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Jun 14th
Earlybird Deadline
Jul 12th
Regular Deadline
Aug 31st
Late Deadline
Oct 12th
Extended Deadline
CineStory Foundation
CineStory TV Retreat and Fellowship Competition
2021
Accepting TV Pilots
Enter Now
Enter before August 31st to save $10

About

The CineStory Foundation believes 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 Television Retreat is to educate writers about the unique world of TV storytelling, from the collaborative nature of writing for networks or streaming channels to the independent realm of creating and shooting series for the web.

Structured like the CineStory Feature Retreat, the CineStory TV Retreat will take place over three 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 these sessions, mentors will give attendees feedback on improving the craft of the script(s) they submitted in advance and will also discuss with writers various aspects of the business of TV writing to help the writer better understand TV writers’ various roles in the entertainment industry.  

TV Writers also will experience what it’s like to sit in a professional writers rooms run by an experienced mentor. In addition, mentors and writers will gather for meals, drinks and other special events.

There are four different TV entry categories:

ORIGINAL DRAMA – 1 HOUR SERIES

·        The pilot episode of your original one hour drama series (45 – 65 pages, excluding cover page)

ORIGINAL COMEDY – 30 MINUTE SERIES

·        The pilot episode of your original single-camera comedy or multi-camera sitcom (single camera pilots, 22 – 45 pages, excluding cover page; multi-camera pilots, 52 – 58 pages, excluding cover page, with dialogue double spaced throughout)

ORIGINAL SCIENCE FICTION OR FANTASY – 1 HOUR SERIES

·        The pilot episode of your original series that falls into the Science Fiction or Fantasy genre (below) (45 – 65 pages, excluding cover page)

·        Science Fiction – Stories about time travel, space travel, advanced technology, extraterrestrials, post-apocalyptic and alien worlds; examples include “Star Trek,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “The 100,” “Sense8,” “The Walking Dead”

·        Fantasy – Stories featuring elements of the fantastic, often including magic, supernatural forces, or exotic fantasy worlds; examples include “Game Of Thrones,” “Once Upon A Time,” “Supernatural,” “The Magicians,” “American Gods”

ORIGINAL CHILDREN’S/FAMILY – 30 MINUTE SERIES

·        The pilot episode of your original series that falls into the children’s or family genre (single camera pilots, 22 – 45 pages, excluding cover page; multi-camera pilots, 52 – 58 pages, excluding cover page, with dialogue double spaced throughout)

·        Children/Family: Series (live action or animated) aimed at kids and/or children and/or families that contains appropriate content for younger viewers & families. The series can aim to appeal not only to children but also to a wide range of ages. Examples include "Andi Mack,” “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Fuller House,” “Kate & Allie,” “Vamiprina,” “Zoe Valentine”


ATTENDING THE RETREAT/GRAND PRIZE TV FELLOWSHIP

To earn the opportunity to attend the TV Retreat, writers must submit a TV script to the TV Retreat & Fellowship Competition. The division winners, finalist and semifinalists will receive invites to attend the retreat. Any additional spots will be offered to quarterfinalists.

The Grand Prize for the competition is the CineStory TV Fellowship, a 12-month mentorship program, during which the TV Fellow works with 2 Hollywood professionals hand-picked to continue to educate the Fellow about the craft and business of TV writing so the Fellow better understands the various roles TV writers play in the entertainment industry

. The TV Fellow also receives $1000 as well as free tuition and housing for the retreat.

An integral part of the Grand Prize TV Fellowship is becoming part of the extended CineStory community. Consequently, the winner of the TV Fellowship must attend the TV retreat in order to receive the cash award and to benefit from all other aspects of the Fellowship.

