NSI Script to Screen

Application deadline

We are not currently running this course.

To receive news about NSI Script to Screen, sign up for our e-newsletter or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

What is NSI Script to Screen?

NSI Script to Screen is a writer-oriented development program delivered by the National Screen Institute.

The program is designed to provide emerging and established screenwriters with the financial and creative tools to develop audience-friendly feature film concepts.

The program will identify up to a maximum of five gifted writers and help shape their ideas from the early stages of development through to a polished, production-ready script with viable market interest.

Please note: the call will close when we reach 200 complete submissions. 

How it works

Successful applicants will receive a development advance of up to $50,000 which will be spread across the treatment, first draft and final draft stages.

The development process will span a year from the signing of the agreement to a polished script.

Writers need to submit their creative materials at each phase to a representative from NSI for creative feedback and approval before moving to the next phase.

Throughout the development phase writers will report to and be mentored by a representative from NSI.

Upon submission of a polished script, and at the discretion of NSI, projects that have demonstrated progress and potential may receive assistance in creating market interest.

What we look for

When reviewing submissions we’re looking for top-quality, audience-friendly, entertaining, unique and dynamic projects.


The fund seeks to identify talented writers who have demonstrated their creative abilities in the craft. Both union and non-union screenwriters are welcome to apply.

Submission requirements

  • Completed application form
  • Logline
  • Synopsis. No more than one page. Must include the ending.
  • 12 to 15 page treatment (a treatment is a scene-by-scene description of the screen story written in prose with little or no dialogue). Treatments over 15 pages will not be considered.
  • 3 to 5 page sample scene or scene sequence from the story. Must be written in standard screenplay format.
  • Writer’s CV
  • Applications must be submitted as one PDF document. This means you must combine the separate documents (logline, synopsis, treatment, sample scenes and writer’s CV) into one PDF.


  • Concepts must be the original work of one writer, or the collaborative work of two writers, and must be written in English.
  • Concepts must be feature in length (with a minimum final running time of 75 minutes).
  • Projects must be narrative (experimental or documentary films are not eligible).
  • Projects cannot be under option with a production company.
  • The applicant must be a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant and be over the age of 18.
  • Applicants who have previously been accepted into the program may only apply after completing the development phase of the program.
  • Projects which were previously rejected may not be re-submitted.
  • All genres are acceptable.
  • Applicants may only apply with one project.
  • Adaptations and translated scripts are not eligible.
  • All applications must be complete and received on or before the day of the deadline to be eligible for consideration (note that the call will close before the deadline when we reach 200 applications).
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • The selection committee’s decision is final.
  • The project must comply with all applicable laws, regulations, standards and policies including any requirements in respect of broadcasting and intellectual property, and it will not infringe upon any public or private rights and will not otherwise contravene any civil and criminal laws in effect.
  • The funding is available in the form of a development advance and is to be reimbursed on the first day of principal photography.


  • Call for submissions opens June 8, 2015
  • Selected applicants will be notified mid-January 2016
  • Course culminates on or around January 31, 2017


Please see our list of frequently asked questions.

If your question is not answered there, you can email brendon.sawatzky@nsi-canada.ca