John Singleton embRace LA Short Film Competition

The City of L.A. /Pan African Film Festival

INFO: Inspired by the legacy of the Los Angeles-born and legendary filmmaker, John Singleton, this short film competition is the result of a partnership between the City of Los Angeles and the Pan African Film & Arts Festival under the initiative of Los Angeles City Council President, Herb J. Wesson Jr.

As an extension of the City of Los Angeles’ embRACE L.A. initiative, this competition will deepen the program’s goal to engage a citywide conversation about race and racism while challenging and changing inequities. In honor of the cinematic achievements of John Singleton and his commitment to the South Los Angeles community, we celebrate his unapologetic approach to filmmaking that centralized Black characters in humanizing stories about the often-routine circumstances of individuals in society that were mostly ignored or exploited beyond the point of recognition.

It is our aim to encourage and ignite Black filmmakers who desire to continue that commitment in their creative approach by providing them with the financial resources to write, direct, and produce an original and innovative film that echoes the cultural contributions of Singleton’s cinematic catalogue.

AWARD: After a competitive process in which their screenplays are submitted, three filmmakers will be awarded $20,000 each for the production and completion of a live-action narrative short film of their winning screenplays.


DEADLINE: September 15, 2019



NBC Universal / Tribeca Film Institute / Governor Cuomo’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development

INFO: PitchNY aims to cultivate New York State’s homegrown talent by expanding pathways for aspiring creators, strengthen diverse voices and showcase diverse communities through film, TV and other creative content. For the fourth year in a row this workshop will allow undergraduate and recent graduate students from New York schools to learn from filmmakers, writers, directors, and producers. Participants are given opportunities to network with their peers, hear from panels of experts and practice pitching their creative ideas one-on-one with entertainment industry representatives. 

Over the past three years, Governor Cuomo’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development, the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts and NBCUniversal have hosted PitchNY, a workshop that provides aspiring filmmakers, producers and writers from across New York with resources and advice and facilitates connections with entertainment experts. PitchNY aims to cultivate New York State’s homegrown talent by expanding pathways for aspiring creators, strengthen diverse voices, and showcase diverse communities through film, TV, and other creative content. 

For the fourth installment of PitchNY, the Governor's Office of Motion Picture & Television Development and NBCUniversal will partner with Tribeca Film Institute as a local non-profit partner. Undergraduate and recent graduate students and aspiring filmmakers are invited to apply to participate in the two-day intensive workshop in NYC on November 7-8, 2019. PitchNY is focused on promoting diversity in the entertainment industry both by highlighting diverse content and increasing opportunity for content creators: filmmakers, producers, directors and writers. In previous years, themes of diversity reflected in participants’ work have included race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and more.

Students apply by filling out a brief, free application online and submitting creative concepts that they will pitch at the workshop. Selected students receive travel stipends for transportation and lodging. 

The event includes informational panel discussions with industry professionals and creative leaders sharing insights and guidance. In the afternoon, there is a “speed pitching” opportunity in which participants rotate tables and simulate real-life pitching situations, giving students the opportunity to share their stories and enhance their pitching skills. The purpose of these pitch meetings is professional development and educational feedback and not to sell or produce a specific project.

DEADLINE: September 16, 2019



The New Harmony Project 

INFO: The New Harmony Project is pleased to accept applications of un-produced stage play scripts, musicals, screenplays and teleplays. Our streamlined online process will facilitate you uploading your materials in only a few minutes.

What is The Project looking for in a script? We’re looking for scripts that sensitively and truthfully explore the positive aspects of life. If you’ve read our mission statement and you’re still not sure your work is right for the conference, you can gain a fuller sense of our aesthetic and philosophical interests by perusing our roster of writers and scripts that have recently found an artistic home at our conference. The New Harmony Project recognizes that we live in complex times, and we seek stories that honor a multiplicity of perspectives.

What does The Project provide? We provide a creative community and unparalleled level of artistic support. There is no cost to attend the spring conference, and all meals, travel and housing are covered. Additionally, we provide a modest stipend to participants.

Due to the volume of applications received, we will only accept ONE script per writer.

When you are ready to complete your application, simply click the button below to be taken to our online system powered by Submittable. Once items have been submitted, we, unfortunately, will not be able to accept updates or changes. 

If you have any questions, please email (please, no phone calls). We look forward to reading your work, and thank you for taking the time to share it with us. 

DEADLINE: October 1, 2019


New York Foundation for the Arts

INFO: The NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theatre provides grants to encourage and support the creation of digital, film, music, television, and live theatre content that reflects the voices and perspectives of all who identify as women.

The NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theatre is the latest in a groundbreaking series of initiatives by the City of New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) to address the underrepresentation of those who identify as women in film, music, television, and theatre. New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is proud to administer this Fund, which this year adds music as a category.

The program will provide:

  • Finishing grants for film, television, and digital projects

  • Funds for the creation of music recordings or videos

  • Production funds for live theatre

In addition to being made by, for, or about all who identify as women, projects are eligible if they feature a strong female perspective; and/or include a female-identified director and/or producer and/or writer/songwriter and/or engineer (for recordings) and/or female protagonist(s) or lead musical role. 

