Industry - Monkeypaw Productions’ NO DRAMA powered by the Universal Filmmakers Project and TIFF

Monkeypaw Productions’ NO DRAMA Powered by the Universal Filmmakers Project and TIFF

Applications are now closed. Selected participants will be notified Summer 2024.

What’s your biggest fear? What monsters lurk in the deepest corners of your inner thoughts? Monkeypaw Productions’ NO DRAMA Powered by the Universal Filmmakers Project and TIFF challenges filmmakers to produce a short film that explores monsters across genre, cultures, time, and society.

NO DRAMA is a global short-film development and production initiative for writer-directors with a passion for telling horror-centered stories. NO DRAMA builds upon the Studio’s and Monkeypaw’s commitment to providing access to breakout filmmakers.

NO DRAMA offers resources and support at every step of the filmmakers’ creative journey, with special focus on their individual needs, strengths, and areas for future growth. Up to six filmmakers will be selected to each receive a grant to produce their submitted short scripts. During the one year non-exclusive talent experience selected participants will engage in roundtables and workshops to enrich their creative process in producing a short film/proof of concept. Filmmakers will work closely with Monkeypaw throughout the creative process.

No Drama powered by Monkeypaw, NBCU and TIFF


NO DRAMA seeks to amplify dynamic filmmakers with a passion for telling genre-centered stories. All participants must meet the following criteria:
  1. Must be a writer-director with a unique and innovative perspective who demonstrates an interest in creating content that resonates with a global audience.
  2. Must be passionate about sub-genres including horror, fantasy, futurism, sci-fiction, suspense-thrillers, magical surrealism and more.
  3. Applicants must be the sole writer of any material submitted and own the rights. Material from writing teams will not be accepted.
  4. Must have the legal right to work in the country you are based.
  5. Participants must be 18+ years old.
  6. Must have a completed application submitted by the deadline February 29, 2024 at 11:59pm EST.
Any applicant who does not match the aformentioned criteria is ineligible to participate.

Submission Requirements

We encourage those applying to review the FAQ's carefully, as they are designed to guide applicants towards a strong submission. Please find the FAQ's here. For accessibility accommodations, please contact:

Those applying must submit a completed submission package to be considered. If any elements are not included, the submission package will be disqualified.

Please note FilmFreeway will only allow up to five [5] attachments (two [2] video submissions and three [3] file attachments), please ensure to combine your attachments in the following way:

The following items are required:


  1. ORIGINAL SHORT SCRIPT: A completed script for the proposed NO DRAMA project. 15 pages maximum. The script should:
    • Explore the theme of Monsters (culturally, figuratively, metaphorically, and/or psychologically) utilizing sub-genres including horror, fantasy, futurism, sci-fiction, suspense-thrillers, magical surrealism, comedy, etc.
    • Showcase characters and storylines that are socially relevant, fun, elevated, and dispel normative tropes in cinema in an artful and innovative way.
  2. RÉSUMÉ outlining chronological paid employment experience (may include entertainment and non-entertainment positions) and any filmmaking-related honours/awards. Positions must have been held within the past 15 years (two pages or less). Only list compensated positions with the exception of entertainment industry internships and full-time volunteer work at non-profits. If listing writing or directing projects, only include projects that were produced and/or optioned. The applicant’s résumé will provide us an understanding of their work history and insight into their individual life experiences.

  3. RELEASE FORM must be completed, hand-signed, dated, and uploaded in order for submissions to be accepted. Incomplete release forms will result in disqualification. Please find the form located here.

  4. LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION (optional) up to two letters of recommendation from entertainment industry professionals who are familiar with the applicant’s creative material and can comment on the applicant’s creative process are strongly encouraged, but not required. Acceptable letters must be on business or personal letterhead, dated in the current calendar year and include the author’s title and/or industry affiliation. No more than two letters per submission will be accepted. Letters must accompany the submission and may not be submitted separately via email or mail. Any recommendation letters emailed or mailed to the Program separate from the writer’s submission will not be considered.


A document outlining overall composition, style, and direction of submitted script. The document must be a minimum of eight [8] pages but no more than 15. This document should:
    • Describe genre, theme, tone, mood, key takeaways, and provide visual references
    • Setting/time period with visual references
    • Art direction with visual references
    • Short character descriptions with visual references or casting inspiration
    • Comparable projects
    • Any other pertinent details you’d like to share
Please note you may be required to submit additional materials such as but not limited to a topline budget.


  1. PITCH VIDEO: A video (up to three minutes) pitching the creative vision for the project, theme, key takeaways, and POV. Any pitch videos exceeding three minutes will be disqualified.

  2. PERSONAL STATEMENT VIDEO: A video (up to three minutes) about how the applicant’s specific life journey, and experience has informed or inspired the creation of this project. Why does this story need to be told? The statement should include personal inspiration, desire to tell genre stories, importance of unique POV or experience in genre films, and overall motivation to be a NO DRAMA participant. Personal statement videos exceeding three minutes will be disqualified.


A video (up to five minutes) which includes samples of two or more previous works that best demonstrate the applicant's creative abilities (proof of concept, music videos, TV episode previous short films, webseries, storyboards, etc.).

Submission Period

Submissions will be accepted January 30 - February 29. Submissions will not be accepted after 11:59pm EST on February 29, 2024.


Due to the volume of submissions received, applicants will be notified only if they move forward in the selection process. Filmmakers will be selected by Fall 2024. Please check our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn) for updates on the selection process.

Key Dates

Please note, these dates and time frames are subject to change at NO DRAMA’s sole discretion.
Applications open
January 30, 2024
Applications close
February 29, 2024
NO DRAMA begins
Fall 2024
Screening Event at TIFF 2025
September 2025

Please visit:

Contact us by email at