Challenge is closed


Mr Jones by Jillian Wade

Who is Cinderella? by Kimberly Divad

A fish out of water is the classic trope of placing a character in an unusual environment or situation to begin and/or advance the story, heighten tension, and/or to add comedic effect. Choose a historical figure or well-known cinematic character as your protagonist and place this person in a unique fish out of water moment. What surroundings do they find themselves in? Is there an activity or circumstance that further complicates their journey? Be sure to identify their objective in the scene and how the element of conflict comes into play. Your final written submission can be in any genre and should be no more than 10 pages in script format.


Your written work must be no longer than 10 pages. 

Deadline to submit: August 31, 2021 at 2PM PT.


Our monthly challenges are open to everyone in the Sundance Collab community. One entry per person, per challenge. All submissions will be viewable to the community. All submissions will be given equal consideration and the final winner will be determined by the consensus of the designated Sundance judges.  

Only those submissions that meet the criteria outlined in the submission guidelines can be selected as the winner.

The challenge closes on August 31, 2021 at 2PM PT.

If you have questions regarding the challenge, please email Please do not contact members of the jury directly.


Winner will receive: 

  • Their work featured on Sundance Collab
  • A one-on-one mentorship session with a Sundance Advisor
  • Sundance Collab Annual Creator Membership (12 months) which includes:
  • Invitation to monthly member-only Advisor Q&A Live events
  • Valuable feedback on your work-in-progress from a Sundance Advisor and the Sundance Collab community via Share Your Work
  • Opportunity to register for a one-on-one session with our Advisor-in-Residence

Two runners-up will receive a Sundance Collab Annual Creator Membership.

Submission Guidelines

One entry per person, per Challenge. Your written work must be no longer than 10 pages. Please do not use copyrighted material without permission as part of this monthly challenge.

Technical Details

Scripts should be in PDF format.

If your script is not a PDF file, please contact us and we will try to see if we can accommodate it.

Los Angeles | London
Simone Ling has a particular interest in working with diverse voices behind and in front of the camera. Producing credits include Spirit Award nominated MOSQUITA Y MARI, THEY, an Official Selection of the Cannes Film Festival nominated for a Queer Palm and Camera d’Or, and Tribeca X Award winner EMERGING RADIANCE. A member of the Producers Guild of America, MPEG/IATSE, and BAFTA/LA, she Deputy Chair's BAFTA/LA’s Learning, Inclusion and Talent (DE&I) Committee. Spearheading intersectional outreach for the Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Programs, Simone curates and advises for a number of labs and festivals worldwide. A Fulbright Scholar, she holds Masters degrees from the University of Oxford and Stanford University, and is a Senior Lecturer in story and development at AFI, the American Film Institute's Conservatory. more...
San Antonio, Texas, United States
Alicia D. Ortega holds a BA from Stanford and an MFA in fiction from Louisiana State, where her novel THE GHOST YOU DESERVE won the Robert Penn Warren Award for best MFA thesis in prose. A participant in both the Sundance Screenwriters Lab and the Sundance Screenwriters Intensive, she was awarded a 2019 SFFILM Westridge Grant to work on her debut feature film script, RIGHTEOUS ACTS. more...
Adrienne Rush is a screenwriter hailing from Virginia and now living in Los Angeles. She writes both feature films and television. Among her more recent work is an episode of the Amazon original show THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD. more...
Los Angeles, California, United States
Meedo Taha is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles and Beirut. His stories explore identity by subverting genre expectations, such as in an a short courtroom drama entitled The Incident, an existential murder mystery based on his novel A Road to Damascus, and a horror musical inspired by binge-watching Egyptian melodrama. His work has received support from the Doha Film Institute, Sundance, the Directors Guild of America, and Francis Coppola’s American Zoetrope. more...

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