1st Annual New Voices in Animation Screenwriting Contest

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Anthony and I have done well in several screenwriting contests, but Stage 32 was the first to set us up with actual production companies and managers. That can’t be overstated.
Keith Strausbaugh Keith Strausbaugh

Contest Info

Walt Disney said, "Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive," and in our never-ending mission to support the imaginations of screenwriters all over the world, Stage 32 is excited to announce our inaugural New Voices in Animation Screenwriting Contest!

The Grand Prize Winner will be flown to Hollywood (travel permitting) to have private one-on-one meetings with some of the most prolific and talented Animation artists, writers, filmmakers, producers, and executives from top companies including DISNEY, PIXAR, MGM, WARNER BROS., NETFLIX, and more!

ALL Finalists will not only receive exposure to our incredible panel of judges and mentors, but they will also have their titles and loglines featured in the Stage 32's industry Look Book which will be sent to over 500 executives and professionals who work directly with Stage 32. If an executive requests your script or a meeting with you, we will facilitate!

 

There's just no telling how far you'll go!

 

Ever since a feisty little cat named Felix first made his debut on the silver screen over 100 years ago, animation has been delighting audiences across generations and all over the world. Whether the hero is an intrepid mouse, a foul-mouthed ogre, a space ranger, a spinach-munching sailor, or a beer-swilling Simpson, there is perhaps no greater form of escapism than animated features and TV series.

And now, thanks to the successes of instant classics like SHREK, TOY STORY, THE LEGO MOVIE and SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE, and daring TV satires such as RICK AND MORTY, BOJACK HORSEMAN, ARCHER, and BOB’S BURGERS, the wonderful world of animation is more exciting, diverse, and in demand than ever!

While the pandemic has been an obstacle for live action production, animation alone has remained quarantine-proof! Animation production has not slowed, and that is why studios, networks, financiers, and literary representatives are clamoring for scripts of all genres that can be animated! There has never been a more ideal time to write for animation than right now.

 

In our ongoing mission to discover new talent across the globe, Stage 32 is thrilled to announce our inaugural New Voices in Animation Screenwriting Contest for both Features and Television!

 


The Grand Prize Winner will meet with an all star panel of industry judges & mentors:

  • Lorien McKenna, Pixar Story Manager/Writer (Credits include UP, BRAVE, INSIDE OUT, THE GOOD DINOSAUR)

 

  • Daniel Gonzalez, Animator, The Walt Disney Company (Credits include MOANA, Oscar-winning ZOOTOPIA, Oscar-winning TOY STORY 3, Oscar-winning FROZEN, BIG HERO 6, WRECK IT RALPH)

 

  • Conrad Vernon, Writer/Director (Credits include THE ADDAMS FAMILY, SAUSAGE PARTY, SHREK)

 

  • Mike Disa, Writer/Director (Credits include PARADISE PD, HOODWINKED TOO, MULAN, POCAHONTAS)

 

  • Aaron Daniel Jacob, Script Coordinator - Bento Box Entertainment (Credits include PARADISE PD on Netflix, DUNCANVILLE at Fox, HOOPS for Netflix, BOB'S BURGERS)

 

  • Jonny Perl, Associate Producer - Cinemation Studios (Credits include: BLAZING SAMURAI)

 

  • Daniel Kendrick, Literary Manager - Chatrone (Client Credits include THE BOOK OF LIFE for Fox, Emmy-winning ROBOT CHICKEN, Emmy-winning SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES)

 

  • Donald H. Hewitt, Animation Screenwriter (Credits include Oscar-winning SPIRITED AWAY, THE CAT RETURNS)

 

If you are a Finalist you still get massive exposure to decision makers!

ALL FINALISTS will be in a Stage 32 Look Book which includes their script title, logline & bio mailed to over 500 industry executives including, managers, agents, producers, development executives, and financiers! Stage 32 Look Books are respected throughout the industry and have helped secure dozens meetings and which have led to writer success with companies like Verve, Good Fear, 3 Arts, APA, Echo Lake, Amazon, UTA, CAA, WME, First Friday, Pathfinder, The Cartel, Art/Work and many, many more.


Who's Judging?

