2011 Winners

Female Category


LOGLINE: Bianca Regalo, a young, family-oriented woman from Brooklyn, ventures out of her mundane Italian home life when she decides to pursue her dream of becoming a chef by secretly entering a competition in which the Grand Prize is a full scholarship to culinary school in Paris. Fears of failure and dreams of success are revealed through conversations with the ghost of her mother who visits in the most sacred room of the house, The White Kitchen.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Michele Giannusa is a graduate of The New School University, with a concentration in Screenwriting. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, she spent many years working as a studio coordinator for Manhattan Center Productions, while spending all of her remaining free time as a PA for film festivals. Her efforts led to a three-year position as Production Manager for VisionFest, an independent festival organized by Brooklyn-based film society Domani Vision. Since then, she has showcased her writing in workshops throughout New York City, receiving constant praise for her first feature, Cucina Bianca. In a continual showcase of her talents, Michele recently completed her fourth television spec, and is actively working on her next project: an animated feature titled The Land of Five.


LOGLINE: After the death of her husband and daughter, a woman renovates an old house, only to discover the home’s tragic history.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Dayle Ann Hunt’s first screenplay, Emily’s Window, placed among the top 15% in the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting and was showcased at the IFP Market in New York City as an Emerging Narrative. It placed fourth in the Slamdance Screenwriting Competition, and was a top ten finalist script in both the La Femme and Reel Women Film Festivals in Los Angeles. The Winter House Haunting is Hunt’s second screenplay. It has placed among the top 20% in the Nicholl Fellowships, and was a top four finalist script with the Reel Women Film Festival, as well as a top ten finalist with the Moondance, Female Eye and Wildsound Film Festivals. Dayle Ann has co-written a spec treatment for a Broadway-based television series, Half Hour!, inspired by her collaborator’s experience performing with the casts of five Broadway shows. Hunt is a member of the Dramatist’s Guild and the WGAw Independent Writer’s Caucus, and currently lives in New York City.


LOGLINE: An infamous highwayman cleverly plots to kidnap a beautiful princess, but ends up capturing her ugly sister instead. Even worse, if he can’t get her to use her magical powers to help him, their country will be annihilated by barbarians.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Henderson Smith began life as a military brat; she moved 11 times in the first 12 years of her life. She found it hard to make friends as a shy, homely little red-headed, freckled-faced girl and buried herself in books: especially fairy tales. She has several degrees, none of which relate to screenwriting. About twelve years ago, she decided she wanted to try her hand at writing screen plays. She particularly wanted to explore how the beauty trap undermines women and their power in so many ways. Since then she has taken screenwriting classes through the UCLA Extension program, attended a multitude of screenwriting seminars and read countless books and scripts. She has won the Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Award for Drama/Family and the genre award for Fantasy at the Screenwriter’s Expo. Smith has also optioned a script titled, The Dog Show. She finds the lack of heroic women characters in film quite disappointing as she knows so many heroic women in real life. Through her work she hopes to feature women in a much wider gamut of roles.

Diversity Category


LOGLINE: A photojournalist in Africa shoots an award-winning photo of a small blue-eyed boy, hiding in the folds of his mother’s skirts, as she is stoned to death. The scene of violence haunts him, and ultimately, he decides to quit the business. 20 years later, he’s lured back to the same area, to find out if an African rebel, avenging the deaths of women, is the same blue-eyed boy whose face he put on the cover.

ABOUT THE WRITER: When Elizabeth Savage Sullivan graduated from law school she realized writing was her passion. She has written five scripts, two of which have placed in the 2011 Nicholls Fellowship as quarter-finalist and semifinalist. Additionally, The Boy on the Cover has earned first place in another screenwriting contest. Most recently, Elizabeth has worked as a script doctor on an adaptation of a true crime story in Ireland.


LOGLINE: Growing up is hard to do when you have a father who never did. Traveling in a minivan with her extended family on a summer road trip, 13-year-old Shannon Shekrazah offers a satirical account of events from her formative years as a first generation Iranian-American.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Tamara Farsadi earned her BA in Film and Television from Chapman University and an MFA in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute (AFI). Tamara has been an active member of the WGAw Writers Caucus since 2006. Her screenplays have consistently placed in the Top 5% of numerous writing competitions including: 1st and 2nd Place wins in Cynosure, 1st Place in American Accolades, 2nd Place in The San Diego Film Festival, and 3rd Place in Slamdance, The Master Filmmakers and Award Winning Screenwriters. Tamara has been both a finalist and Second Rounder in The Austin Film Festival, the Top 100 of Scriptapalooza, a Quarterfinalist for The Nicholl Fellowships, as well as a finalist for both The ABC Creative Development Program and The Disney Writing Fellowship. In addition to having been a selected participant of The IFP Market in New York and FIND’s Film Independent Screenwriters Lab in Los Angeles – she has twice advanced to the 2nd Round of the Sundance Filmmaker Labs. Tamara is currently looking for representation.


