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The Inciting Incident is Sinema Media’s inaugural screenplay competition, in partnership with casting agency Hello Group, acting school Method Acting Asia, publishing house Epigram Books and online interactive and fundraising platform Premise.

It aims to encourage screenwriters to shake off their hesitation, flesh out their stories and put them into the world. We believe that more screenplays will lead to more films being made, and that the screenplay challenge will push overall quality, thus growing the industry. At the same time, we want to showcase the emerging talents in this under-recognized and under-appreciated craft.

The competition will be held in four rounds, one for each quarter of the year in 2020. In each round, a genre will be announced, ten finalists will be chosen, and subsequently, three winners will be decided. 

Our finalists for this round are:

MoJo by Lee Eun Ho (First Place and Premise Award)
Nice To Meet You by Inah Briones & Ryan Yong (Second Place)
Hard-boiled Hard Luck by Giselle Lin (Third Place)
A/S/L by Maximilian Liang
Eat Better by Claire Tay
I Carry Your Heart by Wee Jing Ying Ella
I Wanna Hold Your Hand by Andrew Ngin Chiang Meng
One For One by Hazel Leong
Stay by Chung Ming See
You Look Wonderful Tonight by Andrew Ngin Chiang Meng

At the end of the competition, all winning screenplays will be collected and published in a print collection, in addition to the following prizes:

First Place:
$200 cash prize
A spot to attend a Fundamentals of Acting workshop by Haque Centre of Acting & Creativity (worth S$100)
300 Silver Coins Package for use on Premise
A one-week casting package from Hello Group to go towards the production of the winning entry as a short film, worth S$3000

Second Place:
$150 cash prize
A spot to attend a Fundamentals of Acting workshop by Haque Centre of Acting & Creativity (worth S$100)

Third Place:
$50 cash prize

The Premise Award:
Production of one minute project pitch video (worth S$417)
Creation of digital marketing assets (worth S$278)
100 Gold Coins Package for use on Premise (worth S$139)

The genre for this round is ROMANCE. Submissions close on 7 May 2020 at 11:59 PM (GMT +8).

  1. Pay the entry fee of S$5 per screenplay via the button below. You may pay for multiple entry fees in a single transaction, eg. $15 for 3 entries. The entry fee is non-refundable. Please take note of your Order Number, eg. #100XX.

