Grants

Script to Screen Grant Program

$10,000 to make your film. √
Massive production and outreach support from our filmmaking collective. √
Valuable in-kind donations √
An Executive Producer √
[Even if you don’t win, every submission gets feedback from our panel of professional screenwriters.]

This project was supported by a grant provided by the Creative Opportunity Program and Oregon Film, and a partnership with Funnelbox.

 

Submit Your Script

1

You must be a current member of the Catalyst Film Collective to submit a script.
Become A Member

2

By submitting, you are committing to a Catalyst Film Collective co-production. Catalyst Film Collective will serve as the Executive Producer. **Be sure to review the guidelines and fine print below before submitting.**
Submit Script Here

 

2024 Dates & Deadlines

Spring 2024 competition opening soon (dates below subject to change)!

February 3 :: Competition Opens
March 31 (midnight) :: Final Deadline to Submit Your Script
April 21 :: Top Three Finalists Announced
April 28 :: Live Pitch Party for Top Three Scripts & In Person Voting
May 2 :: Final Deadline for CFC Members to Vote Online
May 4 :: Winner Announced

This Year’s Panel

 

Barri Chase

Court Ross

David Poulshock

Dawn Sellers

Elyse Taylor Liburd

Eva Moss

G. Chesler

Ifanyi Bell

Luann Algoso

Mary Andonian

Nisha Burton

Suzanne Riley

Fine Print

Content must align with our mission.
10 pages or less (if you submit a script longer than 10 pages, judges may only read the first 10).
No more than seven speaking roles.
Maximum two locations.
Limit to two-day shoot.
Produce-ability on a shoestring budget will be taken into account.
While all applicants are welcome, there is a special emphasis on people from marginalized populations.

Catalyst Film Collective does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices based on race, ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, pregnancy or childbirth, disability, age, religion, creed, genetic information, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law. We encourage and respect different viewpoints and experiences as being essential to the process of innovation. We strive to acquire, grow, and maintain a diverse and inclusive workforce that applies principles and standards equitably while supporting the needs and accommodations of individuals.

Production Guidelines
Sample Budget

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How much experience in film do I need?

Winners of this grant have spanned the entire spectrum of film experience. We have had winners who have never stepped foot on a set before; people who have experience in certain departments, but have never directed before; very experienced directors who have made many films before; and everything in between. If you want to direct and have no experience directing, we will help with some training before production starts, and can help find a mentor or co-director if needed.

Do I have to direct the film if I win?

No. We have had winners who wanted to be Director of Photographers, Script Supervisors, or simply shadow another position on set to learn more about how filmmaking works. You choose what role you would like to play and we help make it happen.

Can I make my film anywhere?

Nope. We are a Portland, OR based nonprofit. Our collective members live in Portland and the surrounding area. Our funding comes from local sources. Our mission is to impact the local film community here. Your film must be made in or within driving distance of Portland, Oregon. You can be based elsewhere. However, we require our top three screenwriters to pitch their project at our Pitch Party. And throughout pre-production and production we expect you to be available and locally-based for meetings, locations scouts, casting, etc. If you have no connection whatsoever to the Portland film community, it is unlikely your script will be chosen.

Does two locations mean two physical shooting locations, or would interior / exterior of the same shooting location count as two locations for the script?

If it involves a full company move, it counts as a new shooting location. If it is several rooms or locations within or surrounding the same address, it counts as one. This guideline could be flexible. It comes down to whether the script can be filmed realistically on a low budget two-day shoot.

How strict is the page limit for submissions?

Our 10-page limit is in place 1) for our panelists, who are reading many scripts, 2) because $10K total budget means paying crews pretty low rates, and we don’t want them to have to commit to many days of filming at those rates, and 3) to make sure the film will really get finished within a year. Our judges are told they can stop after 10 pages if the submissions are longer, but they can also choose to keep reading. If it is slightly longer than 10 pages, it will be fine. If it’s getting closer to 18 and beyond, the entire script will probably not be read, and it will not be competitive.

That said, scripts of course continue to be edited after winning, and sometimes they do get a bit longer in the rewriting process. The longest script we’ve ever produced was 14 pages (though when it won, it was only 7). You can always pull out an excerpt from a longer piece for submission.

Who holds the copyright for the film? If the film makes money, who gets it?

When you win Script to Screen, Catalyst Film Collective becomes an Executive Producer on the project. We retain the right to post the completed film on our website and channels, and to use any media created. For example, we may excerpt a portion of the film to use in organizational videos, or post bts photos or videos on our social channels.

But this is your film. If the film goes on to make money, that money goes to the writer (and their production team based on their agreement).

Will I be expected to fundraise beyond this grant?

Most of our filmmakers do additional fundraising beyond the grant from CFC so they can pay their crews more competitive rates, and so they have money for post-production. To stay within budget, often projects are filmed over a single weekend, though sometimes people do end up with a skeleton crew pick up day.

Who can be hired as crew?

We do not mandate certain people get hired for productions (and legally we cannot do so). What we do is set a high bar for diversity and equity goals, particularly in positions of power, and we do request that demographic information be collected and that every effort is made for the entire process to be in alignment with our mission. So that looks like fair and equitable hiring practices where jobs are posted publicly; and budget transparency, so department heads get paid the same flat project rate, assistants get paid the same, and interns get paid the same (there is a sample budget on our website). You and your producer will hire crew, create your budget, and set the rates. Being extremely intentional about equity is very important to make sure the onset atmosphere stays aligned with our mission, and that everyone feels safe, and supported.

How much is Catalyst involved throughout the process?

We trust you and your team to work out the details of it all, and generally we can be as involved or uninvolved as needed depending on the experience of the filmmaker. If there are certain roles you are having trouble filling, we can help. If you want to make requests for donations, and you think it would be better coming from us, we do that. If you need to find a producing partner that carries production insurance, we got you. If you don’t need help, and just want to send in a couple update reports about how it’s going, great! For casting, we have a casting agency that donates its services, however, if you choose to use them, they do require that actors get paid SAG minimum rates, so that can be more than low budget films can afford. If you do not choose to go that route, we can help with promoting casting calls, and where to post them.

Who should I use as application references if I have never worked on a set?

You can include any two professional references, and just make sure to say how you have worked together.

Past Winners

 

2023 :: Suzanne Riley | At Skyview Enterprises | Award: $7500
2020 :: Roberta Cumbiancchera | Navidad de Reserva | Award: $5600
2019 :: Court Ross | Again and Again | Award: $4000
2018 :: Laura Ohlson | New Beginnings | Award: $1300
2017:: Jen Elkington | Secret Bonsai | Award: $500
2016 :: Fall :: Erin Clark | Red Jam | Award: $150
2016 :: Spring :: Elisa Graybill | BEK | Award: $500
2015 :: Theora Moench | Big Pink | Award: $600

Our Films

Court Ross wins in 2019

Previous Judges

 

Cynthia Whitcomb

Jen Elkington

Kamryn Fall

Mike Gould

Nik Hassinger

Randall Jahnson

Sybren Hall