Registration is now open for September 2024 and Winter 2025.  Consult our programs authorized by the Ministry of Higher Education. We also offer institutional certificate courses.

Screenwriting 101

Method of Instruction: Onsite or Online

Language: English

Course Duration: 60 Hours

Establishment: Cestar Collège, Campus LaSalle

Course Description

Do you have a great idea for a film but struggle with how to format it correctly? Have you always wanted to complete that feature-length screenplay but couldn’t get past the first act?  Completing a script in any genre to the industry-level standard and understand how to work through your plot points to keep your story moving forward are simple enough concepts that anyone can learn.

In Screenwriting 101, students would spend 10 weeks learning how to format and structure a feature-length screenplay, using industry standards and structural guidelines from award winning filmmaker Chris Bavota. He will guide them through the concepts and techniques he uses everyday to complete a feature-length screenplay, including how to develop strong character arcs, forward moving plot points, realistic dialogue and exciting action blocks.

By the end of this course, you will have gained all the skills necessary to draft a full feature length screenplay that will excite and engage your audience.


Course Schedule and Duration

The following sections are available for registrations:

Section A – Wednesdays and Thursdays - 3pm to 9pm
Term: Winter 2024 - January 10 to February 8, 2024
Duration: 60 hours
Delivery method: On-Line or in Person

Section B – Wednesdays and Thursdays - 3pm to 9pm
Term: Winter 2024 - February 14 to March 14, 2024
Duration: 60 hours
Delivery method: On-Line or in Person

Section C – Wednesdays and Thursdays - 3pm to 9pm
Term: Winter 2024 - March 20 to April 18, 2024
Duration: 60 hours
Delivery method: On-Line or in Person

Method of Learning

Hybrid Learning - A combination of online and onsite training tailored according to your needs to help you get the education you need at your own convenience

Course Prerequisites and Admission

This is a beginner level course and is well suited for anybody interested in screenplay writing

Required Materials

Laptop or access to a computer, a camera or cellphone with a camera.


Tech Requirements for Attending Cestar Online Classes

Minimum Requirements

  • A strong uninterrupted broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE) connection with a minimum 600kbps bandwidth (up/down).
  • A Laptop/Desktop computer equipped with a single core processor (at least 1 GHZ processing speed) or a smartphone/tablet with equivalent processing capabilities
  • Good speakers/earphones to listen to the classes
  • Browser - IE7+, Safari 5+, Firefox, Chrome
  • Operating System - Windows XP, Mac OS 10.6, Linux distro based on 3.0 kernel, Android 5.0, iOS 10


Cestar Recommendations

  • A strong uninterrupted broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE) connection with a minimum 1.5Mbps bandwidth (up/down). You can also connect to the internet directly using your ethernet cable to improve your experience.
  • Laptop/Desktop computer equipped with a dual core processor with at least 2 GHZ processing speed and a 4 GB RAM
  • High Quality speakers/earphones to listen to the classes
  • Browser & Operating System - We recommend using the latest version of the browser and operating system for an optimal online classroom experience.

Course Outline

What you will learn?

  • Basics of Screenplay writing
  • Establishing a scene and making it interesting
  • Developing strong character arcs and adding depth to your characters
  • Identifying plot points that move the story forward
  • Generate dialogue that  is realistic and engaging
  • Add exciting action blocks that will help move your story forward
  • Tie all loose ends together and create a taut and appealing screenplay


Chris Bavota

Chris Bavota is an industrious and highly creative filmmaker with over a decade of experience ranging from the art department to the editing suite, and everything in between. Independently minded, he has a strong understanding of budgetary restrictions and approaching problems with innovative solutions. With proficiency in Adobe Premiere and DaVinci Resolve, Chris has worked as an editor since the time before non-linear software existed. He is goal-oriented and a supportive team player with solid skills in management and production coordinating. Throughout his award-winning career, he has shared his experience through workshops, industry panels and classes, teaching students all across Canada with a focus on filmmaking, communication, project management and multimedia.




Learn Screenwriting directly from an acclaimed filmmaker.  Sign up today!

This short course is being offered at

*All prices shown are in Canadian Dollars.
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