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Manchester Film Festival
Manchester Film Festival Screenplay Competition
Active Since 2017
Manchester Film Festival Screenplay Competition allows emerging writers to showcase their talent, gain exposure and connect with industry insiders.
Currently Closed. Subscribe to receive a notification when the next season opens.


After a successful 2023 edition, Manchester Film Festival is excited to join forces once again with ScriptUp for its 2024 Screenplay Competition.

Now in its tenth year, the Manchester Film Festival is proud to champion independent work and provide screenwriters with a chance to see their scripts read and appraised by industry experts. This year's competition has partnered with Arc Studio to provide industry-leading screenwriting software to the writers who deserve it most.

ScriptUp is a script consultancy that works to bring out the best in your screenplay. Their script services give you industry-informed insights and unbiased feedback on your work, helping you take it to the next level.


At MANIFF 2024, all Screenplay Competition submissions will be read by a team of industry readers with a strong background in screenwriting appraisal.

The top third of these screenplays will progress into the Quarter Finals and will receive MANIFF laurels. From these, ten will be selected for the Semi Finals and will receive the matching MANIFF laurels.

From the ten Semifinalists, five screenplays will be selected as Finalists and will be read in full by a jury of industry professionals. This selection will include at least one short script, one TV script and one feature script.

Each of the jury members will then give scores and written feedback on the screenplays, which will be compiled into an overall Finalist's Report.

The script with the highest aggregate score will be crowned the overall winner of the MANIFF Screenplay Competition 2024. The top-scoring short, TV and feature scripts will be individual format winners, earning the opportunity to have their screenplay introduced to independent film producers and independent filmmakers.

Finalists will be invited to the Manchester Film Festival in March 2024 and provided with a pass allowing them to network with film professionals, take in all of the festival's screenings and attend all after-parties.

In response to writer feedback from previous editions, we're once again offering writers the chance to receive a detailed script report from their first-round reader. The report will assess the strengths and weaknesses of a submission, making recommendations for improvement in future drafts. It should also provide valuable context as to why a script has/hasn't been selected for the next round - a feedback system lacking from other competitions.

Our script reports include:

- 1,200-1,500 words of concise commentary.
- A short bio of your industry reader (accountability matters to us).
- Written analysis of: Premise, Story Structure, Characters, Setting, Final Thoughts.
- Prompting Questions to help guide a re-write of your next draft.
- A comprehensive scoring grid.
- All neatly formatted in a PDF.

Reports will be returned within a month of the final submission deadline.

Feel free to contact the ScriptUp team to ask any further questions:


The jury for this year's competition will be made up of top-name executives, writers and agents from leading companies within the industry. Juries from the past two years have included the following:

• Charlotte LeMaire, Film Advisory, Endeavor Content
• Henry Holmes, Script Development, PBJ
• Lare Oyefusi, Commercial Planning, Disney+
• Rupert Stonehill, Literary Department, Independent Talent
• Camila Legaspi, Chief Content Officer, Latina Media Ventures
• Beatriz Menéndez, Literary Department, Curtis Brown
• Archie Thomson, screenwriter represented by Independent Talent, winner C21 Drama
• Ella Troup, Producer, iGeneration Studios


Quarterfinalists (top third) will receive:
• MANIFF quarterfinalist laurels.

Semifinalists (top 10) will receive:
• MANIFF semifinalist laurels.

Finalists (top 5) will receive:
• MANIFF finalist laurels.
• Full reads from industry jury.
• Comprehensive creative and commercial notes from all judges.
• Free lifetime subscription to Arc Studio screenwriting software.
• Invitation to Manchester Film Festival 2024 with guest pass.


Feb 12th
Feb 12th
Mar 24th



1. Scripts submitted to the competition must NOT have been previously optioned, purchased or produced at the time of entry.

2. Submissions must be in English.

3. To enter the Manchester Film Festival Screenplay Competition, you must agree to its Terms and Conditions.

4. The Manchester Film Festival Screenplay Competition readers’ decisions are final.

5. Manchester Film Festival is not responsible for screenplays or coverage stolen or lost in transit.