From New York to California, Michigan to Florida, Victoria to Prince Edward Island and points between: Scotland, Wales, France, Turkey and India – the VIWIFF International Screenplay Competition is receiving script submissions from around the globe. #VIWIFF2017 promises a stellar group of screenplays. From historical drama to hysterical comedy, we have a virtual stack of scripts to divvy amongst our talented jury.
What exactly do the jurists look for? The first round of reading involves only the first act, to a maximum of 30 pages. If the writer has no “reversal” by the end of 30 pages… hmm. Could be a problem with structure. Does the “first act break” catapult the story? Does it make you want to continue the journey with the characters? And who are these characters? Are they introduced in a way that brings them to life – interesting and well delineated? Would an actor want to play them?
So many questions! Is the dialogue snappy? Realistic? Unique to each character? Does it serve a purpose? Does each scene reveal character, advance the plot, or both? Are the scenes “buttoned” at the end? The judges look for continuity and flow, as well as visual writing. Is it easy to “see” the movie as you read the script; does it draw you into the world of the story with imagery? But succinctly and cinematically, without being too wordy.
What about originality? There are only so many plots, or so people say. Is it a new take on a story we know? Is it something we haven’t seen before?
The last item the judges have to determine in the first round: Does the synopsis match the story? Each writer is allowed up to 500 words for a summary of their script. Our jury of well-trained screenwriters and story analysts will choose ten official selections. Those writers will be invited to send in their entire script… and the judges will start all over again, with 80 to 120 pages instead of just 30. Many thanks to our volunteer jurists!
Do you begin to think there’s more to screenwriting than meets the eye? The starting point for every great film is a well-written script. Women tell amazing, dynamic, interesting, thought-provoking, affecting, inspiring, funny and down-right exciting stories. We want to read them all!
Extended deadline: October 15th
For more information and to submit, please visit our website: http://www.womeninfilm.ca/2017_International_Screenplay_Competition.html.
By Joan Macbeth