Contests: Screenplays 2023


Many thanks to all who entered the 2023 American Zoetrope Screenplay Competition. We appreciate the opportunity to read such diverse and innovative work.

From nearly 2,000 submissions, Judge Francis Coppola and the Zoetrope staff honored the scripts below.


Land of the Young by Zach Bandler (Long Beach, CA)


Face by Justine Bateman (Studio City, CA)

Absentee by Michael James Beck (Los Angeles, CA)

Invisible Men by Joe Cacaci (Roxbury, CT)

A Thousand Dead Hogs by David Herzfeld (Los Angeles, CA)

Three Summers by John Hoffler (Atlanta, GA)

The Horse Killers by Ben Hurst and Josh Flanagan (St. George, UT)

Freidel by Ann LeSchander (Inglewood, CA)

Last Summer Ever by Salvatore Liuzzi (Navarre, FL)

Scent of Marigold by Lily Malm and Laila Matuk (North Hollywood, CA)

Is This It by Lulu Bennani-Smires (Washington, DC)

Cly by Sofia Drummond-Moore (Los Angeles, CA)

Nobody’s Heroes by Michael Elliott (Annapolis, MD)

3 Minutes & 6 Seconds by Jake Hulse and Wade Wofford (Belchertown, MA)

1946 (pilot) by Zoe Kaplan (New York, NY)

Jack by Sean Roldan (Los Angeles, CA)

Wild Parakeets by Divya Subbiah (New York, NY)

Kore by Regina Tsasis (Austin, TX)

Portland, 1988 by Michael Weinreb (Oakland, CA)

The King of Colored Town by Darryl Wimberley (Staunton, VA)


Nightshade by George Louis Bartlett (Birmingham, England)

When Flames Dance: Symphony No. 1 by Michael Canon (Sherman Oaks, CA)

Siren by Alex Clark (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

Funeral Games by Madeleine de Jean (Cathedral City, CA)

The Barman by Do Lim and Sun Park (Chapel Hill, NC)

Screwed, A Comedy of Manners in Word and Song by Israela Margalit (New York, NY)

T-Minus by Nick Matthews (Chicago, IL)

The Forger’s Apprentice (pilot) by Mark Moliterni (Los Angeles, CA)

Behind Closed Doors by Morgan Poole (New Market, VA)

Knockout by Josh Sackheim (Burbank, CA)

The winner will receive the grand prize of $5,000.

The winner and nine finalists will be considered for representation by the agencies CAA, Circle of Confusion, Energy Entertainment, Exile Entertainment, the Gersh Agency, ICM, Oasis Media Group, the Radmin Company, UTA, and William Morris Endeavor. Their scripts will be considered for option and development by the production companies American Zoetrope, Anonymous Content, ARRAY, Cats & Dogs Productions, Double Hope Films, Fox Searchlight, Groundswell Productions, Icon Films, IFC Films, Jean Doumanian Productions, Lionsgate, LIT Entertainment Group, Lleju Productions, Number 9 Films, Oasis Media Group, Pretty Pictures Productions, Roserock Films, Sony Pictures Classics, Verisimilitude, and Working Title Films.

The 2024 American Zoetrope Screenplay Competition will open for submissions on June 1. To receive updates by email, please write us at [email protected].

Thanks again, and all good wishes for your writing!