When are the results announced?
Assessing all the submissions involves several rounds. Our approximate judging schedule is as follows:
- Mid-May - Quarterfinalists Announced
- Mid-June - Semifinalists Announced
Mid-July - Finalists Announced
- Mid-August - Winner(s) Announced
Who are the judges?
CineStory judges are comprised of mentors and staff, all of whom are industry professionals with years of experience in script reading. Scripts are assigned at random but are never judged by the same person in more than one round.
Each judge is given clear guidelines and scripts are assessed in several areas, including: originality of voice, script craft, character development and story development.
After the Top 50 are selected, all scripts are assessed by more than one reader per round. Finalists are assessed by a group of finals judges who gather over dinner to discuss each finalist script and award prizes.
How will I be notified?
CineStory notifies winners only. However, we will also make announcements on www.cinestory.org and in our e-newsletters. All entrants are automatically added to our mailing list, but if you wish to be certain that you will receive notifications email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
What if I'm invited to the Retreat? When is it and how do I make arrangements?
By mid-June the 25 invitees will be notified, allowing time for travel plans. The Retreat is generally held at the end of October in the town of Idyllwild, California. Idyllwild is located two and a half hours' drive from Los Angeles.
CineStory staff will guide all writers through accommodation options closer to the retreat. Travel to and from airports at LAX, Ontario etc. will also be coordinated by CineStory staff.
What if I'm in the Top 50? Is there any way I can come to the Retreat?
Often at least one or two of the semifinalists can't make it to the retreat. When this happens we offer up remaining places to top quarterfinalists on a first come, first served basis.
Why require a 'clean' title page?
A 'clean' cover page is one that includes only the title on the cover, no author's name, contact information etc. We ask for clean cover pages to ensure that the judging process is completely impartial.
What about card stock covers? Two brads or three?
For hardcopy submissions, we recommend a plain white or cream card stock cover to ensure that the body of the script is protected over multiple readings. The title can appear on the card stock cover or can be included inside the cover.
Two brads are also recommended. But as long as your script is written in English and follows basic script format it will be fine.
Questions on CineStory’s Retreat
How do I get an invitation to the Retreat?
Invitations to the Retreat are extended to the Top 25 writers who have submitted scripts to CineStory.
Does the Retreat cost money? Why?
Yes. CineStory is always looking for new sponsors and ways to reduce retreat fees for the writers but unfortunately, as a small nonprofit, fees are necessary to cover the basic running costs of the Retreat. However, payment plans are available.
How are mentors selected for the retreat?
CineStory mentors are all working Hollywood professionals. Each retreat brings a mix of executives, pro writers, directors, agents, managers and producers together.