We have an incredible panel of judges and industry mentors who specialize in animation and have contributed to prolific projects from companies including The Walt Disney Company, Pixar, Cinemation Studios, MGM, Warner Bros., Bento Box Animation Studios, Netflix, and Chatrone Management!

Every judge in this esteemed group is at the top of their craft, and they are actively looking to support and champion the voices of new writers and new animated material!


Stage 32 Gets Results!

Stage 32 screenwriting and television writing competitions have springboarded over TWO DOZEN screenwriting careers! All of these writers have either been signed, optioned, or are now working screenwriters in the industry.

Some highlights from Stage 32 contest winners and finalists in the last 12 months alone include:

  • Martin Reese - landed at $5,000 option agreement and eligibility for $100,000 in production financing after having his script selected in the Microbudget Horror Script Competition.
  • Eric Jeske - was signed by literary managers Krista Sipp and Devon Byers of First Friday Entertainment after being set up on a meeting by Stage 32!
  • Greg Mania - was signed by Laina Cohn and Jon Taub of Cohn/Torgan Management after being set up on a meeting by Stage 32!
  • Christina Pamies - was signed by prolific spec script selling manager Jake Wagner of Alibi Entertainment after being set up on a meeting by Stage 32! She was hired to write the horror Thriller BAGHEAD for StudioCanal (see the announcement on Deadline here)!
  • Christine Torres - signed with prolific manager and producer Brooklyn Weaver of Energy Entertainment after being set up on a meeting by Stage 32!
  • See dozens of success stories below under "Our Track Record"

 


What Are We Looking For?

Remember that Animation is a format not a genre, so whether you have a whimsical feature ready to tickle audiences of all ages, a darkly clever pilot that dares to make the kind of commentary that only animated series can, or a concept that will dazzle the eye and awaken young minds, this is your time to shine! Our mission at Stage 32 is to amplify your unique voice, give you unprecedented industry access and launch your writing career to the next level.

 

What Types Of Scripts Can I Enter?

We’re looking for any and all original screenplays and teleplays.

Feature Length Screenplays:

All genres of feature film screenplays are welcome.

Teleplays:

All genres of 30-min Original Pilots. Please no spec scripts based on existing shows.

 


Feedback Option

For an additional fee of only $49 you can receive full coverage from our industry readers on your screenplay or teleplay. Just check "coverage" upon checkout. Coverage will be sent out after the winners are announced.

"I found Stage 32’s contest coverage far better than some other services I have used in the past, where I felt almost assaulted. Please thank him or her for a well-done job. It was my first try with Stage 32 but it will not be my last." - Bob C.

"Stage 32 contest coverage is even better than some of the industry coverage I received. Thank you for these invaluable notes!" - E. Robinson

"The insight from my coverage from the Stage 32 contest helped me improve my script's dimension exponentially. I had looked at the script so much that I can't believe I missed a major plot point. Thank you!!" - S. Persons

 

Unprecedented access. Greater opportunities.

Better exposure. More reads.

Real success!

Contest Prizes

The Grand Prize Winner

The Grand Prize Winner will be flown to Hollywood (travel permitting) and sent on private one-on-one meetings with the panel of industry mentors from:

  • Pixar
  • Walt Disney Animation Studios
  • MGM
  • Warner Bros. Animation
  • Netflix
  • Chatrone
  • Bento Box Animation Studios
  • Cinemation

In addition, Stage 32's executive team will send your screenplay title, logline, writer bio & script synopsis to over 500 development executives, producers, managers & agents who work with Stage 32. If an executive requests the script or a meeting, we will facilitate the delivery.

 

If you make the top 10, you still get massive exposure to decision makers!

ALL FINALISTS will be in a Stage 32 Look Book which includes their script title, logline & bio mailed to over 500 industry executives including, managers, agents, producers, development executives, and financiers! Stage 32 Look Books are some of the most sought after talent resources for the industry and have helped secure meetings with places like Verve, Good Fear, 3 Arts, APA, Echo Lake, Amazon, UTA, CAA, WME, First Friday, Pathfinder, The Cartel, Art/Work and many, many more.

