QUESTION: Where does the funding come from?

Funding comes from the entry fees.

QUESTION: What are the odds of winning?

Roughly one in 500. Only 1,000 applicants can enter per competition. That is roughly 500 writers and 500 filmmakers. The minimum threshold for any one side of a competition is 300. For example, we could have 300 writers and 700 filmmakers or vice versa. Imagine competing with 500 individuals ONLY. That's why we love this competiton. TIFF and Sundance got 15,000 submissions last year...

QUESTION: When is the Entry deadline?

We will begin when we have 1000 entries. It's free to enter until we begin!

QUESTION: Do I get feedback?

Yes, everyone who is assigned your work judges, ranks and provides feedback on your work. They want the best for you because they are not competing with you.

QUESTION: As a filmmaker, will entering into this competition hinder me with other competitions/festivals?

No, it will not impact you in anyway. The film links you provide can be unlisted or password protected. In addition, your work is only being reviewed by writers who have been assigned to judge your work.

QUESTION: As a writer, will entering into this competition hinder me with other competitions?

Only if you win the competition are you obligated to ‘sell’ your work for the agreed-upon prize money percentage. If you do not win the competition you are released from any obligation.

QUESTION: How does the prize money actually get distributed?

We have designed it specifically so that the winning filmmaker is financially encouraged to shoot the script.

Short Film Example:

Step 1: $10,000 (or 20% of funds raised) is awarded to the short filmmaker upon winning the short filmmakers prize.

Step 2: The winning filmmaker reads the top 10 short scripts and selects one. $10,000 (or 20% of funds raised) is then paid to the short writer by the winning short filmmaker for the script.

Step 3: Writersandfilmmakers.com will award $15,000 (or 30% of funds raised) to the winning short filmmaker upon demonstration and verification that the winning short writer (chosen by the winning short filmmaker from the top 10 short scripts) has agreed to a contract with the winning short filmmaker in the amount of $10,000 (or 20% of funds raised).

The short filmmaker now has $15,000 (or 30% of funds raised) to shoot principal photography.

Step 4: $10,000 (or 20% of funds raised) is awarded to the winning short filmmaker upon demonstration and verification by Writersandfilmmakers.com that principal photography has been completed.

Failure to demonstrate and obtain verification by Writersandfilmmakers.com will result in foregoing of the final payment.

The winning short filmmaker, if they complete principal photography upon satisfactory terms set by Writersandfilmmakers.com, should have received $35,000 (or 70% of funds raised) in total. $10,000 (or 20% of funds raised) for the short writer contract and $25,000 (50% of funds raised) for the short filmmaker.

Feature Film Example:

Step 1: $20,000 (or 20% of funds raised) is awarded to the feature filmmaker upon winning the feature filmmakers prize.

Step 2: The winning filmmaker reads the top 10 feature scripts and selects one. $20,000 (or 20% of funds raised) is then paid to the feature writer by the winning feature filmmaker for the script.

Step 3: Writersandfilmmakers.com will award $30,000 (or 30% of funds raised) to the winning feature filmmaker upon demonstration and verification that the winning feature writer (chosen by the winning feature filmmaker from the top 10 feature scripts) has agreed and entered in to a contract with the winning feature filmmaker in the amount of $20,000 (or 20% of funds raised).

The feature filmmaker now has $30,000 (or 30% of funds raised) to shoot principal photography.

Step 4: $20,000 (or 20% of funds raised) is awarded to the winning feature filmmaker upon demonstration and verification by Writersandfilmmakers.com that principal photography has been completed or commenced.

Failure to demonstrate and obtain verification by Writersandfilmmakers.com will result in foregoing of the final payment.

The winning feature filmmaker, if they complete principal photography upon satisfactory terms set by Writersandfilmmakers.com, should have received $70,000 (or 70% of funds raised) in total, $20,000 (or 20% of funds raised) for the feature writer and $50,000 (or 50% of funds raised) for the feature filmmaker.

QUESTION: What if the filmmaker does not finish principal photography?

We don’t want this. The writer doesn't want this. The filmmaker doesn't want this. But if the filmmaker is unable to complete the film, they will not get the remaining amount (step 4 above in examples). If they need just a few more dollars to finish principal photography, then we may consider advancing the final portion. But there are no guarantees. In the feature competition, we may, at our sole discretion, advance the remaining amount upon initiation of principal photography.

QUESTION: How much footage is required to enter as a filmmaker in the short film competition?

Short Film Competition = Five minutes of footage required.

Feature Film Competition = 20 minutes of footage required.

QUESTION: What type of footage can I submit?

You can not submit snippets, demo reels, scenes, trailers, sizzlers, montages etc. You must submit complete films from opening titles to closing credits.

QUESTION: Is having a completed feature film a requirement to enter the feature film competition?

No. You need a total of 20 minutes of footage to submit. Your footage can be between one and six short films or a single film. If you are submitting from one film, it must be at least 20 minutes of continuous footage. It can't be a demo or a sizzler/teaser/trailer totaling 20 minutes.

QUESTION: What if someone tries to cheat?

In order to complete your assignment, you must answer multiple-choice questions on the material you are assigned to demonstrate you watched/read the work in its entirety.

QUESTION: Who can enter as a 'filmmaker'? What is a 'filmmaker'?

