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SYS’s Six-Figure Screenplay Contest

Dates | Prizes | Rules+Eligibility | FAQ | Judges | Estimate Budget | Enter

What’s this contest all about?

Do you have the next great low budget screenplay? SYS is trying to find great screenplays in any genre that could be produced for less than $1,000,000USD (one million). In other words, scripts that could be produced on six figures.

Over the years I have built great relationships with many producers who work in the low budget space, and they’re always looking for great scripts. So I thought a contest that highlighted these types of screenplays would be a great way to help producers find them.

My goal with this contest is simple: find the best low budget screenplays on the planet and present them to the industry, which will hopefully lead to options, sales, and productions.

We’ve assembled a great group of seasoned writers, directors, and producers (see list below) who will be reading screenplays along with a number of experienced professional readers to handle the first round of reads.

How’s it going to work?

Each script submitted will be read by a minimum of three professional readers in the first round. The scripts that stand out in the first round will move into the second round, where the scripts will be sent out to our industry judges according to their genre preferences. Finally, after all the scripts have been graded by the judges, we will choose a winner and make the announcement in November 2020.

How will scripts be graded?

Each professional reader will fill out an SYS Script Assessment form for each screenplay that they read. The SYS script assessment is a quick way for the reader to grade the screenplay. Each screenplay will be graded based on seven key criteria: Ability to be produced for less than $1M, Concept, Characters, Structure, Marketability, Tone, and Craft. For a small additional charge ($10) you can receive the three assessments from the first round readers.

Click here to see an example of the script assessment form that gets filled out by the readers.

Dates

May 31st early bird deadline – $45
June 30th regular deadline – $55
July 31st final deadline – $65
September: 2nd round screenplays announced
October: quarter-finalist and semi-finalists announced
November: Winner and runner-up announced.

Prizes

Winner: ($1,700 worth of prizes)

  • $1,000 cash
  • 1 year subscription to SYS Select
  • 1 SYS Email/Fax Blast to our list of agents, managers, and producers
  • 1 SYS 3-pack screenplay analysis
  • Highlighted in a special newsletter that goes to hundreds of working producers
  • Featured in The Budget List at the end of the year

Runner up: ($750 worth of prizes)

  • 1 year subscription to SYS Select
  • 1 SYS Email/Fax Blast to our list of agents, managers, and producers
  • 1 SYS 3-pack screenplay analysis
  • Highlighted in a special newsletter that goes to hundreds of working producers
  • Featured in The Budget List at the end of the year

Semi-finalists: ($300 worth of prizes)

  • 1 year subscription to SYS Select
  • Highlighted in a special newsletter that goes to hundreds of working producers
  • Featured in The Budget List at the end of the year

Quarter-finalists:

  • Highlighted in a special newsletter that goes to hundreds of working producers
  • Featured in The Budget List at the end of the year

Payment Options:
*Regular deadline ends June 30th.
**You will receive the 3 assesments from our first round readers.
***You will receive the 2 assesments from our first round readers AND 1 full SYS Screenplay Analysis.

How do you know if your screenplay could be produced for less than $1M?

This short video should help you estimate the budget of your film.

Rules+Eligibility

Writer(s)
  • This contest is void where prohibited.
  • All writers must be at least 18 years old to be eligible.
  • Writer(s) must wholly own the screenplay and intellectual property that they submit.
  • Entrants may be required to submit further information to assist in verifying eligibility.
  • All submissions must be made by the writer or co-writer of the screenplay being submitted.
  • Submissions written by more than one person must be submitted with the consent of all other writers. And all writers should be credited on the title page.
  • If a writing team’s screenplay is picked as a winner, prizes will be given to the one writer who made the submission. The submitting writer is responsible for dividing or sharing the prize money with his or her writing partners.
Material
  • All material must be submitted in industry standard screenplay format.
  • The title page should contain the title of the screenplay and names of all writers. It’s okay but not mandatory if it also contains the writer’s contact information.
  • All screenplays must be written in English, however anyone from anywhere may enter the contest if they meet all the other eligibility requirements.
  • Only screenplays that are 120 pages or less are eligible.
  • All material must be submitted electronically as a PDF.
  • Substitutions of either corrected pages or new drafts of the entered material will NOT be allowed. Please proofread your material and make sure you are submitting the correct draft at the time of submission.
Submitting
  • The script assessments from the three professional first round readers may be purchased for a small additional fee, but it must be purchased at the time of entry. No other feedback will be provided.
  • All submissions must be received on or before the deadline dates by Midnight PST.
  • The submission fee payment must be made in full at the time of submission.
  • Entry fees are NOT refundable for any reason.
  • Any submission may be deemed ineligible for any reason at the sole discretion of SYS.
  • Quarter-Finalists may be required to sign and return within ten (10) business days of receipt a notarized Affidavit of Eligibility and a Release and Indemnification and proof of valid passport and any other documents that SYS or any other partner may require before receiving prize payment. Failure to respond to the initial notification within fifteen (15) business days will result in disqualification.
  • We reserve the right to amend any part of these rules at any time. So please check back often.

