Which script is better, the tragic drama or the slapstick comedy? Is the frightening horror script better than the family story about a lost dog?

Screenplay festival has created categories for the various popular movie genres. It is not only more fair that a writer’s script competes within its own genre, but it is also far more useful for producers, directors, agents and managers interested in specific genres to be able to look at a particular category.

How do the Categories effect judging?

The categories do not come into play while the judges are reading the scripts. The judges have no idea what category or categories have been selected by the writer. They read them blind to category and give each script a 1 to 10 score. We then take the scores from all of the judges and average them, which becomes that script’s final score.

After we have all of the final scores, we do a sort of each category from highest to lowest final score. Therefore, the scripts are judged solely on their quality, and not how they fit anyone’s notion of a genre.

In other words, if a violent, R-rated horror script writer accidentally chose “Family” for a brilliantly written script, that script would end up at the top of the Family category. (If this happened, we may retroactively change the category. So far it has not.)

We do this because we want the judges to only consider the quality of the writing, while at the same time we do not want the non-Drama genres to be short changed.

What are the Categories?

For twelve years, Screenplay Festival only accepted movie scripts. After many requests from writers, we added four categories for television scripts. Here are the current categories for Screenplay Festival:

Feature film categories

  • Action/Adventure
  • Comedy
  • Drama
  • Thriller/Horror

Television Categories

  • Half Hour Script: Pilot or Spec
  • One Hour Script: Pilot or Spec

It is the writer’¬ís decision as to which category or categories to enter. Screenplays will only compete in the categories selected by their author.

If your script is written in a genre that you feel is not represented, please remember what we said above in the “How do the Categories effect judging?” section. The judges have no idea what category you have selected. They judge your script based solely on its quality. A Science Fiction or Animated or Erotic script entered into Action/Adventure or Comedy or Drama is not judged as a Drama or a Thriller; your script is judged based on its own merits and not how it fits someone’s preconceptions of a genre.