 

Our Track Record

Stage 32’s contests have gained a reputation as one of the “most worthwhile contests to change your career.” No other contest provides their winners and finalists with the same level of direct access to industry leading professionals who can take your career to the next level! Stage 32 has become an incubator for finding talent and material across the globe.

  • The Eye of Owuo, written by Stage 32 Member Martin Reese received a $5,000 option and eligible for $100,000 in production financing with Trick Candle Productions and Glass House Distribution. 
  • Eric Jeske - signed with Krista Sipp & Devon Byers from First Friday Entertainment and is currently in the middle of negotiating an option for his winning project with a major international producer!
  • Christina Pamies - signed with Jake Wagner of Alibi Entertainment. Hired for writing assignment by StudioCanal.
  • Christine Torres - signed with manager and producer Brooklyn Weaver of Energy Entertainment.
  • Greg Mania - signed with manager Laina Cohn of Cohn/Torgan Management.
  • Jonathan Jordan - signed with Verve Talent & Literary Agency and manager Byron Austen Ashley.
  • Duane Piedmont - signed with Kaplan-Stahler Agency and Heroes And Villains Entertainment.
  • Brittni Brown and Jenna Palermo - signed with Infinity Management International.
  • Benji Smith - signed with Meridian Artists.
  • Trish MacEnulty - attached producer Gavin Dorman to her script.
  • Scott Waldvogel and Matt DeMartini - signed with Gotham Group and APA.
  • Frank Ponce - signed with 3 Arts Entertainment and Atlas Entertainment.
  • Glenn Forbes - signed with Infinity Management International and optioned by Glider Films.
  • Richard Hobley - signed with Paradigm and Goldcrest Films International.
  • 10-31, a horror film that will be produced by renowned director Eli Roth, Roger Birnbaum and Orion Pictures, written by Stage 32 member Laurie Ashbourne is greenlit and starts shooting later this year.
  • Chick Fight starring Malin Ackerman, Alec Baldwin and Bella Thorne written by Stage 32 member Joe Downey is in post-production and awaiting release!
  • What Lies Ahead, written by Stage 32 member William Viglione, directed by Stage 32 member Rob Gardner, and packaged by Stage 32 script services executive Tiffany Boyle of Ramo Law was released in theaters in 2019.
  • Vagic, a romantic comedy written by Stage 32 member Julie Ann Cross, received a $7,500 option and is being produced by legendary producer Amy Baer of Gidden Media Group.
  • My Clone’s an A-Hole, a comedy written by Julie Ann Wight was offered a $5,000 option by National Lampoon.
  • I'm Not Jack, a script written by Stage 32 member Jack Cusick, received a $7,500 option and is being developed by legendary producer Amy Baer of Gidden Media Group.
  • Eric Jeske - signed with Krista Sipp & Devon Byers from First Friday Entertainment and is currently in the middle of negotiating an option for his winning project with a major international producer!
  • Scott Waldvogel and Matt DeMartini - signed with Gotham Group and APA.
  • Frank Ponce - signed with 3 Arts Entertainment and Atlas Entertainment.
  • Glenn Forbes - signed with Infinity Management International and optioned by Glider Films.
  • Richard Hobley - signed with Paradigm and Goldcrest Films International.
  • Diana Wright signed with The Cartel after being set up on a meeting by Stage 32!
  • Aaron Benjamin signed with Housefire Management.
  • Aaron Bierman signed with Verve Talent and Literary Agency after being set up on a meeting by Stage 32!

These contests have produced some of the most sought after material from our finalists and winners. Requests for our finalists scripts have increased year over year and our winners have met face to face with a who’s who of working industry executives and gatekeepers!

Contest Judges

Lorien McKenna (Judge & Mentor)

Lorien McKenna (Judge & Mentor) - Writer & Producer, PIXAR, Paramount Animation, Disney Jr., Hulu

Lorien McKenna is a former Pixar story manager who worked on such features as UP, BRAVE, INSIDE OUT, and THE GOOD DINOSAUR. She also served as a producer for Paramount Animation where she oversaw development for WONDER PARK.

Lorien, along with Oscar-nominated writer Meg LeFauve, sold their romantic comedy anthology, THIS THING CALLED LOVE, to Hulu with Dan Lin producing; as well as a half hour sitcom, POOG, to NBC and WBTV.

