2003 Winners


GRAND PRIZE WINNER: Wilbur and Sully (Romantic Comedy) by Molyneaux Paul Mathews III

LOGLINE: A female pro wrestler takes a job as a high school boys’ wrestling coach, falls in love with the nerdy Physics professor, and learns to get in touch with her sexy feminine side.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Molyneaux Mathews studied creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania and recently completed USC’s graduate screenwriting program. He lives, works, and plays in LA as he finishes his fifth feature screenplay. While the writer has never dated a woman who could body-slam him, he does insist that he’s open to new experiences.

SECOND PLACE: Coaster Girl (Family) by Thomas Sinsky

LOGLINE: A child prodigy at designing rides becomes rich, avaricious, and less appreciative of her parents until she is kidnapped and forced to create the ultimate roller coaster, which she does, but her ride also captures the villains and allows her to return to her family.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Tom Sinsky earned an MFA in screenwriting from USC in 2001 to go with his law degree and masters in English literature. His three previous scripts (“Warhol’s Disease,” “Dealing,” and “Cage Match”) each advanced in multiple screenwriting competitions.

THIRD PLACE: Strike Back (Drama) by Holly Villa

LOGLINE: Corazon Atencio risks everything in order to gain precious little as she, a quiet housewife, galvanizes her community during a protracted strike in a Colorado mining town.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Holly is extremely pleased that Strike Back, her second screenplay, has done so well; in addition to the Cynosure award, it placed in the semi-finals of Five and Dime and the quarter-finals (second round) in the Austin Film Festival contest. Married and 45 years old, she believes she has more life experience to put into her writing and, now that her two boys are grown, more time. She started learning the craft in 1998, completing her first screenplay, an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s Kim in early 2002. She is currently writing about a disastrous mid-nineteenth century voyage of discovery.


GRAND PRIZE WINNER: The Triple Nickels (War/Action/Drama) by Paul Davison

LOGLINE: When a young African American sergeant learns that the government refuses his all-black paratroop unit from fighting overseas in World War II, he trains them for combat nevertheless, and is soon called to battle a far more serious threat — a secret Japanese attack on a US nuclear facility building the atomic bomb. Based on true events.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Paul Davison is a fifth-generation graduate of West Point. After graduating, he served as a paratrooper infantryman in Fort Benning, Georgia, where he met Walter Morris, the Army’s first African American paratrooper, and the inspiration for the hero in THE TRIPLE NICKELS. Upon leaving the military, he served as a military advisor for the Mel Gibson film, We Were Soldiers, and is now working in the film and television industry in New York, most recently as a story editor – a reality TV writer – for MTV’s Making the Band 2, starring hip-hop performer P. Diddy.

SECOND PLACE: Amnesty (Drama) by Marie Manilla

LOGLINE: By caring for her war-damaged cousin, a Latina widow learns to release her dead husband’s ghost and accept love and hope for the future.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Marie Manilla is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her stories and plays have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Mississippi Review, Carve, Toyon, Yemassee Review, Timber Creek Review, and others. Her short story “Crystal City” is currently a finalist in the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award.

THIRD PLACE: American Indian Money (Road Trip Comedy) by Luigi Scarcelli

LOGLINE: Donny White is the last remaining member of the Chipanole, but when the developers he’s working with tell him he needs a tribe to get his casino project off the ground, he only has one week to get on the road and find a three member tribal council.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Luigi Scarcelli is a graduate of Boston University’s M.F.A. Film Program. He currently resides in Maine, but plans to move to L.A. in the fall. As well as writing scripts, he has directed award winning shorts and documentaries. His recent Documentary ‘Landsdowne Street’ was shown in the Full Frame Documentary festival in Durham North Carolina, as well in The Short Ends Festival in London, England.

Anna the Artist (Family) by Rebekah Lovat Fraser
Antigone Bound (Drama) by Regina Marubio
Bad Girl (Suspense) by Kelly Anelons
Bread and Roses (Historical Drama) by Mary C. McKay
Cornered (Thriller) by William DeSeta
Crystal River (Drama) by Emily Carpenter
Dark Blood (Sci-Fi/Horror) by Wendy Wheeler
The Devil’s Bind (Biopic) by Morris Fink
Diane Heath Lives in Rural Georgia (Drama) by Donna Trousdale
Endgame (Erotic Thriller) by Paul Gulino
Faith (Drama) by Loretta Ivory
Final Journey (Drama) by Michael Lee Barlin
First Lady (Romantic Comedy) by Christine Lenig
A Good Death (Drama) by Tom Deiker
Hope Whispers by Kevin and Melinda Lasit and Steven and Marilyn Harrington
I-17 (Drama) by Kerry Kent
Karma, Incorporated (Romantic Comedy) by Jennifer Quintens
Missing Tarsila (Drama) by Miriam Kim
Nevermore (Coming of Age Fantasy) by Tamise Van Pelt
Not in this Lifetime (Drama) by Ellen Tarlin
Purified (Thriller) by Elizabeth Savage Sullivan
The Retrievers (Comedy) by Lynn Speier
Sanctuary (Thriller) by Marvin Cotlar
Stripping Bliss (Romantic Comedy) by Ashly Woo
The Summer of Elizabeth by Michael D. Zungolo and Joseph DiSante
Tsunami (Romantic Drama) by Grant Ching
Widow’s Peak (Detective/Crime) by Clea Frost

40 Acres and a Mule (Western) by David Rakowiecki
Bach Double (Drama) by Barbara Marshall
Big City Dreams (Urban Drama) by Tracy King-Sanchez
The Certainty Principle (Thriller) by William Wolff
Halfway Home (Drama) by David Schroeder
Shattered Pearl (Historical Drama) by Debora Mawji
Song of Silence (Historical Drama) by Miranda Kwok
SoulSaver (Sci-Fi) by James Stevens-Arce
Speaking for the Dead (Mystery) by Cliff Gravel, Melody Sarah Groves and Katherine Marie Fredericks
Spyjinks (Action/Adventure) by Eric Kratsa
Sympathetic Nerve (Political Drama) by Gia Gordon
The White Deer by Gayle Brown



cynosure screenwriting awards