  1. Fill in and submit the Registration Form. You will need to have your entry fee Order Number ready, so the entry fee must be paid first before completing this form. You must submit one Registration Form per screenplay. 
  1. Submit your screenplay document to us. Instructions for the document submission can be found on the Registration Form. You may register first and submit the completed screenplay at a later date, any time before the stipulated deadline.
  1. Applicants are to submit an original screenplay for a 3 – 5 minute short film based on the given genre. 
  1. The genre for this round is romance.
  1. All submissions must be received no later than 11:59PM (GMT +8) on Thursday, 7 May 2020
  1. There is no maximum number of entries per applicant, but the S$5 entry fee applies per screenplay, and you must submit one Registration Form per screenplay.
  1. For judging purposes, screenplays must be written in English, but you may denote that characters are speaking other languages, where appropriate. 
  1. Screenplays should be formatted according to current industry standards and submitted in PDF format. Font size must be 12 point and in Courier type. If you are unfamiliar with the required format, you can check out Celtx, which has a free online scriptwriting tool.
  1. Only the title of the screenplay should appear on the front cover page. Your name or contact information should not appear anywhere within the document.
  1. Once a script has been entered in the competition, we will not accept any substitutions of new drafts or corrected pages. If you wish to submit a revised draft of your screenplay, you must enter it as a new submission and pay the appropriate entry fee.
  1. This round of registrations and submissions is for our first challenge only, for romance screenplays to be submitted between 2 April – 7 May 2020. There will be a separate call for registration for each subsequent round throughout the year.
  1. Applicant(s) must be able to provide proof of residency in Singapore, shall the need arise.
  1. Screenplays must be the original work of the applicant(s) and must be wholly-owned and controlled by the author(s). If based upon another person’s life or upon a book or other underlying work, the applicant(s) must secure any necessary rights to make such adaptations. By entering the competition, you are acknowledging that you have secured all necessary rights.
  1. Industry professionals, including freelancers, may submit. However, submitted screenplays must be written in a  non-commercial capacity. Any screenplays that are made with the intent of sales and promotion of a product, service, or brand will not be accepted.
  1. Multiple authors for one work is accepted. If the work should receive any prizes or awards, it will be divided equally among the co-writers. 
  1. Works written prior to the competition period are accepted, provided they align with the submission requirements. However, we will not accept scripts that have already been made into short films.
  1. The Inciting Incident is non-exclusive. Submissions made to other competitions (within or outside Singapore) may be eligible for participation.
  1. Entries will be judged by a panel of industry professionals, according to the following criteria:
    • Form & Craft (45%)
    • Creativity (35%)
    • Producibility (20%)
  1. Ten finalists from each round will be invited to an Awards Presentation held at the end of each quarter, where the top three winning screenplays will be announced and awarded.
  2. For the second quarter of The Inciting Incident:
    First Place: $200 cash prize
    Second Place: $150 cash prize
    Third Place: $50 cash prize
    The works of the three winners in each round will be published in a collection by Epigram Books at the end of the competition. More prizes to be announced at a later date.
  1. Winning screenplays may have the opportunity to be made into short films.
  1. Participation in The Inciting Incident is subject to the terms and conditions set out herein. All details on registration, submission, judging and prizes shall form part of these Terms and Conditions.
  1. By entering The Inciting Incident, each Applicant will be deemed to have accepted and be bound by the Terms and Conditions. Each Applicant warrants that:
    • he/she has the legal capacity to participate in The Inciting Incident in accordance with the Terms and Conditions and the information submitted is true, complete and accurate; and
    • he/she possesses the exclusive rights to each submission hereunder and that no submissions shall infringe the intellectual property, privacy or other rights or interest or any third party or may result in any liability.
  1. The Applicant understands and accepts that personal particulars and information stated in the online registration form and any information supplied may be used and disclosed by the Organiser for purposes in connection with the promotion, marketing, publicity and obtaining sponsorship. In addition, the Applicant consents to the Organiser collecting, using, disclosing and/or processing any and all personal data submitted for various purposes, including verifying the Applicant’s identity; responding to, handling, and processing queries, requests, applications, complaints, and feedback from the Applicant; processing payment or credit transactions; as well sending the Applicant marketing and advertising materials from the Organiser or its business partners, and conducting market research and statistical analysis. 
  1. The Applicant hereby expressly and irrevocably consents to, and grants to the Organiser, its principals, agents, representatives, successors and/or assigns, the right to use his/her name, photographs, particulars, submissions at the Organiser associated programmes in any manner and in any media and formats in perpetuity throughout the world as the Organiser deems fit, including for publicity or promotional purposes. Such publicity may include without limitation the film(s) submitted for The Inciting Incident, the Applicant and/or likeness, voice, photographs and/or video footage of the Applicant, biographical information provided by the Applicant and/or any statement made by he/she concerning the Organiser, The Inciting Incident, and/or prizes.
  1. The Organiser shall not be obliged to include any Applicant in any publicity whatsoever. Each Applicant is obliged to take part in any and all marketing, promotional, publicity exercise as may be conducted by the Organiser.
  1. No Applicant shall, without the prior written approval of the Organiser, make any personal appearance, give any interviews or allow exposure in any media (be it online, print, visual or audio) relating to The Inciting Incident or submit any such material for any other purposes.
  1. The selection and number of Judges and the manner in which The Inciting Incident is judged shall be at the Organiser’s sole and absolute discretion. Each Applicant shall accept and abide by any and all decisions made by the Organiser in relation to The Inciting Incident, including and not limited to, the Terms and Conditions, evaluation criteria and the awarding of prizes. No inquiries, appeals, verbal or written, shall be entertained.
  1. Any decision made by the Organiser in relation to the conduct of The Inciting Incident is final, binding and conclusive and will not be challenged on any grounds, including without limitation, grounds that the Organiser failed to act reasonably or fairly.
  1. The Jury reserves the right not to select a winning submission if none of the entries are deemed to be of sufficient criterion.
  1. The winner shall not transfer, exchange or redeem any non-cash Award prize(s) won, and such prizes can only be used by the winner only at such times and may be subject to certain terms and conditions as specified by the Organiser or, if applicable, the Sponsors of The Inciting Incident. The winner acknowledges and agrees that he/she may be disqualified from receiving any prize(s) if he/she is not able or willing to abide by any Terms and Conditions which may be imposed by the Organiser or Sponsors of The Inciting Incident in relation to the Award prize(s), and in such event, the Organiser reserves the right to award the prizes to another winner (s).
  1. The winner’s refusal to accept any Award prize(s) (be it cash or non-cash) shall release the Organiser from all obligations in connection with the Award prize(s). In addition, the winner shall fulfill all obligations (if any) specified by the Organiser and Sponsors of The Inciting Incident.
  1. The Organiser does not undertake any responsibility for any delivery of sponsored Award prize(s). In the event that the Sponsor of The Inciting Incident fails or refuses, for whatever reason, to deliver or transfer the prize or make good on its promise or offer to the Award prize(s) winner, the Organiser shall not be liable or be responsible for losses (of any nature whatsoever) arising from such failure or refusal.
  1. The Organiser reserves the right to disqualify any Applicant if it has reasonable grounds to believe that the Applicant has breached these Terms and Conditions, or on any grounds as the Organiser may in its sole discretion decide.
  1. The Applicant shall indemnify and keep the Organiser indemnified from and against any and all losses, damages, claims and/or costs (including costs on a full indemnity basis) suffered and/or incurred by the Applicant as a result of your breach of any of the Terms and Conditions.
  1. The Terms and Conditions shall be governed by and constructed in accordance with Singapore laws. The Applicant irrevocably submits to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of the Republic of Singapore.
  1. No third party shall have any rights to enforce any of the provisions under the Terms and Conditions against the Organiser under the Contracts (Rights of Third Party) Act of the Republic of Singapore.
  1. The Organiser reserves the right to amend or vary any of the Terms and Conditions without prior notice.

