Have a Short Film Script? Here's Your Chance for $20K and a Production in Florida

You’ve got the perfect short film script. You just need money and a crew. Well, how about $20,000, for starters, and some professional gear and mentorship?

In an industry that has only a few opportunities for short films, you shouldn't pass this one up. Stage 32 has partnered with St. Petersburg/Clearwater Film Commission for the first annual Stage 32 Short Film Script Contest, which aims to fund and fly a production to St. Petersburg, Florida to shoot.

In addition to the $20K in hard cash, Stage 32 will fly the winning writer and director to Florida to film with all production logistics provided, including gear (Digital Caviar), mentorship (writer/director JT Mollner), a Movie Magic Bundle (budgeting and scheduling) from Entertainment Partners, and a Z-Finder provided by Zacuto.

So, what exactly are they looking for in a short script? Here’s the call to action from Stage 32:

"Put your writer's cap on and write an original 7-10 page short script that can be readily filmed in St. Petersburg or Clearwater blockbuster locations. Settings can include the picturesque beaches to the tropical landscapes – wherever your imagination takes you in paradise. And don’t forget to be creative, any genre is acceptable! If you already have a written short script, you can still submit – just switch out your locations to be specifically set in St. Petersburg or Clearwater."

Here is St. Petersburg/Clearwater Film Commissioner Tony Armer giving a good pitch for why you should come and shoot there:


The submission fee is $40 and the final deadline is November 15.

To recap, here’s what Stage 32 is offering for first prize:

  • The winner and director will be flown out to St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida to film the winning short script, where the likes of Hollywood films such as Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Spring Breakers, Dolphin Tale and Magic Mike were filmed
  • Production will be mentored by award award-winning director/writer JT Mollner
  • The winner will receive a Movie Magic Bundle (Scheduling & Budgeting) from Entertainment Partners
  • Zacuto will prize the winner with a Z-Finder
  • All production will be professionally managed by Tampa Bay based production company Digital Caviar. Here's a short reel of the production work by Digital Caviar:

If this sounds like what you need—and you’ve got a great script that you think could take the prize—read the rest of the details on submitting at Stage 32 here. Good luck!     

Top photo credit: 'Spring Breakers,' dir. Harmony Korine, shot in St. Petersburg, Florida

Your Comment


I continue to be amazed at the opportunities Stage 32 presents their members. The entire operation is remarkable. I was invited by a prominent television director here in town and even then I was skeptical. But I've made more valuable connections, received more support and learned more about the industry in 6 months there than I have in 5 years on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. It's an incredible resource.

September 23, 2016 at 8:14AM, Edited September 23, 8:14AM


These contests are not really contests they are money making schemes. 500 entries nets the 20K budget. So if they get 1000+ scripts submitted they are doing really well. If they really want to support the community there should be no charge.

September 23, 2016 at 8:54AM

Darren Orange

I always love this argument. Readers cost money (ask Franklin Leonard at the Black List), there's overhead, there's expenses. As someone who has been doing this a long while and had a bitch of time getting my work seen, to have an opportunity to be mentored by a dude who just had a film at Sundance AND receive 20K for a film commission who is clearly going to throw their weight behind promoting my work, not to mention a platform with the reach of Stage 32 supporting and pushing the film, yeah, you bet your ass I'd make a $40 bet on myself.

September 23, 2016 at 12:37PM


Yet another incredible initiative from Stage 32. I had the pleasure of seeing JT Mollner's feature film OUTLAWS AND ANGELS close out the Hollyshorts FIlm Festival. Great film from a great guy.

Stage 32 continues to provide top notch opportunities for film creatives, including top notch education. I personally have learned more from Stage 32 than I learned from going to college (without breaking my bank!), not to mention I've been hired to score eight short films through their site! One of these films was an unforgettable collaboration with a director in Mumbai, India which premieres this Sunday.

I highly recommend participating in any and all things Stage 32. They are led by genuine people working to see film creatives succeed. And with JT Mollner mentoring, you'll be in great hands! Wishing everyone who enters the best of luck, and much love to the Stage 32 crew. :)

September 23, 2016 at 12:08PM

Brandi Thomas

Really cool to see No Film School covering a Stage 32 initiative. I had the pleasure of meeting the CEO, Rich Botto, and watching him speak at Cannes. He's as humble and friendly as he comes across on the site.

In my mind, there simply is no better resource for filmmakers and other film related creatives than Stage 32. The content, classes and, really, just the energy there is off the charts. Personally, I found one incredible screenwriter there with a feature we're developing together as my next project. It's a remarkable platform. Wish I would have thought of the idea first!

September 23, 2016 at 12:32PM, Edited September 23, 12:32PM


Stage 32 is the happening place to be if you're involved in any way with the filming industry. The administrators there offer great support and well as the community. They bring a multitude of opportunities to everyone to help them succeed. Competitions, such as this new one in St. Pete, are a welcome sight to those of us just starting in the business or veteran pros that have been at filming for years.

September 23, 2016 at 3:03PM


This is a great opportunity for all you indie filmmakers out there! Get those scripts together so you can get into production!

September 24, 2016 at 12:20PM, Edited September 24, 12:20PM


This is definitely an incredible opportunity for all filmmakers, new and seasoned. Excited to watch the final short that comes out of this amazing process with the St. Pete/Clearwater Film Commission and the masterminds behind Digital Caviar!

September 25, 2016 at 9:43AM


Awesome opportunity! Can't wait to see the winning film!!

September 25, 2016 at 9:50AM


Really exciting opportunity - can't wait to see the winning script go into production!

September 25, 2016 at 11:55AM


Lovin' Stage 32 more and more - great no nonsense community that clearly puts it's members first :-)

September 26, 2016 at 12:12AM, Edited September 26, 12:12AM

Justine Owens
Business Manager

Film festivals rarely seem to value creativity. I've probably watched a hundred shorts and maybe 4 were beautifully written and executed. Feel free to point me to good ones...

September 30, 2016 at 2:53AM


best shortfilm ever.but too late for the 20k..but ask the winners if they give off their prizes, https://youtu.be/Hy0_xvGOOr8

March 13, 2017 at 7:54PM