the theme is evident, and of course, powerful.

What happens to the entries? How does the competition unfold?

If you enter the competition without choosing script consultation, notes and re-submission, your script will be read by our top readers when it is received and will then be given a score based on overall story/character/writing factors. Three readers will read each script and the average of the scores will be logged into our database.

If you have purchased consultation notes, those notes will be written within a week of your submission and sent back to you. You can then resubmit your new draft as soon as its ready and then either receive more notes or make that re-submission your final entry. You may use your script consultant for notes, new drafts and re-submissions as many times as you like before the deadline.

After the quarter-finalists are announced, they may receive script consultation notes until they must enter their final script submission. The same occurs with the semi-finalists.

Can I receive a discount if I use my script consultant more than once?

Yes. If you purchase more than one script consultation (i.e. you work on more than one draft with us) you will be charged a flat rate of $110.00 for each set of notes. This is discounted if you're a Gold Member of FilmFreeway.

Who reads my script if I make it into the final round?

Five industry judges will break down the final script to find the Tirota/Finish Line Social Impact Screenplay Competition Grand Prize Winner. The final judges are from Finish Line, Tirota and three producers, writers, agents and managers whose job it is to know good writing and we trust they will find the best of the bunch!

Entry

What do I need to do to enter the competition?

You need to submit an original feature film screenplay, television pilot or short film script in PDF format, a completed online application form and an entry fee (amount varies depending on when you enter and what services you choose, see prices on our pricing page).

How do I enter the competition?

By visiting the website www.finishlinescriptcomp.com you can access the application materials online. Once you establish an account, you can complete an application form, pay the entry fee and upload your script in pdf format.

Can I enter more than one script into the Finish Line Script Competition?

Yes. You can enter as many screenplays or pilots as you wish. Each entry requires a separate online application form and entry fee.

Note: If you write as a team, only one application is needed, listing the two of you as writers of the script.

Where does the entry fee money go?

The entry fees go towards reading costs, administration costs and a portion of one of the prizes, a charitable donation that is made up of a percentage of money made through submissions.

How do I know my script has been received?

You will receive an email receipt of confirmation once your script and application have been submitted and paid for. This is a guarantee that your script has been received.

Do you have any tips regarding the online process?

Read the rules before filling out the form. Please don’t misspell anything that prevents us from getting in touch with you. Add info@finishlinescriptcomp.com to your e-mail address book.

How large a PDF can I send?

The PDF file can be no larger than 1.0 MB.

Eligibility, Adaptations and Collaborations

Who can enter the competition?

Anyone writing in English can enter this competition. You can come from any country in the world, as long as you can submit your material in English as written by yourself. You can come from Tibet or Tennessee; we want to see your writing and your desire for change in the world!

Can a member of the Writers Guild of America enter a script into the Finish Line Script Competition?

Yes, if the WGA member has not presently sold this material they are free to enter. All writers can enter so long as they have not earned more than $50,000 in the year prior as a working writer.

Format and Presentation

What is the script format standard to the United States motion picture industry?

While there is no precise format common to all screenplays written by professional screenwriters there are certainly general standards.

If you follow the format described in any number of screenwriting or television writing guides and textbooks, you should be in good shape.

Should I include my name or any other information on the script?

No. Please submit your script with only the title on the front page. Please do not include names, representatives, addresses or emails/phone numbers. If you want to include your WGA registration number, that is fine. We will have your information when you submit your entry but we keep the names anonymous from the readers, script consultants and judges.

Readers and Script Consultants

All our readers and script consultants have years of experience working with screenplays and television pilots at studios, networks, production companies and agencies. Many are writers themselves. They go through extensive training that shows us that they understand the quality of notes we require.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Joseph Dionisio

    I absolutely love the concept of a "socially conscious" screenplay contest, so I was elated to be a quarterfinalist at Tirota Finish Line. I'm actually shocked that other festivals don't follow Tirota's model.

    October 2021
  • Matthew Allen

    Amazing to have a festival that values not only craft and story but social impact as well; I am thoroughly impressed by Tirota's dedication to social impact. And I can't speak highly enough of the welcoming atmosphere they create for participants.

    October 2021
  • lisa Cole

    Wonderful festival with great communicative staff. They really champion projects and we're so honored to be a Semi-Finalist!

    October 2021
  • Joe Leone

    Great communication! Very appreciative of the recognition of Feature Film Screenplay (COOP). I highly recommend this competition to all screenwriters.

    September 2020
  • As the screenwriter for the thriller, Final Appeal, I was honored that it was selected as a SemiFinalist and you chose this powerful story of a judge whose family is attacked for a difficult ruling he had to make in a capital punishment case. You got it. Thank you.

    August 2020