Contest Rules

Before you enter the Indie Black Film competition, please review these contest rules and guidelines. Any submission that does not comply with contest rules may be disqualified.



1. All writers of submitted material must be 18 years of age or older on the date of submission, and each writer or writing team may not have earned more than $50,000 or the foreign equivalent (jointly or individually) for work as a screenwriter and/or fictional television writer.

2.  Writers who reside in countries other than the United States are welcome to enter the contest; however, all scripts must be submitted in English and entry fees must be paid in U.S. dollars. Entry in the competition is void where prohibited by law.

3.  Judges, sponsors, administrators, and independent contractors who work with or for the Indie Black Film LLC are not eligible to enter the competition, nor are their spouses or other immediate family members.

4.  Scripts must be the original work of the author(s) and on the date of submission must be wholly owned and controlled by the author(s). If a script has been sold, is currently under option, is being produced, or is in any other way encumbered by a third party on the date of submission, the script is not eligible for an award. If a script is optioned, sold, or produced after it has been entered, it will remain eligible in this year’s contest.

5.  Only original screenplays and teleplays are eligible for awards. Novels, short stories, stage plays, treatments, synopses, reality show concepts and spec scripts for existing TV series are not accepted in the contest.

6.  Adaptations of books, plays, or any other source material written by another author are not eligible under any circumstances. A script that you have adapted from your own book, play, or other source material is eligible if you have retained all film and television rights to the property.

7.  Submissions and entry fees must be postmarked or transmitted electronically on or before 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on the Early, Regular, Late, or Last Minute Entry Deadline in order to qualify for those entry rates. Any script submitted after the Final Entry Deadline will be disqualified.

8.  The contest and its administrators are not responsible for submissions or entry fees that are lost, stolen, or damaged in transit, and we cannot return scripts or refund entry fees once they have been submitted.

9.  Once a script has been entered in the competition, under no circumstances will we accept substitutions of new drafts or corrected pages. If you wish to submit a revised draft of your screenplay, you must enter it as a new submission and pay the appropriate entry fee.  (PLEASE NOTE:  We do understand that you want the Judges to have the opportunity to read your very best work; therefore, as a special courtesy, if you advance to the Semi-Final Round of the contest you will be invited to send us the latest draft of your script for the final two rounds of judging completely free of charge. So, do keep revising and refining your script as the spirit moves!)

10.  Decisions of the Judges are final and may not be disputed. Our Judges are instructed and agree to evaluate scripts based on our standard.


Below are some important formatting and submission instructions. Though your script will not be disqualified if it deviates in some way, in order to maximize your chances of success, we strongly recommend that you follow these standard guidelines:

Scripts should be written in standard spec screenplay or teleplay format, set in 12-point Courier font. If you’re not familiar with standard formatting, two great resources are David Trottier’s guidebook The Screenwriter’s Bible and our Judges’ own reference book The Insiders’ Guide to Screenwriting.

To make it easy, you can also utilize one of the software programs specifically designed to help you format your script. We recommend Final Draft, the software used by the vast majority of industry professionals.


Submissions should be standard length and should include page numbers on the upper right corner of the page.

  • Full-Length Features: 80-120 pages
  • Short Film Scripts: under 30 pages
  • TV Drama Pilots: 50-70 pages
  • TV Comedy Pilots: 25-45 pages

Though your script will not be disqualified if it is longer or shorter than this, for your own benefit, we strongly recommend that you keep your script within these standard parameters.


Since our judging process is anonymous, please include only the title of your script on your title page. If you like, you may also include your WGA registration number, but this is not required. When we receive your entry we will assign your script a number, and our Judges will identify your screenplay solely by its title and script number.

Under no circumstances should your name or contact information appear anywhere within the body of your script.


Please do not include synopses, casting suggestions, letters, resumes, or photos with your submission. They will not be forwarded to the Judges. However, if you’re submitting a TV Pilot you may include standard supplementary materials, such as lists of recurring characters and/or summaries of future episodes.