#NFF19 Showtime's Tony Cox Episodic Screenplay (30 Min) FINALISTS Announced!

Read more below about our finalists, their scripts, and the prizes up for grabs!

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Episodic Screenplay (30 Min) Finalists:

The lives of three strong women with nothing in common become intertwined in the linty underbelly of the Sunshine State.

Leanna Adams has written, directed, produced, edited and starred in dozens of award-winning shorts that have screened in festivals around North America, some of which have aired on TBS and Fox's LaughsTV and been featured by Huffington Post and Funny or Die. Her short films and scripts have also received numerous awards. Leanna’s TV pilot, FLORIDA WOMAN SAVES THE DAY, was a finalist in the 2019 Atlanta Film Festival, a finalist in the 2018 WIF/The Black List Episodic Lab, a finalist in the 2018 Shore Scripts TV Pilot competition, a quarter-finalist in the ScreenCraft Pilot Launch competition and has received numerous positive evaluations on The Black List including a rare 8/10.

FUNDERLAND by Sasha Perl-Raver
During the golden age of Public Access Television—1985 New York City—an aspiring puppeteer could be the next big thing, if only his Tourette’s syndrome weren’t so severe.

Sasha Perl-Raver has written, produced, and appeared on television and digital platforms including FX, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS, LOGO, Style Network, TV Guide Channel, Facebook, and many others. She is a USC grad, a former Food Network chef, and was once proclaimed “Funniest in LA” by the NY Daily News. Most recently, Sasha was one of just six women awarded a spot in the prestigious Black List/Women in Film Episodic Lab.

WATCH OUT GALS! by Madalyn Baldanzi
When a perfectionist producer becomes the first woman to produce her own game show in 1982, she faces the challenging reality behind her dream job.

Madalyn Baldanzi is a comedy writer, director, and teacher in New York City. She recently wrote for Go90's Mr. Student Body President. At the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre, Madalyn wrote for several house teams and shows including running shows Bullshit Women, A Date With Every Boy, and currently, Sketch Cram. She is the co-writer of Above Average series Katie: A Lady and was a long-time contributor to Funny Or Die.  She was a 2017 Made In New York Writers Room Fellow.  Madalyn is extremely fond of teaching sketch comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Training Center. She also enjoys directing live theatre, as well as directing and producing videos through her production company, Fancy Family. 

Finalists Receive:

  • VIP week-­long Pass to Nantucket Film Festival;

  • Showtime ­sponsored reception during the Film Festival;

  • Participation in Mentors Brunch with prominent screenwriter during the Film Festival;

  • Name inclusion in Festival catalogue and on website

And One Winner, to be announced during the Festival, will receive:

  • $1,000 cash prize from the Nantucket Film Festival;

  • All-inclusive two-weeks-long episodic comedy writer's retreat on Nantucket in June with Screenwriters Colony and NFF;

  • One-on-one consultation with Showtime executive;

  • VIP week-­long Pass to Nantucket Film Festival;

  • Showtime ­sponsored reception during the Film Festival;

  • Participation in Mentors Brunch with prominent screenwriter during the Film Festival;

  • Name inclusion on Festival catalogue and website as Competition winner

Showtime's Tony Cox Episodic Screenplay (60 Min), and Shorts Writer Semifinalists Announced!

Congratulations to all of our writers - finalists will be announced soon!

Episodic 60 Min Pilot Screenplay Semifinalists:

The Line by Tesia J. Walker
In the era of civil rights, racial tensions run high in a small South Carolina town home to a historically black university.

Miburn by Matt Gossen and Bennett Viso
Assigned with the insurmountable task of bringing down the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in segregated 1960s Mississippi, undercover FBI agents turn to unorthodox means.

North Country by Jeremy Craig
This layered, historical saga follows a man's transformation from ignominious prisoner to powerful timber baron during the Michigan lumber boom of Reconstruction Era America.

The Rize by Bryan Parker
A teenage boy from the projects discovers he may be the key to saving his neighborhood from both a gentrifying developer and darker forces at work.

Rue Pigalle by Jessica Shields
In 1930s Paris, on the seedy streets of Montmartre, a group of musicians, mobsters and misfits desperately cling to their slice of utopia as they contend with the global depression and encroaching war.

Short Screenplay Semifinalists:

Against the River by Dan Ritter
In this atmospheric suspense drama, three boys witness something unexpected in the woods.

Gemini I: Hold the Wind by Janae Green
Set during the historical Great Migration period of World War II, a newlywed Black couple seeks an escape from their lives in the Jim Crow South.

Koko Ni Inai (I'm Not Here) by Emel Saat
An imaginative, visually rich story in which two characters tackle themes of social media, isolation in a crowd, and the need to connect. 

Unreliable Narrators by Sara Alize Cross
A storyteller suffering from writer's block encounters a younger woman with a story eerily similar to her own.

The Yao of Tao by Rajiv Shah with Jesse Wang and Robert Berg
Tao, a Chinese caregiver for Isaac, a dying cancer patient, finds himself at odds with Isaac’s estranged daughter.

Finalists Announced for Showtime's Tony Cox Episodic Screenplay (30 Min) Competition

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Congratulations to our three finalists in Showtime's Tony Cox Episodic Screenplay (30 Minute) Competition:

A dark comedy about a flawed writer who is blackmailed into managing a hipster music blog by its manchild owner, heir to a porn fortune. It's about being too old for this shit before you’re 40.

Wharton grad Christine finds herself the newbie at a YouTube-like company, tasked with finding and developing new content makers.

81-year-old Maggie moves from Arizona back to NYC to pick up the life she had left as a young woman. 

The winner receives:

  • A $1,000 cash prize from the Nantucket Film Festival
  • An all-inclusive two-weeks-long writer's retreat on Nantucket in June with the Screenwriter's Colony and NFF
  • One-on-one consultation with a Showtime executive
  • A VIP week-long Festival Pass to all events
  • Participation in our Mentor Brunch during the Festival
  • A Showtime-sponsored reception during the Festival in the winners’ honor
  • A Custom leather bound copy of the script, courtesy of Showtime
  • Print and media coverage
  • Name inclusion on Festival program materials as a competition finalist and winner

Stay tuned for the winner, to be announced soon!

Showtime's Tony Cox Feature Screenplay Competition Semi-Finalists

NFF is pleased to announce the ten semi-finalists of our Showtime Tony Cox Feature Screenplay Competition. These seven are in contention to win the following:  a spot in the month-long October Screenwriters Colony, with complimentary travel, housing, and meals; a $5,000 cash prize; a VIP week­-long Pass to the 2016 Nantucket Film Festival; and a roundtrip NYC/Nantucket flight with accommodations to attend the Festival. 

Conjugal, by Conway Preston

Daisy Chain, by Rachel Gerlach

Flyboy, by TR Lawrence

House of Horowitz, by Jennifer Meyer

Motor City, by Matthew Kohnen and Sean Kohnen

Ninja Girl, by Camille Beaudoin

Tel Aviv on Fire, by Sameh Zoabi

The Count, by David Bluestein

Time Tourists, by Josh Miller

Undead Outlaws, by Matthew David

The winner will be announced during the Festival at the Showtime Tony Cox Awards Brunch on Friday, June 24th. 

Showtime's Tony Cox Episodic Screenplay (30 Min) Competition Semi-Finalists

NFF is pleased to announce the five semi-finalists of our Showtime Tony Cox Episodic Screenplay (30 Min) Competition. These five are in contention to win the following: a $1000 cash prize, an all-access badge to the 2016 Nantucket Film Festival, consultation with a Showtime executive, participation in the Mentor’s Brunch and, new this year, an all-inclusive, two-week-long writer's retreat on Nantucket in June with The Screenwriter's Colony and NFF.   
Also new this year is announcing the 30 Minute TV Pilot category earlier than the other three categories in the Showtime Tony Cox Screenplay Competitions.  Stay tuned for news on the other categories in May, but for now, learn about the 30 minute scripts and screenwriters below. Be sure to check back during the week of April 25th for the announcement of the winner.

30 Minute TV Pilot Semi-Finalists



The Adventures of Ash and Owen                                                                                                                                   Synopsis: Ashwin "Ash" Balasubramanian is a Dr. Dre fanatic and a social outcast in his predominately white middle school in Connecticut. When a new student, Owen Morris, approaches him with a scheme to charge five dollars to complete their peer's math homework, they form a friendship that is anything but simple.

Bio: Arun Narayanan is a writer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. His writing/directing credits include the short films: CELLULOID DREAMS, which aired on PBS’s Shorts Showcase in 2013, and FALSE WITNESS, which will air on ShortsHD in 2016. He is currently writing a made-for-television feature film for Larry Levinson Productions, which is his first paid job as a screenwriter.



The Disappointments
Synopsis:  Christine, a Vietnamese American, has put her career on hold to deal with her divorce. Through flashbacks we find out that her three siblings have also left promising careers--violinist, lawyer, entrepreneur-- behind, and now all four are running their overbearing mother's donut shop.

Bio: Huong Nguyen was born in Saigon, Vietnam, and raised by a single-mother in Virginia. Huong graduated from the University of Virginia in 2005.  After graduation, Huong pursued a corporate career, but kept writing at night. While working at Kaiser Permanente, her first spec for Modern Family made her a finalist in the Nickelodeon Writing Fellowship. Since leaving Kaiser, Huong has worked as a writer’s assistant on Mr. Box Office. She currently works as a writer/producer for WorldWise Productions. 



The Godmother
Synopsis:  The dark horse of a perfect family is called on to take care of her spoiled niece and nephew when her rich sister and brother-in-law go to prison for fraud.

Bio: Wyndham Lewis is a television writer who most recently served as Story Editor and Staff Writer for the Emmy Award winning Showtime series, Nurse Jackie. Previously, Wyndham served as Speechwriter, Press Secretary and Chief of Staff serving four Massachusetts Governors.  During his time in television and politics, his political, food, lifestyle, sports and technology articles were published in several newspapers and magazines including: Esquire; Details; Boston Magazine; Boston Globe; Boston Herald; Boston Phoenix.



My Right Wing Bride
:  When sparks fly between a media savvy right wing political dynamo and a hard-core liberal journalist, their romance rattles their families, and their own world views.

Bio:  Matthew Gallagher hails from Danbury, Connecticut and attended Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.  Gallagher is the playwriting professor at Eastern Connecticut State University, where he also teaches acting and writing.



Synopsis:  A failing sports talk radio station has one last shot at returning to its former glory, before ownership decides to sell it for good.

Bio:  Bryan Riedel has been a professional writer for over nine years with experience in film, television and commercials. He worked on NBC’s 30Rock for six seasons, beginning as a production assistant, moving up to writer’s assistant. He is a member of the Writers Guild.  In addition to pitching his television comedy pilot, he’s writing a ten-episode webseries. 

NFF Launches Comedy Writers Retreat with Screenwriters Colony

Screenwriters Colony: Episodic Comedy
in partnership with Nantucket Film Festival
June 10-23, 2016

The Screenwriters Colony and Nantucket Film Festival are thrilled to announce the launch of a new writers program, the Screenwriters Colony: Episodic Comedy, running June 10-23, 2016.

This inaugural collaboration will provide four emerging episodic comedy writers with an all-expense paid trip to Nantucket for an immersive residency and mentorship program. While on Nantucket, the writers will work together with eminent professional industry mentors to experience the writers' room, hone their craft, and develop their pilots.

The Nantucket Film Festival’s Episodic Screenplay (30 Min) Competition winner will receive one of the spots in the writers-in-residence program. The Tony Cox Screenplay Competitions are sponsored by Showtime. The Colony will overlap with the start of the 2016 Nantucket Film Festival, taking place June 22-27.

Eric Gilliland will serve as the Creative Advisor on the curriculum and will run the two-week program in June. Gilliland is a Peabody- and Golden Globe-winning writer/producer whose television credits include Roseanne, The Wonder Years, Who’s The Boss?, and That 70’s Show. Gilliland also produced the documentary God Grew Tired of Us: The Story of The Lost Boys of Sudan, which won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. He currently teaches at Tisch’s Goldberg School of Dramatic Writing at New York University.

Writers and mentors for the 2016 inaugural program will be announced in April 2016.

Have a 30-min original comedy pilot script? Submit to NFF's Screenplay Competition today!

Earlybird Deadline: December 14, 2015
Regular Deadline: January 14, 2016


Three Finalists For The 2015 Showtime Tony Cox Feature Screenplay Competition

NFF is pleased to announce the three finalists of our Showtime Tony Cox Feature Screenplay Competition, who will compete to win the grand prize of $5000, a month long stay at the Nantucket Screenwriters Colony, an all expenses paid trip to the festival and more. The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony during the 20th annual NFF.

The Chronicles of Houghington  

Writer: Colin Borden

With the whimsy of the original Pink Panther and the adventure of Indiana JonesThe Chronicles of Houghington follow our falsely-famous leader as he amazingly escapes dangers by sheer luck as he searches for a new treasure, but this time Houghington might not be able to luck himself out of a sticky situation.


Writer: Kristen Dávila

Pakistani plastic surgeon and gambling addict Mohsin needs to make a lot of money fast, so he contacts the CIA to turn in his new neighbor, who happens to be on the Top Ten most wanted terrorist list.

The Gloaming

Writer: Philip Aceto

An ensemble drama about a janitor and the surrounding high school where he works.