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2015 WINNERS

 

GRAND PRIZE WINNER - FROM THE STUMP OF JESSE by Roma K. Simons

Logline:  Set during World War II in Russia, an idealistic, young woman enlists in the Soviet Air Force and embarks on an unrelenting journey to find her six-year old sister, lost during the first night of Germany's assault on Russia.

About the Writer:  Roma Simons grew up with two lasting passions - the movies and Russian literature. Roma graduated from The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Colorado with degrees in Russian studies and began a career in writing and research, first as a military historian for the Air Force and then as a corporate researcher at Northwestern University, all the while allowing her passion for the movies to simmer in the background as a hobby. After leaving Northwestern, Roma decided to follow her heart, move that movie passion to the forefront, and seriously study screenwriting. She enrolled in the online screenwriting program at UCLA. After completing the required 18 hours of coursework, Roma received her screenwriting certificate. Her first two screenplays, Waiting at Hemmler's Café and From the Stump of Jesse, have been finalists in screenwriting competitions this year. Roma's goals are to continue to hone and develop her screenwriting skills and, hopefully, see her work transformed into a high-quality film.

 

FIRST RUNNER UP (DIVERSITY) - 9/10 by Richard Willett

Logline:  Four interconnected stories that take place in the World Trade Center on the night before September 11, 2001.

About the Writer:  Richard Willett spent several years as a playwright in New York before recently returning to Los Angeles. His stage plays have been presented off-off-Broadway and at theaters across the country.  Other honors include an Edward F. Albee Foundation Fellowship; a Tennessee Williams Scholarship; grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts (among others).  His screenplays have made it into the semifinalist round for the Academy Nicholl Fellowships and Austin Film Festival.

 

FIRST RUNNER UP (FEMALE) - THE ENCAMPMENT by Joe Rechtman

Logline: A woman's post-apocalyptic survival skills are put to the test when she finds a young man-the only other person she's encountered in years-trapped in one of her hunting snares.

About the Writer: Joe Rechtman attended Emerson College, where he earned a B.F.A. in Film Production with a minor in Fiction Writing. After graduating, he was hired by Maker Studios to develop and write a wide range of digital content, from parodies of pop songs to animated web series. Since leaving in Maker in 2013, Joe has been working as a freelance copywriter and ghostwriter, but is excited to begin his career as a feature screenwriter.

 

SECOND RUNNER UP (DIVERSITY) - DESERT TSUNAMI by Barbara Blomquist

Logline: As a Saudi, Saarah is desperate to escape the stifling restrictions of women, yet afraid to study in the US. Still she comes and encounters trouble in the person of fearlessly independent Debbie, who forces her to realize that freedom has a price.

About the Writer: Barbara has written over a dozen pilots, shorts and full length scripts, several of which have won or placed in national contests - two scripts placed in the Quarterfinals of the Nicholl Fellowships.  Another short she wrote won a national contest and was produced.  She is a member of SAG/AFTRA. She earned a Ph.D. from Northwestern University in IL and is an active member with the Chicago Screenwriters Network.  Like any screenwriter she would like to have more of her scripts produced. 

 

SECOND RUNNER UP (FEMALE) - RAYVEN CHOI by Shequeta Smith

Logline:  A young woman, sent to Korea as a child, returns to America as a bounty hunter in order to catch the hitman who brutally murdered her parents twenty years ago.

About the Writer:  Shequeta began her career in entertainment as a College Representative for Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella Records while attending North Carolina State University. Upon graduation, Shequeta began working on her very first screenplay. One year later, she was a finalist in the "Sundance Filmmaker's Lab."  Over the next few years, Shequeta's work has placed in the Nickelodeon program, AFI Directing Workshop for Women,Tribeca All Access, and the Universal Studios Emerging Writers Fellowship. Most recently, Shequeta beat out over five thousand filmmakers to be selected as a Top 20 Finalist in HBO's Project Greenlight with her teaser trailer, "The Gestapo vs. Granny".  

 

 

2015 Female Semifinalists

Dance Rocket by Eleanor Hart Seigler

Faithless by Tamar Halpern

Gentleman of Good Hope, A by Christina Hulen

Grace by Lydia Lemberg and Jeffrey Allen Russel

Hot Flash by Su Hoyle and Nina Wishengrad

Jacob's Ocean by Jan D. Evans

Our House by Nancy Hendrickson

Robo4ce by Jeffrey Howe

Target Audience by Michael Raymond

Tongues of Men and Angels by Elizabeth Hayes

 

2015 Diversity Semifinalists

Bender by Brian MacEvilly

Breaking the Code by Robert V. Schmidt Jr.

Bullring, The by Luke Garza

Donuts with Jerry by Ron Peer

Hunters Pointe by Scott Liapis

Last Adventure of Shay Blaze, The by Howard Fridkin

Moon of Popping Trees, The by Daniel Leonetti

Silent Rescue by Todd Sorrell

Tall, Dark and Persian by Tamara Farsadi

 

2015 Female Quarterfinalists

5 Days, 55 Miles by Tamar Halpern

African Harvest by Marise Samitier

Bloodline: Geneva's Tale, The by Chris Robertsson

Cahoots by Elan Carlson

Cat and Mouse Game, The by Coletta Preacely-Garcia

Courtesan, The by Marjory Kaptanoglu

Devils & Dust by Dagmar Blommaert

Father Panic Village by Michele Santopietro

Free As The Wind by Susan Zimmerman

Harper’s Heist by Gianna Jackson

Hot Match by Marjory Kaptanoglu

Knot of Toads by Penelope Thomas

Legacy by Elizabeth Armancas

Lorna Doone by Janice Margolis

Miss C by Kelly Jean Karam

Mouth by Kimi Howl Lee

One-Eye Charlie by Tara Evans

Party Lines by Norma P. Sepulveda

Performers, The by Nandana Sen

Princess of the Strange by Shawnelle Gibbs

Rhymes and Reasons by Doug Williams

Ripple by Heather Faris

Rosemary's Revenge by Laura Gilliam

RUTH and ROSE by Brian Nicol

Sadie's Way Out by Jaimie Tod Bouwkamp

Saints and Sinners by Christopher Willis

Sanctuary by Karen L. Samuelson

Screaming My Heart Out by Janyce Lapore

Searching for Asia by Garey Riester

Secret Roses by Elan Carlson

SIG by John Geraci

Stewardess by Teresa Sullivan

Thicker Than Water by Lauren Hendler

This Side of Heaven by Nevada Grey

Turning Tricks by Kenneth Lindebak

White Lily by Preston Poulter

Wicked Scales, Deceptive Weights by Anthony J. Stampalia

Woman in the Shadows, A by Julia Fontana

Wrap Party by Sherene McLeary

Wrecking Ball by Gus Avila

 

2015 Diversity Quarterfinalists

623 Days by Dan Melchior

Black Hickory by Ronald L. Ecker and Evan M. Pinchuk

Blemish by Gustavo Adrian Garzon

Boat, The by Robert Wooldridge, Jr.

Crime Extraordinaire by Howard Fridkin

Damnation by Nicolas Caicoya and Cesar Garcia Munoz

Dead Ringer, The by Suzanne Lutas

Dust by Roy Lucas Garza and Betty Garcia

Father Rennie by Bonnie Eaton

First Chef, Tell Me What You Eat by John Richo

Good With Words by Irina Schmedes

Inherent by Rosaia Shepard

Jobe's Release by Brady Morrell

Life After Hope by John Ho

Lucky's Trouble by Molly Brown Pennington

To Grow Free and Fertile by Andrew Gilchrist

You Are Cheyenne by Jan D. Evans

 

 

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