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2012 Winners, Semifinalists & Quarterfinalists


Grand Prize Winner:  THE OIL MAN'S WIFE by Alice McAfee

 After a Houston oil company executive is kidnapped by militants while working in Nigeria, his high society wife leaves the safety of her country-club existence to negotiate his release, only to find herself in the cross-fire of a dangerous battle for oil, money, and power in the Niger Delta. 

About the Writer:  Alice McAfee has a law degree and an M.A. in journalism, both from the University of Texas at Austin. She is currently pursuing an M.F.A. in creative writing.   


Second Place:  CRICKET by Alissa Dean 

Logline: Once voted best performer in high school, Cricket has strayed far from her chosen path. Now 32 and still living at home, her stagnant life is jarred awake by the realization that she just got knocked up by the local deli guy. 

About the Writer: Alissa Dean is a writer/producer/actress originally from Plainview, NY who now resides in Los Angeles. She graduated from NYU with a Bachelor of Music and a concentration in musical theatre. Alissa credits her extensive acting and improv background with finding her voice as a writer. She writes close to the vest, creating stories that have sprung from her off-beat childhood in suburban Long Island. As an actress, Alissa has created characters in both film and television and will be seen on the upcoming season of Showtime's Californication.  Alissa is currently hard at work writing an untitled anthology feature as well as an animated half-hour entitled "I'm With Stamos" along with her always absurd Tumblr blog Zosia Mamet Hates You (


THIRD PLACE:  THE HAMMER by J. Neff and Monika Lind

 In a dystopian future, a troubled young woman becomes a hammer swinging vigilante.  

About the Writers:  Sibling writing team Monika and J. Neff Lind come from a family of artists, writers, and performers. With roots in the South and Midwest, they now reside in Los Angeles where they are hard at work on their seventh feature script. A USC film school grad and a professional poet respectively, their scripts are in the final rounds of five contests. They love good food, great movies, and cage fighting. 


Grand Prize Winner:  MISS CHINATOWN by Christopher Sansone    

Logline:  A police lieutenant newly assigned to Chinatown, must solve the murder of a local doctor's wife, while coming to terms with who her long-dead father was, a police sergeant who played both ends against the middle in Chinatown. 

About the Writer:  Christopher Sansone, 
a long time resident of Honolulu, drew inspiration for "Miss Chinatown" from the rich cultural mix and ancient traditions still practiced in the Islands. He recently completed a spec for Hawaii Five-O called Pu'uhonua and is currently working hard on his next goal - a "written by" credit. 

Second Place:  THE BULLRING by Luke Garza 

Logline: A Mexican American businessman investigates the murder of a farm labor union organizer and uncovers a conspiracy between the union, a drug cartel and the company where the businessman works.  The businessman must risk his career and his life to bring the murderers to justice.     

About the Writer:  Luke Garza received his B.S. in Radio-TV Film and B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Austin, as well as an M.F.A. in Cinema-Television from the University of Southern California.  As a story analyst for numerous companies, most notably HBO, Rat Entertainment (director Brett Ratner) and Phoenix Pictures (producer Mike Medavoy), Luke evaluated thousands of projects for development into features. Luke parlayed his development experience into a stint as associate producer for the Fox Network's "Police Videos."  Since 2003, Luke has taught courses in screenwriting, TV writing and script coverage in the greater Austin area.  His screenplays have placed in the quarter to semi-final rounds of the Nicholl Fellowship, Sundance, Final Draft/Big Break, Chesterfield Film Company Writer's Fellowship, America's Best, and Austin Film Festival competitions. 


Third Place:  I, OF THE HURRICANE by Ken Pearson

Logline:  A down-on-his-luck English Professor, trapped in Hurricane Katrina, finds a priceless, handwritten manuscript of Mark Twain's novel "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," only to discover that this version has a radically different ending than the published original. As he reads this different ending, about how Huck Finn and the fugitive slave Jim battle to survive on a raft on the Mississippi river, the English Professor is continually interrupted, because he, too, is battling to survive on a raft, with an African-American named Jim, in the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina.  

