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Nashville Film Festival
Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Competition
Active Since 1969
Interested in getting your film or pilot out there? The NashFilm Screenplay Competition has a mission to embrace diverse and innovative storytelling.
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Interested in getting your idea for a film or television pilot out there? The Nashville Film Festival Screenplay Competition began in 2014 with a mission to embrace new voices, creativity and a passion for innovative storytelling. Going into its 10th year, the competition features several categories including, drama, comedy, horror and genre features in addition to short competition, 30 minute and 60 minute pilots. To round it out, the Nashville Film Festival Screenplay Competition offers a special category award to a Tennessee Writer. Entries for the Nashville Film Festival Screenplay Competition will open on December 6, 2023.


Nashville Film Festival offers up to $100,000 in cash and in-kind sponsor prizes to filmmakers with winners selected by industry power players – including studio representatives, producers, and fellow filmmakers. Any potential prize awards are subject to all relevant federal and/or state laws and are therefore not guaranteed. Prize winners are responsible for providing required documentation in a timely manner and are responsible for any tax liabilities they may incur. Nashville Film Festival is not responsible for providing tax advice.

Category  winners will receive a personalized NashFilm award and a cash prize based on their category of entry.

Feature Scripts Awards:

  Drama Award  $500
  Genre Award $500
  Comedy Award $1000
  Horror Award $1000
Pilot Script Awards:

30 Minute Pilot Award: $500
60 Minute Pilot Award: $1000

Short Film Script Award $500

Tennessee Writer Award $500

Scripts from the quarterfinalist level up are hosted on a website for access by industry professionals.

Semifinalists will be entitled to purchase a badge at preferred rate.

Attending finalists are treated to a table read scene from their screenplay performed by a cast of professional actors and they will receive a complimentary festival badge.

Category winners are determined by an all industry jury that includes active producers and literary representatives.

2024 Quarterfinalists on Coverfly

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Jul 22nd


1. Original Content: All entries submitted to the Nashville Film Festival (NashFilm) Screenwriting Competition must be original works by the applicant. If the script is an adaptation or based on source material to which the entrant doesn't own the rights, permission to adapt the original work must be submitted as the first page in the screenplay PDF. Projects from Stephen King’s Dollar Baby offering may be submitted without additional documentation. Note on the cover page that this is a Dollar Baby project.

2. Submissions: Submissions must be made online through one of our entry partners. No mailed or emailed entries are accepted. NashFilm does not allow changes to the categories after submission. All submissions are final, and NashFilm does not issue refunds or adjustments of entry fees. Each submission will be sent a confirmation email once payment is processed.

3. Multiple Categories: Entrants may submit the same entry to more than one category. Each category entered requires an entry fee for that category.

4. Formatting: Screenplays must be formatted according to industry standards. Pages must be numbered and typed in 12 point Courier font. All entries must be submitted in English. Include title only on title page. The author’s name should NOT appear on the title page or anywhere on the script, to preserve anonymity and fairness. This includes omitting your name from the script’s file name. We do not disqualify entries for submitting a copy with identifying information so if you fail to remove your name, it will still be considered.

5. Lengths:
• Feature Scripts: 75 – 110 pages
• Short Scripts: under 45 pages
• Teleplay (30 minute pilot): 25-40 pages (longer lengths formatted with acts)
• Teleplay (60 minute pilot): 59-70 pages (longer lengths formatted with acts)

Scripts will not be disqualified on length alone. The guidelines above are strongly recommended based on what our industry jury is looking for from writers looking to break in and is typical of unproduced commercial scripts in those formats. There are always exceptions - we have had longer scripts advance and win the category. A great script is great at any length. If you are a new writer and unsure about why your script runs longer, feel free to contact the competition manager for a checklist of ways to make your script tight.

6. Revisions: NashFilm considers all entries to be complete. You may not send in revisions after the screenplay or teleplay has been submitted. Advancing scripts will have an opportunity to submit an updated draft for final judging. Even competitions who allow you to update the script can't guarantee what version was read by the selection committee.

7. Ineligibility: The NashFilm Screenwriting Competition does not accept novels, short stories, stage plays, treatments, synopses, reality show concepts, scripts for existing TV series, or works that are not original. If you do not own the rights to the work, it is not eligible for submission with the exception of the Stephen King project list previously noted. Scripts also must not have been sold or currently be under option prior to the competition entry date. NashFilm employees, including seasonal staff, board members, sponsors, and their immediate families, are not eligible to submit in any category.

8. Judging: Scripts will be judged based on final scores that cover multiple criteria including, but not limited to, structure, premise,entertainment value, and commercial viability. All decisions are final.

9. Entry Deadlines / Notifications:
Open for Entries: December 6, 2023
Early Bird Deadline: January 15, 2024
Regular Deadline: March 17, 2024
Late Deadline: April 21, 2024
Extended (FINAL) Deadline: May 19, 2024

Quarterfinalists will be notified by June 27, 2024.  
 Winners in each category will be announced at the Screenwriting Competition Awards Ceremony during the festival in September 2024.

10. Multiple writers: All awards are on a per selected screenplay basis. NashFilm does not assume responsibility for splitting any part of any award. It is up to the registering writer to notify NashFilm which writer will be the recipient of the awards package.  The additional writer(s) will be eligible to purchase a festival badge at the preferred semifinalist rate.

12. Copyright: All entrants are encouraged, but not required to register their screenplays with the Writers’ Guild of America, East or West:, or