The Nashville Film Festival has announced the addition of more short script genre categories to its third annual Screenwriting Competition. The Screenwriting Competition, named one of the Top 20 Screenwriting Competitions in the World in a recent survey, now offers screenwriters more than $90,000 in cash and prizes.
The NaFF Screenwriting Competition has added seven short script categories bringing the total to 11. The genres now mirror the feature script genres. They are: Drama, Comedy, Action/Adventure, Family/Animation, Historical, Inspirational, Music Inspired, Science Fiction, Thriller/Horror, Tennessee Screenwriter and Young Screenwriter. Cash prizes awarded to the winners total $250 for each category with a $1,000 grand jury prize awarded to the overall short script winner.
The Short Script section of the NaFF Screenwriting Competition is an important launch pad for student and aspiring screenwriters who are beginning their careers in the movie business. NaFF’s competition is a chance for them to have their best scripts read and rated by experienced readers and industry jurors. Semifinalists and finalists in each category will win passes to the 47th Annual Nashville Film Festival where they have the opportunity to mingle with other screenwriters and filmmakers from around the world. The best writers win cash prizes and the recognition they require to stand out in a crowded field.
NaFF’s Screenwriting Competition has rapidly become one of the most acclaimed contests within the industry because of NaFF’s commitment to launching the careers of up and coming writers. This year, the International Screenwriters Association, in a survey of 1,000 international screenwriters, named it one of the Top 20 Screenwriting Competitions in the World.
Executive Director Ted Crockett says, “The short script is often a way for screenwriters to test a concept that will become a short film, and later a feature film. We have found that our genre categories make our competition unique in the field. These categories also allow more writers to attend the festival, get important professional development and network with filmmakers. Ultimately, we are in the business of developing and showcasing talent. We’re proud that NaFF offers more genre categories for short scripts than any other competition.”
Screenwriters are finding success after NaFF. After winning at NaFF with his Television Pilot, ORDNUNG, Aaron Rollins was signed by Creative Artists Agency (Olivia Blaustein and Barry Kotler) and Echo Lake Management (Zadoc Angell.) Nick Julius’ screenplay, “The Mythfitz,” was named runner-up in the NaFF Animation category before it was picked up for production at Long Way Home Productions. Writer/producer Craig Brewer won his first professional award at the Nashville Film Festival for “The Poor and Hungry”; his film “Hustle and Flow” went on to win an Oscar for Best Original Song. His screenwriting success continued with the remake of “Footloose” starring Julianne Hough and his 2016 screenplay, “Tarzan,” is currently in post-production.
Irish screenwriter Brian MacEvilly won the Grand prize at NaFF in 2015. According to MacEvilly, “The Nashville FF Competition…is one of THE most established in the States. A lot of contests, even some of the biggest, have no festival, which means that, even if you win, there’s nothing to go to, hang out, network at, except possibly a formal one-night presentation ceremony. NaFF is a fascinating showcase of indie film, run by a team of really wonderful and hospitable people.”
Jury award winners are decided each year by esteemed and celebrated judges. Last year the jury included agents from Creative Artists Agency directly representing Marvel Television, Tribeca Productions, Maker Studios, Indigenous Media and Sonar Entertainment; as well as writers of TV pilots for DreamWorks, Warner, Sony Wonder, Disney, DIC Entertainment, ABC, CBS, Universal, FOX TV and more.
Select winning scripts each year are offered to celebrated industry executives and studios. The 2015 line-up included: Blossom Films, Nicole Kidman’s Academy-Award nominated production company (Rabbit Hole); noted casting director, Laray Mayfield (House of Cards, Benjamin Button); Sycamore Pictures CEO Ben Nearn (Black Swan, The Way, Way Back), Rich Peluso, Senior Vice President of AFFIRM Films, the faith/family and inspirational label of Sony Picture Entertainment (Soul Surfer and Courageous); famed limit-breaking director/producer Harmony Korine (Spring Breakers), and Lewis Bogach, Emmy-winning Vice President of CMT, and more.
The NaFF Screenplay Competition includes 21 total categories of Features, Shorts and Teleplays. It awards Grand Jury Prizes of $2,000 (Feature) and $1,000 (Short) and $500 each for feature-length drama and comedy screenplays. All additional first place awards are $250, including the Teleplay categories of 30- and 60-Minute Pilots. In addition, all finalists win two Gold Laminates for the Festival (valued at nearly $800) and semi-finalists win one Silver Laminate (valued at $250.) Each year, total awards, in cash and prizes, exceeds $90,000.
Nashville Film Festival (NaFF), April 14 – 23, 2016, presented by Nissan North America, brings the world to Nashville in a 10-day celebration of film. NaFF celebrates the diversity of the human vision by curating diverse program segments. Founded in 1969 by Mary Jane Coleman, it is one of the oldest film festivals in the U.S. As an Academy Award Qualifying Event, NaFF garners notice from the Associated Press, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, MovieMaker Magazine, IndieWire, Variety, Billboard, New York and Script Magazine. More information is available at nashvillefilmfestival.org.