NFFTY Story Starts Here: Screenplay Competition



Every great film owes its success to the quality of its story. With today’s ease of access to professional technology, it doesn’t take much effort to make a beautiful looking film. All that means nothing however when the story falls short. The NFFTY Screenplay Competition: Story Starts Here, is an opportunity for tomorrow’s best storytellers to get constructive critique on their script before entering production. This is a unique chance to be sure you are delivering the most resounding story to your audience.

All submissions will receive individual feedback. Four scripts will be chosen as Finalists to receive feedback from the Finalist Jury (Members TBA) and will be eligible for awards and cash prizes. There will be one grand prize winner and three runner-up scripts.

The Screenplay Competition will culminate at NFFTY 2019 where Finalists will be featured and awards and cash prizes announced. NFFTY 2019 will be held October 24 - 27 in Seattle, WA. NFFTY Story Starts Here is a program of NFFTY: National Film Festival for Talented Youth.

Submission Deadlines + Entry Fees for 2019 to be announced.


  • All screenwriters must be age 24 and under at the time of completion of the submitted draft.

  • All screenplays should have not yet entered production, as the purpose of this competition is to help filmmakers improve their story before filming.

  • All screenplays must be 30 pages or less, not including a title page.

  • All screenplays must be written in English.

  • All screenplays must be the original work of the submitter. If the content is based upon another’s life or adapted from another story, the submitter must also attach a statement showcasing any necessary permission to make such adaptations.


  • Action/Adventure

  • Drama

  • Comedy

  • Horror/Thriller

  • Musical

  • Romance

  • Science Fiction

  • Experimental

Awards and Opportunities:

  • Awards and a TBD Cash Prize will be handed out at the Closing Night Awards Ceremony of NFFTY 2019 on October 27!

  • Three Runners Up will receive TBD prizes