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Screenwriters Residency Program 2017

Screenwriters Residency Program 2017
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2017 Screenwriters Residency Program
Call for Entries
Now Open

The Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) is proud to announce the return of its popular Screenwriters Residency Program with  Aliv University Of GeorgiaCocoa Coffee HouseRomora Bay Resort & Marina and Source Management+Production

BIFF aims to connect auspicious writers with industry professionals in an intimate setting, allowing them to receive first hand knowledge as well as establish lasting relationships with field experts.

Six fortunate applicants will be extended the opportunity of attending a complimentary mentorship in Harbour Island, December 10- 13, 2017.
The Screenwriters Residency Program provides screenplay writers from around the world the opportunity to receive invaluable mentoring from industry professionals and compete for a cash prize for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners sponsored by Source Management+Production

"The Screenwriters Residency Program is not only an important component to BIFF but to the world and its flourishing filmmaking industry. The industry professionals that lend their time and expertise to BIFF on an island for four days, a program like this could not be  replicated anywhere in the world.  We are proud to have a forum to nurture the next generation of screenwriters." said Leslie Vanderpool, Founder & Executive Director (BIFF).


2016 Winners: 
1st Last Indian War, written by Michael Graf
2nd Man Behind The Boys, written by Eric Gross
3rd Nullify, written by Greg Johnson

Writers Testimonies

"What an incredibly magical and fantastical world BIFF has created for filmmakers and writers! Not a day has gone by since my return home that I have not lost myself in Harbour Island and the writer’s residency program BIFF has created. I can not thank BIFF enough for what has been provided. I think the week with you and the residency program was transformational on a fundamental level, one of those rare moments where you can roadmap a sharp pivot in your career. For that I am eternally grateful and humbled by your amazing gift. This is an amazing program, a truly unique program that other film festivals simply don’t have. How many screenwriters get a chance to be literally trapped on an island with A-List Producers, Managers, Writers and Directors? My biggest regret is that it doesn’t last longer! Harbor Island is Shangra La for screenwriters!: I really like the fact that the mentors come from different industry disciplines. The notes from the producer are very different than the notes from the screenwriter or the notes from the director. I think it’s a good “real world” experience for the writer to get notes from different collaborators." Michael Graf, writer of Last Indian War

"It was such an immensely enjoyable experience, both personally and professionally and I’m excited to rewrite my script based on the feedback I received. 
I really appreciate being invited." Eric Gross, writer of Man Behind The Boys


"The Screenwriters Residency Program represents exactly the kind of program Caribbean screenwriters need to flourish." Claire Ince writer of Bazodee

Residency Mentors over the years:

Roger Corman: Death Race 2000, Scream 3, and The Fantastic Four
Ted Hope: 21 Grams, American Splendor, Happiness, In The Bedroom
Kurt Wimmer: Total Recall, Point Break, Equilibrium, Salt
Jib Polhemus: The Expendables 2, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The Mechanic, Wild Card
Nate Kohn: Professor The University of Georgia, Associate Director The George Foster Peabody Awards
Jane Schoettle: International Programmer and Producer
Malcolm Lee: The Best Man, Roll Bounce, Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, and Soul Men
Ben Berenholtz: Founder of The Elgin Cinema, distributor and Producer 
Vince Gerardis: HBO Games Of Thrones
Christine Swason: Award Winning filmmaker: For The Love Of Ruth; To Hell and Back
Susan Batten: Award winning writer "Showing Roots" and Actress
Scott Budnick: Producer (The Hangover)
Andrew Trapani: The Haunting in Connecticut
Tom Heller: Precious and 127 Hours
Sean Covel: Napoleon Dynamite, Beneath, Cafe


Screenwriting Residency Program Deadline
June 22nd 2017

Application Fee
$150 USD   

Please put your name and title of the script as reference.


Attendees must be available during December 10th - 13th to participate.
All entry fees and deposits are non-refundable.
All submitted material must be original, and all rights must be wholly owned by the writer(s).
Material must be submitted by the writer. Material written by writing teams must be submitted by one of the writers, with consent of the other(s).  All writers must be credited on title page.
If a writing team is chosen, the attendance will be granted to one writer.
Substitutions of either corrected pages or new drafts of the entered material are not allowed. Please proofread your script very carefully before submitting.
It is recommended that original material be registered with the WGA or The Library of Congress before submitting to any competition, however we do not require registration.
Contact info may be included on the cover page of the screenplay, however, it is not required.
All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remains with the original holder’s rights.

After we announce our Six (6) winners in October, we will accept applications for six additional screenwriters to join us for the full price of tuition: $1,500. If you are selected, a non-refundable deposit of $500 will be required to reserve your spot.


All writers must be at least 18 years of age.
All persons from all countries are eligible; the material submitted must be in English.
All material submitted to other competitions or contests are eligible for this contest.
There are no requirements as to when the material was written.
Screenplay must be owned and submitted by the writer.
Material should be submitted in standard screenplay format, font, spacing and margin.
Adaptations are ineligible unless rights are owned by writer or work is in public domain.
Feature screenplays must be no more than 150 pages
All material must be submitted electronically as a PDF or it will not be eligible.
Failure to respond to the initial notification within ten (10) days or return of notification will result in disqualification. We reserve the right to amend these rules at any time.



The Bahamas International Film Festival or any other partner, employee or agent associated with this contest claims no ownership nor first right of option to any original screenplay submitted to this contest. All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remains with the original rights holders until and unless other agreements are made.


Except where prohibited by law, participation in the contest constitutes each entrant’s consent to The Bahamas International Film Festival and its agents’ and contest sponsor’s use of entrants’ names, likenesses, photographs, and/or personal information for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration. All uses of a entrants’ information are in accordance with our Privacy Policy.



All entries are non-refundable.



By entering this contest, each participant agrees to release and hold harmless The Bahamas International Film Festival and affiliated companies, Prize contributors, Sponsors, and any other organizations responsible for administering, advertising or promoting the Contest and Promotion, and every one of their respective members, directors, employees, agents and representatives (collectively, the “Released Parties”) past and present from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liability, including but not limited to damages and negligence to property and persons, including but not limited to invasion of privacy, defamation, slander, libel, violation of right of publicity, copyright, infringement of trademark or other intellectual property rights relating to a participant’s Entry, participation in the Promotion and/or acceptance or use or misuse of Prize; provided however, that such release will not apply to any commercial exploitation of the script by a Released Party in violation of your rights under applicable copyright law; and (c) indemnify, defend and hold harmless The Bahamas International Film Festival and its Sponsor, agents and employees from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liabilities (including reasonable attorneys fees) relating to an entrant’s participation in the Contest and/or entrant’s use or misuse of Prize.

Since 2005, BIFF has aimed to connect auspicious writers with industry professionals in an intimate setting, allowing writers to receive first hand knowledge as well as establish lasting relationships with field experts. Four (4) fortunate applicants will be extended the incredible opportunity of attending a complimentary mentorship in The Bahamas this December 5- 8, 2016 in Harbour Island. 

BIFF is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization committed to providing the local community as well as international festival attendees with a diverse presentation of films from not only The Bahamas but also around the world. In addition to showcasing films that might not be available for conventional release, BIFF provides unique cultural experiences, educational programs, and forums for exploring the past, present & future of cinema.

Save The Date: 
December 10 - 13 (Harbour Island)
December 14 - 17 (Nassau)

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