logo

JUDGES

TO READ 2021's BEST SCREENPLAYS

Our 54 industry judges have been involved in some of the best films and television shows made over the last 30 years. They have won and been nominated for Oscar’s, Bafta’s, Golden Globes and Emmy’s. They will read the top five screenplays in their chosen category. 

Some of our judges comments…

‘These finalists are a strong group. Every script was well-written and professionally executed.’ – JUDSON SCOTT – Vice President of Film at Atomic Monster

It was a pleasure to read such great new voices and stories with real heart.’ – CHRIS PROVENZANO – writer & producer on Silicon Valley, Justified, Mad Men

These scripts were wonderful. It was great fun to read such a diverse group of stories, all of which were so well written.’ – PATRICK LUSSIER – writer of Terminator Genisys

‘I would like to applaud each of the writers and thank them for allowing me to read their wonderful work. Each writer is clearly at a level that assures me that if they are not already working (paid to write), that time is nigh’ – FRANK RENZULLI – writer of The Sopranos, The Walking Dead

I’ve really enjoyed reading these scripts. They are such a great, varied and eclectic mix.’ – NEIL MASKELL – actor in Peaky Blinders, The Mummy, Kill List 

‘Can I go on record as saying how high I thought the standard was. Every one of these writers is a talent’ – MATTHEW GRAHAM – writer of Doctor Who, Life on Mars

It rips your heart out to have to choose.  All five entries were unique, outstanding and something fresh.’ – TODD RAFAEL CIMINO – Producer at HBO Films

View our Industry and Directors Roster.

How to become a screenwriter Screenplay Contests Screenwriting Contests

Irene Weibel - Producer

Irene Weibel won an Emmy for her role as EP on the Nickelodeon series, MIKE THE KNIGHT and has been creating and producing Kids and Family content for over 20 years. As Head of Studio for Nelvana Animation Studio in Toronto, Irene managed one of the busiest animation studios in the world and Executive Produced dozens of series including HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA and the Nickelodeon series LITTLE CHARMERS.

How to become a screenwriter Screenplay Contests Screenwriting Contests

Mitchell Altieri - Writer, Director

Mitchell Altieri is a Brazilian American award-winner who has showcased his films at premier festivals such as Sundance, SXSW, and Fantasia. As part of the writing duo, The Butcher Brothers, he wrote and directed THE HAMILTONS (Lionsgate), APRIL FOOLS DAY (Sony), and THE VIOLENT KIND (Sundance). His latest film, STAR LIGHT, is a homage to 90s teenage horror.

How to become a screenwriter Screenplay Contests Screenwriting Contests

Antony Johnston - Writer

Antony is a New York Times bestselling author and screenwriter. David Leitch’s ATOMIC BLONDE, starring Charlize Theron, was based on his graphic novel THE COLDEST CITY, and his novel THE EXPHORIA CODE is in development for TV. In 2020 he wrote and directed the indie short CROSSOVER POINT, made entirely in quarantine. He also writes videogames such as DEAD SPACE and BINARY DOMAIN.

Judson Scott - VP of Film, Atomic Monster

Judson oversees the film slate for James Wan’s Atomic Monster, working in script development and production alongside James Wan and Michael Clear. His credits include ANNABELLE COMES HOME, THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA, and the forthcoming THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE, THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT, and MALIGNANT, among others.

Kasi Lemmons - Actress, Writer, Director

Kasi has appeared in such films as SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, HARD TARGET, and Spike Lee’s SCHOOL DAYS. Lemmon’s first feature as a writer-director, EVE’S BAYOU, became the highest-grossing independent film of 1997, receiving the Independent Spirit Award for “Best First Feature.” Her most recent feature is the much-praised biopic HARRIET.

