2005 Winners


GRAND PRIZE WINNER: Green Shag Carpet Girls by Tamara Farsadi

LOGLINE: Two high school juniors start a band — traveling from the suburban hell they call home into a world where they can finally be who they want to be. When their career starts to take off… the future and the past collide.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Tamara Farsadi earned her BA in Film and Television from Chapman University. She went on to earn her MFA in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles in 2003. She is currently working on a Supernatural Thriller entitled THE DREAM EXCHANGE. As well as a spec script of the Emmy Award winning television show WITHOUT A TRACE — entitled “A Downtown Train.”

SECOND PLACE: Happy Christmas (Comedy) by Matt Simon

LOGLINE: With her three children in full-rebellion mode and her half-wacky husband intent to prove how much he “loves the Jewish people,” Berta Valenzuela struggles to pull off the perfect Christmas Eve dinner for her family and two Jewish house guests in this surprisingly irreverent and affecting indie Christmas comedy.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Since graduating from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2003, where he won awards and praise for his irreverent short comedies, Matt has worked both outside the industry as a ninth-grade health education teacher and political associate for the loser in the 2004 presidential election, and inside the industry as assistant to the wonderful Winnie Holzman, creator of My So-Called Life, and as assistant to the equally wonderful Greg Garcia, creator of NBC’s My Name Is Earl starring Jason Lee. Matt’s goals are to follow in the footsteps of his mentors to someday create his own great television series, as well as to write and direct feature films in the mold of Cameron Crowe and Alexander Payne, films both funny and moving.

THIRD PLACE: Catching Out (Drama) by Elizabeth Savage Sullivan

LOGLINE: Poverty and oppression force an adolescent girl out of her tenement and onto a freight train finding the best and worst in America and in herself.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Elizabeth is currently working on script number six, and acting in an independent film. She has a law degree and Masters’ credits in English. Her passion is to create authentic, unique female characters with an eye to social issues and of course, good story telling.

EMERGING VOICE AWARD: Malibu A.D.D (Dramedy) by Carol Sevilla

LOGLINE: A satiric look at the pampered Hollywood has-been elite.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Carol comes from a professional background of script supervising film and stage managing theatre and opera, before settling into writing. She writes, “At the time that I was truly ’emerging’ as a writer in my early college days, I cared terribly about trends and the market. I’ve come only in recent years to realize the futility of such thinking…whether folly or focus, I now write exclusively in my own ‘voice;’ and this voice at the moment only cares about exploring the unique complexities of women or the whimsy of the children who create such complex adults.”


GRAND PRIZE WINNER: Lovejoy, S.C. (Drama) by Yolanda Buggs

LOGLINE: A woman with HIV returns to her hometown to reunite with her son and ex-husband.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Yolanda received her BA in Film and Video from Georgia State University. She went on to attend graduate school at AFI, where she received her MFA in Screenwriting. Yolanda has written, produced and directed several short films, music videos and public service announcements. While a WGA Writer-Trainee on UPN’s, now syndicated sitcom, “The Parkers,” she was entrusted to direct the sitcom’s new show opening. Ms. Buggs most recently line produced and directed the 4th Annual Hoodie Awards, a live, multi-camera celebrity awards show hosted by Steve Harvey.

SECOND PLACE: Stories Just Off the Turnpike (Drama) by Alan Roth

LOGLINE: A sports writer leveled by personal tragedy finds unexpected inspiration when he is assigned to profile a successful but underperforming, bitter pro basketball player.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Alan is a partner in a leading video production company in New Jersey. After attending Emerson College in Boston, he joined the editorial staff at Time Magazine. He has written and produced numerous award winning TV commercials and public service video programs, and co-wrote Stoned Cold, an Emmy nominated PBS docudrama. “Stories Just off the Turnpike” is his first screenplay. The script is currently represented by AEI, under the title Hang Time. Alan recently completed another screenplay, “The Day Sinatra Died”, and is at work on a new script, “Every Good Boy Does Fine.”

THIRD PLACE: The Reinsman (Drama) by D. Michael Moran & C. Gardner Powell

LOGLINE: A young Mexican boy escapes across the border into Arizona, fleeing from his abusive alcoholic father. Arriving at a ranch where racehorses are raised, he meets a woman and her daughter who show him love, and a man who teaches him to use his talents to be a successful jockey.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Michael Moran is a lifetime horseman. He has been a rider, trainer, owner, breeder, judge, course designer and commentator for equestrian show jumping. He is also an active voice over and commercial actor and is in the equine insurance business. He partnered with Gardner Powell to do the actual writing of the script. Gardner Powell has also been in the horse industry as a professional coach and rider for many years.

EMERGING VOICE RUNNER UP: Half Way Home (Drama) by Lemar Fooks

LOGLINE: A recently paroled rap record producer and a former Beverly Hills psychiatrist to the stars, whose license to practice was revoked, must live in a half way house and reconcile their differences in order to save their homes, families and future.

ABOUT THE WRITER: LeMar is a versatile, writer who, after earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, went on to work as a satellite payload specialist by day, while developing his writing skills by night. His talents earned him a staff writing position at Paramount Studios on the television series, The Untouchables and assignments on The Watcher.

A Hint of Heaven (Drama) by Charles Bender
Andy Warhol’s Dead (Drama) by Cheryl Compton & Chris Alan Young
At the Point of a Sword (Action-Adventure by Patrick Vala-Haynes
Balls (Comedy) by Lynda Levy
Circles (Supernatural Drama) by Sharlin Quest
Doreen Gray (Drama) by Chris Philpott
Elements of Color (Drama) by Erica Meredith
Escape From Pleasanton Middle School (Action-Adventure) by Kenny Byerly
Ezzy Fish (Drama) by Tamar Halpern
Geoffrey and Matilda (Historical Drama) by Cynthia Hyer English
Good Ol’ Gal (Drama) by Michael James
Heavens to Betsy (Comedy) by Brad Hennig
Red, White and Blue (Action) by Tamar Halpern
Strike Back (Drama) by Holly Villa
The Last Wish Girl (Drama) by Lauren Sheppard
Twisted Stands (Thriller) by Marjory Kaptanoglu

Aigoo! (Romantic Drama) by Diane Seo
An American Desert (Drama) by Mark Barrionuevo
Angels (Drama) by Martin Henshaw
Booker T. (Drama) by Joseph Holland
Devil’s Due (Drama) by Jennifer Lynn Lopez
Hurricane Nena (Comedy) by Felix Pire
I’ll Rise (Drama) by Michael James Mahin
Land of the Free (Drama) by Michael Ching
The Asphalt Prairie (Drama) by David Boito
The Dragon and the Thief (Fantasy Adventure) by Gillian & Alan Bradshaw
The Incredible Adventures of Ace Goodspeed (Action Adventure) by Michael Voltz

cynosure screenwriting awards