Grants will be given in the following categories (amounts listed are the maximum potential grant):

  • Fiction Feature (running time of 60 minutes or more) - $50,000

  • Fiction Short (running time of 59 minutes or less) - $25,000

  • Fiction Webisode/Webseries (all forms) - $20,000

  • Documentary Feature (running time of 60 minutes or more) - 50,000

  • Documentary Short (running time of 59 minutes or less) - $25,000

  • Documentary Webisodes/Webseries (all lengths and forms) - $20,000

  • Music: Classical/Experimental/Jazz/New Music - $20,000

  • Music General - $20,000

  • Theatre Production - grant amounts up to $50,000

In 2019, finishing funds in the combined amount of $1.5 million were awarded to 63 film, TV, theatre, and digital media projects made by creatives who identify as women.

This is the second round of a $5 million, three-year program made possible through the City of New York Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME). The NYC Women's Fund for Media, Music and Theatre will be available for one additional award cycle opening in Summer 2020 (for 2021).

DEADLINE: October 1, 2019


Millay Colony for the Arts

INFO: Each year Millay Colony for the Arts invites up to 62 individuals (including writers, poets, playwrights, screenwriters and visual artists) for residencies through the colony's application process.  

Residency sessions are held each month from April through November, usually lasting around 3 1/2 weeks, with 2 twelve-day sessions also available in June & September. In each discipline, decisions are made by juries of artists, critics and academics.

Your work is presented anonymously to the jury and is considered solely on the merit of your artist statement and work sample. Please keep these factors in mind as you prepare your application. It is very important that you do not include your name anywhere on your artist statement or work samples as you may be disqualified if they are within the body of work shown to the jurors.  Your application will instead be assigned a number by the administration.

DEADLINE: October 1, 2019 (Midnight, EST). This deadline is for the following year of April, May, June & July residency sessions.


Universal Pictures / Focus Features

INFO: Applicants must be authorized to work legally in the United States and be at least twenty-one (21) years of age as of March 31, 2020.  Entertainment industry experience is not required but strongly recommended.  We encourage those applying to review the FAQs carefully as they are designed to guide applicants towards a strong submission.

Those applying must submit a complete application package, which includes the following items:

  1. APPLICATION must be completed in its entirety. Incomplete applications will be disqualified.

  2. ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY* with wide audience appeal that best reflects the writer’s distinct voice and cultural perspective. Submitted screenplays must: (1) Follow a three-act structure; (2) be between 90-120 pages in length; and (3) have a clear beginning, middle and end. Any scripts less than 90 pages or exceeding 120 pages will be disqualified. Scripts must be registered with the WGA prior to submission, and the applicant must be the sole writer and owner of all original material submitted. We are not able to accept screenplays written by multiple writers.

  3. ORIGINAL TREATMENT* that is not based on the submitted original screenplay. Submitted treatments that are the basis for the submitted original screenplay will be disqualified. Submitted treatments must include the following elements and adhere to these formatting guidelines: (1) Title (2) WGA Registration Number (3) Logline (4) Brief key character descriptions (5) Three-act structure (6) Must not exceed five/5 pages (7) 1.5-inch line spacing (8) 1-inch margins all around (9) nothing smaller than an 11 font-size. Treatments that do not include such elements or that deviate from the above formatting guidelines will be disqualified.

Because all reads are blind, only provide the title and the WGA registration on the title page of the screenplay and treatment. 

Both the original screenplay and the original treatment can be in the following genres: action, adult comedy, drama, family, grounded sci-fi/horror.  However, if selected for the Program writers may be assigned to write content that tonally matches the slates of UFEG’s various divisions including but not limited to Universal Pictures, and Focus Features.   Additionally, material that is a hybrid of animation and live-action will be accepted, provided that the material is predominantly live action with only minimal animation.

*Although Universal Pictures and Focus Features have released films based on true stories, real people and/or pre-existing intellectual property, for the purposes of applying to this Program, submissions must be wholly original and fictional.  Adaptations, biopics and screenplays based on real people, underlying materials or other pre-existing content are not eligible. (Please refer to the FAQs for more information.)

  1. RELEASE FORMS must be completed, signed, dated and uploaded in order for submissions to be accepted. Incomplete release forms will result in disqualification. Release form can be downloaded here

  2. RÉSUMÉ outlining chronological paid employment history (may include entertainment and non-entertainment positions) and any writing-related honors/awards. Positions must have been held within the past 15 years (two pages or less). Only list compensated positions with the exception of entertainment industry internships and full-time volunteer work at non-profits. If listing writing projects, only include projects that were produced. The applicant’s résumé will provide us an understanding of his or her work history and insight into his or her individual life experiences.

  3. PERSONAL ESSAY that articulates the applicant’s unique perspective and background as it relates to their storytelling. Must not exceed 750 words. Essay Topic: Explain how your cultural background and life experiences contribute to your writing.

  4. LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION (Optional) from entertainment industry professionals who have read the applicant’s material and can comment on the applicant’s writing ability are strongly encouraged, but not required. Acceptable letters must be on business or personal letterhead, dated in the current calendar year and include the author’s title and/or industry affiliation. No more than two letters per application will be accepted. Letters must accompany the submission and may not be submitted separately via email or mail. Any recommendation letters emailed or mailed to the Program separate from the writer’s application will disqualify the application.


  • Applicant must be authorized to work legally in the United States. This position is not eligible for visa sponsorship.

  • Minimum age of 21 as of March 31, 2020.

  • Applicant must be the sole writer and owner of any material submitted, which must be wholly original. Adaptations, biopics and screenplays based on real people or pre-existing materials are not eligible. Material written by more than one writer will not be accepted.

DEADLINE: October 1, 2019