Patrick Lussier - Director, Writer & Editor

Patrick worked as Wes Craven’s editor, editing the SCREAM franchise, HALLOWEEN H20, CURSED & RED EYE before moving into directing with WHITE NOISE 2, MY BLOODY VALENTINE, DRIVE ANGRY with Nicolas Cage and Amber Heard, and 2018’s FLESH & BLOOD, written by our Alumni Louis Ackerman. He was also the writer of 2015’s TERMINATOR GENISYS. He just released his newest horror film, TRICK.

BEN HARDY - ACTOR

Ben’s most recent triumph was his fantastic portrayal of Roger Taylor in the highly acclaimed film BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. Other film credits include Parker in ONLY THE BRAVE, John Polidori in MARY SHELLEY, Angel in X-MEN: APOCALYPSE. Television credits include Walter in THE WOMAN IN WHITE (BBC). Most recently, he is starring in Michael Bay’s feature 6 UNDERGROUND.

Tony Grisoni - Writer

Tony has written several of Terry Gilliam’s films, including FEAR & LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS and TIDELAND. Grisoni also co-wrote the screenplay for Gilliam’s THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE, which was finally released in 2018. He wrote the RED RIDING TRILOGY. THE UNLOVED won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Single Drama. He recently wrote THE CITY AND THE CITY, a four-part crime drama, and SOUTHCLIFFE, an original 4-part drama for Channel 4, directed by Sean Durkin.

Liza Marshall - Producer

A former head of Drama at Britain’s Channel 4, Liza produced THE RED RIDING TRILOGY, written by one of our other judges, Tony Grisoni. It was met with universal acclaim on its release. Her producing credits include: WELCOME TO THE PUNCH, LIFE IN A DAY, I AM SLAVE, BOY A, ENDGAME, and SPRINGSTEEN & I. BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP.

Christopher Figg - Producer

Chris was an assistant director on the Oscar-winning PASSAGE TO INDIA before moving into producing. He produced the HELLRAISER films; co-produced TRAINSPOTTING, DOG SOLDIERS, HEIDI, and GREYFRIARS BOBBY. Recent films include MANDY, STORMY BOY, CORIOLANUS, and WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN.

Stephen Woolley - Producer

Stephen Woolley has spent a lifetime steeped in movies and filmmaking. In 1982 he launched Palace Video in partnership with Nik Powell, releasing titles such as ERASERHEAD and MEPHISTO. His producing credits include the Oscar-nominated CAROL, YOUTH, THE END OF THE AFFAIR, INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE, and the Oscar-winning THE CRYING GAME.

Kevin Loader - Producer

Kevin Loader is one of the U.K.’s most established film producers. He was a double BAFTA Award nominee in 2010 with two of his productions, Armando Iannucci’s political comedy, IN THE LOOP, and Sam Taylor-Wood’s, NOWHERE BOY. He has produced over 35 films including THE DEATH OF STALIN, WUTHERING HEIGHTS, BRIDESHEAD REVISITED, THE HISTORY BOYS, VENUS, ENDURING LOVE, and others.

Adrian Sturges - Producer

Adrian began his career producing short films with such directors as Rupert Wyatt – SUBTERRAIN and GET THE PICTURE and Sam Taylor-Wood – LOVE YOU MORE, the latter being nominated for a BAFTA and the Palme d’Or. His first feature was THE BAKER. Subsequently, he produced THE ESCAPIST, ALBATROSS, and THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREED.

Steve Lightfoot - Writer

Steve Lightfoot is a BAFTA-winning showrunner and screenwriter. At Marvel Studios, Steve created multiple TV series including THE PUNISHER and HANNIBAL. Steve’s other credits include the Netflix hit NARCOS, HOUSE OF SADDAM for HBO, BEHIND HER EYES, and SHANTARAM for Apple. He is currently developing a John Wyndham short story for Sky and developing several film projects.

