2010 Winners

Female Category


Logline: When a troubled teen just out of foster care becomes the target of a murderous child pornographer, she takes off to find the one person she believes can save her: the birth mother who abandoned her.

About the Writer: Sheri Davenport graduated with a degree in English from the University of Iowa, and during her years as a freelance writer she has been the creative force behind dozens of videos/films, live productions, web videos, speeches and advertising for major corporations across the country. She has written two plays; written, directed and produced a number of videos for non-profit organizations; and co-authored a published novel, On the Way to Woodstock. Sheri has optioned two screenplays. One of those screenplays, LUCKY CHRISTMAS, was just picked up by the Hallmark Channel!

SECOND PLACE: WHORE by Kay Tuxford and Prarthana Mohan

Logline: Thrust out of home school by her new step-dad, a naive teen girl joins up with a band geek who helps her acclimate after being branded a whore. About the Writers: Born in the wilds of Phoenix, AZ, Kay Tuxford forwent the desert and her Biology degree instead choosing Screenwriting and Sunny LA. While attending Chapman University’s Screenwriting MFA program, Kay met Prarthana and their filmmaking partnership began. Kay’s work is currently in the Semifinals of the Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting. She is currently completing a feature length comedy about a pushover who destroys the planet. WHORE is dedicated to the House of Pies in Los Feliz, where Kay and Prarthana spent their odd hours between jobs writing over French Toast and Peach Cobbler.

About the Writer: Born and raised in Chennai, India, Prarthana Mohan has always been interested in the arts. Hailing from a film family, her grandfather M.S. Viswanathan’s stories about the film industry made an impact on her. In college, Prarthana pursued Visual Communication and her thesis film, a documentary called “Hush”, won the state award for best film. Recently, Prarthana completed her MFA in Film Production at Chapman University in California. She was the recipient of the Leo Freedman Award for excellence in visual storytelling. She is currently working on several projects that have strong and compelling female characters, which combine her rich tradition of storytelling from India and what she has learned thus far in Hollywood.


Logline: Tangled identities intermingle sex, death, and love. This story unravels the lives of two women — one a failure and one a success — to reveal why they’re connected and how they became polar opposites.

About the Writer: C.J. Palmisano has an M.A. from Middlebury College and a B.A. in English and Art from the University of Vermont. Growing up, she was obsessed with theater, working as an actor, techie, playwright and eventually, as Artistic Director of the Essex Players. After moving to California, she scaled back on theater activities to focus on teaching, during which time she was included in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. Two years ago, she took a sabbatical to return to her own writing.

With an honorable mention going to: Bloodlust – Sara Van Acker

Diversity Category


Logline: Three teenagers cross paths in an East L.A. neighborhood where a series of unfortunate eventsleads them on a path of self-discovery and redemption.

About the Writer: Gus Avila is an aspiring filmmaker born and raised in East Los Angeles. He received his B.A. in English Literature from UCLA. Gus’ introduction into Hollywood was interning for legendary manager/producer Freddie Fields. After graduation, he spent several years in the development world, working on several high profile projects for HBO Films and the Starz/Encore network. Among his written work, Gus’ scripts have been cited by the Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting and Chesterfield Writer’s Film Project. He most recently completed a writing fellowship as part of Film Independent’s signature diversity program Project:Involve. His goals are to secure representation, to connect with producers, and to eventually direct one of his scripts. In between writing projects, Gus runs marathons across the country, with a goal of completing 50 marathons in 50 states. He finds the training therapeutic and enlightening.


Logline: Suffering an identity crisis, a popular drag performer returns to his small, southern hometown in search of a more masculine way of life. He discovers the road to self-acceptance is full of bumps that lead to some unexpected places.

About the Writer: Gary Polston is an active member of the LGBT community in Southern California. Raised in the backdrop of extreme religious conservatism, coming out was an adventure that continues to bring smiles along with some great writing material. He happily lives with his partner, David, and their twenty pound cat, Monster. Gary hopes to combine his passion for writing and experiences within the gay community into a film career that gives voice to those desperate to be heard.