A 'filmmaker' can be a Director, Producer, DP/Cinematographer, Editor, Art Director/Set Designer or Audio Recordist.

QUESTION: What happens if I'm the 1001st applicant, or say the 701st writer?

Only 1000 applicants can enter per competition. The 1001st entry is the first entrant in the next competition. If you are the 701st writer or filmmaker, then you are the first writer or filmmaker in the next competition, because we cannot have more than 700 of one group in a competition.

QUESTION: Can I submit my demo reel?

Unfortunately, no. We know they are great, but writers need to see your work in its entirety.

QUESTION: What happens if a filmmaker steals my script? 

Register and copyright your script. The reason a filmmaker is here is because they don’t have the money to shoot something on the scale they dream about. We all know script is king, but filmmakers have scripts too, albeit maybe not as good as yours. If we or you or anybody finds that a filmmaker stole your script we will have record of your submission. We encourage you to register and copyright your script before submitting and read the Rules and Legal page both writers and filmmakers must agree to.

QUESTION: How do I copyright and register a script?

Copyright: copyright.gov
WG: wgawregistry.org/webrss
WGC: wgc.ca/script_reg

QUESTION: Who will own the final film?

Most likely it will be the filmmaker. We say most likely because they may negotiate with others as they please. Writersandfilmmakers.com is funding the agreed upon prize percentage and will not receive any ownership.

QUESTION: Can the writer contribute financially to the making of the film?

This is entirely up to the filmmaker and the writer to negotiate. But have you ever met a filmmaker who refuses funding?

QUESTION: I am a filmmaker; what if I made a film but I don’t own it?

Just because you don’t own the rights to your film, does not mean it’s not your skilled work. We want your skills, not ownership of your previous work. We don’t show your work publicly without consent.

QUESTION: I am a writer; What if I wrote a script but I don't own it?

You must own the rights to your script in its entirety. The script must be unencumbered and clear. The writer recognizes that if they win, they must sell their film for the amount set out in the rules of the particular (short/feature) competition. They cannot renegotiate a price.

QUESTION: What if the writer/filmmaker presents work that is not their own?

The winning filmmaker and winning scriptwriter will sign a Promissory Note to ensure authenticity. A Promissory Note is a criminal offence, rather than a contractual offence.

QUESTION: Films are a collaborative effort. How can one filmmaker say the film is "his" or "her" work?

If you were a Director, Producer, DP/Cinematographer, Editor, Art Director/Set Designer or Audio Recordist you can claim the film as yours.

QUESTION: I'm a DP/Cinematographer, can I submit my demo reel?

Unfortunately, no.

QUESTION: What if I am both a writer and a filmmaker? Can I submit as both to the same contest?

Unfortunately, to keep your judging honest and fair you can only enter a single contest 'run' as a writer OR a filmmaker, not both. You can enter again (as the other type) on the next contest run. Alternatively, you could enter the short competition as a writer and the feature competition as a filmmaker at the same time.

QUESTION: Can I submit any type of film? A puppet play? A theater play?

It can't be a play unless there was camera movement, such as Dogville.

QUESTION: Why does the writer have to pay the same entry fee as the filmmaker? They are not getting the same prize $.

Sorry, this is the way it is…besides, the filmmaker is most likely going to spend all of the money on production and advertising, They may pocket much less than the writer.

QUESTION: Can I read someone else’s script or film submission who got a higher rank?

Yes and no. The person must have consented to this when they signed up.

QUESTION: I am a filmmaker; can I judge another script during the competition?

Yes. Contact us.

QUESTION: What is the minimum number of 'assignments' I will need to judge?

This depends on the ratio of filmmakers to writers. The minimum/maximum amount of assignments, with a 700/300 split is 8/36. Except for the winning filmmaker, who will also have to read the top 10 scripts.

QUESTION: How many writers/filmmakers are in the competition right now?

Unfortunately, we cannot divulge this information - It would be unfair! The odds are already amazing! Stop strategizing and enter! Let your work speak for you!

QUESTION: What happens if less than 1000 people enter?

The percentage of monetary distribution remains the same as the original competition: 50% of the funds raised to the winning filmmaker as chosen by the writers and 20% of funds raised to the winning writer as chosen by the winning filmmaker.

QUESTION: By submitting my material, am I giving Writersandfilmmakers.com the use of my material?

Well, yes. We need to show it to the other ‘side’ of the competition. We are not going to use your material for any other purpose without contacting you and obtaining your consent. Ever.

QUESTION: What if the filmmaker doesn't like the top 10 scripts?

The filmmakers must choose one of the top 10 scripts and award the writer's prize.

QUESTION: Does Writersandfilmmakers.com guarantee the film will be made?

No. We guarantee the writer will receive the writer's prize. Writersandfilmmakers.com does not guarantee the filmmaker will finish the film. If the filmmaker does not finish the film they do not receive the final portion of the filmmaker's prize. In effect the filmmaker is financially motivated to complete the film.

QUESTION: What if a filmmaker doesn’t read all the scripts they are assigned?

Filmmakers are given ample time to read their assignments. If a filmmaker does not read his or her assignments by the deadline, they are disqualified and lose their entry fee. Other filmmakers will then be given their assignments. Everyone in his or her cohort is judged a relatively equal number of times.