How to become a screenwriter Screenplay Contests Screenwriting Contests

Tracy A. Whitaker - Writer

After studying screenwriting in Los Angeles, Tracy became a regular staffer on NBC’s popular thriller BLINDSPOT. Prior to writing, Tracy was a Sergeant in the Army National Guard for eight years. Tracy co-wrote THE GHOST AND THE HOUSE OF TRUTH, the World Cinema Feature Winner at New York’s Urbanworld Film Festival, and is a two-time semifinalist in the Academy’s Nicholl Screenwriting Contest.

How to become a screenwriter Screenplay Contests Screenwriting Contests

Rebecca Gibson - Writer, Producer

Rebecca Gibson is a partner and Head of Development at Eagle Vision (CAPOTE, LOVESICK, WE WERE CHILDREN). Rebecca is devoted to mentorship, working with the CMPA, ACTRA, and WIDC to support diversity, accessibility, and inclusion. Rebecca founded Orange Daisy Project, to support mental health for teen girls and has been nominated for three Canadian Screen Awards.

Michael Berk - Writer

Michael’s movies and TV series (BAYWATCH, SOUL SURFER, and THE ORDEAL OF DR. MUDD) have won Emmy Awards and Golden Globe Nominations, and the Edgar Allan Poe Award among many others. Michael is the Founder of the Las Vegas International Film Festival CineVegas, and the “Vegas On Demand” television channel.

Jeane Phan Wong - Writer

Jeane is a Vietnamese Chinese writer from the San Gabriel Valley. After a stint on DC’s VAMPIRE DIARIES comics, Jeane freelanced on CW’s ARROW. She is currently writing a biopic for East Films with director Bao Nguyen (BE WATER) attached. And her current pilot, a one-hour male-led rom-com about a Vietnamese family in the OC with a touch of magic realism is with Justin Lin’s Perfect Storm/Universal TV.

Daisy Haggard - Writer, Actress

Daisy is a hugely respected actress and writer, known for her portrayal of ‘Myra Licht’ in comedy series EPISODES, starring opposite Matt LeBlanc. She was most recently seen starring opposite Martin Freeman in TV comedy series BREEDERS which aired on Sky and FX in the US. In 2019 Daisy wrote, produced and starred in the BBC comedy BACK TO LIFE which received critical acclaim. The first series aired on Showtime. Daisy is currently writing series 2.

Chris Provenzano - Writer, Producer

EMMY Nominated film and television writer. He co-wrote the story and screenplay for GET LOW. He was a writer on MAD MEN and ARCHER. He’s also the writer & executive producer on JUSTIFIED and SILICON VALLEY.

Athena Stavrakis - Script Editor

Athena Stavrakis is a script editor at RED Production Company. She has worked on varied projects including TRUST ME series 1 & 2 and SAFE. Most recently, she script edited the critically acclaimed Netflix drama THE STRANGER, based on the best-selling novel.

Peter Mohan - Writer, Producer

Peter has more than 600 hours of dramatic programming for network television. His credits as a writer and Executive Producer include THE HARDY BOYS, ORPHAN BLACK, THE LISTENER, LOST GIRL, MUTANT X, DUE SOUTH, and BLOOD TIES. In addition, Peter has twice served as the Showrunner in Residence for Norman Jewison’s prestigious Canadian Film Centre. 

Joseph Mallozzi - Writer, Producer

Joseph is a writer and producer known for STARGATE SG-1, STARGATE: ATLANTIS, DARK MATTER, and TRANSPORTER: THE SERIES. His new series, UTOPIA FALLS, is in production.

Matthew Graham - Writer

Matthew has written drama since 1997, writing episodes of THE SPANISH PRINCESS, SPOOKS, HUSTLE, LIFE ON MARS, and the global phenomenon, DOCTOR WHO. He’s been nominated for a BAFTA for his work on BYKER GROVE and THIS LIFE.

James Dormer - Writer, Producer

James Dormer is currently show-running MEDICI: MASTERS OF FLORENCE for Lux Vide and Netflix. Before this, he was the lead writer and executive producer of BEOWULF, a 13 part series for ITV. He’s worked on STRIKE BACK, MUSKETEERS, and SPOOKS. He wrote the film OUTCAST which starred Nicholas Cage and Hayden Christensen.