Prices & Deadlines

Aug 31st
Late Deadline
Oct 12th
Extended Deadline
Original Drama (1 hr)
$75.00
$85.00
Original Comedy (30 min)
$75.00
$85.00
ORIGINAL SCIENCE FICTION OR FANTASY (1 hr)
$75.00
$85.00
ORIGINAL CHILDREN’S / FAMILY (30 min)
$75.00
$85.00

Benefits

The CineStory TV Retreat will take place over three days in the beautiful mountains of Idyllwild, California. Attendees receive three one-on-one, one and a half hour sessions with CineStory mentors. During these sessions, mentors will give attendees feedback on improving the craft of the script(s) they submitted in advance and will also discuss with writers various aspects of the business of TV writing to help writers better understand TV writers’ various roles in the entertainment industry.

TV Writers also will experience what it’s like to sit in a professional writers room run by an experienced mentor.  In addition, mentors and writers will gather for meals, drinks, screenings and other special events. 

Every year, CineStory has top-notch industry mentors. Here are some of the past mentors who've attended:

·       Steve Tao (Executive at BAD ROBOT)

·       Jamie Pachino (Writer: CHICAGO PD, HALT AND CATCH FIRE, FRANKLIN & BASH, FAIRLY LEGAL)

·       Jason Brown (Producer: THE EXPANSE, BEN-HUR, AGENT 13)

·       David Iserson (Writer/Producer: MR. ROBOT, MAD MEN, NEW GIRL, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE)

·       Laura Brennan (Writer: MOST LIKELY TO DIE, HIGHLANDER, ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE'S LOST WORLD)

·       Tamara Federici (Writer/Director: CHAPPELLE'S SHOW, THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART, THIS JUST IN)

·       Josh Goldenberg (Manager)

·       Chris Whitaker (Writer/Producer: CHICABEES, MAKERS)

·       Kevin Townsley (Writer: LIE TO ME, FOR KEITH'S SAKE, STRAND STREET)

·       Aaron Vaccaro (Writer: MIKE & MOLLY)

·       Marla White (Executive: RAKE, THE JIM GAFFIGAN SHOW, OUTSIDERS)

·       Lorien McKenna (Writer/Producer: RATATOUILLE, UP, BRAVE, INSIDE OUT, THE GOOD DINOSAUR)

·       David Baird (Manager)

·       Monica Chuo (Producer: ON THE MENU)

·       Matt Hoklotubbe (Executive at NEW FORM DIGITAL)

·       Jennifer Maisel (Writer: LOST BOY, THE ASSAULT)

·       Sean Presant (Writer/Producer/Director: HAPPILY DIVORCED, SCAMMERS, CATCH)

·       Jane Goldenring (Producer: RADIO REBEL, ZAPPED, MY FIRST MISTER, $5 A DAY)

·       Joey Slamon (Writer/Producer: THOSE WHO CAN'T, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT)

One writer will named the CineStory 2020 TV Fellow. The TV Fellowship winner receives $7,000 in cash and prizes, including*:

·       Free tuition and housing at the Retreat (all Fellows must provide their own transportation to and from the Retreat)

·       12 month educational fellowship program with 2 industry mentors

·       $1,000

·       Assorted gift cards

·       At the retreat, three 90-minute one-on-one sessions with working Hollywood agents, managers, producers, development executives and other pros to educate the Fellow about the craft and business of writing for TV

·       At the retreat, open access to 15+ hours of small group sessions covering a wide rage of creative and business topics

*Grand Prize Fellowship winner must attend the Retreat in order to receive the prizes.

Category Winners will receive:

·       A discount on retreat tuition

·       An assortment of gift cards

CineStory is solely a nonprofit educational organization. It is not a talent representation service of any kind. It does not, nor does it seek to, manage and/or direct the development of writers’ careers in any way. Additionally, it does not, nor does it seek to, procure representation and/or employment of any kind for writers. Its sole purpose is to educate emerging writers about the craft and business of writing for the screen.

Announcements

Jan 20th
Semifinalists
Feb 18th
Finalists
Feb 28th
Division Winners
Mar 11th
TV Fellows

Rules

ATTENDING THE RETREAT/GRAND PRIZE TV FELLOWSHIP

To earn the opportunity to attend the TV Retreat, writers must submit a TV script to the TV Retreat & Fellowship Competition. The division winners, finalist and semifinalists will receive invites to attend the retreat. Any additional spots will be offered to quarterfinalists.

The Grand Prize Television Fellowship winner MUST ATTEND the Television Retreat in order to receive the cash award and other prizes. If a Fellowship winner cannot attend the Retreat, the person will be disqualified and a new winner will be determined.


TELEPLAY RULES & GUIDELINES

Formatting Guidelines

  • Teleplays must be PDFs and must be pilot episodes.
  • Teleplays are judged anonymously; therefore, they must have CLEAN COVER PAGES (i.e., title only on the cover, no author’s name/contact information) and no identifying information anywhere in the body text or in the PDF file name. 
  • Teleplays must be (a) 45 to 65 pages (excluding cover page) for 1 hour divisions; (b) 22 to 45 pages (excluding cover page) for 30 minute Original Family division and Original Comedy division single camera pilots; or (c) 52 to 58 pages (excluding cover page), with dialogue double spaced throughout, for 30 minute Original Comedy and Original Family division multi-camera pilots.
  • Body pages must be numbered.
  • No additional materials, artwork, illustrations etc. should be attached to the script.
  • Teleplays must be in English.
  • No substituted pages or other revisions will be accepted once you have submitted your teleplay.
  • Entries that do not meet all Rules & Guidelines will be automatically disqualified and the submission fee WILL NOT be refunded.


Representations & Warranties

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

  • All information I/we have entered herein is accurate.
  • I/we are 18 or older.
  • The submitted material is my/our original work, with all rights to said work held by me/us.
  • 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 for the CineStory Television Retreat or on any material developed out of such stories.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • I/we understand that individual feedback is not provided and that CineStory notifies winners only.
  • I/we have read, understood and complied with all guidelines and rules herein, and failure to do so may result in disqualification.


Additional Rules & Guidelines

  • Entrants must be 18 or older.
  • The Grand Prize Television Fellowship winner MUST ATTEND the Television Retreat in order to receive the cash award and other prizes. If a Fellowship winner cannot attend the Retreat, the person will be disqualified and a new winner will be determined.
  • Any teleplay from any genre will be considered. NO FEATURE SCREENPLAYS WILL BE CONSIDERED. Any feature screenplays submitted will be disqualified without refund of the submission fee.
  • Entrants must not have sold a project to a network or cable channel in the past 5 years.
  • 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 accompanied by a separate submission fee and any other required information.
  • CineStory notifies winners only. Entrants are advised to check CineStory's website and e-newsletter for judging announcements.
  • Entered teleplays 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 teleplay wins an award, only one award will be given and it will be divided equally among the writers.
  • Teleplays 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. PLEASE NOTE: Any adaption of other written work that is in the Public Domain is eligible for submission.
  • There must be no dispute about the ownership of submitted teleplays or the writer's right to submit a teleplay.
  • CineStory recommends registering your screenplays with the WGA or the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Retreat fees are determined per individual retreat based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to then-current vendor estimates, valuations of mentor sessions determined by then-current entertainment industry standards (e.g., mentor sessions as of 2020 valued at $500), and then-current valuations of comparable retreats.
  • CineStory does not issue refunds of submission fees and/or retreat fees that have become nonrefundable under the terms of retreat invitations. Any and all such payments made to CineStory are not refundable for any reason, including, without limitation, withdrawal or disqualification of a teleplay for any reason, withdrawal from or failure to attend a retreat due to illness, acts of God, travel-related problems, acts of terrorism, and/or loss of employment.
  • All entries must be uploaded by the appropriate deadline.
  • CineStory reserves the right to extend the final deadline; however, an extended deadline is not guaranteed. CineStory will not accept revisions of previously submitted screenplays if it chooses to extend the deadline unless the screenplay is accompanied by an additional submission fee as stated in these Rules & Guidelines.
  • 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.
  • Entries that do not meet all Rules & Guidelines will be automatically disqualified and the submission fee WILL NOT be refunded.

**Rules & Guidelines are subject to change without notice.**