Currently Closed. Subscribe to receive a notification when the next season opens.
Set in Philadelphia
Set in Philadelphia
Reads in Coverfly
Active Since 2018
A multi-prized screenwriting competition for feature length or pilot scripts that could be filmed in the Philadelphia region.
Currently Closed. Subscribe to receive a notification when the next season opens.


Writers do NOT have to be from Philadelphia and scripts do NOT need to be explicitly set in Philadelphia. They just need to be able to be shot in Philadelphia.

“Set in Philadelphia” Screenwriting Competition (SIP), which is presented by the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, is open to all screenwriters, world-wide, who submit a feature length screenplay OR an original TV pilot length screenplay that can be shot in the Greater Philadelphia Metropolitan Area. All genres will be accepted. Scripts will be judged on their overall quality, and the extent to which they project “shootability” in the Greater Philadelphia region. SIP Finalist Judges are high profile Producers, Writers and Actors who have a Philadelphia connection.

The “Set in Philadelphia” Screenwriting Competition (SIP) is proudly presented by the Greater Philadelphia Film Office under its Greater Philadelphia Filmmakers program with awards sponsored by:

  • David & Hallee Adelman
  • Comcast & NBCUniversal
  • Laurie Lo Presti & Ron Masciantonio
  • Progressive Change, CDC and West Philadelphia Financial Services Institution
  • Derek Freese Film Foundation

Past and Present Incredible Finalist Judges:
Lee Daniels

Lee Daniels is an Academy Award® nominated filmmaker whose work is trademarked by authenticity and candor .Some of his renowned movies include The Butler, Monsters Ball and Precious, as well as TV works such as EMPIRE and Star. Currently, Lee Daniels is working on the release of his latest original picture – The United States V.S. Billie Holiday , a drama picture based around the court case of famed singer Billie Holiday.

Jo Piazza

Jo Piazza is a bestselling author of eight books and an award winning journalist. Her latest novel Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win is currently being adapted into a limited television series for Amazon. She is the host and executive producer of three podcasts for iHeart Media. Her first podcast, Committed is also in development for a network television series. Her books have received popular and critical acclaim and have been published in more than ten languages.

Ernie Vecchione - Former SIP Winner!

  • Executive Producer/Writer (Sex Ed: The Series)
  • Author (Devil’s Catch)
  • Has written for HBO and Miramax.

Drew Brown

  • Executive VP of Physical Production, Skydance Television

Jay Roewe

  • HBO Senior Vice President

Jillian Bullock

  • Author (Here I Stand)
  • Writer-Scripts sold (The Champion Inside, Scar Across My Heart)
  • Creator/Producer/Director (Blood, Bruises & Broken Bones)
  • Screenwriter/Producer/Director (A Sense of Purpose: Fighting For Our Lives– completed in March 2018, A Cup Full of Crazy- in pre-production)

Beverly Nero

  • Producer - (Nobody Nowhere, Deaf Ghost, Two Days and a Bombshell, #Lovelines)
  • Co-Producer - (G.B.F.), (The Lowe Men)
  • Managing Director of  Deaf West Theatre

Patricia Weiser

  • Producer (The Best and the Brightest)

Dawn Wolfrom

  • Producer (The Perfect Man, Never Again, Bad Hair Day).
  • Dawn also serves as an executive with Terence Michael ( and EP on two Award Winning short films (The Boy, Butterflies).

Kim Delaney

  • Actress (Chicago Fire, To Appomattox– TV mini series, Army Wives, The O.C. Philly, NYPD Blue)

Josh Cooke

  • Actor (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Castlerock, Grace & Frankie, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Younger, Gone, Universal TV, Chicago Justice, Longmire, Elementary, Manhattan, Hail, Caesar!, Love You Man, The Middle)
  • Writer/Producer (Issues)

Alexandra Drobac Diagne

  • Executive Manager, Lightstorm Entertainment (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Titanic)
  • Producer (Sistuhs)
  • Post Production Manager (A Time of Destiny)

Mike Jackson

  • TV: Executive Producer (Underground, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, Sherman’s Showcase-coming out 2019, Rhythm and Flow- coming out 2019, Sing it On
  • Film: Executive Producer (La La Land, Monster, Southside With You, Jingle Jangle-in production)
  • Theater: Producer (Jitney and Turn Me Loose)

Alan Gasmer

  • Executive Producer (Searcher- Elvis Presley Documentary for HBO, Fahrenheit 451 for HBO-won the Producers’ Guild of America Award for Best Cable Movie, Vikings-season 6, You Me Her)

Terry City

  • Executive Producer (The Fix, His Good Will, The Boy)
  • Co-Producer (ESPN 30 for 30: Playing For The Mob)

