CineStory TV Retreat and Fellowship Competition
2020 season now open
Final Deadline October 28th

About

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 TV Retreat and Fellowship is to assist writers, whether they long for the collaborative nature of Television or they dream of going out on their own to create their own web series.

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 which they can discuss everything from the project they submitted for feedback to jump starting their writing careers.

There are four different categories to enter this year:

Original Drama – 1hr Series

  • The pilot episode of your original one-hour drama series.

Original Comedy Series – 30min Series

  • The pilot episode of your original single-camera comedy series or multi-camera sitcom.

Original Science Fiction or Fantasy – 1hr Series

  • The pilot episode of your original series that falls into the science fiction or fantasy genre (defined below).
  • Science Fiction: Series 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: Series 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 Series – 30min

  • The pilot episode of your original series that falls into the children's or family genre (defined below).
  • Children/Family Series: 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 help the Fellow advance his/her craft and career. 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: meeting mentors and other writers and developing relationships that extend past the four days of the retreat itself. 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.

Benefits

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 which they can discuss everything from the project they submitted for feedback to jump starting their writing careers. TV Writers 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 who can start careers 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)

1 Writer will named the CineStory 2020 TV Fellow. The Grand Prize Winner of the fellowship will receive the following prizes with total over $7,000 in value:

  • Free tuition to the TV retreat with accommodations provided. (please note that the fellow must provide their own transportation to the retreat.)
  • A year long mentorship with two entertainment industry professionals.
  • $1,000 cash prize
  • An assortment of gift cards

Category Winners will receive:

  • A discount on retreat tuition
  • An assortment of gift cards

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.


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; or (b) 22 - 45 pages (excluding cover page) for 30 minute divisions.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.**