Haven't heard about the status of your submission? 

Submissions status for all screenplays submitted to ATLFF 2015 will be released no later than noon ET on Sunday, February 15th.

Unless you unsubscribed from our mailing list, you should receive at least one email about your film submission. (Our email software won't let us send out multiple emails per email address, so if you submitted multiple films you will still only get email about one of them.)

To check the current status of your film, please log in to FilmFreeway or Withoutabox (whichever platform you chose to use when you submitted). The status of each project will be listed there. 

2015 Atlanta Film Festival Screenplay Competition

Screenwriter Moon Molson with mentor Autumn Canady

Screenwriter Moon Molson with mentor Autumn Canady

Attention all screenwriters: the call for entries for the 2015 Atlanta Film Festival Screenplay Competition is open.



The Atlanta Film Festival Screenplay Competition aims to discover high quality screenplays and help three selected writers further develop and refine their script in an intensive workshop retreat that incorporates the 2015 Atlanta Film Festival (March 2015), professional writers, and filmmakers.


For thirty-nine years, the Atlanta Film Festival has discovered and nurtured new filmmaking talent, having showcased early works by Robert Rodriguez, Spike Lee, and Victor Nuñez. The ATLFF Screenplay Competition began in 2008 as an arena in which to expand upon ATLFF's tradition of filmmaker discovery and support. The retreat brings the writers of the winning screenplays together with established writers, producers, and directors who can provide a different perspective on each script and advice on how to move forward towards getting the project produced.

Past Mentors include Kent Osborne (HANNAH TAKES THE STAIRS, SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS), Morgan J. Freeman (HURRICANE), Anne Hubbell (THANKSGIVING), Carly Hugo (PETER AND VANDY, HOT COFFEE), Stephen Israel (SWIMMING WITH SHARKS), J.T. Petty (THE BURROWERS, SPLINTER CELL: CHAOS THEORY), Joel Zwick (MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING), Amy Dotson (Producer & Managing Director for IFP NY), AND Rob Long (CHEERS, GEORGE & LEO).

Our mentors in 2013 were James Ponsoldt (SMASHED, THE SPECTACULAR NOW), Autumn Canaday, Green Door Pictures Director of Development, Jamie Babbit (BUT I'M A CHEERLEADER, ITTY BITTY TITTY COMMITTEE), and Kary Dorento (PORTLANDIA, SOUTH PARK).

Our mentors in 2014 were Michael Lucker (SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON), Rashaad Ernesto Green (GUN HILL ROAD), and David Paterson (THE GREAT GILLY HOPKINS).

Comments from participants in the Screenwriter’s Retreat:

"The screenplay retreat was a unique and immersive experience that provided specific unbiased insight into the world of my script and refreshingly candid knowledge about the industry itself. The festival truly does a commendable job of nurturing diverse talent and offering the rare opportunity to workshop your material in a concentrated, safe, and fun environment with mentors who genuinely want you to put your best foot forward, both with your script and the industry at large." - Melanie Schiele

"The ATLFF was absolutely a career high.  I was so honored to be a part of such a prestigious festival.  From day one, the staff and volunteers were professional, courteous and encouraging towards my endeavors in screenwriting.  The mentors chosen for the screenplay winners were kind, knowledgable, and accessible.  I had a blast laughing, creating, and viewing all the wonderful talent throughout the festival.  Thank you again ATLFF for such an uplifting experience!" - Tonya Holloway

“This competition offers you what very few can: a personal and relaxed atmosphere to meet with professionals who are willing to take the time to understand both your writing and you as a person.”

“Not only did I absolutely have a blast down there, as we were all treated like VIPs for the weekend, but more importantly, the workshop proved to be invaluable, as I received a lot of great notes and feedback that will definitely help me make this next draft even more compelling.”

2014 Winners:

  • Be Normal — Lyvia A. Martinez - Orange, CA
    When a young Mormon woman finds herself in love with her roommate, she must find the balance between her religion and her feelings, and go through the difficult process of coming out to her family, her friends, and, most importantly, herself.

    • Bio: Growing up in Puerto Rico, Lyvia always loved films. Her dad rented movies every weekend and she used to make little parodies with her friends (including a particularly horrible Spanish remake of ‘Clue.') With that love, she studied film at Brigham Young University, where she focused on producing, screenwriting, and play writing. For her thesis project, she co-wrote and produced the short 'Inspector 42,' which went on to enter several festivals and win two Student Emmys. She went on to receive her Masters in Screenwriting from Chapman University, and now works as a graphic artist and writer. 

  • Whatever Happened to Barbara Brown — Lutfu Emre Cicek - Istanbul, Turkey
    “Whatever Happened to Barbara Brown” depicts the past and present ordeals of a young housewife in 1950s Baltimore as she unravels under heavy scrutiny following the disappearance of her husband and his mistress.

    • Lutfu Emre Cicek was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. After moving to New York, he completed a two-year conservatory in filmmaking at New York Film Academy, where he wrote, directed, and worked on several short films. His thesis film Mac & Cheese premiered at Spooky Movie International Horror Film Festival ‘12 in Washington DC, went on to screen at several other film festivals in New York and was given an award of merit by the Accolade Competition. His second short film Sinyal premiered at Telluride Horror Show ’13 and was nominated for best foreign film at this year's Shockfest Film Festival in Hollywood as well as garnering seven other official selections across the states. It will next screen at the International Horror and Sci-fi Film Festival in Phoenix and will be featured as part of the Spring Showcase Selection for the American Online Film Awards 2014. What Ever Happened to Barbara Brown? is his first feature script, loosely based around the lead character in his first film. It was recently nominated for best script written outside of North America at Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition. He currently lives back in his hometown and has begun working on a low-budget Turkish language horror film to be shot later this year.

