Cinequest Screenwriting Competition

"It's a perfect film festival in a glorious place." — Neil Gaiman, Cinequest Maverick Spirit Award Recipient

Click to submit on FilmFreeway
Cinequest Screenwriting Competition proudly accepts entries on FilmFreeway, the world's #1 way to enter film festivals and creative contests. Submissions are now OPEN for the 2021 Cinequest Screenwriting Competition!!!

Cinequest voted Best Film Festival by USA Today Readers.

The Cinequest Screenplay Competition empowers global screenwriters through discovery, recognition, and opportunity. Cinequest loves writers and we welcome you to submit your screenplay or teleplay to our renowned competition. The Top 10 Finalists receive many empowering benefits including: passes to the Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival and the exclusive Writers Celebration, plus exposure to leading industry players and inspiring luminaries.

Finalists are presented alongside high profile Maverick Spirit awardees like: J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, Chuck Palahniuk, Neil Gaiman, Philip Kaufman, Michael Arndt, Diablo Cody, Dennis Lehane, Jason Reitman and more at the highly anticipated Writers Celebration during the Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival.



Top 50 and Top 10 Notified in January 2021 Feb 15, 2021 Feb 28, 2021.
Top 10 Finalists listed on Website Feb 15, 2021 in March, 2021.
Top 3 and Winners Announced in March 2021 at Script to Screen Event and in the Festival Awards Press Release.

Deadlines and Fee schedule



Click here for screenplay finalist testimonials


Please join us in celebrating this year's finalists!


Winner: Rise Up Little Girl by Matthew J. Avant

2nd: Swing And A Miss by Barbara Thornton

3rd: Aphrodite & The Apocalypse by Stacie Gancayco-Adlao

Queen of Newburgh by Lisa Cole & Veronica Moody

Icky People by Blaire Baron

The Big D by Michael Weinreb

4 Fine Women by Keith Planit

Bird’s Eye by Erin Beute

Salt West by Samuel Ripley Peirce

Brave Woman by Melissa Duges Spiers


Winner: Answers by Scott Tinkham

2nd: Feliz Navidad by Edward Tyndall

3rd: Mothership by Brianne Berkson

Bad Reception by Louise Lonergan

Libra by Matt Seroski

De Pachanga by Juan Carlos Sanchez & Richard Rennie

The 45th Annual Model United Nations All-Star All-School Conference by Zoe Maltby

Ravens by Patrick Gamble

Far From the Olive Grove by Andrea Land

Kingmaker by Bradley Coburm


Winner: Drafting by Carol Faw

2nd: The Shadow King by Chris A. Bolton

3rd: Ex Humana by Helena Zhen

Breakaway by Tom O’Brien

Acceptance by Nick Childress and Jesse Eisenhardt

Land of Eagles by Isaac Banuelos

Under Cover of Darkness by Paul Raasch

Everything’s Fine by Cole Goslee

The Bliss Killer by LeLe Park

Highland Drive by Rosalyn Rosen


Winner: Rise of the Immortals by Alan Sim

2nd: Wild Life by Carmiel Banasky

3rd: Wheels of Government by Mary Kay Holmes & Jeanette Scherrer

Ether 101 – The Handshake by Sabina Petra

Standard, Nebraska by Edward Hamel

Sous Weed by Joel Handler

Trivial by Rob Salerno

Love Lives by Allyson Morgan

BUDS by Alexis Aurigemma

The Killer B’s by Dave Chan

Thank you to our generous sponsors!