5th Annual Comedy Writing Contest

Submission Fee:

$42.50 $57.50
Next Deadline
Wednesday, Jan 8TH 11:59PST Early Bird Deadline
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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

Winner Flown to LA and set up on meetings with the producers of TED, Anger Management, Wedding Crashers, Van Wilder, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, and Blades of Glory, managers at Zero Gravity, along with "Two Broke Girls" and "Family Guy" Actor Jonathan Kite!

All 10 finalists loglines will be sent out to industry executives in a Stage 32 look book!

What's so funny?! No, seriously, we want to read your best comedy scripts! After an awesome series of meetings we set up for last year's winner Greg Mania  - Stage 32 is proud to launch the 5th Annual Comedy Writing Contest! 

The Stage 32 Comedy Writing Contest has resulted in numerous success stories for our winners!

  • Our 2019 winner Greg Mania (Mania) met with over a dozen industry executives from companies including Zero Gravity, The Cartel, Schemers Entertainment, SMART Entertainment (Ted franchise), Whitewater Films, and more!
  • Our 2018 winner Diana Wright (Roswell, Adjacent) signed with The Cartel and Abrams Artists Agency
  • Our 2017 Anthony Guidubaldi & Keith Strausbaugh (Shorebreak) just finished filming their feature film Marathon and are in post! They are also going into development on a spec pilot with Panay Films!
  • We set up our 2016 Comedy Contest winner, Kelly Anelons (Life's a Beaut) for meetings with two of the most respected comedy writer, director, producers in town: Jerry Zucker (Airplane, Naked Gun, My Best Friends Wedding) and Scot Armstrong (Old School, The Hangover II, Road Trip)
  • Our finalists scripts have been requested by: WME, Cross Creek, Mandalay, Echo Lake, Madhouse Entertainment, Amasia Entertainment, Good Fear Film + Management and more!

The Stage 32 5th Annual Comedy Writing Contest is on the cutting edge of the comedy genre with executives from Zero Gravity Management, Smart Entertainment (TED franchise, Anger Management), Panay Films (Wedding Crashers, Van Wilder, CHiPS, Hot Tub Time Machine 2), Actor & Comedian Jonathan Kite ("Two Broke Girls", "Family Guy") and as well as the Development Producer at Verite Entertainment, and an Executive Producer and Co-Showrunner working with TBS and Ron Howard!

PLUS! All finalists will have their loglines sent out to our extensive list of executives.

Stage 32 contests offers screenwriters unprecedented access to some of the industries leading industry players who are launching careers and getting projects made!

WHAT KIND OF SCRIPTS CAN I ENTER?

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

Feature Length Screenplays:

Everything from broad comedy to rom coms to parodies to dramedies to horror comedy to indie comedies and beyond will be accepted!

Teleplays:

30 or 60 minute Original Comedy Pilots. Please no spec scripts based on existing shows. 

FEEDBACK OPTION

For an additional fee of only $49 (50% savings!) 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

Contest Prizes

GRAND PRIZE WINNER

Will be flown to Los Angeles to meet privately with the contest judges! But that isn't all! The Grand Prize winner will also meet with executives from:

  • Panay Films
  • Smart Entertainment
  • Schemers Entertainment
  • Cohn/Torgan Management
  • MetaMorphic Entertainment
  • Energy Entertainment Management
  • The Cartel Management
  • Art/Work Entertainment
  • Untitled Entertainment
  • Good Fear Film + Management
  • Zero Gravity Management

SECOND & THIRD PLACE WINNERS

Stage 32's executive team will send out your screenplay title, logline & writer bio 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.

You will also receive 2 free Stage 32 pitch sessions, a free Stage 32 Next Level Webinar and a free Stage 32 Next Level Class.

 

 

All Top 10 Finalists

All of the top 10 finalists will have their loglines sent to hundreds of producers, managers, agents and executives that work with Stage 32 in a Stage 32 Lookbook!

Our Track Record

 

Unprecedented access. Better exposure. More reads. Real success!

 

The Stage 32 Comedy contest has resulted in numerous success stories for our winners and finalists!

Last year's winner Greg Mania met with managers from Zero Gravity, The Cartel, Art/Work Entertainment, Cohn/Torgan Management, Schemers Entertainment and executives from Smart Entertainment, Whitewater Films, and more! 

Check out his video here:

 

Our 2018 winner Diana Wright was signed to The Cartel and Abrams Artists Agency!

