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ScreenCraft True Story & Public Domain Competition
Nothing resonates with an audience like the stories of our lives. We’re celebrating true stories, biographies, & timeless tales in the public domain.
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One of the best ways to get your screenplay noticed by Hollywood! While it’s no secret that Hollywood loves remakes, sequels and spinoffs, it’s perhaps lesser known that Hollywood loves movies based on the intellectual property of true stories or materials in the public domain, such as folk tales, fairy tales, mythology and books and plays published before 1923. Screenwriters and filmmakers consistently tap into the existing audiences and widespread recognition that comes with projects centered around historical figures, inspirational true stories, true crime, biographies, or characters from folklore, fairy tales, mythology and books and plays published before 1923.

Studios like Disney and Universal have been making projects like these as far back as the 1920s and continue to do so to this day.

Many recent film and TV re-interpretations of public domain stories include: Titanic, Sherlock Holmes, On the Basis of Sex, Bohemian Rhapsody, Green Book, Robin Hood, Troy, The Crown, Selma, The Blind Side, The Social Network, The Big Sick and many more."


The top scripts will be read by:

Chris Ceccotti, Gidden Media

Director of Development at Gidden Media, a development and production company behind such projects as Brian Banks, Mary Shelly, and Last Vegas.

Yasmin Hormozi, Concordia Studio

VP, Narrative Film & TV at Concordia Studio, the production company behind award winning documentary films such as Boys State, A Thousand Cuts and The Price of Free

Amanda Smith, Gersh

Literary Agent at The Gersh Agency, the award-winning agency who reps such clients as Adam Driver, Sam Rockwell, JK Simmons, and Winona Ryder. 

Elizabeth Franco, CNN Films

Development Executive at CNN Films, the production company of CNN behind feature films such as RBG, Apollo 11, and documentary series such as The Decades series produced by Tom Hanks.

Kyle Benn, Creator Media

Former executive of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group on such franchises as John Wick and The Hunger Games, he is now an independent producer with his company Creator Media Entertainment, having recently sold a feature to Netflix. He will be optioning the winner of the Concept Category.

2020 Winners on Coverfly

See Other Placements


Aug 5th
Sep 2nd
Sep 23rd


  • Submissions are accepted via electronic submission only, between March 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020.
  • Entry fee for each feature film screenplay is $49 until the early deadline on March 31, 2020, then $69 until the final deadline on May 31, 2020.
  • Optional feedback from a professional reader may be requested at the time of entry. Requests for feedback after an entry is submitted will not be accepted.
  • Feature screenplays must be a minimum of 75 pages and a maximum of 150 pages. TV pilots must be between 25 and 75 pages.
  • When submitting for the Concept Category, please format as a one-page pitch with the following:
    • Title
    • Format (Feature or Pilot)
    • Genre
    • Logline
    • 8-10 Sentence Summary
    • Links to any relevant articles, stories, or materials about the story you are basing your adaptation on.
  • There is no limit to the number of projects you may submit.
  • Entries must be received on or before the deadline dates by 11:59PM Pacific Time, and submission fee payment must be made in full at time of the submission. All entry fees are non-refundable.
  • All submitted material must be original, and all rights must be wholly owned by the writer(s).
  • Material must be submitted by the writer. Material written by writing teams must be submitted by one of the writers, with consent of the other(s). All writers must be credited on title page.
  • If a writing team is chosen as a winner, prizes will be given to the person who submits the project. Each team is responsible for dividing or sharing the prize money.
  • Substitutions of either corrected pages or new drafts of the entered material will be allowed for a limited time with a $5 reentry fee through Coverfly. Please proofread your script carefully before submitting.
  • It is recommended that original material be registered with the WGA or The Library of Congress before submitting to any competition, however we do not require registration.
  • Contact info may be included on the cover page of the screenplay, however it is not required.
  • All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remains with the original rights holders.