Logline: A decidedly ‘anti-teen-movie’ with as many shards of searing, realistic drama as slivers of jetblack humor, BELOW THE WAIST is the unflinching examination of an overachieving high school student who begins to rebel after a car accident leaves her paralyzed from the waist down.

About the Writer: Ian Simpson graduated from Vassar in 2005 and from the AFI Conservatory in 2007, earning his MFA as a Screenwriting Fellow. Currently looking for new representation, Ian has received several national awards for his screenwriting. In 2006, he received the AFI’s Fadiman Award, as well as the Grand Prize in the Cynosure Screenwriting Competition (Female Protagonist Category). In 2010, he has been honored as a finalist by the Nantucket International Film Festival; he won Gordy Hoffman’s BlueCat Screenwriting Competition; and he also won the Silver Screenwriting Competition. Ian aims to shed light on people and topics not traditionally found ‘mainstream,’ and through his writing, bring about attention, awareness, and hopefully change…

With an honorable mention going to: Boy Apocalypse -Eric Obame

After Cecilia – Dawn Marie Guernsey
Agent Cynthia – Jonathan Miller
Amazon Girl – Ken Pearson
And Handled with a Chain – Marvin Krueger
Battle of a Lifetime – Stoney Morrison
Bean – Giovanna Federico
Believe – Winston Marcelle and Mark Heinrich
Best Wishes, Nice Knowing You – Jami Bonyun
Birthdays – Doris B. Gill
Bloodlust – Sara Van Acker
Devlin – Kelly Michels
Fishing with Dynamite – Randy Sumeraj
Funny Bone – Jan Stanton
Furies Rising – Sheri Davenport
Good Intentions -Alexis & Rudy Croyle
The Grand View – C.J. Palmisano
Helen of Tombstone – Kevin Finn, Lou Harrison and George Voilas
Home Guard – Patricia Paoletta
Infidelity Mutual – Don’Angelica Silva
Lureen – Steve & Jeff Shank
Minding Therapy – Ros Johnson
Miracles for Bronzeville – Curtis and Scott Burdick
One Lucky Pony – Karl Niemiec
Picuris – Rebecca Ortese
The Radcliffe Polar Expedition: A Vampire Tale – David Rakowiecki
Roebling’s Bridge – Tracey Wood
Sanctuary – Terri Sarris
Season of Mists – Kevin Brodie
Secret Destinations – Osnat Shurer
Speed Punk – Kristi Holdgrafer
Tag Sale Gypsies – David Lammey
There Are No Strangers Here – Alka Khushalani
The Unexpected – Tom Putnam and Jeff Malmberg
Walk on Water – Keith Reagan
Whiplash – Lauri Donahue
Whore – Kay Tuxford and Prarthana Mohan


Below the Waist – Robert Ian Simpson
Boy Apocalypse – Eric Obame
Cherokee Nightfall – Don Welch
College of Consuela – Brad Hennig
Handicapped Spaces – Clinton and Jim Braly
Hank – Phil Travis
Honor Song – Wendy J. Henson
Kabob, Dolma & a Girl from Oklahoma – Shervin Youssefian
The Kite Flyer – Maria Lennon
Leap of Faith – Alicia Lomas-Gross
Los Perdidos – Gus Avila
Love’s Body – Lanny Thompson
Master’s Key – Kelly Anelons
Mementomori – Alan Bradshaw and G. Larrieux
No Running – Elizabeth Savage Sullivan
Paradise Under the Sun – Glenn Harding
The Queen of Harts – Gary Polston
Resurrection Man – Eve Williams
Saving Paradise – Karl Niemiec
Tales of an Arranged Marriage – Harish Mandyam
To A Dancing God – Robert Horvath
Twelve Sparrows – Michael Murphy

cynosure screenwriting awards