  • Rattle the Cage — Lane Skye & Ruckus Skye - Atlanta, GA
    Despite his best intentions, Tucker Lawson finds himself locked in a holding cell in the sleepy town of Avery, GA with no I.D. and a few bruises from last night’s mistakes. But being unable to make bail is the least of his problems when a stranger disguised as a deputy kills the Sheriff in cold blood. With nowhere to run, Tucker is forced to play along with the madman’s twisted game or risk setting off a bloody chain of events that will forever scar this once peaceful town.

    • Ruckus and Lane Skye are screenwriters and filmmakers based in Atlanta, Georgia. Together they began making shorts in 2003 with the goal of continuing the rich tradition of southern storytelling by creating intimate, character driven films. Their short films Prayers from Pelham, Ms. Marvel's Day Off, and Hungry for Love with Patrick Richwood (Pretty Woman) and Gerald McCollouch (CSI) have all enjoyed healthy festival runs. Ruckus and Lane are 2013 Academy Nicholl Fellowship Semifinalists with their script Rattle The Cage finishing in the top 50. The script is currently being developed as a feature film.

2014 Mentors:

  • Michael Lucker is an acclaimed writer/director with twenty years experience creating film, television and animation. He began his career writing and directing television commercials in college in Boston. Soon after he landed in Los Angeles working in production on series for ABC, NBC, CBS and HBO before taking a job as assistant to Steven Spielberg at Amblin Entertainment on feature films Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade, Back To The Future ll & lll and Jurassic Park. He went on to work in creative affairs at Hollywood Pictures, helping develop the movies Crimson Tide, Terminal Velocity, Taking Care of Business and Straight Talk. He then went onto write movies for DreamWorks, Paramount, Disney, Fox, Universal and more, including “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron,” which was nominated for the Academy Award for best-animated movie.

  • Rashaad Ernesto Green - Graduate of Dartmouth College and NYU Grad Film, New York native Rashaad Ernesto Green has been included in Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film and indieWIRE's Ten New Voices in Cinema.  His films have screened on HBO, BET, Sundance and festivals internationally.  He’s been supported by HBO, NBC, Time Warner, Sundance, Tribeca Film Institute and IFP.  Rashaad's first feature and thesis film Gun Hill Road premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, opened #1 for independent films in the summer of 2011 and is now available on DVD & Netflix.  Please visit www.gunhillroad.com & www.mialmafilms.com for further details.
  • David Paterson is a writer, professional stuntman, adjunct professor of screenwriting for NYIT of Manhattan, and serves on the Film Advisory Board for the Savannah, Gold Coast, First Time and Big Apple Film Festivals.  David has served as a panelist for numerous film festivals in the U.S. and abroad, and is in great demand as a guest lecturer at colleges, universities and writer symposiums, most recently lecturing at the RIO IFF in Brazil. His latest film, THE GREAT GILLY HOPKINS, starring Glenn Close, Octavia Spencer, Kathy Bates and Danny Glover begins filming in NYC this month.

2014 Retreat Location:

Screenplay Competition Submission Info
For scripts 75 to 130 pages

  • Earlybird Deadline: August 15, 2014 ($30)
  • Regular Deadline: October 3, 2014 ($40)
  • Late Deadline: November 7, 2014 ($50)
  • Withoutabox Extended Deadline: November 21, 2014 ($65)
  • Film Freeway Extended Deadline: December 15, 2014

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2013 Screenplay Retreat Group Session

2013 Screenplay Retreat Group Session

Submission Rules

Screenplays must include a properly formatted title page with name, title, and address and contact info.

All pages must be numbered, starting with page 1 after the cover page. No odd or even numbering.

Shooting Scripts are not eligible for submission. Scripts with enhanced camera directions and descriptions integral to the story and are included for narrative or visual clarity will still be considered.

Do not attach an introduction or cover letter to the screenplay.

We only accept PDF versions of scripts. We do not accept Word .docs, Final Draft, Celtrix or any other file formats. 

International Screenplays may enter, however the Atlanta Film Festival only covers travel within the United States and from Canada for the 3 winners.

International Screenplays and their Screenwriters will be eligible to be named a ATLFF Screenplay Competition Finalist. For those Finalists who cannot guarantee they'll be in the United States or Canada at the time of 2013 Atlanta Film Festival will be automatically ineligible to be one of the 3 winners.

For collaborative screenplays, the festival will only cover the travel of one of the writers. 

Pen Names and Pseudonyms are not allowed. Writers must submit screenplays under their legal name. It is the sole responsibility of the writer(s) to ensure their screenplay is properly formatted and suitable for submission. By submitting to the Atlanta Film Festival Screenplay Competition you are affirming the following: 1) That the script being entered is the sole work of the writer or writers who in totality contributed 100% of the contents of the screenplay 2) For works written by more than one writer, all writers have agreed to submit the work for consideration 3) For works written by more than one writer, the collaborators no longer involved and not claiming copyright privileges have relinquished their claim to copyright in writing, or electronically, and proof can be provided 4) The screenwriter(s) has permission to use any work included in the screenplay that they have not written themselves.

We are looking for a few good screenplay readers!

We get so many screenplay submissions that we need some help reading them all. If you have an eye for good writing and love reading screenplays, you might be able to help us out! Let us know a bit about yourself and we will be in touch.

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