TIGHT5’s Short Form Screenwriting Competition is seeking a culturally diverse group of scribes to submit screenplays for short films under the length of 15 minutes.



The 4 genres or categories accepted will be:

  • Sci-Fi
  • Thriller/Horror
  • Drama
  • Comedy


Enter before November 15th and save $10


TIGHT5 invites you to participate in our online writing competition for short form content films.

The TIGHT5 concept is derived from the comedy realm. In order to expedite the submission process, a competitor’s initial submission can consist of a TIGHT5, only submitting the first 5 pages of their script (optional) in order to see if they advance to the 2nd round. Not only does this make the writer focus on making the story concise but operationally it will limit our first round judging team to reading only 5 pages to verify qualifying submissions.

The first competition will be available to writers of diverse backgrounds from the communities listed in the competition rules and will be centered around Short Films with a maximum length of 15 mins. We will use the one (1) minute per page as a general guide. There will be a max amount of credits a writer can have to participate in this first competition.



The winners will be chosen based on the following criteria:

(i) originality

(ii) uniqueness and personality in voice in storytelling

(iii) characterization

(iv) dialogue

(v) visual storytelling, and

(vi) overall professional presentation

One (1) finalist will be chosen from each category/genre and one Grand Prize winner will be chosen from those 4 submissions.



Ends on

Early Bird

November 15th $25.00


December 31st $35.00

Extended Deadline

January 15th $45.00


We are honored to have the following industry leaders join our contest jury panel led by our Jury President, Executive Producer and Writer, Dennis Leoni.


Dennis E. Leoni is an award winning producer and writer, best known for his groundbreaking series on Showtime titled Resurrection Blvd.


David Valdes is an executive producer known for Unforgiven (1992), Open Range (2003) and The Book of Eli (2010). He is currently producing Avatar 2.

Barbara Assante


Barbara Assante is an EP and speaker on Film Finance (Sundance). She has judged international and US competitions (Avignon, Atlantic City, Warsaw).


Grand Prize Winner

The grand prize winner will receive a cash prize of $1000.

Phone call with TIGHT5 team to discuss your project and advise on option/purchase offers from our production partners.


Semifinalist – January 27, 2021

Finalists – February 10, 2021

Winner – February 24, 2021


Short Form Competition

  • Entrant – a person that is the writer of the submitted screenplay
  • Screenplay, script – the document containing the original screenplay of a writer.
  • Short Form Content – a script of 15 minutes or less time
  • Time guide – we are using 1 minute per page rule to navigate time
  • POC – people of color
  • BIPOC – black, indigenous and people of color
  • Underrepresented groups – Cultural Groups typically not represented in whole or in part by the entertainment industry i.e. Native Americans, Asian Americans, African Americans, Latino Americans
  • Submissions are accepted via electronic submission only, between October 1, 2020 through January 15, 2021.
  • Entry fee for each submission (regardless of page count) is:
    • $25 – Early Submission by November 15, 2020
    • $35 – Deadline: December 31, 2020
    • $45 – Extended Deadline: January 15, 2021
  • Short form screenplay may not be longer than 15 pages (minus cover).
    • We recommend 2,700 words.
    • Only the first 5 pages or 1,000 words will be evaluated in the first round.
  • Submissions are only open to unpublished/unsold short form screenplays. If the script is under contract it does not qualify.
  • All entries should be made in standard screenplay format.
  • Files should be submitted in PDF format only with correct credentials matching the entrant’s name.
  • There is no limit to the number of projects you may submit, however each one has a separate entry fee.
  • Entries must be received on or before the deadline dates by 11:59 PM Pacific Time, and submission fee payment must be made in full at time of the submission.
  • All entry fees are non-refundable.
  • All submitted material must be original, and all rights must be owned by the writer(s).
  • Material must be submitted by the writer. Material written by writing teams must be submitted by one of the writers, with consent of the other(s). All writers must be credited on the title page.
  • All adaptation film and television rights must be available at the time of entry and wholly owned by the writer(s).
  • If a writing team is chosen as a winner, prizes will be given to the person who submits the project. Each team is responsible for dividing or sharing the prize money.
  • Substitutions of either corrected pages or new drafts of the entered material will be allowed for free within the submission dates. After submissions close no substitutions will be allowed.
  • Contact info may be included on the cover page; however, it is not required.
  • It is recommended that original material be registered with the WGA or The Library of Congress US Copyright Office before submitting to any competition, however we do not require WGA or Copyright registration.
  • TIGHT5 claims no ownership nor option on your work. All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remain with the original rights holder(s).
  • Please proofread your script carefully before submitting.
  • Writers 18 years of age and older are eligible.
  • Writers who have earned more than $50,000 (or equivalent currency) from professional writing services for film or TV in the preceding year are not eligible. (Contest winnings not included.)
  • Must be from the USA.
  • Material submitted must be in English (occasional dialogue in other languages is acceptable, if subtitle translation is provided).
  • Only persons of the following cultural descents are eligible: Native Americans, Asian Americans, African Americans, Latino Americans – if your cultural group is not on this list, please verify eligibility via email.
  • Materials submitted to other competitions or contests may be eligible for this contest.
  • There are no requirements as to when the material was written.
  • Work and intellectual property must be wholly owned and submitted by the writer(s).
  • Material should be submitted in standard PDF format, with standard font, spacing and margin (Arial is preferred font, but not required).
  • We have no preferences regarding title page content. Title and name of writer will suffice.
  • Entries for this competition are managed on the submission platform
  • Adaptations are ineligible unless the underlying rights are owned by the writer or the work is in the public domain.
  • All material must be submitted electronically as a PDF or it will not be eligible.

