The Slamdance Screenplay Competition is dedicated to discovering and nurturing emerging screenwriters. Since 1995, the competition has established a strong track record for introducing writers to members of the entertainment industry who have gone on to produce, option, and represent submitted work. Like the Film Festival, the Screenplay Competition is a place for new, bold, and raw voices. We are looking for scripts that take risks, refuse compromise, and go places where Hollywood hacks fear to tread.
In addition to our regular prizes, this year will feature the second annual Slamdance Screenplay Mentorship Award. Slamdance loves finding diamonds in the rough. We read many amazing scripts that— with some polish and finishing—could be finalist contenders and stand a better chance of getting produced. We think it's time to step up and take action on often-heard reader comments like "if only the writer made another pass, cut down 10 pages, fixed a few holes...it'd be a script to die for!" That's why we have the Slamdance Screenplay Mentorship Award. In addition to awarding the best screenplays submitted to Slamdance, our readers will nominate unique scripts that, with a little more development and support from a team of alumni, could turn into production-ready ventures. From these nominations, we will select the 2021 Mentorship Award-winner who will receive personal mentorship through Slamdance's alumni network and screenwriting consultants.
"Winning Slamdance, I feel validated and it is very encouraging for me as an artist. I feel even more motivated to get this film made." — Joyce Sherrí, 2020 Grand Prize Winner for SWEET SIXTEEN
"Winning Slamdance is everything to me. Slamdance gave me a new lease on life and a chance to live my dreams. They opened up more doors than I could have ever imagined...I still can't believe everything they helped me achieve."— Tyler Tice, 2017 Grand Prize and Horror Screenplay Winner for DAY SHIFT (now being produced by Netflix)
"The Slamdance Screenplay Competition is like an adrenaline boost to the cortex. It gave me the oomph necessary to climb faster and leap up to a higher rung. Slamdance is a celebration of not just offbeat storytelling, but above all, character. Character infects every vein of this festival and it's a beautiful thing." —Andrew Kightlinger, 2016 Grand Prize Winner for GREAT WHITE SHARK
"The best thing you can do for a screenwriter is encourage them, because trusting your gut is so crucial to writing interesting stuff. I got that encouragement from Slamdance every year I entered, with the brief feedback they always send at no extra charge. Winning was the ultimate encouragement to keep following my instincts, and it's more than paid off."—Jamie King, 2015 Original Teleplay winner for CASTLE ROCK and writer for Marvel's Jessica Jones
"Winning Slamdance was an incredible moral booster and the seal of approval that made the industry stop and take notice." —Nicole Kassell, Slamdance Screenplay winner and director of THE WOODSMAN, HBO’s Watchmen
“From the earliest encouragement of the readers, to the unforgettable whirlwind ceremony, to the ongoing excitement, meetings, and future collaborations — Slamdance is more than a festival. It is a family. I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of it." — Jessica Sinyard, 2018 Grand Prize Winner for THE PEAK