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Finding Writers. Launching Careers.

Thousand Films' television writer competition is now closed for entries but we have huge plans for later in 2019. Please watch out for announcements on this website, and on social media.

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Thousand Films' television writer competition is now closed for entries but we have huge plans for later in 2019. Please watch out for announcements on this website, and on social media.

About us

Thousand Films was established in 2018 to find new voices in film and television and to provide a bridge between writers looking for a break and an industry hungry for new talent. Using web-enabled technology and a network of experienced Script readers Thousand Films has the capacity to read very large numbers of Scripts. Our mission is to find undiscovered talent, coach writers in the fundamentals of writing professionally, and make meaningful introductions to producers who can take writers’ careers to the next level.

Our Partners

Sid Gentle Films was founded by BAFTA award-winning producer Sally Woodward Gentle in 2013 with a focus to develop and produce innovative, original and ambitious television drama and feature films. Sid Gentle’s credits include three series of smash-hit BAFTA-nominated show The Durrells for ITV and Masterpiece (with a fourth in production), the adaptation of Len Deighton’s classic thriller SS-GB for BBC One, the highly acclaimed Neil Gaiman’s Likely Stories for Sky and the Emmy-nominated Killing Eve starring Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer for BBC AMERICA.

For nearly half a century, the National Film and Television School (NFTS) has developed some of Britain and the world’s top creative talent. The NFTS is recognised internationally as one of the world’s pre-eminent institutions in film and the moving image. It is consistently the only UK film school to be listed in the Hollywood Reporter’s top international film schools list and has been described in the Guardian newspaper as the ‘World’s Best Film School’.

The Edinburgh Television Festival is one of the most prestigious media events in the UK and is committed to helping people from all backgrounds gain access to the TV industry, aiming to ensure that the people working in television are as diverse as the audience watching it.

Key Dates

February 2019 – Competition open

February to April 2019 – During this period a specialist team of readers will read each of the Scripts submitted, and draw up a longlist of Scripts to go forward to the next stage of the competition.

30 April 2019 – Competition closes for entries.

May 2019 Longlist announced – emails will be sent to all writers confirming whether they have been selected for the Longlist stage of the competition.

May to June 2019 – Longlisted Scripts will each be read by a panel of 3 readers who will together select a Shortlist.

July 2019 Shortlist announced – emails will be sent to all writers confirming whether they have been selected for the Shortlist.

July to August 2019 – Shortlisted Scripts will each be read by a panel made up of producers, agents, broadcasters, SVOD providers and distributors. This panel will select the winning Script from the Shortlist.

August 2019 – Shortlisted writers will be invited to attend the Edinburgh TV Festival where they will be given structured networking opportunities with senior industry figures. The winning Script will be announced at the Festival.

August 2019 to January 2020 – Thousand Films will offer to option Scripts and work with shortlisted writers on a tailored development programme including a TV industry ‘boot-camp’ hosted by the NFTS.

January 2020 – Selected writers will be invited to work with Sid Gentle Films on development projects.


The following are the rules (the “Rules”) of a competition launched by Thousand Films Limited to find new writers for television (the “Competition”). Entrants to the Competition are referred to in these Rules as “Writers”, and all references to a “Writer” shall be to all writers of a Script. Submitted Scripts are referred to as “Scripts”. All persons, judges and panel members reading and assessing Scripts for the Competition are referred to as “Judges”. Thousand Films Limited is running the administration of the Competition and is referred to in these Rules as “Thousand Films”.

Submission of a Script to the Competition by any person named in the submission as a Writer constitutes such Writer’s full and unconditional agreement to these Rules.

Thousand Films accepts Scripts for Scripted television drama and comedy.

Scripts must be written in English.

Scripts must be suitable for between 30 minutes and 60 minutes in slot length. No fewer than 30 pages and no more than 60.

Scripts must be submitted in the format set out as per the following example. Screenplay Format Example. Standard industry font (12 point Courier) is preferred, however this is not a requirement. Writers should ensure that Script fonts are clearly legible.

Scripts must be submitted as PDF documents. See this website if you need to convert your file:

PDF documents should be a manageable file size. It should be possible to save a Script as a PDF document of no more than 15mb.

To avoid bias no personal details (name or contact details or otherwise) should appear on the submitted Script. Only the title of the Script should appear on the front page. A unique reference number will be assigned to each Script which allows Thousand Films to identify it, but keeps a Script anonymous from Judges. Note that all Judges are professionals and have signed binding contracts prohibiting them from doing anything with any Script other than reading and judging it for the purposes of the Competition.

Once a Script has been entered in the Competition, no substitutions of new drafts or corrected pages will be accepted.

Scripts must be submitted via the submission page on the Thousand Films website. Paper submissions are not accepted.

Writers may submit no more than 2 Scripts to the Competition.

Writers must be aged 16 years or over on 31 July 2019. There is no upper age limit.

Writers must have a residence in the United Kingdom or Ireland. The nationality of entrants is not important but entrants must be resident in the United Kingdom or Ireland.

Scripts written by up to 3 people may be entered in the Competition. All those who have contributed to the writing of a Script should be listed as Writers on the submission form. The Writer who will be the primary contact should be listed first (Lead Writer), and the address, telephone, and email for that person only should be included. Submission of the Script will be deemed confirmation that all Writers of, or contributors to a Script have given their authorisation for entry into the Competition.