Check out her video here:

 

 

Our 2017 winners, Anthony Guidubaldi & Keith Strausbaugh (Shorebreak), were flown to LA and sent on a whirlwind of meetings with executives and production companies resulting in:

  • Amasia Entertainment requested their horror comedy script and a mockumentary they produced.
  • Lionsgate's LOL Network requested their animation pilot and asked for a sketch packet.
  • Big Beach Films requested their short film Baby Grand.
  • Panay Films is going into development on a spec pilot written by Keith & Anthony!

 

 

Contest Judges

Jared Iacino  (Judge)

Jared Iacino (Judge) - Senior Vice President of Film & TV Development, Panay Films

Jared Iacino is the Head of Films and Television Production at Panay Films. Jared has been involved with the development and production of projects including HIT & RUN starring Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard and Bradley Cooper, HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2 starring Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry and Adam Scott, and the family adventure film EARTH TO ECHO, MASTERMINDS starring Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wig and Owen Wilson, and the recent CHIPS starring Michael Peña and Dax Shepard. Panay has produced WEDDING CRASHERS starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, VAN WILDER starring Ryan Reynolds, and SERENDIPITY starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale.

These productions have given Panay Films the opportunity to work with other major companies including:

  • Paramount
  • Warner Bros.
  • Relativity Media
  • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
  • Open Road Films

Prior to his time at Panay Films, Jared worked in development and production at Walt Disney Studios, Red Wagon Entertainment, Storyline Entertainment and Fox Studios - affording him the opportunity to work on a diverse slate of award-winning and critically-acclaimed Film and Television projects including: THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, JUNO, HAIRSPRAY, THE BUCKET LIST, A RAISIN IN THE SUN, THE PROPOSAL, and THE MUPPETS.

 

Jonathan Kite

Jonathan Kite - Actor, Writer, Comedian,

Jonathan Kite is an American actor and comedian from Skokie, IL and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Best known as "Oleg," the hilarious, lovable, sex-crazed Ukrainian cook, opposite Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs on the CBS hit comedy, "2 Broke Girls," Kite credits Wilt Chamberlin and Ukrainian porn star Vlad, the Impaler as major influences when he created his character. In addition, he has been seen in a number of notable supporting roles on television including FOX's "Family Guy", "American Dad", "Raising Hope", and the Jamie Foxx produced sketch show "In the Flow with Affion Crockett", Netflix's "Boss Baby" and "Cleopatra In Space", and Adult Swim's, "Black Dynamite: The Animated Series" where he voiced many of the color impaired characters. 

Aside from a busy acting career, Kite is an expert impressionist boasting over 120 celebrity impressions that include: Tom Hanks, Anthony Bourdain, Ryan Reynolds, Vince Vaughn, Seth Rogen, Adam Driver, Christian Bale, Jeff Bridges, Robert Downey Jr., and John Lithgow.

He is also a national and international headlining comedian having performed in top clubs all over the world. He recently filmed his first stand up comedy special,"Jonathan Kite's Back to School Special" at his high school alma mater Niles North, where it all began.

Travis Mauk (Judge)

Travis Mauk (Judge) - Creative Executive, Smart Entertainment

Travis is the Creative Executive at Smart Entertainment, a production and management company based in Los Angeles whose projects have grossed over a billion dollars. Most recently the company produced the wildly successful Ted franchise, with Seth MacFarlane and Mark Wahlberg, Blades of Glory starring Will Ferrell, Jenna Fischer and Amy Poehler and Anger Management starring Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson and Marisa Tomei.

Recently, Smart Entertainment branched into thrillers producing the smash hit, The Boy Next Door starring Jennifer Lopez.

These projects have given Smart Entertainment the opportunity to work with other amazing companies including DreamWorks, Paramount, Disney, Universal, Blumhouse, Fuzzy Door Productions, Bluegrass Films

Prior to Smart Entertainment, Travis worked at CBS where he worked on shows including "Price is Right", "American Idol", "Baby Daddy" and "Melissa & Joey," before moving to the industry-leading talent agency Innovative Artists.

 

Joe Ferrante

Joe Ferrante - Development Producer,

Joe Ferrante is the Development Producer at Verite Entertainment.

Joe got his start in entertainment in Japan where he wrote and produced two shows for Fuji TV. He has developed for series with Comcast, MTV Networks and Warner Bros. He has sold projects and developed series with Bernero Productions, as well as writing several award winning scripts.

Verite has worked on projects with Disney, Warner Bros., Dreamworks, Nickelodeon, and Amazon. They have produced high quality work for a long list of clients in Hollywood and around the world.

