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 presented by Vancouver Film School, 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.

This year, we're introducing a brand new Pilot Competition. If you're interested in writing for television, this could be the category for you!

All submissions will receive individual feedback upon request. Three scripts from both the screenplay and teleplay categories will be chosen as Finalists to receive feedback from the Finalist Jury (Members TBA) and will be eligible for awards and cash prizes. Each finalist will also receive one complimentary All-Access Filmmaker Pass to NFFTY 2019.

There will be one grand prize winner and two runner-up scripts from each category.

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:

  • Early Deadline: June 21 - $25

  • Regular Deadline: July 19 - $30

  • Final Deadline: August 30 - $40

    *Note: 10% discount available to FilmFreeway Gold members


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

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

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

  • All screenplays and teleplays must be written in English.

  • All screenplays and teleplays 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

  • Pilot

Awards and Opportunities:

  • $500 Cash Prizes for the Best Pilot and Best Screenplay will be handed out at the Closing Night Awards Ceremony of NFFTY 2019 on October 27!

  • Each finalist will receive a Gift Certificate for Final Draft 11