For the second year running, we were sponsors of the Emerging Screenwriters competition. We’re proud to present the winners, who produced a varied and wide-ranging selection of scripts.
Grand Prize: Steve Atkinson
No Mountain Too High (Drama)
- Based on an inspiring true story, a tenacious ski instructor goes from womanizing ski bum to a life-altering pioneer when he’s asked to do the impossible by teaching a small group of disabled children to ski.
Steve Atkinson is a television journalist, ambitious screenwriter, and cycling enthusiast from San Diego, California. His mother was an English teacher and his father was a high school football coach. Influenced by his parents, Atkinson developed a love for both writing and sports, which eventually led to broadcasting. During his career Atkinson has won 7 Emmy awards and the prestigious Edward R. Murrow award for his writing. It was the Murrow award that inspired Atkinson to expand the concept of his story into the screenplay No Mountain Too High.
In an attempt to discover if he simply formatted his screenplay correctly and for feedback, Atkinson began entering No Mountain Too High in screenplay contests. His first result was “Best Drama” at the Sundance Table Read Contest. Atkinson hopes to one day push No Mountain Too High through production. Until then you can find him hammering out other screenplays, anchoring the news for KGTV in San Diego, or on a bike cycling the scenic “California 101.” Steve and his wife, Katherine, live in Rancho Santa Fe, California. Their children Veronica and Christopher both attend Gonzaga University in Washington. You can follow him at www.twitter.com/10NewsAtkinson
Steve wins a one-year license to Moviestorm Max.
2nd Place: Derek Asaff
Guinea Pigs (Animation)
- After Morris, a soft-spoken guinea pig, arrives in a science lab filled with super powered animals, he learns that not everything is as carefree as it seems, and he must help his new friends escape the lab and the evil Scientist.
Derek, a native Bostonian, is a recent graduate of Harvard University’s Extension School, with an ALB in Creative Writing. He spent Spring 2012 teaching Beginning Screenwriting at Grub Street, the second largest independent center for creative writing in the United States. Derek will begin studying for an MFA in Screenwriting in Fall 2012 when he becomes a Screenwriting Fellow at the American Film Institute Conservatory in Los Angeles.
3rd Place: Michael Rodriguez
- After years of erasing problems for superstar athletes, a family man grapples with morality and perception while secretly masterminding professional sports.
IMichael has never had any formal training, schooling, or classes for screenwriting, and says, “I basically pay attention when I watch TV or movies and I read scripts to figure out formatting/ structure, etc.” A salesperson by trade, he also plays professional golf and writes whenever he gets the time.
4th Place: Devi Snively
Love in the Time of Zombies (Horror)
- A love-wary teenage girl has growing doubts about her boyfriend when a zombie apocalypse reveals his true colors and hers.
A former ballerina, Devi graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a bum knee and a broken heart. She recovered with an MFA in film. Her screenplays have placed in numerous competitions and her shorts and micro-budget feature have screened at over 200 festivals world-wide, garnering 50+ awards and critical acclaim. Her complete oeuvre has secured distribution and will be released in April when she’ll also launch her first international web series. In 2007, Devi participated in AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women. Her resulting short DEATH IN CHARGE has been picked up by the Tribeca Institute for distribution.
5th Place: Monique Impagliazzo, Jennifer and Krystal Tini
- Neighborhood tension escalates when a teenage girl in a gang secretly falls in love with the rival gang leader.
Monique Impagliazzo began writing “Shenanigans” as her Senior Thesis at Philadelphia’s Temple University Film School. Fresh out of college, Impagliazzo went on to intern at the Mary Anne Claro Talent Agency in Philadelphia where she was referred to Producer, Diane Kirman. Kirman was in the midst of producing the children’s feature film musical, “Standing Ovation” and brought Monique onto the production, where she reunited with high school friends, Jennifer and Krystal Tini. Together, they were watching their dreams become realities as the credits rolled on the big screen: Jennifer Tini, Co-Producer; Monique Impagliazzo, Associate Producer; Krystal Tini, Costume Designer and Choreographer.
After shooting was completed on “Standing Ovation” in New Jersey, the Tini’s convinced Imagliazzo to move to Los Angeles where they had been residing for the previous two years. Upon becoming roommates and close friends once again, the collaboration on “Shenanigans” began. The three South Philly natives put their minds together, creating new characters and incorporating some off-the-wall, but very true, stories of their crazy Italian families, breathing new life into this hilarious script!
Additional finalists: Ed Vela, Andrew Crane, Kyle Michel Sullivan, Harvey Patterson and Tara Knight.
All finalists win a three-month license to Moviestorm Max.
Please also visit our co-sponsor the International Screenwriter’s Association, where you’ll find a variety of useful free resources.