Lorien also wrote HOW TO SET A FIRE AND WHY, based on the book of the same name by Jesse Ball, for Straight Up Films. Previously, she served as the Co-EP for Hulu's CURIOUS GEORGE series, and has developed projects for Disney Jr., Funko, and Netflix. Lorien started her career as a playwright in the Bay Area where she founded Guilty Theater, and taught playwriting, Shakespeare, and theater at St. Mary’s College of California.

Daniel Gonzales (Judge & Mentor)

Daniel Gonzales (Judge & Mentor) - Animator, PIXAR & The Walt Disney Animation Studios

Meet Daniel has been animating for 13 years for studios including PIXAR Animation and The Walt Disney Animation Studios. He has helped make films such as FROZEN, MOANA, ZOOTOPIA, WRECK IT RALPH and more.

Daniel attended San Francisco’s California College of the Art. By Daniel’s college sophomore year he was working at Pixar Animation Studios and soon after found himself working in Los Angeles for the Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Daniel received attention for his artwork at an early age. His entrée’s in the Museum of Latin American art and The U.S. District court for the southern District of California, that are still on display, would be the start of a promising career of fine art, teaching, public speaking, and animation. When not working Daniel has been creating his personal work and teaching art at various institutions in his spare time.

 

Jonny Perl (Judge & Mentor)

Jonny Perl (Judge & Mentor) - Associate Producer, Cinemation

Jonny Perl is an Associate Producer with Cinemation, an animation company built by the creative minds behind Disney's THE LION KING, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE LITTLE MERMAID, THE BRAVE LITTLE TOASTER, and THE HAUNTED MANSION, DreamWorks' & Netflix's "THE MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN SHOW", STUART LITTLE, and Lionsgate's THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM.
 
They are currently in production on the animated feature BLAZING SAMURAI, starring Michael Cera, Samuel L Jackson, Ricky Gervais, and Mel Brooks.
 
Jonny is developing projects for animation and the stage. While a student at UCLA, he founded the student-run company Positivity Productions and continues to produce musical and interactive content with Shinbone Theatre Company, having most recently partnered with HBO/Cinemax to produce an immersive martial arts spectacle to launch their TV series WARRIOR

 

Conrad Vernon (Judge & Mentor)

Conrad Vernon (Judge & Mentor) - Animation Director, MGM, Warner Bros., DreamWorks Animation

Conrad Vernon is an director of the 2019 animated film THE ADDAMS FAMILY for MGM and THE JETSONS for Warner Bros. 

As a director, writer, storyboard artist and voice over artist Conrad is also known for his work on the DreamWorks animated film series SHREK as well as other films such as MONSTERS VS. ALIENS MADAGASCAR 3: EUROPE'S MOST WANTED and the adult animated film SAUSAGE PARTY.

Mike Disa (Judge & Mentor)

Mike Disa (Judge & Mentor) - Animation Director, Netlfix

Mike Disa is currently the director of the Netflix series "PARADISE PD" and has been in the animation industry for over twenty-five years.
 
Mike has found success at studios such as Dreamworks Animation, Disney Feature, Warner Brothers, Paramount, and many others. Over a fascinating career, Mike has worked with some of the greatest and most infamous people in Hollywood including Steven Spielberg, Eric Goldberg, Ralph Bakshi, Glenn Close, Steve Oedekerk, David Tennant, Amy Poehler, Adam Sandler, Jeffery Katzenberg, and Roy Disney.
 
Mike has worked on over 16 feature films, developed/written two television series, and directed 5 animated feature films. Some of Mike's credits include "WACKY RACES" forWarner Bros. Animation, "THE SIMPSONS", POSTMAN PAT for Dreamworks, POCAHONTAS, TARZAN, FANTASIA 2000 and MULAN for Disney, and HOODWINKED TOO
Aaron Daniel Jacob (Judge & Mentor)

Aaron Daniel Jacob (Judge & Mentor) - Script Coordinator, Bento Box Animation Studios

Aaron Daniel Jacob is the Script Coordinator at the animation studio Bento Box Entertainment on several of their animation shows including PARADISE PD on Netflix, DUNCANVILLE from Amy Poehler at Fox, HOOPS for Netflix, BOB'S BURGERS, and an upcoming UNTITLED Apple TV+ animated series!
 