Scripts must be original work. Adaptations or Scripts based on underlying work (such as books, plays or graphic novels) will only be accepted in two circumstances. Firstly where all rights in the underlying work are owned outright by the Writer of the Script. Secondly where the underlying work is in the public domain and no longer protected by copyright (usually this applies where the author of the underlying work has been dead for more than 70 years).

Scripts based on true stories or historical events may be submitted provided the Writer of the Script has written permission from any living persons represented in the Script.

Scripts must by un-produced and must not be in development with any producer/broadcaster/distributor or other third party. All rights in a Script must be held by the Writer(s) who are submitting it to the Competition.

Thousand Films does not acquire any rights in a Script by virtue of that Script’s submission to the Competition. Writer(s) will retain all rights in a Script unless and until Thousand Films and a Writer(s) enter into a separate signed contract.

If a Writer has the opportunity to produce their Script or to sell or grant rights over their Script during the course of the Competition they are completely free to do so. Thousand Films asks that writers give written notice in these circumstances. If a submitted Script becomes optioned, produced or purchased by a third party, that Script will no longer be eligible for the Competition.

An email will be sent to the Lead Writer confirming submission of a Script to the competition. Once received no further action is necessary. The Lead Writer will be contacted if there are any problems with the submission.

Writers agree to allow the Script to be read and judged by multiple readers for the purposes of the Competition. All Judges will be bound by contract to do no more than read and judge a Script. In the unlikely event of breach of copyright by a Judge, Thousand Films shall not be held liable, and by submitting a Script Writers acknowledge and agree that Thousand Films shall have no responsibility for the breach by any Judge of any copyright or of their obligation of confidentiality, and Writers agree that they will bring no action against Thousand Films for breach of copyright by any Judge (although Writers may bring an action directly against the Judge).

Writers acknowledge and agree that the ideas and stories expressed and embodied in a Script may be similar to other material that may already have been received and/or developed by Thousand Films and/or one or more of the Judges (Pre-Existing Material). Writers agree that they are not entitled to any compensation or credit for use by Thousand Films or any Judges of any such Pre-Existing Material.

Writers agree that the title and a synopsis of a Script may be published on the website of Thousand Films and it’s sponsors and partners.

Writers agree that Thousand Films may use the Writer’s name and likeness for publicity and promotion of the Competition.

The decisions of the Thousand Films Judges are final. No discussion or correspondence regarding any decision will be entered into.

Thousand Films reserves the right to refuse entry to the competition from any Writer or Script for any reason.

Once submitted a revised version of a Script may not be submitted in the Competition.

Warranties and Indemnity

By submitting a Script, and in consideration for Thousand Films undertaking to enter the Script into the Competition and to read and judge the Script each Writer of a Script represents and undertakes to and with Thousand Films that:

  1. the Writers have the right, authority, and capacity to enter the Competition, and agree to abide and be bound by these Rules of the Competition;
  2. the Writers are the sole authors of the Script which is wholly original to them save for material already within the public domain throughout the world;
  3. the Lead Writer has obtained prior written authorization to act on behalf of all of the Writers of the Script;
  4. the Script shall not infringe the rights of any other person and may be validly copyrighted or otherwise protected in all countries which provide for copyright or similar protection;
  5. the Writers are the sole legal owners with full title guarantee of rights in the Script throughout the world and there is no actual or potential claim, proceeding, litigation or interest that might prejudice the rights in the Script or the exploitation of, or dealing in, rights in the Script;
  6. the Writers are submitting the Script voluntarily on a non- confidential basis;
  7. the Writer’s participation in the Competition including submission of the Script, will not conflict with or violate any term or condition of any other agreement to which the Writers are party, including but not limited to any union or guild regulation; and
  8. the Writers shall indemnify and hold harmless Thousand Films, its shareholders, directors, employees, contractors, agents and Judges from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to legal fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any breach by the Writers of any of the Rules (including but not limited to the foregoing warranties) and/or any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, and/or publicity to the Script entered.

"Data Protection Legislation" means the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and (i) unless and until it is no longer directly applicable in the UK, the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) (GDPR) and any national implementing laws, regulations and secondary legislation, as amended or updated from time to time, in the UK and then (ii) any successor legislation to the GDPR or the DPA. The Writer(s) and Thousand Films will comply with the Data Protection Legislation. For the purposes of such legislation, the Writer(s) consent to the holding, disclosing and processing of personal data (“Data"), including sensitive personal data, as such terms are defined under the Data Protection Legislation, relating to the Writer(s) by Thousand Films (and any companies in the same group as Thousand Films and, where relevant, their employees, agents and advisers) for purposes connected with the Competition and to ensure compliance with the Thousand Film's legal and regulatory obligations. The Writer(s) agree to inform Thousand Films when there are changes to the Writer(s)' Data.

The holding, disclosing or processing of Data may be in any form (whether obtained or held in writing, electronically or otherwise) and the Writer(s) acknowledges that the processing of Data may involve the disclosure of the Data to third parties and the transfer of such Data outside the European Economic Area including the USA and other jurisdictions where data protection regulations may not offer the same protection as those applicable within the European Economic Area and the Writer(s) consent to such transfers.

All communications sent by Thousand Films to any Writer shall, in the first instance, be sent to the email address provided by the Lead Writer.

Submission of a Script to the Competition by a Writer constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Rules.

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