Among the five practices shortlisted are Edinburgh-based Sutherland Hussey Architects - famous for its Stirling Prize-nominated Tiree ferry terminal in the Western Isles - and up-and-coming Graeme Massie Architects.
They are joined by Reiach and Hall Architects, Studio KAP and the only non-Scottish firm still in the running - Sarah Hare Architects of London.
Two finalists will be asked to present their designs for a new hall, capable of holding up to 200 people, at a series of public meetings later this year.
According to competition organisers the Collieston and Slains Community Trust, the winning project will become a 'new heart' for the community, which was once a thriving fishing village and smugglers' lair.
The judging panel will be chaired by Charles Rattray, of the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture in Aberdeen, who will work alongside architects Bob Allies, Tarla MacGabhann and Angela Williams.