The Vail Screenplay Competition is a vehicle for aspiring screenwriters to have their scripts recommended to established film producers, managers, and agents who are actively working at the top level of the film industry.

The Vail Screenplay Competition is a signature program of the Colorado Film Institute, producer of the annual Vail Film Festival, now entering its 18th year. The Colorado Film Institute is a 501(C)3 nonprofit organization, supported by sponsorships, donors, and grants, including support from Colorado Creative Industries and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Past Vail Film Festival special guests include Olivia Wilde, Aaron Paul, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Smith, Michelle Monaghan, Harold Ramis, Zach Braff, Julie Delpy, Jane Seymour, Christina Ricci, Tim Daly, Jesse Eisenberg, Luke Wilson, Allison Janney, Tate Taylor, Josh Lucas, Aya Cash, Michael Imperioli, Sophia Bush, Krysten Ritter, among others.

The 1st place Feature Screenplay will be read by producers Yvette Yates and Shaun Redick (Oscar nominated producer of 'Get Out' and 'BlacKKKlansman'), and the 1st place TV Pilot will be read by Miramax Television's Amanda Klein. 1st place, 2nd place and 3rd place feature, short, and television screenplay winners will be included in a national press release, and will have their scripts recommended to key decision-makers at leading entertainment companies. All top placing screenplays will also be listed on the Vail Film Festival website as the top placements of the 2021 Vail Screenplay Competition. All semifinalists will have their scripts listed on the Vail Film Festival website.

"Winning 1st Place at the Vail Screenplay Competition helped us get the film made." - Andrew Kightlinger, 1st place winner, Vail Screenplay Competition

The Vail Film Festival Screenplay Competition welcomes Feature Screenplays, Short Screenplays, and Television Pilots.

Feature Screenplays must be between 60-140 pages in length, Short Screenplays must be between 3-59 pages in length, and television screenplays must be between 20 and 70 pages in length. All screenplays must be unproduced.

Overall Rating
  • This was my 1st year entering Vail Screenplay Contest and was quite pleased when my two feature submissions made the Semifinals! Now I'm looking at airfare to Vail for the festival in August - bringing my wife and daughter, 10, the lead in my short film currently in post. This will be a great festival introduction for her!

    June 2019
  • Melanie Schiele

    A wonderful film festival run by a great team and populated by fun audiences who truly embrace the filmmakers. This is definitely among my favorite festival experiences to date!

    June 2019
  • Charles Leipart

    Although we were not able to attend the 2018 Festival in Vail, Scott Crockett and I were delighted & honored to have had JAZZLAND awarded 2nd Place in the Animated Screenplay Category. Congratulations to all the participants and Finalists!

    April 2018