CineStory is a U.S Non-Profit dedicated to nurturing emerging screenwriters through mentorship programs. Winners of our competition have gone on to pen films such as CAKE, IRON MAN, THE CHILDREN OF MEN, BALLAST, KING OF CALIFORNIA and 11:14.

The CineStory Foundation has always believed in helping writers find their voice. We’re entering a world in which the ways to tell stories are limitless. Those stories always begin with a blank page. Our goal with the Feature Retreat is to assist writers in their development of the craft.

The CineStory Feature Retreat will take place over four days in the beautiful mountains of Idyllwild, California. Attendees will receive three one-on-one, one and a half hour sessions with CineStory mentors during which they can discuss everything from the project they submitted for feedback to jump starting their writing careers.

Our mentors are all committed industry professionals who work with alumni to raise the level of their craft and enhance the marketability of their projects. CineStory mentors include key creative personnel behind such films as COWBOYS AND ALIENS, IRON MAN, THE CHILDREN OF MEN, FRACTURE, MAD MONEY, THE DANGEROUS LIVES OF ALTAR BOYS, FIREWALL, FINDING NEVERLAND, BAND OF BROTHERS, THE PACIFIC, WIT, NINE LIVES, PETER PAN, EVENT HORIZON, FINAL DESTINATION and many others.

Awards & Prizes

The Grand Prize of our annual submission process is the CineStory Fellowship, a 12-month mentorship program. During this time, the winner works with 2 Hollywood professionals hand-picked to help that writer advance his/her craft and career. The Fellow also receives:

$10,000 cash award
Free tuition at the Retreat
12 month fellowship program with two industry mentors ($9000 value)

Second Prize:
Discount on Retreat tuition

Third Prize:
Discount on Retreat tuition

All Finalists:
A discount on Retreat tuition

All Semifinalists:
Receive an invitation to the exclusive CineStory Retreat as well as prizes worth over $200, including:

At the retreat, you'll receive three 90-minute one-on-one sessions with working Hollywood agents, managers, producers, development executives and other pros to discuss the writer's work and career strategy.

At the retreat, you'll have open access to 15+ hours of small group sessions covering a wide rage of creative and business topics.

Free retreat film screenings and other events.

Rules & Terms


As author(s) of the submitted material, my/our submission attests to the following:

To the accuracy of all information I/we have entered herein.

That I/we are 18 or older.

That the submitted material is my/our original work, with all rights to said work held by me/us.

That I/we will indemnify CineStory, hold it harmless and defend it against all claims, demands, losses, costs, damages, judgments, liabilities, and expenses arising out of or in connection with any and all claims of third parties, whether or not groundless, based on any stories submitted to the CineStory Screenwriting Awards or on any screenplay developed out of such stories.

That I/we understand that CineStory judges, directors, officers, employees or agents may be exposed to or may develop materials and ideas that may be similar to those of the submitted material. I/we understand and acknowledge that I/we will not be entitled to any compensation from such similar material that is independently conceived and created.

That I/we agree that I/we will never assert against CineStory (or any of its judges, directors, officers, employees or agents) any claim based on an assertion of plagiarism, idea theft, confidential or fiduciary relationship or any other theory relating to the submitted material.

That I/we understand that individual feedback is not provided and that CineStory notifies winners only.

That I/we have read, understood and complied with all guidelines and rules herein, and failure to do so may result in disqualification.

Script Guidelines

Screenplays must have a CLEAN COVER PAGE. This means the title only on the cover, no author’s name/contact information. If submitting a hardcopy script, please include two cover pages. The first, containing only the title of the entry, should be attached directly to the screenplay. The second including the title, author's name, address and phone number should be submitted unattached to the script. If submitting electronically, please ensure that your name and contact information DO NOT appear on the title page.

Submit one copy of an 85 to 130-page screenplay.

Do not send originals. Materials will not be returned under any circumstances.

The author's name must not appear anywhere within the body of the script.

Body pages must be numbered.

No additional materials, artwork, illustrations etc. should be attached to the script.
Hardcopy scripts must be bound with two or three brads and in industry-standard format. Cardstock covers are required. Consult any screenwriting text or format guide.

Screenplays must be in English.

Screenplays must be on plain white paper. Single or double-sided accepted.

Official Rules And Guidelines

Entrants must be 18 or older.

Any screenplay from any genre will be considered.

This contest is open to any person without produced theatrically released feature film credits and/or any person who has not made more than $30 000 as a screenwriter.

CineStory notifies winners only. Entrants are advised to check CineStory's website and e-newsletter for judging announcements.

Entered screenplays may not be optioned, sold or produced at the time of entry.

Multiple entries are accepted, provided a signed entry form and appropriate entry fee is attached to each submission.

Multiple authorship is acceptable. However, if the screenplay wins an award, only one award will be given and it will be divided equally among the writers.

Screenplays must be the original work of the author. If based on another person's life story, a statement attesting to the rights obtained must be attached.

No adaptations of other written work will be accepted unless the writer owns the rights to the original material.

There must be no dispute about the ownership of submitted screenplays or the writer's right to submit a screenplay.

CineStory recommends registering your screenplays with the WGA or the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress.

No substitutions of new drafts or corrected pages for entries will be accepted under any circumstances. However, you may submit a new draft as a separate submission.
Judges' decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into. Sorry, we cannot provide individual feedback from the judges.

Entrants acknowledge that CineStory, its judges, mentors and officers may be exposed to or may develop materials and ideas that may be similar to those of the submitted material. Entrants acknowledge they will not be entitled to any compensation because from such similar material which is independently conceived and created.
Entrants agree to never assert against CineStory (or any of its judges, directors, officers, employees or agents) any claim based on an assertion of plagiarism, idea theft, confidential or fiduciary relationship or any other theory relating to the submitted material.

Entries that fail to follow competition rules and guidelines will be disqualified.

No refunds for entries that do not comply with competition rules and guidelines.

Winners will be responsible for their own U.S. income tax withholding.

Entering the contest constitutes permission to use the winners' names and likenesses for publicity and promotions with no additional compensation.

All entries must be postmarked, emailed or uploaded by the appropriate deadline.
CineStory reserves the right to extend the final deadline however an extended deadline is not guaranteed.

CineStory is not responsible for entries lost, stolen or damaged in transit.

Finalists are required to submit a letter and video as part of the finals judging process.

Mailing Guidelines

Mail to:

P.O. Box 661962
Los Angeles CA 90066

For confirmation that your screenplay has been received, please include a self-addressed stamped postcard.

CineStory is not responsible for screenplays lost, stolen or damaged in transit.

3 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Jeffrey Massie

    The best experience I’ve ever had at a film festival, bar none. CineStory holds its annual retreats in the mountain resort town of Idyllwild, giving its winners a unique one-on-one experience of meeting with renowned professionals who mentor your project. Also included are lectures and panel discussions. I made contacts and friends with both pros and fellow winners. I'd give anything to get to go again!

    February 2017
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    Michael Begg

    The CineStory Feature Retreat provided five fulfilling days. I was thrilled to work with top-notch industry professionals as my mentors... and to be given opportunities to collaborate as colleagues. The experience left me prepared to take on the challenges of reaching the next level.

    October 2016
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    Mike Messier

    Fight or Play Basketball screenwriter is VERY HONORED to be included in CineStory! I will be entering again in the future and hope to join you in person someday soon... All SCREENWRITERS , please consider this festival! I posted and promoted your festival on my website: Best to CineStory! - MIKE

    June 2016