India's Storytellers Contest


Please refer to the Submission Process for all details regarding the application submissions and eligibility criteria.
The deadline to submit your application is Jan 31st 2018.

  1. What materials are required for my application?

    You will need the following:

    • Writer or Team Biography(Upto 2 co-writers are eligible) (250 words): A short biography about who you/your team are. Please list any previous work details.
    • Title of your Story
    • Synopsis of Story (It should not be more than 2500 words): Please provide a complete story with a beginning, middle and end.
    • Registration: You will be required to upload the scanned registration form of your story/script (in pdf format). Please register with the Film Writers Guild of your respective country. For example, Screenwriters Association (formerly FWA) is advised for India (please visit for details).
  2. What do you mean by genre?

    Genre is a style or category that you must place your story into. This will help us when classifying the synopsis but will not, in a way, create bias towards one category over the other. You will have to select no more than 2 genres from the following list:

    Film Noir
    Historical Fiction
    Science Fiction

  3. How many stories can I apply with?

    You may submit as many stories as you'd like but please note that the application fees is INR 1500/-for every submission. You may not submit more than one story per submission. Please fill out separate application forms for each submission. When/if shortlisted for say, two stories you shall then need to send 2 Scripts.

  4. Can I submit a Script now?

    No. For now please only submit the materials listed under Question 1 above. We will ask you for a 'full script' only if you are shortlisted.

  5. How much is the application fee?

    This is a one-time non-refundable fee of Rs.1500 per application. You can pay via Paypal or CCAvenue.

  6. Should I have my industry contacts call with references?

    No. References are not required for this contest. Please do not attempt any personal communication with readers or jury members. This shall lead to disqualification without any further recourse.

  7. I have made ad films / short films/ documentaries. Am I eligible to apply?

    Yes. Anyone is eligible to apply as long as they believe they can write a script or story even if they haven’t made anything before. Please note stories or scripts found to be already attached to a production house or studio will be disqualified without prior acknowledgement.

  8. I am planning a regional language film and my script is in the same language. How do I apply?

    While your film can be in any Indian language, we can only accept an application in Roman English. So please make sure that you are not writing in Devanagari script.

  9. Can I submit an adaptation of a book / remake of a film to the Screenwriting Programme?

    No, since it's difficult for us to verify rights, no adapted material may be submitted. If found to be taken from a book/novel/existing material, the application will be disqualified.

  10. What is a video pitch?

    After shortlisting the final 20 scripts, the participants will have the option to submit a video pitch of their project. Video pitches are a visual presentation of your project for potential financiers.
    These will be uploaded onto and subjected to audience voting. The video pitch with the most amounts of votes will win 1 lakhs.

  11. Will Cinestaan Film Company produce my script?

    This is an initiative of Cinestaan Digital Pvt. Ltd. (CDPL) and not Cinestaan Film Company (CFC). Once you are part of the Cinestaan Script Bank and if your story is really good then, like any other production house, CFC too can access and discuss your script with you. CDPL and CFC are two separate entities.

  12. What is the 'Cinestaan Script Bank'?

    The Script Bank is an innovative initiative by CDPL to put your script synopsis in front of decision makers like studios/ production houses/producers who have subscribed to this service. If your synopsis is good enough, you will get a chance for your script to directly reach the eyes of decision makers in the industry.

For those of you who have already written a script, the questions below may seem naive. However for those who have a good story but do not know how to go about writing it, please refer to additional queries below:

  1. Can I drop off my submission at your office?

    No, the entire application process is online for your convenience. No physical submissions will be entertained.

  2. What if I exceed the word limit?

    Please try to bring your submission within the word limit because we will not accept any that are over.

  3. I have a great story in mind but I've never written a script, how do I write one?

    There are many options for script-writing software you can download, each of them come with basic instruction on how to write scripts:
    a. Paid software: Final Draft
    b. Free software: Celtx
    c. You can also use Word but please make sure to format carefully.

    We have uploaded a Sample Page for you to refer to when writing your script.

  4. What is the difference between synopsis and script?

    A synopsis is a brief overview of your script mostly without dialogue. A script is more detailed, usually around 120 pages and formatted as per industry norm.

  5. Should I add visual references /illustrations / mood board to my submission?

    These are not accepted in the application process and thus, you should keep them out altogether.

  6. How do I register my script?

    All participants must register their story with the Writers Guild from their respective country of residence prior to applying for the contest. In India, you may register with the Screenwriters Association (SWA), formerly known as the Film Writers Association If you are a U.S. Citizen, please register with the Writers Guild of America East or Writers Guild of America West If you are a U.K. citizen, please register with Writers' Guild of Great Britain Please locate your local guild and find the necessary steps for registering on their website.

  7. For people of Indian origin: only one of my grandparents is Indian, do I qualify?


  8. For people of Indian origin: one of my parents is Indian but I am not an Indian citizen, do I qualify?


  9. For people of Indian origin: I have a great story but it has nothing to do with India, does this qualify?

    Yes, as long as you are of Indian origin.

    For queries related to the application itself, please contact:

If these FAQs do not answer your queries please write to us. Please note we will NOT accept phone calls. Please note, that any attempt to make phone calls with contest holders will ultimately disqualify you from the contest.
We request you to respect our policy on this which has been made after years of experience in running Screenwriting labs. No amount of team members can suffice if applicants start calling on their queries.

We shall certainly respond back to you on the mail though. Thanks.