Equal Writes Competition Wants to Make Your Rebellious, Diverse Genre Film for $250K

As I've mentioned on NFS before, I think screenwriting contests should be evaluated on what they offer entrants to launch and further their careers. Many won't really help a new screenwriter launch or further a career, so when a new competition is announced, I'm always a bit skeptical. Nevertheless, the new Equal Writes competition presented by We Make Movies and Duly Noted has me intrigued as they are looking for smart, rebellious, diverse genre films that can be produced for $250K or less, and they want seven finalists to pitch their movies in seven minutes in front of three producers and a live audience for the chance to get their movies made. Want to know if this contest is for you? Check out the details below.

Before you jump off this page and submit your script, you need to know a few things about the new Equal Writes competition. Specifically, this is what you will need to submit:

  • Your feature-length script of 80-100 pages in a specific genre (Thriller, Action, Sci-fi or Horror). Ideally, they want 90-page scripts, and definitely 100 pages or less. PDF format only.
  • Moreover, your genre script should challenge pre-conceived notions of race, religion and/or gender. Scripts that Equal Writes highlights for similar tone include Attack the Block, Traffic, Slumdog Millionaire, Django Unchained, City of God and Beasts of the Southern Wild.
  • One-page breakdown or top-sheet budget showing how your film can be produced for $250K or less. PDF, doc or txt files only.
  • $25 submission fee. You can also purchase script coverage for an additional $50.
  • Finalists must either live in Los Angeles or be to travel to Los Angeles at their own expense for the live pitch finals on June 30, 2013.
  • Submission deadline is April 1, 2013 (no fooling).

So, if you don't have a micro-budget thriller, action, sci-fi or horror script, this competition is not for you. Also, you need to come up with a budget breakdown for your project before you submit, so you may have some work to do between now and the April 1 deadline. Finally, if you don't already live in Los Angeles, you need to determine whether you are willing and able to make the trip on your own dime if you make it to the finals.

What does the winner get? At a minimum, one winner will receive a $2,500 option on the script for 12 months plus the services of a casting director and help with legal and business start-up needs. If the project is good enough, hopefully one of the judging producers will help it get made for a budget of $250K or less, but that is not guaranteed.

Intrigued? Check out the Equal Writes competition website for all of specific details on how you can submit your screenplay for consideration by the April 1 deadline.

What do you think about the new Equal Writes competition? Do you think this competition will help launch a film career? Share your thoughts with us in the Comments.

Link: Equal Writes Competition Website

[via MovieMaker]

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Your Comment


Damn! I have and idea for a sci-fi film that would be absolutely PERFECT for this, but alas it is still in it's embryonic stages and not written yet. Perhaps next year...

March 5, 2013 at 8:14AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


You know what? This is a FABULOUS idea... if only there was something more substantial backing the project. When you look at it, it's basically just one "producer" fronting both companies offering $2500 and a Kickstarter application. Like Guy stated above, the entry fees will make up the money they pay the winner and this producer now has a ton of scripts to pour over and select her next project from. She'll pick the best of the bunch, pay the writer a pittance, then go out and develop the project for herself. Nothing WRONG with that... Just nothing particularly special. Hell, give me a month and I could "produce" a $2500 option...

Look at what they're alluding to and what they actually have attached - NOTHING. Great idea for someone to develop as a TV concept, tho. In fact, maybe that's part of what she's doing with this.

March 5, 2013 at 11:37AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Although, in all fairness, Effie T. Brown does have 45 Producer credits on Imdb, including Real Women Have Curves. That's fairly impressive.

March 5, 2013 at 11:58AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


And nothing released theatrically since "Rocket Science" in 2007. Don't get me wrong. I adored "But I'm A Cheerleader".

But if she could get movies made, why isn't she getting movies made?

March 5, 2013 at 12:32PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Hey, It's Amanda from WMM. Just a heads up - it's not just one producer. We're just finalizing our other two at the moment. We'll be announcing their names in the next couple weeks, as well as some cool additions to the prizes for the winners. Basically, we don't want to over-promise before everything is 100% locked in. So, if this seems under-baked at the moment... well, that's cause we haven't told you everything yet. Just know, there's more where this came from... the finals aren't til June. It's not just one producer, there's going to be three, and they will all have the ability to greenlight your film. There's also going to be a couple other surprise panelists that we can't quite talk about just yet. Stay tuned.

March 5, 2013 at 6:47PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Actually, Guy, it's not a scam. I've attended We Make Movies events off and on for over a year, and they really are on the up and up. They've helped produce several short films (in a system much like this although without the entry fee), run at least one film festival every year, and have been instrumental in getting a lot of talented people together to make movies.

March 5, 2013 at 11:50AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


thanks for posting, but what is script coverage?

March 5, 2013 at 3:47PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Hey Francis,

Film producers employ script readers to read the scripts they receive because producers don't have the time or desire to read all of the scripts they receive. Script readers then complete script coverage reports that summarize the story in a script, highlight its strengths and weaknesses, and give the script a Pass, Consider, or Recommend. The producer then reads the script coverage to determine which scripts to read and which not to read.

Some services provide script coverage to screenwriters to give them feedback on their scripts that is ostensibly similar to what a producer's script reader would write if he/she received the script to read and analyze. It is debatable how valuable these services are to aspiring screenwriters and whether they are simply out to make money.

March 5, 2013 at 6:27PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM

Christopher Boone