Chris Lang - Writer

Chris is the writer of over seventy hours of prime-time British drama, including THE TUNNEL, UNFORGOTTEN, ROBIN HOOD, HUSTLE, and PRIMEVAL.

Lindiwe Makgalemele - Writer, Director

Lindiwe Makgalemele is a South African writer/director. Her first short script THE TOWN won our Short Film Fund in Spring 2020 and after filming in South Africa in the summer, is currently in post-production.

Jamie Brewer - Actress, Producer

Jamie is best known as a fan favorite in the award-winning anthology series AMERICAN HORROR STORY. Jamie was the first person with Down syndrome to walk NYFW and was the recipient of the ‘2015 Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award’. Jamie starred in an off-Broadway role as ‘Amy’ in AMY AND THE ORPHANS in 2018 and won the Theater World Award and Drama Desk Award for her performance. Jamie also produced and starred in the critically acclaimed feature film TURNOVER.

Nora Kirkpatrick - Writer, Director

Nora Kirkpatrick is a writer/director living in Los Angeles. She has created and/or written series for CBS, Hulu, Amazon, and Comedy Central, among others. She was a founding member and accordion player for the GRAMMY-winning band, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and is currently a staff writer on the new Amazon series, DAISY JONES AND THE SIX. She also directed an episode of THE GOLDBERGS (ABC).

James Gould-Bourn - Writer

James Gould-Bourn is a novelist and screenwriter. His debut novel BEAR NECESSITY was published by Scribner in 2020. The television rights have been optioned by triple Emmy award-winning production company Lime Pictures. James has written several short films, two of which have been developed. His short script A YOUNG MAN’S GAME won the 2019 Shore Scripts Film Fund and will be directed by Emmy-winning director Ben Tricklebank.

Kimberley Browning - Short Film Programmer at Tribeca Film Festival & Producer at HBO Access

Kimberley is an Associate Short Film Programmer at the Tribeca Film Festival, and she was on the short film programming team at the Los Angeles Film Festival. She is also the Executive Producer of the HBO ACCESS Directors Fellowship TV pilot productions, showcasing new diverse talent in television directing.

Lucy Hay - Script Editor, Producer

Lucy is an author and script editor. She is the associate producer of Brit Thrillers DEVIATION and ASSASSIN. In addition to script reading and writing her own novels, Lucy also blogs about the screenwriting process through her internationally renowned website Bang2Write.

Anthony Florez - Writer, Director

Anthony Florez is a Native American writer and documentary filmmaker from Reno, NV. In 2018 Anthony Florez was selected by 21st Century Fox to be part of their 2018 Fox Writers Lab, where he will work on an original TV Pilot with network producers. His documentary film “Generations” was jury-selected ‘Runner-up’ at the 2018 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival as part of the Audience Awards Native Doc Challenge. He is the Staff Writer on the Fox Show Deputy.

How to be a screenwriter Screenplay Contests

Claire Fowler - Writer, Director

Claire Fowler is a writer-director from North Wales. Claire attended Columbia University’s M.F.A. program in film on a Fulbright scholarship and, later, the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women. Her most recent short, Salam, co-produced by Shore Scripts, premiered at Tribeca Film Festival in 2018 and won a BAFTA Cymru award in 2020.

Sam Baron - Writer, Director

Sam Baron is a writer and director based in London. A former 2018 Shore Scripts Short Film Fund winner, his short films have been viewed 6 million times online. He also won the Academy’s Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship and has been on the Brit List twice. He is developing his debut feature, as well as creating original TV shows for the BBC and Sky.

Gaia Meucci-Astley - Short Film Programmer at Encounters Film Festival

Since 2012 Gaia is the Short Film Programmer for Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival in Bristol, in charge of curating the selection of the live-action shorts in competition. Encounters is the UK’s leading short film festival, showcasing and supporting new and emerging talent in film and animation.