The winners will be chosen based on the following criteria: (i) originality, (ii) uniqueness and personality in voice in storytelling, (iii) characterization, (iv) dialogue, (v) visual storytelling, and (vi) overall professional presentation.

The winners and top finalists may be contacted by interested industry representatives, such as managers, agents or producers. Entrants may be required to submit further information to assist in the judges’ verification of eligibility. Any entrant may be deemed ineligible at the sole discretion of TIGHT5.

Finalists will be required to sign and, return within seven (7) business days of receipt, a notarized Affidavit of Eligibility form and a Release and Indemnification form (provided by us).

TIGHT5, and/or any partner of this contest, may require proof of a valid passport or any other necessary documentation before awarding the prize payment. Failure to return completed documents within ten (10) days of notification will result in disqualification.

We reserve the right to amend these rules at any time.

  • COPYRIGHT AND OWNERSHIP: TIGHT5 or any other partner, employee or agent associated with this contest claims no ownership nor first right of option to any original work submitted to this contest. All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remain with the original rights holders until and unless other agreements are made.

  • PUBLICITY: Except where prohibited by law, participation in the contest constitutes each entrant’s consent to TIGHT5 and its agents’ and contest sponsor’s use of entrants’ names, likenesses, photographs, and/or personal information for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration. All uses of an entrants’ information are in accordance with our Privacy Policy.


  • ENTRY CONDITIONS AND RELEASE: BY ENTERING THE CONTEST YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ AND AGREE TO THESE CONDITIONS. You agree to release and hold harmless TIGHT5,, its subsidiary, parent and affiliated companies, Prize contributors, Judges, Readers, Sponsors, and any other organizations responsible for administering, advertising or promoting the Contest, and every one of their respective members, directors, employees, agents and representatives (collectively, the “Released Parties”) past and present from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liability, including but not limited to damages and negligence to property and persons, including but not limited to invasion of privacy, defamation, slander, libel, violation of right of publicity, copyright, infringement of trademark or other intellectual property rights relating to a participant’s Entry.

  • Participation in the Contest and/or acceptance or use or misuse of Prize; provided however, that such release will not apply to any commercial exploitation of the work by a Released Party in violation of your rights under applicable copyright law; and indemnify, defend and hold harmless the and its Sponsor, agents and employees from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liabilities (including reasonable attorney’s fees) relating to an entrant’s participation in the Contest and/or entrant’s use or misuse of Prize.

  • Employees of TIGHT5 and their immediate families are ineligible to participate in this contest. Any such submission will be immediately disqualified.

  • ENTRY TO THIS CONTEST IS VOID WHERE PROHIBITED or restricted by any Federal, State or Local law. Voided entries will be refunded. Recipients’ eligibility will be verified before the grant is awarded and the winner may be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility.

  • By entering the contest, you authorize us to use any trusted third-party online and cloud-based services and databases for hosting, managing and/or transmitting your submission file(s).

For support please email us.