FAQ

Q: Can I submit my screenplay to other competitions while SYS is reviewing my screenplay?
A: Yes. You can submit your screenplay to other competitions as well as producers, agents, and managers. And you can submit your screenplay to SYS if you’ve entered it in other contests, too.

Q: Does it matter when my screenplay was written?
A: No. Any screenplay, no matter when it was written, is eligible.

Q: Can I submit an adaptation of a book or comic or based on some other intellectual property?
A: You can only submit screenplays if you own all the IP that goes along with it.

Q: Can I submit more than one screenplay?
A: Yes, you can submit as many screenplays as you’d like.

Q: Should I register or copyright my screenplay before entering this contest?
A: Yes. It is recommended that you register your screenplay with the WGA and/or submit it to the Library of Congress for a copyright before submitting it to us or anyone else.

Some Of Our Distinguished Judges Include:

Daniel Zirilli
Director/Producer
Pop Art Film Factory
Michael D Jones
Producer
Silver Heart Productions
Ryan Westheimer
Producer
CS West Productions
Mark Stolaroff
Producer
Antic Pictures
John Giwa-Amu
Producer
Red & Black Films
Brian DeCubellis
Director/Producer
DeCubellis Films
Chuck Konzelman
Writer / Producer
Believe Entertainment
Tracey Cuesta
Executive Producer
1492 Productions
Jeffrey Giles
Producer
Automatic Entertainment
Johnny Remo
Producer
Skipstone Pictures
Chris D. Nebe
Producer
Monarex Hollywood Corporation
Thomas Haley
Producer
H2 Crew Productions
Max Czertok
Producer
Idea Produzioni
Steve Lustgarten
Producer
Leo Films
Philip Th. Pedersen
Director
Phenomena Pictures
Boris Damast
Director
Mechaniks
Tom Waters
Actor / Producer
El Gato Rojo Productions
James Engle
Producer
Echo Lake Entertainment
Sean Tracey
Director / Producer
Sean Tracey Associates
Jennifer Bertling
Producer
Virendra Kumar Sahu
Director / Producer
London International Film Productions Ltd.
James Musselman
Producer
Stonehenge
Bharathi Mehra
Actress
Tony Greenberg
Producer
Anthony Vargas
Producer
Ted Campbell
Writer/Director
Less is More Productions
Chad Ridgely
Producer
Full Auto Films
John Hipwell
Producer
Hipwell International Production Services
TJ Herbert
Actor / Producer
Itchy Fish Film
Richard Perry
Director
Shervin Youssefian
Director / Producer
Spot On Media
Richard Finney
Producer
Finney / Vitale Films
Alexander Steinhoff
Producer
StoneHope Entertainment
Kent Moran
Producer
Wishing Well Pictures
Julius Kemp
Producer
Kisi Production
Richard Marshall
Producer
Intelligent Pictures
John Biemeret
Producer – Actor
SNAFU Entertainment
Simon Heymans
Director
Octopods
Jenna Cedicci
Producer
Monumental Features
James Choi
Producer
Beachwood Pictures

Payment Options:
*Regular deadline ends June 30th.
**You will receive the 3 assesments from our first round readers.
***You will receive the 2 assesments from our first round readers AND 1 full SYS Screenplay Analysis.

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