Ben Tricklebank - Director

Emmy-winner, Ben Tricklebank, prides himself on his interdisciplinary visual expertise and has a clear focus on intelligent and visually driven storytelling. From directing short-form content, commercials, interactive films, VR, installations, and digital experiences, his career has been focused on finding innovative ways to tell stories, engage and excite audiences.

Oliver Shuster - Director, Writer

Oliver grew up in England where he studied medicine as an undergraduate and later went on to complete a Master’s Degree in Illustration. He now resides in New York where he has collaborated on a number of award-winning films with his wife and creative partner, Vika Evdokimenko. Their short film AAMIR was nominated for a BAFTA.

Zack Akers - Creator of Limetown

Zack cofounded Two-Up with Skip Bronkie, which has gone on to produce the widely regarded podcast LIMETOWN. The audio drama has received over 20 million listens. It went on to become a television show with Jessica Biel and Stanley Tucci, He has also produced the popular podcasts, 36 QUESTIONS, and THE WILDERNESS.

Julie Shapiro - Exe Producer, Radiotopia

Radiotopia is a network of independent, listener-supported podcasts. Julie is also the executive producer of Ear Hustle. From 2014-15, Julie was the executive producer of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Creative Audio Unit. In 2000 she co-founded the Third Coast International Audio Festival. Julie has taught radio to university students, presented at conferences all over the globe, and produced stories for the airwaves in the US and beyond.

Mark Silverstein - Chief Content Officer, Luminary

Mark is Chief Content Officer for Luminary Media, an emerging subscription-based podcast platform operating in 11 global markets. He works closely with top talent and studios to create Luminary Original podcasts: Trevor Noah, Russell Brand, Lena Dunham, Karamo, Roxanne Gay, Alex Gibney, Soledad O’Brien, Guy Raz, Leon Neyfakh, Celeste Barber, and many others.

Yhane Smith - Creator of Harlem Queen

Yhane is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, producer, folklorist, film festival founder, Bundles Community Scholar at Columbia University, and nine-time Lower Manhattan Cultural Council grant recipient. In 2019, Yhane independently produced and launched HARLEM QUEEN, an audio drama based on Madame Stephanie St. Clair’s Numbers Queen. HARLEM QUEEN is listed as a Top Podcast on Apple Podcasts Fiction and on Discover Pods’ and recently made an appearance on the ABC primetime documentary, THE STORY OF SOAPS.

Kate Seabury - Director, Original Content Development, Audible

Kate has overseen productions of narrative non-fiction projects like MIDNIGHT SON, which won the 2020 ONA award for Excellence in Audio Storytelling. Kate previously worked at the podcast app Stitcher where she got a front-row seat to the explosion of the podcast medium and understanding its nuances. She has also worked in cable TV news and as a public radio reporter.

Richard Seneque - Creator of Visionaries

Richard is a writer, director, and producer based in New York. He started his career in acting and later shifted his focus to writing. While attending the New School, he wrote and co-produced his first film, SWEET SHADOW. Richard’s most recent work is the fantasy podcast series, VISIONARIES AUDIO DRAMA. He wrote, directed, produced, and released season one to all major podcast platforms in early 2020.

Mission to Zyxx - Cast and Crew

Jeremy Bent, Alden Ford, Allie Kokesh, Seth Lind, Winston Noel, Shane O’Connell, and Moujan Zolfaghari are veteran NYC-based improvisers, performers, writers, and producers who came up together to create the comedic sci-fi podcast MISSION TO ZYXX, which combines long-form, serialized improvisation with obsessive editing and sound design to create an immersive and unique galaxy full of weirdos. 

Scott Conroy - Creator of Blackout

Scott created the Rami Malek-led QCode podcast, BLACKOUT which is currently being adapted for TV by Automatik, Chernin Entertainment, and Endeavor Content. Conroy has several other projects in development, including a feature screenplay for HBO Films with Jon Stewart producing; an original feature script for Doug Belgrad’s 2.0 Entertainment; and a feature adaption of the 2019 Rob Hart novel, THE WAREHOUSE for Imagine Entertainment. 

