Richmond International Film Festival Screenplay Competition
2019 season now closed


The Richmond International Film Festival (RIFF) is a competitive festival that screens more than 120 international cutting-edge films, making it one of the Mid-Atlantic's largest international competitive festivals. RIFF provides industry panels, Q&As, live musical performances, the creative FLOW conference, and entertainment mixers that bring the spirit of Hollywood to beautiful Richmond, Virginia at the Bowtie Criterion/Movieland and the historic Byrd Theatre.

RIFF welcomes screenplays of all genres and niches (features, television, & shorts). With the aim of promoting both established award-winning filmmakers and discovering up-and-coming talent, the festival works to promote its participating filmmakers and writers through various media outlets and production partners.


Grand Jury Winners

This is awarded to the overall best feature screenplay and best short screenplay. The best feature script receives $750 cash and the best short script receives $500 cash. Plus, each will receive a Special Recognition Trophy, and a 1 Year Preferred Membership to the Media Industry Xchange Audience Choice Awards (Best Feature film and Short film) –

Each winner receives special recognition at the red carpet awards ceremony and an award certificate.

Official Selection and Top Screenplays

All Official Selection filmmakers and the top 8-10 scripts (feature & short) receive complimentary entry into all festival events, VIP mixers, and more. Outstanding Merit Awards – Given out each year at the festival's discretion. These awards are given to a writer or filmmaker who best utilizes film as a medium to create awareness, social impact/change, or bring a unique perspective to any one topic.

The Social Impact/Global Xchange Award

Given to the produced short film or script that highlights the use of film to create a positive social impact in the community or alternatively, the use of film to promote entrepreneurship as a means to create, synergize or maximize social capital in the community. This award acknowledges the efforts of those who are leveraging film to solve real community issues.

The Legacy Xchange Award 

Given to an individual or the best produced film or script submitted by an entrant over the age of 65. If you would like to be considered for this award, you must send RIFF a copy of your age verification to

General Promotion for All Entrants 

All entrants that do no make it as official selection or top script finalist will receive promotion through the MIX Directory as a Preferred Listing member for six months. The Media Industry Xchange Preferred Membership includes a photo, bio/resume link, career highlights, and links to view samples of the writer or filmmaker’s work along with contact info, genre/niche preferences, recent awards, etc.

FESTIVAL EVENTS & ATTENDANCE Screening, networking, educational and industry events to take place at the historic Byrd Theatre, Bowtie Movieland and Criterion Cinemas and other venues in Richmond, Virginia April 23th - 28th, 2019. All entrants are highly encouraged to attend the festival. Official Selection films and Official Selection writers receive free admission to the festival and are invited to participate in various events throughout the week, panel discussions, and Q&As. If not chosen as Official Selection, RIFF still offers discounted admission to the festival and FLOW creative conference for all entrants who submit to the festival.