Who can participate in this challenge?

Anyone, as long as you are residing in Singapore i.e. a citizen, Permanent Resident, Student Pass holder, S Pass holder, etc. All are welcome, from students and hobbyists to professional writers.

Who can submit the Registration Form?

The Registration Form should be completed by the writer (or co-writer) of the submitted screenplay.

Can I submit under a pseudonym? 

Yes, as long as you leave us valid contact details so we can reach out to you.

What works are eligible to be submitted?

Only original screenplays for a 3 to 5-minute short film based on the given genre. We will not accept short stories, feature film scripts, web / TV pilot scripts, etc. If the screenplay is based upon a true story or an existing work, you must secure any necessary rights to make such adaptations.

Works written prior to the competition period are accepted, as long as they meet all of the submission requirements.

However, we will not accept scripts that have already been made into short films.

How many entries can I submit?

You can submit as many entries as you like, but take note that the S$5 entry fee is per screenplay, not per person. To submit multiple entries, first, proceed to pay the appropriate total entry fee. You must then complete one Registration Form per screenplay.

Why is there an entry fee? 

The entry fee helps us to cover some of the costs of the competition.

Is there a page / word limit?

There isn’t a strict limit, but please note that your screenplay should be for a 3 – 5 minute short film. Generally, one minute of film is about one script page.

Why can’t I submit scripts that aren’t in English?

We would really love to accept scripts in different languages! But this is not possible for us at the moment because we don’t have the resources to run the judging process with multiple languages. As such, entries must be written in English, but if your characters are speaking a different language, you can just indicate it accordingly on the script.

There is a mistake in the screenplay document I submitted. Can I send you a new version?

We will not accept any missing or corrected pages. If you wish to submit a revised draft of your screenplay, you must enter it as a new submission and pay the appropriate entry fee.

Must I have participated in the first round in order to qualify for future rounds?

No! Each round is separate, and it is open for everyone, regardless of whether you participated or even won in previous rounds.


For any questions or concerns, please contact us at or +65 8228 1405.