Did you know that J.K. Rowling told the story of a certain wizard named Harry Potter in 4224 pages? That’s all books combined, and it’s quite a fair amount, in all honesty. But this statistic shouldn’t put you off in case you’re entertaining the idea of writing a story of your own. It doesn’t need to be that long – not even close. Actually, here’s an idea: why not make it short instead? And while you’re at it, why not make it really short, as in extremely really short?
Quite a few people are prejudiced against short stories, whether they’re in the form of words on paper, or eagerly awaiting their transition to film format. Why? Because generally, people use fiction as a temporary escape from their own reality – it’s a journey that can take you virtually anywhere, all from the comfort of your own room. The ‘problem’ with short stories is that the temporariness of this escape is a lot less, well, temporary than in case of a bulky book or even a feature film. However, if you’ve seen a short film, or two, or three hundred and sixty eight, you’ll know that they can hold just as much substance as their lengthier relatives can, if not even more.
So then, here’s where I’m getting at. Take your favourite pen, a cup of good tea or coffee, and start writing an extra short screenplay! Go for one page, three or five. Did you manage to stay under five pages and still somehow managed to reserve a bit of space for ‘The End’? Fantastic! Now go for the three-step process: refine, refine and refine your idea. When you’re done with that, and find yourself quite happy with the final result, here are five screenplay festivals/competitions where you can submit your under five pages work!
The submission deadlines have already passed for this festival, but don’t despair, I’m sure you’ll get another chance next year! In less than a month, the best couple of screenplays stretching over a maximum amount of 3 pages shall be crowned the champions of this edition.
This US-based online film festival will consider your screenplay project as long as it doesn’t exceed 5 pages in length. Plus, you get full feedback on your work, as well as the chance to have it performed by professional actors, and subsequently uploaded on YouTube, for all the world to witness your creative genius! Definitely worth a shot!
Go ahead and hurry up if you want to take part in this one, since the submission process closes in little over a week. However, they simply require one page from you. How long could it take you to place your idea within one page? Sometimes quite a long time, actually, but don’t let that dissuade you! There’s no entry fee for this one, plus, you stand the chance to win £250, all while having your project turned into a short film! Go for it!
Exactly the same as before: one screenplay, one page, one minute film equivalent. This one takes place in New Jersey and presents its participants with plenty of fantastic networking opportunities. And, once again, make sure you hurry up, because the submission phase closes on 25 July.
The last festival on this list allows you to submit a screenplay three times as big as the previous two. That’s three pages in total. Can you tell a great story in 3 pages? You’ve got plenty of time for this one, since submissions close in late September. So here’s an idea: write one page per month, and by deadline time, you’ll have your script finished and ready for submission!
You can find the festival homepages by accessing the links above, or you can search for them directly on FilmFreeway and start submitting as soon as possible! Good luck!