Each year continues to bring more screenplay submissions than the previous year making the judging process much more difficult. From a crop of generally excellent submissions received this year, we could, of course, only choose three top placements. We are also awarding over a dozen Honorable Mentions this year. Every recognition was earned. If you are not on this list, in many cases, you were in close contention for one of our awards. You have created sweeping worlds - both real and imagined - inhabited by heroes and demons, robots and (extra)ordinary people, ghosts and witches, black comedies and heartbreaking tragedies. Thank you for making the judging process difficult for us. We know that behind every great film, there is an amazing script. Now without further ado...

WILLiFEST congratulates our 2014 Screenplay Competition winners
2014 Winner – Screenplay Competition
KAFFARAH (Atonement)
Tom Rossi

Tom RossiSynopsis: Habib Jalal has been manipulated into sending his son, Ishaq into Israel as a suicide bomber. In Israel, a baker named Zvi Daron is tormented by omens that portend his own son’s death. A simple act of kindness compels Zvi to seek out Habib and both realize that decisions in their lives demand atonement. What that atonement is leads to an ending with multiple twists that all satisfy kaffarah.

Bio: Tom Rossi writes, produces and directs international corporate videos, primarily on location in Asia. He is also a published poet and author of many magazine articles, columns, screenplays and short stories. He holds a BS degree in Advertising from the University of Illinois and an MA degree in Screenwriting from Governors State University. He has taught corporate video at Columbia College and lectured at Michigan State University.

Email:  trossivideo(at)aol(dot)com


2014 Outstanding Achievement in Screenwriting – Second Place
Wendy Joseph

Wendy Joseph
Synopsis: Young Liana flees from witch hunters to study with master witch Malaxia, but begins to doubt her mentor. She receives help from an unlikely source: Jettaret, PTSD scarred from the Crusades, and his rascally friend Alberge.

Bio: Wendy Joseph vies with her characters for a life of romance and adventure; a deckhand in the Merchant Marine, she has sailed the world over and was chased by pirates off of Somalia. She holds two Master degrees in English and can splice a twelve strand line. The Witch's Hand novel is available on Amazon.com.

Email:  wjoseph(at)gmail(dot)com



2014 Outstanding Achievement in Screenwriting – Third Place
Richard Brent Reed, Esq.

Richard Brent ReedSynopsis: In 1861, the Confederacy had no navy, but they did have a floating super-weapon, the Merrimack.  This is the story of the inventing of the Union ironclad Monitor and the naval battle between these two iron monsters: a four-hour duel that saved the Union, determined the future of naval warfare, and decided the fate of the Civil War: the ultimate Clash of Iron. is the untold story of two crazy guys, Auguste Bartholdi and Joseph Pulitzer, artist and newspaperman, who fight discrimination, indifference and the rich and powerful for a woman nobody wanted, Lady Liberty.

Bio: Born in Houston, Texas, Richard came to California at age eight. There, he was a school teacher, a stage actor, an attorney, and, finally, a writer looking for his screenplay, A Clash Of Iron, to give him his big break.  Email:  dramaturge1(at)hotmail(dot)com




in alphabetical order

Circled in Red
Writer: James Byrne
Contact: byrnefilms(at)gmail(dot)com
James Byrne
A failed husband and father finds himself trapped in a suburban netherworld. A decade earlier he threw away a promising art career and fled New York after blaming himself for the death of his girlfriend. A richly detailed story weaves together past and present as he recalls how fate and passion shaped his life. The only thing remaining is the bare truth.

Writer: Lorraine Portman
Contact: savingsophie(at)aol(dot)com
Lorraine Portman
A black comedy about a single, socially awkward forty something, Molly, who is in search of a boyfriend and talking to multiple men online, who invites all of them to evacuate to her generator powered house when a hurricane comes ashore and six of them show up. One guy with nine cats in crates, one guy who believes every conspiracy theory – each guy more undateable than the last, along with Molly’s competitive, jealous, prettier best friend. They must all survive what proves to be a deadly storm, inside and outside, as people start dying and Molly learns the meaning of true love and dysfunctional friendship.

Writers: Lynda Lemberg & Jeffrey Allen Russel
Contact: unite1999(at)hotmail(dot)com
Linda Lemberg and Jeffrey Allen Russel
Born into privilege, the eponymous Grace devotes her life to the poor and dispossessed of 19th century Montreal. When tragedy forces her return to Scotland, Grace joins the struggle against the ethnic cleansing of the Gaelic people, putting her into conflict with her own family, pitting her against brutal forces.