This executive has also worked in the Diversity Department of the Writers Guild of America, where he helped produce a Pitch Learning Program with the National Hispanic Media Coalition. The program became a model for teaching writers the skills needed for pitching.

Elisha Yaffe (Judge)

Elisha Yaffe (Judge) -

Elisha Yaffe is an award-winning actor, writer, producer, and director. As an Executive Producer and Writer, he's been commissioned to write 1/2 hr comedy pilot scripts for TBS and Super Deluxe. He was the Co-Showrunner on an 8 episode 1/2 hr comedy series for go90 and Complex Networks. He's developed shows for Warner Bros. Studio 2.0, Warner Horizon, Ron Howard's NewForm, MSN, as well as an interactive show for Eko Studios. Currently, Elisha's an Executive Producer on a studio comedy project being taken out to cable networks. As an executive producer, he's found success developing and executing short films and web series with the aim of having them double as proof of concepts for long-form projects.
 
As a development executive, Elisha works with writers to sharpen their take on each project with a focus on plot and character development. He's also a highly sought after pitch coach, specializing in performance and copy editing.
 
In the short-form space, Elisha's been nominated for a YouTube Comedy Award, been awarded 5 Vimeo Staff Picks, and featured on the prestigious website "Short of The Week" twice.
 
Joe Riley (Judge)

Joe Riley (Judge) - Manager/Producer, Zero Gravity Management

Joe Riley is a Manager and Producer at Zero Gravity Management. 

Zero Gravity Management is a progressive entertainment company whose strength lies in the development and representation of screenwriters, directors, and actors. Zero Gravity maintains a list of some of the industry's most established professionals in all arenas.

The firm is also a well-respected full-service production company handling the development, finance, execution and sale of projects in film, television and new media. Zero Gravity works with all the major and mini-major studios on a consistent basis, producing feature films and TV series, selling spec scripts, and sourcing open writing, directing and acting assignments.

In the literary world, Zero Gravity’s reputation has been built upon its hands-on development process, working intimately with their clients to generate the most elevated and unique material possible. After twenty-five years of building relationships in the entertainment sector, Zero Gravity has the distinctive skills, experience, and connections to package, produce and finance projects.

They have a tremendous track record of bringing clients’ scripts to screen, and possess a relentless commitment to the projects and people they believe in. 

Lisa Benedetto

Lisa Benedetto - Associate Producer, Workin' Moms

Lisa Benedetto is an Associate Producer on the hit Netflix comedy series, "Workin' Moms" from creator Catherine Reitman. The series, now in its 4th season, follows four very different thirty-something working mothers and friends as they try to balance their jobs, family life and love life in modern day Toronto, Canada.

Prior to her work on "Workin' Moms", Lisa worked on the AMC series "American Gods." 

Sarah J. Cornelius (Judge)

Sarah J. Cornelius (Judge) - Creative & Production Executive, Whitewater Films

Sarah Cornelius is the Creative and Production Executive at Whitewater Films, an independent production company spearheaded by veteran producer Rick Rosenthal. Whitewater Films recently completed their feature Standing Up, Falling Down, starring Billy Crystal & Ben Schwartz with first-time director Matt Ratner.

Rick Rosenthal has more than 100 credits including, Bad Boys, "Transparent", "Beauty and the Beast", Halloween 2, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and"Smallville".

Whitewater has produced numerous notable films which have won Independent Spirit Awards, the Sundance Directing Award, a Primetime Emmy, as well as collecting nominations for an Oscar and the Sundance Grand Jury Prize.

Whitewater has produced projects for Paramount Classics, The Orchard, Showtime, CNN Films, Netflix, IFC, and Samuel Goodwyn Films.

 

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 may contain the Entrant's name and contact information. 

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

May 01
Quarter-Finalists Announced
on Stage 32
May 15
Semi-Finalists Announced
on Stage 32
May 29
Finalists Announced
on Stage 32
Jun 12
Contest Winners Announced
on Stage 32
* Announcement dates subject to change.

Contest Deadlines

Super Early Bird Deadline

Friday, Dec 6 - 11:59 PM PST

Submission fee: $35.50

Early Bird Deadline

Wednesday, Jan 8 - 11:59 PM PST

Submission fee: $42.50

Regular Deadline

Wednesday, Feb 5 - 11:59 PM PST

Submission fee: $47.50

Final Deadline

Wednesday, Mar 11 - 11:59 PM PDT

Submission fee: $57.50

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