WILLiFEST congratulates our 2016 Screenplay Competition winners
This is the 8th year of our Screenplay Competition and as in 2015, picking the top winners from the many excellent submissions we received was a very difficult task. We read each script carefully and scored each one in over a dozen categories ranging from story development/arc through typographical errors. Below are our Winners, Finalists, and Honorable Mentions for this year. As was the case last year, if you submitted a screenplay and are not on this list, often you were in close contention for one of our awards. If a participating screenwriter would like additional feedback about their submission, they can reach out to us.
Adam Henry Garcia
Synopsis: PLAY is the story of Johan Von Topaz and his attempt to mount an obscure two-person play in an off-off-off-off-Broadway setting. This script is about chasing dreams, defining identity and all of the madness, difficulty and humiliation that occurs when attempting to do such things. Most of all it's about having the courage to raise the curtain even when... no... ESPECIALLY when nobody cares.
Bio: Adam Henry Garcia was born in New Jersey and spent years living and working in Brooklyn, NY. He studied screenwriting at The New School University in Manhattan where he received a degree in Digital Media. He has written the award winning independent comedy 'The Beverages' (along with Scott Adams) and the darkly comedic fantasy 'Conversations From the Afterlife' for which his writing was nominated for a 2016 Indie Series Award as well as a Brooklyn Web Fest 'Best Writing' Award for their 2016 festival. He is also an Emmy award winning Producer, a Telly award winning Video Editor and a two-time ISA award winning Actor.
Synopsis: When the teenaged Rosalie goes missing, theories range from her being a runaway to a murder victim. Some in the small town blame the parents and their troubled marriage as the rumor mill produces an ever-growing list of suspects the detective must sort out quickly as the hours tick by. Only Rosalie's best friend has the right name in mind - and she's not talking.
Bio: Adam Whitaker lives in Clever, Missouri and writes fiction between Cardinals' games, both novels and screenplays. He has earned dozens of awards for his scripts, including First Place at Williamsburg International Fim Festival in 2011.
Synopsis: As his marriage falls apart, a comic book creator is given a major deadline and forced to babysit his precocious niece. Through the eyes of his estranged niece, he realizes the only way to put his life back together is to kill off his most popular comic character, a twisted version of whom has been the devil on his shoulder for years - and he's not happy about the decision.
Bio: David is an independent comic book writer, screenwriter, and filmmaker. He's an average piano player, a terrible dancer and will never understand how to fold a fitted sheet. Backfired - The Chronicles of Wally will be an independent comic release in December 2016 and pre-production for the film will start in February of 2017.
in alphabetical order
written by Malcolm J. Solomon
Darnell reflects on his life being raised by his black Jewish mother, Christian father, atheist aunt, and Muslim big brother.
Drowning in the East River
written by Kimberly Pierce
A historical epic told on an intimate scale, Drowning in the East River tells the story of David McGarry, a battle-scarred World War I veteran, who is blindsided by the unexpected death of his beloved wife. Finding himself alone with a two-year-old son he has no idea how to raise, David embarks on a journey of growth and internal repentance, which takes him through Havana and finally to a tumultuous and battle-weary Dublin in the 1920s.
written by Michael Marco
Jacques, a French filmmaker turned radish farmer, lives a quiet life in Venus, TX. When Jacques' best friend, Jack, a crime scene cleaner, decides to keep a little gym bag full of money he finds in a motel room where a man committed suicide, life becomes a bit more complicated.
written by Monica McFawn
Twenty five years after seeing visions of heaven and being subject to publishers profiting off of her story, Lily Thompson has distanced herself from her child-star past. But her book's old ghostwriter, Bruce, is sure Lily has another vision in her (and payday for him) and cooks up a scheme, with the help of Noah, a former monk, to help her see the light.
written by Greg Chandler
After four decades in prison for murder, a 70 year old woman with severe boundary issues, who believes she wields supernatural powers through a doll, moves in with her daughter and grandson, and proceeds to redefine the role of mother with deadly results.
in alphabetical order
A Roaring Lion
written by C.N. Bean
A Roaring Lion is a short screenplay about an estranged daughter who returns for her deceased mother's estate sale, only to face obstacles to closure.
written by John Pisano-Thomsen
A want-to-be artist discovers a disturbing secret kept by his mother and searches for meaning in his life in New York City. When the lives of a transgender guru, a struggling, single mother and a 5-year-old boy converge with his, his heart is changed forever and a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity arises.
written by Arthur Grubert
Amidst the urban chaos of 1975 New York City, an Irish F.B.I. Agent from the Bronx investigates the murder of an African-American Police Officer's sister and a Mafia lieutenant, not realizing the crimes were committed by his gangster brother.
written by Sheldon Schiffer & Amir Kovacs
Two Hungarian families of holocaust survivors are lead out of Hungary on a dangerous clandestine journey by a pair of defected British secret agents to find a new home in Palestine. This historical thriller is based on true events from 1946 - 47 that dramatize the agonizing experience of Jewish refugees who survived the concentration camps only to face another perilous period of oppression and flight.
Hell Hound - The Legend of Robert Johnson
written by Giancarlo Fusi
In this series pilot set during the Depression, a black sharecropper's burning desire to be a traveling Bluesman leads him to sell his soul to Satan at a Mississippi crossroads to become the greatest guitarist ever. The pact unleashes two vicious Hellhounds that will doggedly pursue him for eternity.
written by Michael Phillip Cash
A teen must save his date in a theme park whose main attractions - real werewolves, vampires and zombies - descend the place into chaos.
written by Laura Kelber
A re-imagining of Moby Dick, set in an alternate version of present-day NYC, where a coffee blight has rendered coffee a rare commodity, and Mocha Dick, an international company that's cornered the market on the remaining coffee, threatens to put the Pequod Coffee House out of business.
written by Sylvia Clark
Inspired by actual events, this epic love story of a strong Southern woman and a learned Russian scientist travels from the languid cotton fields of South Carolina to a crowded car on the Trans-Siberian Railway during the 1917 Bolshevist Revolution.
written by Robert Tolz
A humble renaissance fair actress with working-class values meets the man of her dreams whom she believes to be a fool, but who turns out to be a prince or rather, a massive multinational corporate CEO. And her boss.
Rosa and the Black Tulip
written by Gena Ellis
Falsely imprisoned while growing the impossible black tulip, unlikely war-hero Corn van Baerle falls for Rosa, the humble, unprivileged prison-keeper's daughter, who uses newfound knowledge to save them all in this witty, romantic drama set during Holland's 17th century tulip frenzy and against a highly-charged political backdrop that resonates today, based on Alexandre Dumas' The Black Tulip.
written by Jonathan Fear
Vederius Ligustus, joins the Roman army to honour the family name after struggling to cope with a devastating tragedy. He is sent to Northern Britannia to train for the final push into ancient Scotland. There he is duped by a power hungry General into believing that two officers lead a gang of bandits hounding the Legion and have murdered a brother in his squad. The General convinces Vederius to swear a sacred oath to kill the two men. He places Vederius in the scouts to help him with this task. They don't want him at first and it's only after Vederius displays his fighting skills that a strong bond of brotherhood finally develops. When Vederius discovers the whole premise was based on deceit, the General must take steps to have him killed. Torn between the bonds of brothers in battle and his sacred oath of vengeance, Vederius finds he can't recant the latter or ignore the former.
Who Do You Love
written by Todd Korgan
Three interconnected stories about the complexities of love and the resiliency of the human spirit.