STORYLINE at DaVinci International Film Festival is judged solely by working professionals in the film and television industry, all of whom have decades of combined experience evaluating and developing scripts for major Hollywood studios, agencies, management firms, and production companies.


Your script is judged anonymously, ensuring that your work is evaluated solely on its merits. In each round of competition, your script will be assigned to judges based on their personal interests and expertise, so you can be confident that your work is being read by people who truly understand and appreciate the type of material you’ve written.


In the first two rounds of the screenplay competition, entries are evaluated by professional script readers and story analysts with a minimum of five years of experience in the film and television industry.

Scripts that receive a passing score from their first judge are read by a second judge, and the combined scores of these two judges determine which scripts will advance to the next round.


The top 10% of scripts in each category advance to the Quarter-Final Round, where they are evaluated by professional screenwriters and screenwriting consultants. The combined scores from the Preliminary and Quarter-Final Rounds determine which scripts advance to the Semi-Final Round.


The Semi-Final Round features the top 25 scripts in each category, which are evaluated by Hollywood literary agents, managers, and development executives. The combined scores from all three rounds determine which scripts advance to the Final Round.


The Final Round features the top scripts in each category, which are evaluated by a panel of Hollywood producers and production executives. Finalists are invited to showcase at DaVinci International Film Festival’s “Writers’ Corner“. The combined scores from all four rounds determine the Leo Award winner.


Scripts are evaluated on a 5-point scale for the following elements:

  • Premise/Concept: The idea behind the story, what it’s about, and the “hook.”
  • Presentation: The standard spec screenplay or teleplay format, including 12-point Courier font, correct margins, spelling, punctuation, grammar, and usage.
  • Structure: The framework of the script, including effective use of story progression (three-act, odyssey, linear, or non-linear) and Master Scene format with slug lines, action, and dialogue.
  • Plot: The actions, events, conflicts, and turning points that propel the story forward, including originality and unpredictability.
  • Pacing: The timing of the action, unfolding of plot elements, and pace of character development.
  • Characters: Personalities that are distinctive, compelling, multi-layered, and unpredictable, with a protagonist and antagonist with clear and active goals.
  • Dialogue: Voices that are natural, succinct, and unique to each character, using language that effectively reveals character and moves the story forward.
  • Theme: The underlying message of the story as revealed through plot, dialogue, and visual elements.
  • Style/Tone: The overall quality of the writing, tone that is appropriate to the material and narrative, and distinct, cinematic, effectively conveying the mood or “feel” of the movie.
  • Marketing Potential: Audience appeal and box office potential.


Semi-Finalists:  December 23, 2023

Finalists:  January 23, 2024