Previously, Aaron was worked in creative development at Original Force 3D Animation working on their first animated feature, as well as Disney TV Animation. In addition, Aaron optioned a war fantasy feature screenplay in 2017, and is currently developing several other feature and television work for both live-action and animation.
Daniel Kendrick (Judge & Mentor)

Daniel Kendrick (Judge & Mentor) - Animation Lit. Manager/Exec, Chatrone

Daniel Kendrick is a manager and development executive at Chatrone. Chatrone is one of the preeminent Animation production and management companies in the industry! Their animated feature, THE BOOK OF LIFE was produced by Guillermo del Toro and released by Fox starring Channing Tatum and Zoe Saldana.

Daniel previously worked at ICM before joining Chatrone in 2012. Daniel's clients include writers, artists, and creators that have worked on projects including THE BOOK OF LIFE, "SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS", "TEEN TITANS", "ROBOT CHICKEN", and "TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES".

Warner Bros. recently tapped Chatrone client Jorge Gutierrez to develop the BILLION BRICK RACE project in a studio off-shoot from its Lego franchise. BILLION BRICK RACE, producers are Dan Lin, Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Roy Lee

 

Donald H Hewitt (Judge & Mentor)

Donald H Hewitt (Judge & Mentor) - Animation Screenwriter, SPIRITED AWAY, THE CAT RETURNS

Donald H Hewitt is a working screenwriter and WGA member with 20 years of industry experience. Donald has also had the privilege of working with some of the top producers in the industry, such as: David Heyman, John Lasseter, Peter Chernin, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan, Charles Roven and Alex Gartner.

Over the last 10 years, Donald has also been a passionate and dedicated screenwriting instructor using his extensive experience to guide students to success. Not only do Donald's students consistently place highly in contests, (including winner Johan Ingler, who's script Frankie & Chair is now in production) but many of them have gone on to sell their projects, in fact, just this last year 4 students have sold 5 projects. 

 

Contest Rules

ENTRANT TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Void where prohibited by law.

This Stage 32 Contest is an international contest. Must be 18 years or older to submit.

Entrant agrees to Stage32.com terms and conditions.

This Stage 32 Contest is not a game of chance. All material is read and reviewed by industry professionals.

All quarterfinalists, semi-finalists, finalists and winners are subjectively determined by our judges.

There is no limit to the number of screenplays an Entrant can enter. The same screenplay cannot be submitted multiple times under different names. If so, you will be disqualified.

Entrant must not be an immediate family member or friend of any of the judges or their respective companies.

Entrants must submit screenplays and payment online.

Entry fees will not be returned or adjusted.

No waivers are available for this contest.


SCREENPLAY TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Screenplays should be written in English and in standard industry format.

The rights to the Entrant’s screenplay should not have been previously optioned or sold.

Entrant’s screenplay must not have been produced.

After a screenplay is entered, no new drafts or corrected pages can be made by the Entrant. No exceptions.

Screenplay must be submitted as a PDF document. Submissions with and without title pages are accepted.

Screenplay must be the original work of the Entrant and may not be based whole or in part on any fictional or non-fictional material, published or unpublished, produced or unproduced for which the Entrant does not have rights. Neither Stage 32 nor its judges investigates or attests to the authenticity of an applicant’s statement of authorship or rights secured. By entering the competition, you are acknowledging that you have secured all necessary rights.

Winner Announcements

Dec 18
Quarter-Finalists Announced
on Stage 32
Jan 08
Semi-Finalists Announced
on Stage 32
Jan 22
Finalists Announced
on Stage 32
Feb 05
Contest Winners Announced
on Stage 32
* Announcement dates subject to change.

Contest Deadlines

Super Early Bird Deadline

Friday, Aug 14 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $49.50

Early Bird Deadline

Wednesday, Sep 2 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $59.50

Early Bird Deadline

Regular Deadline

Wednesday, Sep 30 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $69.50

Regular Deadline

Final Deadline

Wednesday, Oct 28 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $79.50

Final Deadline

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