Hope is not a Black and White Rainbow
Writer: Harold L. Brown

Contact: haroldbrown(at)telusplanet(dot)net
At 27, NIC BARRE's a rising star. His black and white no nonsense approach to business make him the go-to guy at Coastal Business Advisors. But he has secrets and lives a life of guilt turned bitterness and anger in his unsuccessful search for the birth parents who abandoned him at age six. When Nic travels to a town in turmoil to deal with a hazardous sawmill after the owner dies, he encounters a world of complicated race relations and uncovers more about his own history than he expects.

.jpeg The Movie
Writers: Patrick McLaughlin & Greg Ó'Braonáin
Contact: patrick(at)mforcemedia(dot)com
Patrick and Greg
A photographer finds a borrowed intelligence agency camera may be capturing more than people's photographs and is stealing men’s souls as some religions believe. So when his best friend dies in a surfing accident, he uses the images to bring him back to life. But when the agency learns of his discovery, so does an extremist cell and the photographer is thrust into the worlds of quantum physics, spies, and terrorists while the odds become stacked against him as he tries to save his friend while avoiding powerful forces who want to obtain the technology.

Murmansk Run
Writer: Wendy Joseph
Contact: wjoseph924(at)gmail(dot)net
Wendy Joseph
A Russian woman becomes captain of an American ship and falls in love with its Naval Officer, in the deadliest waters of WWII. Based on real events. I couldn't have made this one up.

Night Witches
Writer: Steven Prowse
Contact: steven_prowse(at)yahoo(dot)com
Steven Prowse
From our 2013 First Place Winner... During WW2 a group of Soviet pilots with just wood and canvas biplanes, no radio, no lights, no defenses and no parachutes, just bombs, became the pilots the Germans feared most. Based on historical events. They just all happened to be women.

Of Gold and Ashes
Writer: Mark Axelrod
Contact: axelrod(at)chapman(dot)edu
Mark Axelrod
Of Gold and Ashes is a love story between a Ukrainian Jewish American basketball player, Avi Levin, who has the opportunity to play for the United States at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, the first Olympics in which basketball was included and a woman he meets in Berlin. Avi is part of the “new generation” of Americans who wants to assimilate into the “new world” while still being part of the culture and values of the “old world.” While in Berlin, Avi meets and falls in love with a German Jew, Rivka Bergen, a former teacher who has been prohibited from teaching by the Nazis, who reveals to him what’s going on beneath the white-washed walls, the patriotic flag waving and the fraudulent openness that is seemingly apparent in Berlin. In the end, he wins a gold medal and loses her to the Holocaust.

Precious Vengeance
Writer: Stephen Hunt
Contact: stephenhunt(at)aol(dot)com
Stephen Hunt
Devastated by bereavement, subjected to his grief-crazed wife’s heartless cruelty, a pacifist exacts spectacular vengeance on The Third Reich without becoming a killer.

Sardis the Merciful
Writer: Christian Thomas
Contact: christianthms(at)gmail(dot)com
Christian Thomas

When a king hears assassins creeping into his bedchamber, he knows his past has caught up with him. He must escape and make his way through caves where a deadly horror lurks, an erotic brothel where love is laced with betrayal, savage battles and gruesome mass graves -- all for one chance at redemption, and bloody revenge.

Stanley Ishkhanyan's Next Big Thing
Writer: Dale Andersen

Contact: andersen.dale(at)gmail(dot)com
Dale Andersen

Stanley's big thing is hitting the rich and/or famous in the face with cream pies. Things get interesting when he hits a Mexican drug lord...

The Last Iceberg
Writer: Ann Ousby
Contact: aousby(at)btinternet(dot)com
Ann Ousby

In this gripping dystopian story, adapted from Anne Ousby's novel, a troubled young woman discovers the identity of her mother's murderer and pursues the culprit, unaware that his unhinged plans reach far beyond anything she can imagine.This screenplay has been nominated and won awards in numerous film festivals, including the Los Angeles Film Festival, The Indie Gathering and the British indie animation festival.

The Robot War
Writer: Joe Friend
Contact: jfriend3(at)yahoo(dot)com
Joe Friend

From our 2012 Second Place Winner... THE ROBOT WAR (Action/Sci-Fi) - Santa Barbara is under siege by a massive robot army, forcing a wiseass dreamer to grow up, get the lead out, and rescue his girlfriend and a school full of trapped children.

The Rubber Room
Writer: Doug Bost
Contact: douglasbost(at)gmail(dot)com
Doug Bost

When 5th grade teacher Lee Adler is suspended from his job without explanation, he is dropped into the secretive world of NYC’s “rubber room” reassignment centers. It’s sometimes baffling, sometimes funny, always frustrating, and Lee will do anything to find out how he got here -- and how he can get out.

Three Months
Writer: Jared Frieder
Contact: jared.frieder(at)gmail(dot)com
Jared Frieder
After being exposed to HIV the weekend of his high school graduation, a sarcastic teenager from Miami must survive the three months it takes to get tested for the disease in this coming-of-age dark comedy about resilience.



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