LOGLINE: An inner city teen hopes to find refuge from street violence at his new school, the elite Morgan Hill. He soon discovers, under the seemingly perfect suburban facade, new dangers that he is not yet ready for.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Peter Tamaribuchi started out as a playwright, earning a M.A. at Boston University, as well as a M.F.A. from UCLA. His plays have been produced at a wide range of theaters and venues including Boston Playwrights Theater, Francis Ford Coppola’s One Act Festival, Kennedy Center Festival and Stanford University. In early 2000, he began to transition to writing screenplays by working with Justin Lin’s production company (Fast Five; Better Luck Tomorrow). Since then, his screenplays have received accolades from many contests and festivals, including Slamdance, Austin Film Festival, Final Draft’s Big Break, BlueCat, PAGE international, Creative World Awards, Cynosure and Nicholls. In addition to screenwriting, Tamaribuchi has been a drama and film teacher for over a decade, working with a cross-section of youth, from the inner city, to the suburbs. Three years ago, he started Cross Current Films, a production company dedicated to developing critically and commercially successful films that explore contemporary teen life. He hopes to see their first project, Undiscovered Country, become a film that reaches a wide audience: changing the way people see the problems of inner city teens.


LOGLINE: With the help of an inexperienced cowboy angel, two estranged brothers, who have not spoken in fifty years, come together to aid a badly injured grandson. These two hard-drinking, combative brothers face difficult obstacles: being crippled, a dying grandson whose custody is in question, and being stalked by a brutal ex-convict. In the end, what the two ultimately find is forgiveness.

ABOUT THE WRITERS: Clint and Jim Braly are having an extraordinary year as first time screenwriters. Their script was the only one to make the finals in the Drama and Family genres at both the 2011 Creative World Awards and the Page Awards. Even though they both have college diplomas, their professional backgrounds have not been helpful in writing this story. They have read numerous how-to books followed by rewrite after rewrite…losing count at fifty. The Bralys’ goal with Uncle Hoppy and the Pecos Kid was to write a unique, character-driven, and inspirational story that would attract teenagers through its action, adventure and off-beat characters, while being universally diverse enough to touch the hearts and minds of adults: an audience too often ignored by Hollywood.

(Alphabetized by Title) 

A Work in Progress (Drama) – Written by Alonzo Peterson.  
After Julian (Mystery Drama) – Written by Dona Marans.
All the Broken Animals (Drama) – Written by John Torma.  
Ascension (Science Fiction) – Written by Jeff Lewis. 
Condolence Call (Comedy) – Written by Michelle Hankin.  
Cutter’s Daughter (Western) – Written by Curtis David Sackett.  
Dead Day (Drama) – Written by David Carren. 
Dirt (Drama) – Written by Bird Cox.  
Hallow’s Point (Thriller/Horror) – Written by Brian Smith. 
Loss (Drama) – Written by Bill Whalen. 
Love and Madison (Romantic Comedy) – Written by Brian Signer & Helaine Signer.
Missing Love (Drama) – Written by Ronald Marchand & Rhonda Ewing.
My First Lady (Romantic Dramedy) – Written by Mary Kaiser. 
Nightingale (Historical Drama) – Written by Brad Taylor and Kelly Maddox.         
Past My Prime (Teen Comedy) – Written by Justine Barron.
Pinch Hitter (Romantic Comedy) – Written by Janis Brody.  
Running Wild (Horror) – Written by Eric Diekhans. 
Scatterbrains (Horror/Thriller) – Written by Richard Hohenrath.  
Sequoia National Park (Dramedy) – Written by Andrew Rothschild.  
Slaying Dragons (Drama) – Written by Jennifer Lefever.  
Soiled Doves (Western) – Written by Elizabeth Rockett.  
Suspended Belief (Drama) – Written by Catherine Craig.
Sweeping Forward (Drama) – Written by Patricia MacDowell.  
The Basement (Thriller) – Written by Dawn Marie Guernsey. 
The Last Cha-Cha (Romantic Comedy) – Written by Devi Snively.  
The Monitor (Historical Drama) – Written by Tim O’Shea. 
The Outliers (Science Fiction/Thriller) – Written by Linda Haltmaier.  
The Precipice (Thriller) – Written by Marjory Kaptanoglu. 
The Virgin of Poughkeepsie (Romantic Comedy) – Written by Eva Konstantopoulos. 

(Alphabetized by Title)  

Boy Apocalypse (Science Fiction) – Written by Eric Obame.  
Buffalo Gal:  The Story of Cathay Williams (Western) – Written by Michelle Buckley.  
College of Consuela (Comedy) – Written by Brad Hennig.  
Ghosts Anonymous (Supernatural Comedy) – Written by Kari Ciardi.
Hip Hop Daddy (Comedy) – Written by Kathleen King. 
My Last Breath (Drama/Romance) – Written by Kim Brantley.  
Paradise Under the Sun (War Drama) – Written by Glenn Harding.  
Redemption (Drama) – Written by Robert Horvath. 
Rest in Peace (Drama) – Written by Dennis Sampler.  
Riding the Rumble Strip (Drama) – Written by Bradford Willis & Anne Dunkin.
Silence (Mystery/Drama/Crime) – Written by John Edward Flynt.  
Slow Lane (Gangster/Drama) – Written by Fernand Smith. 
The Mother Hood (Drama) – Written by Shawn Chou
Tussle (Drama) – Written by Aaron Yarber.  
Una Vida Mejor (Drama) – Written by Deborah Wolfe. 
Via Crucis:  A Way of the Cross (Drama) – Written by Frank Canino and Joseph DiPasquale.
Wandering the Elysian Fields (Mystery/Drama) – Written by Richard Weems.  
Wannabe (Coming of Age) – Written by Matthew Manson.  

cynosure screenwriting awards