Cayman Grant

  • Writer/Director (ESPN 30 for 30: Playing For The Mob, His Good Will, Exile, Butterflies)
  • Executive Producer (The Fix)

Elisa Zuritsky

  • Co-Executive Producer (Divorce, Smash)
  • Ex Producer (Odd Mom Out)
  • Producer (Sex in the City)

Alysia Reiner

  • Actor (Orange is the New Black, Egg, Better Things, HBO’s The Deuce, How to Get Away With Murder, Equity)
  • Producer (Egg, Equity, Backwards)
  • Writer (Equity)

Jonathan Maberry

  • NY Times bestselling and 5-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author, editor & comic book writer for IDW, Marvel and Dark Horse. Creator of V-Wars (Netflix) and Rot & Ruin (Alcon Entertainment and Line Webtoon).

Sheryl Lee Ralph

  • Actor (Fam –CBS Series,  MacGyver – CBS  Series, One Mississippi- Amazon Series, Claws –TBS Series)


 On top of the best scripts being reviewed by the incredible jury, the Grand Prize Winners will also receive the following incredible prizes.

The Grand Prize for Best Screenplay, sponsored by Hallee and David Adelman, in honor of Producer Mike Jackson

  • $10,000 cash prize
  • Notes from Judges
  • National Press

TV Prime Time Award, sponsored by Comcast and NBCUniversal

  • $5,000 cash prize
  • Notes from Judges
  • National Press

The Nina Lo Presti Award for a female screenwriter, over 18, and with ties to the Greater Philadelphia region, sponsored by her daughter Laurie Lo Presti and son-in-law Ron Masciantonio.

  • $5,000 cash prize
  • Notes from Judges
  • National Press
  • Synopsis published on

The Oscar Micheaux Award, sponsored by Progressive Change, CDC and West Philadelphia Financial Services Institution

For the best screenplay penned by a Philadelphia area resident of the African Diaspora

  • $2,500 cash prize
  • Notes from Judges
  • National Press

The Student Award, sponsored by Derek Freese Film Foundation

  • $500 Cash Prize
  • Notes from Judges
  • National Press

2021 Grand Prize Winner on Coverfly

See Other Placements


No announcement dates listed.


At the program's request, Coverfly will automatically remove your title page for you if you include one when submitting to this program.

Rules & Regulations    

  • Screenplay must be able to be produced in the Greater Philadelphia area (includes the surrounding counties).    

  • All genres and story-telling approaches are acceptable unless otherwise specified by Prize requirements.    

  • You can submit any number of feature length or TV pilot scripts but only ONE entry per application.    

  • Feature Length Screenplays must be between 85-130 pages in length and written in standard screenplay format. (i.e. 8.5" x 11" 12 pt courier font, simple front and back cover, with pages numbered.)    

  • Prime Time (TV) scripts should be half-hour or hour long, single-camera pilots, under 70 pages in length written in standard screenplay format. (i.e. 8.5" x 11” 12 pt courier font, simple front and back cover, with pages numbered.)    

  • A title page, with just the title, must accompany the screenplay. No author identification should appear on this page. Screenplays will be numbered for confidentiality.    

  • If there is more than one writer, each must sign the release form for application to be accepted.    

  • Screenplays which are currently in production are ineligible.    

  • Judges' decisions are final.    

  • Entrants can receive notification that their submission was received by emailng a request to after July 15,2021 for early entries and after August 12, 2021 for final entries.    

  • Entrants can receive notification of their screenplay's status in the final round by emailing a request to after November 17, 2021, but finalists will be posted on our site. by end of Nov.      

  • Entrants applying for the Oscar Micheaux Award are also eligible for the Grand Prize or TV Prime Time Award, Lo Presti and Student Awards and must provide a signed Micheaux eligibility form and a legible photocopy of their driver's license, deed or passport as proof of residency in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware or Montgomery county.   Co-author must meet the same requirements.    

  • To be eligible for the Student Award, entrants must supply legible photocopy of a current student id & proof of residency. Educational institution or permanent residence must be in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware or Montgomery County. Co-author must meet the same requirements. 

  • Entrants applying for the Student Award are also eligible for the Grand,TV, Micheaux and Lo Presti competitions.        

  • Screenplays must be electronically time stamped by 11:59pm EST July 5, 2021 for Early Submission 11:59pm EST ($55, includes processing fee) or August 2, 2021 for Final Deadline ($80, includes processing fee).    

Electronic submissions only. Submissions will be processed through the Coverfly platform which will prompt you to include all relevant documents and submission fee. By using our service, you authorize us to use any trusted third-party online and cloud-based services and databases for hosting, managing and/or transmitting your submission file(s).  

  • All entrants are encouraged to register their screenplay with the Writers’ Guild of America.