About the Writer:  Ken Pearson has spent six years honing his craft as a screenwriter, and no matter the genre, a measure of comedy usually finds its way into his scripts. Past achievements include being a top five finalist at the Austin Film Festival and being one of three writers awarded a fellowship in AFF's prestigious Writers Ranch mentoring program. He is a graduate of the screenwriting program at Scottsdale Community College. He currently lives on an Indian reservation where he is free to pursue his dream of reaching out, through the magic of storytelling, and touching the lives of others on a heartfelt level.


A Certain Charm by Betty Ellington Smith

A Match Made in Hell by Marjory Kaptanoglu

Annie Never Got To Be The Cowboy by Betty Ellington Smith

B1llion (One in a Billion) by Gwyneth Kozbial

Battle of a Lifetime by Stoney Morrison

Big Skinny by Sean Toren

Carmen's Revenge by Richter Alan Cox

Chicken Day by Melissa Brandt

Christine & the Cotton Tree by Anton Gill

Clueless About Christmas by Jan Stanton

Condition of Return by John E. Spare

Confession by Sean Corrigan

Consider Icarus by Lori Romero

Culture Shock by Jodi Levitan

Dance Rocket by Eleanor Hart Seigler

Documented by Jocelyn Osier

Dog Tag Messenger by Russell Bush

Drosselbart by Effie Bathen

Epoch of Stone by Douglas McDougall

Fine Lines by Tynan Hansen and Irina Tuchinsky

For Richer or Poorer by Beth Jones

Frontman by Elise Carr

Funny Bone by Jan Stanton

Girl on Main by Christine Hinz

Guys You Meet on the Subway by Betsy Nagler

Hard Ride Home by Julie Johnson Oliver

Hedged Out by Gesha Marie Bland

Higher Ground by Lisa Henry

How To Die Happy by Chelsea Mize and Matt Giegerich

In Deadly Pursuit by Richard Hohenrath

Kate! by Ray Rhamey

La Mujer (The Woman) by Steve Lucas

Legacy by Jodi Levitan

Lhasa by Luann Kay Grosscup and Josephine M. O'Connor Tazelaar

Lizzie Fox by Mike Murphy

Mrs. Zaharias: The Untold Story of the Best That Ever Was by Robert Stork

On Track by Jodi Levitan

Play Like A Girl by J. Neff Lind and Monika Lind

Ripple by Heather Faris

Roughnecks by Michael Edwards

Shakespeare and Company by Liz Janzen

Somebody Swam Away by Rajko Stiglic

Street Corners by Marie Robinson

Sweetwater by Christina Hulen

Tall, Dark & Persian by Tamara Farsadi

The 49th Day by Craig Peters

The Lilith Code by Wendy Wheeler

The Opposite of Infinity by Janice Margolis and Karen Johnson

The Rise of Lilith by Michael Stuart Baskin

The Somalia by Saidu Kalokoh

The Washing Away of Wrongs by Joanne Lalli

The Way Home by Kathryn Kyker

Vindication by Laura Burns

Zelda by Barbara Thomas

Zero Degrees of Separation by Jocelyn Osier


A Thorn in the Flesh by Ronald L. Ecker

American Ubuntu by Lenore Norrgard

An Honest Day In Your Life by Patrick Gilles

Asher Rising by Stephen Myers

Between Two Worlds by Alessandra Victoria Bautze

DeCodeMe by Warren Paul Glover

Exposure by Danielle Orner

Father Frances by Tom Ziegler

Happy Trails by Michael Rhodes

Hockey Night in Cromdale by Penny Frazier

Honor Song by Wendy Jane Henson

In 2 Me U See by Jeanette Villafane and Kimberly Fernandez

Mementomori by Alan Bradshaw and G. Larrieux

Mistress Mom by Anthony Scott

Ms. Thing by James Conlon

Out of Left Field by Doug Van Bebber

Soulboy by Eric Obame

The Cullings Principle by Christine Autrand Mitchell

Undiscovered Country by Peter Tamaribuchi

Valentine's: Night and Day by Jeffrey William James

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