"Winning 1st Place at the Vail Screenplay Competition last year helped us get the film made."

- Andrew Kightlinger, 1st place winner, 2015 Vail Screenplay Competition

1st place winner gets $1500, and a complimentary flight, hotel, and VIP Passes to the 2017 Vail Film Festival.

1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will be included in a national press release announcing the winners, and will have their scripts read by key decision-makers at leading entertainment companies. Vail Film Festival top-level industry contacts include:

Click the buttons below to submit through FilmFreeway or Withoutabox.

Narrative Feature Screenplay Guidelines

  • Scripts in any genre.
  • Feature Scripts must be between 70-125 pages in length.
  • Submission Fee: $40

Submission Deadlines

  • June 15, 2016 Earlybird Deadline

  • July 31, 2016 Regular Deadline

  • August 31, 2016 Late Deadline

  • September 15, 2016 Extended Deadline

  • December 1, 2016 Notification Date


The Vail Film Festival Feature Screenplay Competition welcomes unproduced feature length screenplays in any genre.

The Vail Film Festival is produced by the Colorado Film Institute, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to fostering independent cinema. The Vail Film Festival strives to encourage artistic innovation, promote new and creative filmmaking, and foster discourse about independent film and other forms of media which challenge and entertain.

The Colorado Film Institute launched the Vail Film Festival Screenplay Competition in order to find and foster the next generation of the film world’s most innovative and creative screenwriters. With the realization that every great film needs a great story, the festival is dedicated to supporting talented screenwriters by utilizing the resources of the Vail Film Festival to foster the winning screenwriters through networking opportunities, and film industry access.

1. You may enter as many scripts as you like, but each must be accompanied by a separate entry and the required entry fee.
2. Entries must be written in English. The screenplay(s) must be original and unproduced at the time of submission. Optioned scripts are acceptable for entry.
3. All scripts must conform to standard screenplay format.
4. Feature Scripts must be between 70-125 pages in length. All pages other than the first page should be numbered. Include only Title and entry number on the cover page.
5. Judging is solely on the screenplay. Do not include the following information or materials as they will be disregarded: logline, synopsis, treatment, or any additional materials not specifically requested.
6. Script collaborations are allowed and the work must be the sole and exclusive property of the collaborators.
7. Once a screenplay has been submitted, substitutions of new drafts will not be accepted under any circumstances.
8. Writer(s) retain ALL rights for their entry(ies) when entering our competition.
9. Adaptations are acceptable for entry in our competition only if you have all the appropriate and/or required approvals/waivers/permissions from any and all right holders. If you are unsure, please consult an entertainment attorney for your own protection.

1. Judging will be anonymous. Upon receipt, your screenplay(s) will be assigned corresponding numbers, and your screenplay(s) will be identifiable to the judges by number only.
2. Judges' decisions are final. Prizes are non-transferable.
3. Individuals active in the film and screenwriting community will conduct preliminary judging. A panel of industry experts and screenwriting professionals will conduct the final round of judging. Semifinalists and Finalists will be announced. Three Winners will be selected to receive prizes.
4. Every entrant will receive an email confirmation upon receipt of his/her script.
5. Semifinalists will be posted on the Vail Film Festival website on December 1st, 2016. Finalists will be posted on December 15th, 2016. Winners will be notified by email on December 30th, 2016, and on the web at www.VailFilmFestival.com. An announcement will also be sent out in the Vail Film Festival newsletter. Winners will be included in a national press release. Prizes will be awarded by January 15th, 2017.


1st place winner will receive $1500. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will have their scripts recommended to key decision-makers at leading entertainment companies.

Submit through Withoutabox or through FilmFreeway: