India's Storytellers Contest
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Please refer to the Submission Process for all details regarding the application submissions and eligibility criteria.
The deadline to submit your application is 12th February 2019.

  1. What materials are required for my application?

    You will need the following:

    • Writer or Team Biography (Up to 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 (Maximum 2500 words): Please provide a complete story with a beginning, middle and end.
    • Registration Certificate: 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 http://swaindia.org/ for details). Please do note that an applicant needs to be a prior member of Screenwriters association to register his/her work. You can also opt for other registering bodies like Copyright office of India or any equivalent association of the country of your residence.
  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:

    Action
    Adventure
    Animation
    Comedy
    Crime
    Drama
    Family
    Fantasy
    Film Noir
    Historical Fiction
    Horror
    Musical
    Mystery
    Romance
    Science Fiction
    Sports
    Thriller/Suspense/Espionage
    War
    Western
    Other

  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/Screenplays.

  4. Can I submit a Script/Screenplay 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 submission. You can pay via PayPal or CCAvenue.

  6. Can the application fee of the script contest be exempted in any circumstances?

    No. The above-mentioned fee is a one -time fee for the entire contest, per submission, and under no exceptions it will be exempted.

  7. How much membership fee I need to pay for registering my material with any association apart from the contest fee of INR 1500/-?

    Please refer to individual sites of any of such registering associations for their respective membership and registration fee (if any). EG: Screenwriters association (http://swaindia.org/membership.php).

  8. What is a Registration Certificate that I need to submit with the Synopsis/Script?

    A registration certificate is a proof that the written material is solely owned by the writer or the writing team. A receipt which is given to the writer for the amount paid for the registration process will not be considered as a valid certificate. Only after uploading a registration certificate, your submission will be recorded to our panel.

  9. How do I register my script?

    All participants must register their stories (and, scripts, later) with any registering authority, like either the copyright office in India, or the Screenwriters Association (SWA – www.swaindia.org) or the respective writers guild of your respective region or country. However, even as an NRI, you can become a member of SWA.

  10. I was a participant in the first edition of script contest (2017-2018) as well. Am I eligible for this year contest?

    Absolutely. We hope participation for the second time would make you more at ease as you know the drill. However, we do request you to please read all the guidelines carefully once again.

  11. I participated with my story title 'XYZ' in previous year of the script contest. Can I send the same story again?

    Well, yes, you may even submit the same story again. However, to stand a better chance, we hope that you will revise/tweak/strengthen/polish it.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. I am planning a regional language film and my screenplay 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 English, Roman Hindi and Devanagari script.
    E.g. 'Dravid always wanted a happy life for his kids'
    'Dravid hamesha se apne baccho ke liye ek acchi zindagi chahta tha'
    द्रविड़ हमेशा से अपने बच्चों के लिए एक अच्छी ज़िन्दगी चाहता था I

  15. Can I submit an adaptation of a book / remake of a film (either mine or someone else's) to the Script Contest?

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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 screenplay, the questions below may seem naive.
However, for those who have a good story but do not know to go about writing it, please refer to the 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 comes 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. For people of Indian origin: only one of my grandparents is Indian, do I qualify?

    Yes.

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

    Yes.

  8. 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: scqueries@cinestaan.com

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.