March 1


March 31

Early Deadline

June 30

Final Deadline


Recipients Announced

Closed for entries until March 2019.

Get deadline notifications (via Coverfly).

Previous jury included Greg Hunt from Independent Talent Group, Award-winning screenwriter James V. Hart (HOOK, BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA), Creator of The Bootleg Universe, Adi Shankar, Daniel Bobker of Bobker/Kruger Films, and literary manager/producer Andrea Dimity.

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Read more about the Public Domain and what it means for your screenplay.

Make sure you check out this Public Domain Q&A with Entertainment Attorney Christopher Schiller.

Writing a film or TV script based on a character or story in the public domain?

One of the best ways to get your screenplay noticed by Hollywood!

While it’s no secret that Hollywood loves remakes, sequels and spinoffs, it’s perhaps lesser known that Hollywood loves movies based on free intellectual property in the public domain, such as folk tales, fairy tales, mythology and books and plays published before 1923. For example, folk tales, mythology, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Sherlock Holmes, Charles Dickens, famous historical figures – and the list goes on.

It’s no wonder that Walt Disney Studios has produced over 50 films based on stories in the public domain, including Alice in Wonderland, Aladdin, The Jungle Book and many more.

Many recent film and TV re-interpretations of public domain stories include: Titanic, Sherlock Holmes, The Crown, The Borgias, King Arthur, Robin Hood, Troy and many more.

More about public domain:

The legal term public domain refers to works whose exclusive intellectual property rights have expired, have been forfeited, have been expressly waived, or are inapplicable. For a more nuanced exploration of the public domain, read this blog post.

Grand PrizeGrand Prize

$ 1,000

  • The grand prize winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000 plus introduction to producers, managers and agents who are specifically interested in original screenplays based on works in the public domain.
  • Circulation and personal recommendation of our top 2 winners’ screenplays to our network of producers and studio development executives at Hollywood companies.
  • One-year license to the HartChart story-mapping software, created by ScreenCraft judge and acclaimed screenwriter James V. Hart.

2nd Place

$ 500

  • Circulation and personal recommendation of our top 2 winners’ screenplays to our network of producers and studio development executives at Hollywood companies.
  • One-year license to the HartChart story-mapping software, created by ScreenCraft judge and acclaimed screenwriter James V. Hart.

Top 10 Finalists

% 50

  • The top 10 finalists will receive a 1-month free code to use to The HartChart app!
  • HartChart is a story-mapping software created by James V. Hart, acclaimed screenwriter of HOOK, EPIC, CONTACT, BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA and NBC’s CROSSBONES – and judge for this contest.

2018 Hollywood Jury:

Greg Hunt

Agent at Independent Talent Group, the UK agency that represents such acclaimed writers as Peter Morgan (Netflix’s THE CROWN, FROST/NIXON and THE QUEEN) and actress Dolly Wells (PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES).

James V. Hart

Award-winning screenwriter of HOOK (directed by Steven Spielberg), BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA (directed by Francis Ford Coppola) and the NBC series CROSSBONES (starring John Malkovich).

Adi Shankar

Creator of The Bootleg Universe, a YouTube channel with over 30 million views which has released several high-profile short films that focus on reinterpreting pre-existing intellectual property (ironically, not in the public domain). Adi has produced features films including DREDD (starring Karl Urban), THE GREY (starring Liam Neeson) and MACHINE GUN PREACHER (Gerard Butler). His TV credits include Netflix’s CASTLEVANIA.

Daniel Bobker

Producer and partner at Bobker/Kruger Films since 2004. The company’s focus is shepherding elevated material and singular filmmaking voices in all genres.  He has produced films including OPHELIA starring Daisy Ridley & Naomi Watts, THE BROTHERS GRIMM starring Matt Damon & Heath Ledger, and THE SKELETON KEY starring Kate Hudson & John Hurt.  His upcoming projects include an adaptation of Dan Simmons’ classic novel SUMMER OF NIGHT at Sony, and a live action/cgi-hybrid reboot of the perennially favorite children’s novel MRS. FRISBY & THE RATS OF NIMH at MGM.

