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Nashville Film Festival
Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Competition
Active Since 1969
Details for the 53rd Nashville Film Festival will be announced soon.
Currently Closed. Subscribe to receive a notification when the next season opens.


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 9th 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 54th Nashville Film Festival Screenplay Competition will open on January 2, 2023.


Winning screenwriters will receive $500 or $1,000 in cash prizes, depending on the category, and each feature-length category winner as well as a personalized NashFilm Award and personalized assistance with their project goals. Category winners are determined by an all industry jury that includes active producers and literary representatives.

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. Finalists are treated to a table read scene from their screenplay performed by actors and will receive a complimentary festival badge.

2023 Finalists on Coverfly

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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 the script’s file name.

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. There are always exceptions. If you have a longer script, feel free to contact the competition manager for guidance.

6. Revisions: NashFilm considers all entries to be complete. You may not send in revisions after the screenplay or teleplay has been submitted. Finalists will have an opportunity to submit an updated draft for final judging.

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. Scripts also must not have been sold or currently be under option prior to 09/29/2023. 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: January 2 

Early Bird Deadline: February 4, 2023   

Regular Deadline: March 11, 2023

Late Deadline: May 6, 2023

Extended (FINAL) Deadline: May 28, 2023

Quarter Finalists will be notified by June 27, 2023 

Semifinalists will be notified no later than July 18, 2023. 

Finalists will be notified by email no later than July 29, 2023. Winners in each category will be announced at the Screenwriting Competition Awards Ceremony during the festival in October 2022.

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

Development notes:  

Specific and constructive notes to give your script an edge and push it closer to the ideal “ready for production” scripts that are sought by the industry by development pros that have hands-on industry experience. These are not “reader comments” submitted at the time the script is read for the competition. They include commentary on what your logline says to a potential rep or producer and how to develop it further to get script read requests.

Features $100

Teleplays $75