Every great feature film begins with a well-written and dynamic screenplay.  As original ideas and highly developed scripts are key elements to the success of the screen industry, the Atlantic Film Festival is looking for the best and most talented writers from the Atlantic region to participate in our annual Script Development Program. Presented by Telefilm Canada & The Harold Greenberg Fund, this program offers a unique opportunity for Atlantic Canadian writers to develop their feature film ideas from an outline into a treatment and finally into a rough first draft.


The first draft scripts will then be presented to a jury and writers will pitch their projects to a room of film producers at the 37th Atlantic Film Festival. It is during this Script Pitch Event that the writers will vie for a $10,000 development prize, made available through The Harold Greenberg Fund. After the pitch session, writers and producers will get a chance to discuss their projects further at a networking reception, sponsored by Telefilm Canada, with the hope of creating a working connection. Once writers have found a producer to work with, they will also be eligible to work with Telefilm Canada and the Harold Greenberg Fund to bring their project into further development.



        Telefilm Canada Script Pitch feat. 2016 winner Mary Lewis for FEBRUARY




The jury will select FOUR feature film outlines that will be developed into rough first drafts through three intensive weekend sessions under the guidance of MICHAEL MELSKI, one of Canada’s top story editors.  The writers will also attend a pitch workshop with Michael to hone their pitching technique.  All writers will also take part in the Script Pitch Event, during the 37th Atlantic Film Festival, where the writers will pitch their feature film idea to a room of industry professionals with the aim of attaching a producer and/or director to the projects and to compete for the $10,000 development prize. Writers will be evaluated upon: the quality of the script; the demonstrated abilities of the writer within the entire curriculum of the program; and, the ability of the writer to articulate the attractiveness of the story in verbal form.





MICHAEL MELSKI’s screenwriting credits include the award-winning feature films GROWING OP, CHARLIE ZONE, MILE ZERO, TOUCH AND GO, PERFUME WAR and his upcoming supernatural thriller THE CHILD REMAINS. In addition, Michael has been a story editor/consultant on THE DISAPPEARED, BLACKBIRD, SABAH, FAITH FRAUD AND MINIMUM WAGE, RELATIVE HAPPINESS, HARD DRIVE, ROAMING, NOON GUN and others. He has also written for several Gemini-nominated television series including BLUE MURDER, SNAKES AND LADDERS, and STREET CENTS. A past writing resident at the Canadian Film Centre, Neptune Theatre, and the Shaw Festival, Michael has taught screenwriting at NSCAD, been a guest lecturer in Ryerson’s film department, and is the author of many published stage plays including HOCKEY MOM, HOCKEY DAD, and THE FLY FISHER’S COMPANION. He is currently based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.



Please Note: Successful applicants MUST be available for ALL 3 WEEKEND workshops and any other related events during the opening weekend of the 37th Atlantic Film Festival, September 14-21, 2017.






Application Deadline: Friday, June 2, 2017 at 5PM


Workshop #1: June 24–25, 2017


Workshop #2: July 29-30, 2017


Workshop #3: August 26–27, 2017


One-on-One Pitch Sessions: September 14, 15 & 16, 2017


Script Pitch Event: Sunday September 17, 2017


37th Atlantic Film Festival: September 14–21, 2017






Once you have filled out the completed application form, you can send it to


Questions? Please contact


The Atlantic Film Festival's annual Script Development Program is presented by Telefilm Canada & The Harold Greenberg Fund.