Andrea Dimity

Literary Manager / Producer with clients including Pete Barry who recently sold his spec script MARIAN to Amy Pascal/Sony with Margot Robbie attached. She is currently producing BURN RUN written by Mitch Lafortune that is set up at Thunder Road Pictures. She likes to spend time helping writers with their scripts and careers and she reads finalists for such screenwriting competitions as Austin, UCLA, Cinequest, Page and more. She was also in the film jury for Cinequest this year.

Official Sponsor


  • Submissions are accepted via electronic submission only, between April 2nd, 2018 and July 10, 2018
  • Entry fee for each feature film screenplay is $49 until the early deadline on May 2nd, then $69 until the final deadline on July 10, 2018.
  • Optional feedback from a professional reader may be requested at the time of entry for an additional cost of $69. Requests for feedback after an entry is submitted will be available only for a limited time.
  • Feature screenplays must be a minimum of 75 pages and a maximum of 150 pages. TV pilot screenplays must be a minimum of 20 pages and a maximum of 70 pages.
  • Writers may also submit a logline or synopsis with their script submission.
  • There is no limit to the number of projects you may submit for consideration.
  • Entries must be received on or before the deadline dates by 11:59PM 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 wholly owned by the writer(s). Projects that are optioned, sold or produced are not eligible.
  • Public Domain and copyright law are complicated and this neither this web page nor any page on the ScreenCraft website should be interpreted as legal advice. Your project’s eligibility to win this contest is not solely based on whether or not its underlying material is in the public domain of any country, as this must be defined ultimately by a legal professional. This contest merely encourages and celebrates writers who desire to base their screenplay on pre-existing IP that they believe to be in the public domain, either in the United States or in any other country.
  • 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 title page.
  • 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 are allowed. See your submission confirmation email for instructions on how to submit a new draft.
  • It is recommended that original material be registered with the WGA or the US Copyright Office before submitting to any competition, however we do not require registrations.
  • Contact info may be included on the cover page of the screenplay, however it is not required.
  • All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remain with the original rights holders until and unless other agreements are made.


  • All writers at least 18 years of age are eligible.
  • All persons from anywhere in the world are eligible; however the script should be primarily written in English.
  • All material submitted to other competitions or contests are eligible for this contest.
  • There are no requirements as to when the material was written.
  • Material should be submitted in standard screenplay format, font, spacing and margin.
  • We have no preferences regarding title page content. Title and name of writer would suffice.
  • Adaptations are ineligible unless the underlying rights are owned by the writer or the work is in the public domain (such as a mythology or publications before 1923).
  • Feature screenplays longer than 150 pages will not be eligible.
  • 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) plot/story structure; (iii) characterization; (iv) visual inventiveness; (v) overall impression; and (vi) co-production viability. 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 ScreenCraft. Finalists may be required to sign and return within seven (7) business days of receipt a notarized Affidavit of Eligibility and a Release and Indemnification and proof of valid passport and any other documents that ScreenCraft or any other partner may require before receiving prize payment. Failure to respond to the initial notification within ten (10) days or return of notification will result in disqualification. We reserve the right to amend these rules at any time.


ScreenCraft or any other partner, employee or agent associated with this contest claims no ownership nor first right of option to any original screenplay 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.


Except where prohibited by law, participation in the contest constitutes each entrant’s consent to ScreenCraft 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 a entrants’ information are in accordance with our Privacy Policy.


All entries are non-refundable.


BY ENTERING THE CONTEST YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ AND AGREE TO THESE CONDITIONS. You agree to release and hold harmless ScreenCraft LLC,, its subsidiary, parent and affiliated companies, Prize contributors, judges, screenplay 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 script by a Released Party in violation of your rights under applicable copyright law; and (c) indemnify, defend and hold harmless the and its Sponsor, agents and employees from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liabilities (including reasonable attorneys fees) relating to an entrant’s participation in the Contest and/or entrant’s use or misuse of Prize. Employees of ScreenCraft 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.