Calling all Alberta Peace Region screenwriters and filmmakers between the ages of 16 and 24! Announcing the Youth Screenwriter Mentorship Project and Screenplay Competition! Write a script, rewrite it, make a movie. This opportunity for youth is made possible with the support of Encana as the presenting sponsor of the Best Youth Screenplay Award, and funding from Alberta Human Services.

Submit your short screenplay (maximum 15 pages) in standard screenplay format by 7:00 pm on March 31, 2014 and you could be one of 15 writers chosen on the basis of writing ability and story potential to receive professional mentorship and feedback from award-winning filmmaker Scott Belyea.

Mentored writers will receive feedback from Scott in an email or Skype meeting and could receive follow-up feedback if a revised script is sent to Scott with sufficient time remaining before the final submission deadline of 7:00 pm on Sunday, May 4. By that deadline, writers must have submitted their revised and polished screenplays (maximum 15 pages) for the chance to win a $500 cash prize for writing the script and a $2,000 production package to make the film. Because the intent is to develop a script that can be made in the Peace Region, concept practicality will also be a determining factor. A script about aliens on the moon, no matter how brilliant, would not be chosen as one of the 15 screenplays to advance to the second round.

Gordie Haakstad will judge the final batch of entries and will also cast and direct a table-read of the winning screenplay at the screening of the Frantic 48 films on Sat, May 10. Bringing together the region’s screenwriters and filmmakers at this event will hopefully provide some great networking opportunities and future collaborations.

How much does it cost to enter this competition where you can receive professional mentorship and $2,500 in prizes? Thanks to Encana and Alberta Human Services, this opportunity for Peace Region youth is absolutely free. The only limitations are:

  1. geography – must live within the Peace Region of Alberta which, for our purposes, is defined as the northwest watershed of the Peace River encompassing an area as far south as Grande Cache and Fox Creek, as far north as High Level, as far west as the Alberta border, and bordered on the east by the highway between Fox Creek and High Level
  2. age – must be between 16 and 24 years old as of the submission deadline of March 31, 2014
  3. number of scripts that can be submitted – one
  4. length of screenplay – maximum 15 pages including cover page

Screenplays will be judged on 4 criteria:

  1. is it a good story
  2. is it well written
  3. is it memorable
  4. does it offer insight into an unfamiliar world or a fresh perspective on a familiar one

The Reel Shorts Film Festival is a production of Grande Prairie Live Theatre. By awarding this prize, Grande Prairie Live Theatre does not acquire any rights to the script nor to the short film. Copyright of the script is retained by the writer. By entering this competition, the writer grants permission to Grande Prairie Live Theatre to do a table-read performance of the script on May 10, 2014. The $500 cheque will be presented to the writer at that time, or mailed to the writer if not in attendance. The $2,000 production prize will be awarded after approval of a production budget and submission of expenses.

A Script Repository will be set up after the fest at Grande Prairie Live Theatre that will be accessible to PRIMAA members as a service to screenwriters and filmmakers in the Peace Region. Having your script in the Script Repository is completely optional. A written request will remove it.

Submission Rules

  1. The screenplay must be the original work of the writer. Neither the Festival nor its judges investigate or attest to the authenticity of a writer’s statement of authorship or rights.
  2. The screenplay must be formatted in standard screenwriting style. Consult any popular screenwriting text for assistance, or use a screenwriting software package such as Final Draft. Font size must be 12 point and in Courier type.
  3. Pages must be numbered in the top right-hand corner.
  4. The screenplay must be a maximum of 15 pages including cover page and be submitted as a PDF document by email to by 7:00 pm on Mon, March 31, 2014.
  5. If a writer is chosen as one of the 15 to receive professional mentorship, the deadline to submit a revised script as a PDF document by email to is 7:00 pm on Sun, May 4, 2014
  6. The author’s name must not appear anywhere in the script in order to preserve anonymity in the judging process.
  7. The application form can be downloaded as a Word document here or as a pdf document here. Please fill it out and sign it, and submit a signed copy as an attached pdf to the same email as the screenplay, or fax it to (780) 402-2783.