Short Film Screenplay Contest

Seraph Films’ Inaugural Short Film Screenplay Contest

After careful deliberation and Skype calls with each of the finalists, we’ve chosen Lankershim by Andrew Martin as the Grand Prize Winner of our Short Film Screenplay Competition. Every finalist script was remarkable and this was a very difficult decision. We’d like to thank everyone who entered or shared this competition on social media. Your support of indie film-making is incredible and we look forward to sharing this film with you at our Halloween Film Night.

If your project wasn’t selected as a winner, please consider writing a haiku for our Horror Haiku webseries. Season 5 is in production right now and your haiku could become the next episode. Selected haiku authors receive IMDb Story credit.

We’re thrilled to announce that Seraph Films is launching its first ever short film script contest, where the winner will have his or her script produced by the Seraph Films team! We know there are a lot of screenplay contests out there, but in our experience an actual product and credits can do a lot more for a career than prize money or a call with a busy industry executive. That’s why we’re offering writers the chance to have their film made, from pre-production to the red carpet.

Our grand prize winner will have his or her script fully produced with a red carpet Hollywood premiere at Seraph Film’s Halloween Film Night in 2017! The film will be listed on IMDb and the winner will receive guaranteed writer credit on the project and will ultimately be available for worldwide viewership on Seraph Film’s YouTube channel alongside its other award-winning short films. We’re offering up to $10,000 in production financing depending on the script’s needs and merit. Please check out our Tips & Tricks Page for ideas on how to make sure your script is production-friendly!

Send us your scariest and most thrilling short scripts so that we can turn those words into a film that everyone can experience on the silver screen!

All applications will be narrowed down into quarter-finalists, semi-finalists, and then finalists. All semi-finalists will receive a paragraph or two of script notes, all finalists will receive a phone or Skype consultation with Seraph’s development team, and the grand prize winner will have his or her project made! Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter pages so you can see if your script has advanced!



Prices and Deadlines

Early Deadline – Nov 1st, 2016 – $30 / $25 Student*

Regular Deadline – Dec 15th, 2016 – $35 / $30 Student*

Late Deadline – Jan 15th, 2017 – $45 / $35 Student*

Last Chance Deadline – Jan 31st, 2017 – $55 / $45 Student*

*Please note, student pricing is available when you enter your script via Film Freeway and supply proof of enrollment.

Terms Summary

Short film script submissions are required to be between 1 and 20 pages in length and within the horror or thriller genres. Scripts can have comedic elements, but purely comedic projects are less likely to win. The winner will be selected based on screenwriting craft, originality, and the feasibility of the production. The project’s budget is not to exceed $10,000, so it’s recommended to ensure that production elements aren’t too costly. The Seraph Films team reserves the right to perform minor adjustments to the script to accommodate production needs. Upon commencement of pre-production, the film will be the property of Seraph Films, L.L.C. All scripts must be written in English, although dialogue in foreign languages is permitted if accurate subtitles are provided. Writers may submit more than one project, but they will need to do so separately. Additional projects by the same writer(s) will be judged independently. Projects must be submitted as .pdf or Microsoft Word documents no larger than 1MB. The material included in the script must be owned by the writer(s) unless that material is in the public domain. The final, produced project will be guaranteed a red carpet premiere at Seraph’s Halloween Film Night in Hollywood, but submissions to film festivals are not guaranteed. Casting, the location of filming, and post-production services, and other production-related decisions will be at Seraph’s sole discretion.

Application Guidelines

  • Applications are accepted via electronic submission only and must be in English.  Foreign languages may be contained in the script, but a translation of such language should be indicated within the script to allow the reviewer to understand your meaning.
  • Submissions should be in the short horror or short thriller genres, between one to twenty pages) in proper screenplay format.
  • You can submit more than one project, but each submission should be made separately and will be analyzed as a distinct project.
  • Applications must be received on or before the deadlines and application fee payment must be received in full at time of the submission.
  • All fees are non-refundable.
  • All submitted material must be original, and all rights must be wholly owned by the author(s).
  • Material must be submitted by the author or owner of such material.  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.
  • Substitutions of either corrected pages or new drafts of the entered material are not allowed. Please proofread your script very carefully before submitting.
  • Your contact info should be included on the cover page of the screenplay.
  • The finalists, including one chosen for production, will be announced and notified on or before March 31st.


  • We welcome international applicants. All persons from anywhere in the world are eligible; however, the material submitted must be in English, except when they specifically incorporate a foreign-language scene.
  • If an applicant is younger than 18 years old, a parent or guardian may submit the application; otherwise, submissions will not be accepted from persons under the age of 18 years.
  • Materials may be submitted to other competitions without prejudice.
  • Material should be submitted in a standard screenplay format, font, spacing and margin.  See to learn proper formatting techniques.  Failure to conform your material to this format is strongly discouraged.
  • Title page content: Title or piece.  Name of writer.  Contact information for submitter, including name, address, telephone, and email address.
  • 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 Microsoft Word document no larger than 1MB or it will not be eligible.

The top submissions will be chosen on or about March 31st, 2017, based on the following criteria: (i) originality; (ii) story structure; (iii) characterization; (iv) feasibility of production; (v) overall viability for world-class film festivals and/or online distribution; (vi) compliance with the rules hereof. The winners and finalists may be contacted by Seraph.  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 Seraph Films, LLC.  The selected winner(s) will be notified by e-mail on or before March 31st, 2017.  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 identity  and any other documents that Seraph may require.  Failure to respond to the initial notification within ten (10) days or return of notification may result in disqualification. We reserve the right to amend these rules at any time and without notice.  You should check them periodically.

Seraph reserves the right to cancel the contest due to insufficient interest. If Seraph exercises this right, all entrants will be reimbursed the full cost of their entry fee.

Copyright and Ownership for Winning Entrants

Seraph Films, LLC will retain ownership of the resulting film, and in order for production to commence, the winning writer(s) will need to sell the rights to their script to Seraph for a fee of fifty (50) dollars. Writer credit will remain with the author, while director and producer credit will be given to Seraph’s team unless otherwise agreed. Should your project win, you are not obligated to allow Seraph to produce it until and unless other agreements are made, satisfactory to both parties.


Except where prohibited by law, participation in this program constitutes each entrant’s consent to Seraph and its agents’ and any sponsors’ use of entrants’ names, likenesses, photographs, and/or personal information for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration.

Entry Conditions and Release

By applying, each participant agrees to release and hold harmless Seraph Films, LLC, its subsidiaries, parents and affiliated companies, contributors, Sponsors, and any other organizations responsible for administering, advertising or promoting this Program, 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 herein 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 indemnify, defend and hold harmless all related parties, 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 Program.  Employees of Seraph and their immediate families are ineligible to participate in this contest. Any such submission will be immediately disqualified. This contest is void where restricted by any Federal, State or Local law. Recipients’ eligibility must be verified before any award is made, and the winner may be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility.