Urbanworld Film Festival – Original Screenplay Competition


Urbanworld Film Festival is now accepting submissions for the 20th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival, to be held September 21 – 25, 2016 in NYC. The festival includes screenings of narrative features, documentaries, short films, and spotlight films along with Q&A sessions and moderated panels. UW also offers live staged screenplay readings, the Urbanworld Digital track (focused on digital and social media), and Urbanworld Music, which highlights emerging talent in live performances during after-party events. Go to http://urbanworld.org to submit today.

Urbanworld Film Festival – Call for Original Narrative Screenplay Submissions

  • Four finalists will be invited to participate in the festival and will:
  • Receive all-access passes to UW,
  • Collaborate with UW to present staged excerpts of their screenplays for industry guests
  • Attend a luncheon in their honor hosted by the Writer’s Guild of America East
  • The winner will be announced at the official awards ceremony and will receive a cash prize

Submission Deadlines:

  • 4/29/16 – Regular Deadline
  • 5/27/16 – Late Deadline
  • 6/10/16 – Extended Deadline
  • (submission fees increase with each deadline)


  • No hard copy submissions will be considered; only electronic submissions via FilmFreeway.
  • The screenwriter of the screenplay must consider himself/herself a person of color OR the screenplay must feature people of color as prominent characters in the story. At a minimum, the screenplay must highlight an inclusive cast that reflects the shifting demographics around the world.
  • Screenplays must be the standard feature film length (90-130 pages) and standard US format only. Treatments will not be accepted. Only English language screenplays will be accepted.
  • If the applicant has participated in any previous Urbanworld screenplay competition with a script, that script will not be accepted, irrespective of any and all revisions/changes the applicant may have made subsequent to participation.
  • Screenplays may not have been produced, sold, or licensed for theatrical, television, or online production.
  • Screenplays must be the original work of the applicant and registered with the Writers Guild of America, East Script Registration at scriptregistration.org or copyrighted.


  • The applicant’s name, address, and phone number MUST appear on the cover of the screenplay’s title page.
  • There is no limit to the number of submissions per applicant, provided separate submissions and submission fee accompanies each submission.
  • All screenplays must be uploaded as a PDF file by the extended deadline, June 10, 2016.
  • Screenwriters will be notified via email of submission status by July 13, 2016.
  • You must have your electronic press kit materials available for submission to Urbanworld, along with the Screenwriter Checklist, no later than July 22, 2016, if accepted as an official selection.

CBS News Writers 2016-2019 Contract Ratification Information

WGAE member Richard Cannon Died

Richard Anthony Cannon of Old Bridge, N.J., beloved husband, father, and grandfather and award-winning broadcast journalist, died suddenly on February 11. He was 80 years old. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Barbara, a former mayor of Old Bridge, and his children Lisa and Alison, both of Burlington, Vt., Julia, of Plainsboro N.J., and Greg and his wife, Kathy Schwartz, of New Paltz, N.Y.; his grandchildren Guthrie, Seamus, and Analia; and his brother, Robert, of Greenlawn, N.Y. He is predeceased by his parents, Robert and Alice.

Bronx born and bred, Richard was the son of hardworking Irish-American parents, who helped make him and his brother the first in their family to attend college. He received a B.A. in Communication Arts in 1956 from Fordham University, where he served as campus correspondent for The New York Times. Later, he worked as a statehouse correspondent for UPI in Minneapolis before moving to broadcast journalism. First as a writer/producer for NBC and ABC affiliates in Minnesota and Boston and then for ABC News and WCBS in New York, his career spanned the glory days of the industry.

He covered, first-hand, historic events like the Apollo moon landing from mission control in Houston, the Middle East peace process from Egypt, the release of the U.S. hostages in Iran from Wiesbaden, Germany, where they were first flown. He covered both Kennedy assassinations, the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King, and every national political convention over a span of 30 years, including the Democratic National Convention in 1968, where his up-close and personal reporting got him tear-gassed while covering the protests.

A tireless advocate for peace and justice, Richard produced some of the first documentaries on civil rights in the South, and the conditions of American Indians living on reservations in the West.  At WCBS, he was for many years lead producer for Jim Jensen, the longtime WCBS anchor.  A lifetime member of the Writer’s Guild, he won awards for his work from that organization and a New York Emmy Award.

He also produced numerous sports programs, including “Sport Rap,” with former Giants great Alex Webster, which aired live, immediately following Giants home games, as well as other specials featuring the likes of Tom Seaver, Ron Swaboda, and Jim Bouton.

He was an intrepid sailor and ever-curious globe trotter, who was fascinated with culture, history, and language. He traveled with his wife, Barbara, to the Brazilian Amazon, China, Mexico, South Africa, and many other faraway lands.

Since his retirement, Richard devoted his time and love to his wife and children, and especially his grandchildren, with whom he shared his wonderful sense of humor and love of laughter. He also spent time with his faithful companion, a dog named Snuggles. He was a talented craftsman and artist, who made stain glass, painted, and carved and constructed miniatures from driftwood.

A wake is planned For Friday, Feb. 20 from 6-8pm at the Old Bridge Funeral Home with a funeral to follow the next morning at Most Holy Redeemer Church in Old Bridge. Donations may be made in lieu of flowers to Doctors Without Borders at donate.doctorswithoutborders.org, click on “tribute donation,” or BronxNet Television at 2790 Goulden Avenue, Carmen Hall Room C19B, Bronx, NY 10468.


EVENT: Andrew Bergman On Taking HONEYMOON IN VEGAS From Screen To Broadway

WGAE member Andrew Bergman wrote the book for the Broadway hit Honeymoon in Vegas, based on his 1992 film HONEYMOON IN VEGAS. On March 15th, Bergman will be participating in HONEYMOON IN VEGAS: Conversation & Performance with the Cast & Creative Team of the Hit Broadway Show  at 92Y – Buttenwieser Hall (1395 Lexington Ave, New York, NY‎).

WGA members get a 20% discount off tickets by using the code VEGAS20. Tickets can be purchased here.

In addition to writing and directing the 1992 cult-classic film HONEYMOON IN VEGAS, Bergman wrote the classic comedies BLAZING SADDLES, SOAPDISH and FLETCH.

He will be joined at this event by Jason Robert Brown (Music & Lyrics), the three-time Tony Award-winning composer, lyricist and orchestrator for The Bridges of Madison County and Parade, Gary Griffin (Director) is the award-winning Broadway director of The Color Purple and The Apple Tree, and assoc. artistic director of Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, and  Denis Jones (Choreographer) is assoc. choreographer for Broadway’s Legally Blonde and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. More guests to be announced.


2015 Writers Guild Awards: Final Voting

The FINAL voting period to determine the winners for the 2015 Writers Guild Awards will be open as of 12pm today for the following categories:


Vote online at: https://eballot4.votenet.com/wga/login.cfm

Your username is your last name and your password is your 5-digit member ID number.

The deadline is THURSDAY, JANUARY 29, 2015.

If you are unable vote online, please contact Nancy Hathorne (212.767.7812) to request a paper ballot. Contact Dana Weissman (212.767.7835) for additional information.

Interview: Katja Blichfeld & Ben Sinclair, “High Maintenance”

The WGAE Write On Blog interviewed Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair, co-creators and writers of the critically acclaimed web series HIGH MAINTENANCE. You can read the interview here

Writers In Treatment’s Founder Leonard Buschel on the Reel Recovery Film Festival

Leonard Buschel has written a guest post for the WGAE Write On Blog about why he founded Writers In Treatment, a non-profit dedicated to helping writers with alcohol and/or drug addictions, and what to expect from the New York edition of the REEL Recovery Film Festival, which runs September 26 through October 2 at QuadCinema in New York City. Read his engaging essay here.

Flu Shots for WGAE Members

The Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic Flu Shot schedule for 2014 is shown below. Flu shots will be provided to WGAE members, but not their* spouses or other family members. Many thanks to the Actors Fund.

Tuesday, October 14th, 9:30 to 12:00 AM
Thursday, October 23rd, 9:30 to 12:00 PM
Monday, November 3rd, 1:30 to 4:00 PM
Friday, November 14th, 1:30 to 4:00 PM
Wednesday, December 10th, 1:30 to 4:00 PM
Friday, December 19th, 1:30 to 4:00 PM

Vaccinations will be administered at:
The Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic
Dorothy Ross Friedman Residences (formerly The Aurora)
475 West 57th Street, NYC

–    Appointments are not necessary.
–    You will be asked for your WGAE membership card.
–    Dates and times are subject to change. For the latest information regarding flu shot days, call 212.489.1939; at the start of the recording, press option 3.

* If the above dates and times are not convenient for you or your family, you and your eligible dependents may choose to receive a flu vaccination from your doctor or your local pharmacy. You may submit your claim to the Health Fund for reimbursement under the Wellness Benefit.

Washington Post runs WGAE op-ed on nonfiction TV working conditions

The Washington Post has run an op-ed by WGAE Executive Director Lowell Peterson on unsafe and unfair working conditions in nonfiction television. In the essay, Lowell details how and why the Guild is working to make reality TV workplace conditions more like those in the rest of the business. You can read Lowell’s powerful essay here.

Screening: SHADOWS FROM MY PAST at Quadcinema

Jerome Coopersmith (HAWAII FIVE-O, ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS) welcomes all WGA members to see Gita Kaufman’s SHADOWS FROM MY PAST for free at Quadcinema (34 West 13th Street, NYC).

The documentary follows Kaufman, a Holocaust survivor, as she goes back to Austria to find out how Austrians could have let such a thing happen. The film includes interviews with famed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal and President Heinz Fischer of Austria.

WGA members wishing to see the film for free can RSVP by calling Quadcinema at 212-255-2243 and bringing their WGA Cards for identity.