David Henning - Exe Vice President, QCODE Media

QCODE is a podcast studio focusing on scripted narrative content. David started his career at United Talent Agency, then left to build out the unscripted division of Condé Nast Entertainment, developing such shows as LAST CHANCE U. At QCODE he oversees development and production with the goal of telling immersive stories from unique voices

Lauren Shippen - Creator of The Bright Sessions

Lauren was the creator and sole writer of the popular audio drama THE BRIGHT SESSIONS.  She went on to executive produce THE AM ARCHIVES and co-produce the #1 podcast PASSENGER LIST, for which she received a BBC Audio Drama Award, Webby, and British Podcast Award. Lauren was named one of Forbes 2018 30 Under 30 in Media.

Marshall Lewy - Chief Content Officer, Wondery

Wondery is the largest independent podcast publisher. Marshall oversees all of Wondery’s original series, as well as its pipeline of television adaptations. Award-winning hit podcasts he’s overseen include DR DEATH, BUSINESS WARS, THE SHRINK NEXT DOOR, AMERICAN SCANDAL, and OVER MY DEAD BODY. Twenty-six of Wondery’s shows have reached #1 on Apple Podcasts, and 13 are being adapted for television. 

Terry Miles - Creator of The Black Tapes

Terry is an award-winning Writer/Director/Producer who has had three feature films premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, directed a western starring Donald Sutherland and Christian Slater, and an action movie starring Steve Austin and Danny Trejo. More recently, Terry created a number of hit podcasts that have been collectively downloaded more than 130 million times including THE BLACK TAPES, TANIS, RABBITS, and FAERIE. THE BLACK TAPES, TANIS, and RABBITS have all been sold to major studios and streaming outlets for film and television.

Nick van der Kolk - Creator of Love + Radio

Nick is a radio producer, sound designer, events organizer, and the host and creator of the critically acclaimed LOVE + RADIO podcast. His work has appeared on THIS AMERICAN LIFE, in The New York Times, on SNAP JUDGMENT, MARKETPLACE, and numerous radio outlets worldwide. He is also the co-founder of Megapolis — an audio art and leftfield radio festival. He has won multiple awards from the Third Coast International Audio Festival and is a 2012 USA Artists Collins Fellow.

Eli Barraza - Creator of The Far Meridian

Eli Barraza has experience writing for stage, screen, and audio. She entered the world of podcasts via the writer’s room for the time-travel conspiracy thriller PARADOXICA and later co-founded the podcast collective The Whisperforge with that same team. Eli then launched her own show, THE FAR MERIDIAN. She has also written guest episodes for other podcasts, like the Chicago-based OUR FAIR CITY, Historic Royal Palaces’ OUTLIERS, and the critically- acclaimed drama THE BRIGHT SESSIONS.

Jonathan Mitchell - Creator of The Truth

Jonathan is the creator and producer of THE TRUTH, an anthology fiction podcast distributed by Radiotopia. Launched in 2012, stories from THE TRUTH have also been heard on public radio programs such as THIS AMERICAN LIFE, ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, and SNAP JUDGMENT. He lives in New York City.

Peter Mohan - Writer, Producer

Peter has more than 600 hours of dramatic programming for network television. His credits as a writer and Executive Producer include THE HARDY BOYS, ORPHAN BLACK, THE LISTENER, LOST GIRL, MUTANT X, DUE SOUTH, and BLOOD TIES. In addition, Peter has twice served as the Showrunner in Residence for Norman Jewison’s prestigious Canadian Film Centre. 

Jordan Morris - Creator of Bubble

Jordan is a TV writer and podcaster. He has written for shows on Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, and Disney Plus. He’s the creator of the sci-fi comedy podcast BUBBLE that he’s currently adapting into an animated feature for Sony Animation and producer Seth Rogen.