The second edition of The Script Contest

The Script Contest, the one and only scriptwriting competition for short stories has reached its second edition. Entries are open between 15th November 2017 – 10th January 2018. Below, you can find all the details about the second edition and some info about the first edition, including an interview with the winners.

The Script Contest is the first and only scriptwriting competition for short stories in Romania and it is organized by ADFR. Since 2016, we work to discover and award talented and creative people, with a passion for film. Because TSC aims to develop the Romanian screenwriter’s community, the contest is open for anyone living in Romania, aged over 18, with a passion for screenwriting and film.

The first edition of The Script Contest took place last year and proposed two film genres: comedies and thrillers. The jury members were: Ana Ularu (actress), Iulia Rugină (director), Florin Lăzărescu (screenwriter), Massimiliano Nardulli (curator) and Laura Mușat (producer). We received 51 scripts from 45 participants.

The winners were Vlad Ghinea (‘Thirst’, thriller) and Iulia D. Popa (‘Rest in peace’, comedy). Both received 500€ and the production of his/her story into a short film.

The 2nd edition brings new rules, a theme – Portraits of a disappearing world’  – and three main genres: short doc, drama, comedy and a participant can submit one script only. There will be the same prize as last year, which consists in a 500€ check and the production of the awarded script with the help of our friends from Castalia Pictures and FILM+. However, this year will have only one winner.

Because we want you to rest assured that your scripts are in the right hands, we prepared for you a short interview with last year’s winners:

Vlad Ghinea, winner of the grand prize (thriller genre)

Tell us a bit about the script that made you a winner at the 1st edition of The Script Contest.

The script I wrote and won is called Thirst and I see it as an allegory on depression within the Romanian rural areas. On St. Andrew’s day,  Safta’s past comes back to hunt her, when a young boy that she aborted eight years ago comes to her asking for his baptism. After several encounters with the boy’s ghosts, she feels obliged to reveal the secret to her mother and embrace her destiny.

What are your future plans with this short film?

Before applying to TSC, I would have said finding a producer who would believe as much as I do in this story. Now, after not only applying but also winning, my plans are more pragmatic: edit the film and let it be seen.

Why do you think the local film industry needs contests like these?

For me, The Script Contest was the missing piece that I needed to see this script turn into a film. It became a real chance and a good alternative for the “so-wanted” state’s funds offered by the National Centre of Cinematography. And it gave me the chance to open the drawer, get my story out and send it to someone who actually read it. I think The Script Contest gives you the amazing possibility to see your film produced asking for only one thing in return: a good script.

Iulia D. Popa, winner of a screenwriting workshop, followed by the production of her comedy script

Tell us a bit about the script that made you a winner and about your experience at The Script Contest.

When I was around 17, I used to walk often beside an undertaking services shop and I started asking what could those people be doing there for a whole day. That’s when I wrote the story that the script is based on. A script that tells a story of two guys who work in an undertaking services job and one day, they wake up with an unidentified dead body in their store and have no idea what to do with it. When I applied for The Script Contest, I had no idea how to write a script – I applied pushed by a friend, and I was so glad to notice the jury appreciated my story even though the writing wasn’t that good. The contest offered me a workshop to improve my story and screenwriting skills.

Why do you think the local film industry needs contests like these?

I have learned the tricks of the trade working with professionals – screenwriters, directors, producers, that shared with me their experiences, their artistic vision and helped me improve my idea with feedback. From a theoretical point of view, I developed new writing skills through TSC’s workshop, which made me analyze more the movies I watch. Moreover, I started teaching scriptwriting classes to children. Practically, I tend to have now a much more cinematic style when I write and I have learned what it means to compromise, to listen to other’s opinion and how to accept people’s critics. I have written over ten drafts for this script during the workshop and learned along the way to see my story from an objective point of view. I have seen my script turned from an idea into something I could have never imagined.

Contests like “The Script Contest”, that promote young and unnamed artists are a necessity, especially in the film business where everyone knows everyone. I believe there are many of us out there who could bring a fresh perspective, a different but unique approach. The fact that TSC not only promotes, but it also offers as a prize the production of the winning scripts it’s amazing and can be seen as a real possibility to launch your career in the industry.

You can find further information on our website and on our Facebook page.  The jury members will be announced soon.

For entries, you can send your scripts to starting November 15th.

Jury’s tip for writers: “Be creative but don’t dream too far away from home”.

an article by Romina Banu

English translation by Andreea Andrei


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