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Announcing the Winners of the 2016 Virginia Screenwriting Competition

Congratulations to the three winners of the Virginia Screenwriting Competition – Ron Basso of Virginia Beach, Eric Carlson of Williamsburg, and Jesse Robinson of Alexandria!

This year’s winners were announced at the The Virginia Film Festival in Charlottesville. The writers offered some truly interesting scripts. For more information on the scripts and how to contact the writers if interested, please visit the competition page.


Photo: Julie Lynn (far left), producer of ‘Wakefield’ and UVA alumna, announced the competition winners. Next to her is Jesse Robinson’s mother, accepting on his behalf, screenwriters Eric Carlson and Ron Basso, and Virginia Film Office director Andy Edmunds.


Ron Basso (Virginia Beach) FOR LOVE OF COUNTRY


During the Civil War, former slaves were trained in the North as spies and returned to the South as servants and laborers to seek out Confederate military secrets. Their bravery and courage in the face of danger and death preserved this nation.


Ron Basso is a Virginian through and through, born and raised in Richmond.  After an army stint, he received his degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University, and his youngest daughter graduated from the University of Virginia. He and his wife now reside in Virginia Beach where they enjoy collecting seashells, having their feet in the sand and weathering the occasional Nor-Easter.


Eric Carlson (Virginia Beach) REACH FOR THE SKY


In 1964, a young high school industrial arts teacher in rural Missouri inspires his academically challenged students to build a fully functional airplane. Based on a true story.


Eric Carlson is a Williamsburg, Virginia based screenwriter with a passion for creating captivating stories. His screenplays have won or finished in the top tier in numerous prestigious competitions, and he’s a previous winner of the Virginia Screenwriting Competition.  He also serves as the director of the Virginia Screenwriter’s Forum, a Richmond-based group of screenwriters who meet monthly to critique member scripts, discuss the film industry, and share their love and knowledge of screenwriting.


Jesse Robinson (Alexandria) WHERE TEARDROPS FALL


In this darkly comedic film noir set in Northern Virginia, Dominic works as a government hitman to pay off his student loans until the weariness of the work forces him to reconsider his method of repayment.


Jesse Robinson is a writer, director and editor from Alexandria, Virginia with an MFA from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. His first feature film, Young & Innocent, was shot exclusively in Virginia and is currently in post-production.  His favorite Bob Dylan album is Love & Theft.



Finalists in the competition were: Todd Densmore (Richmond), Neil Harvey (Roanoke), Alec Richards (Charlottesville), Alexander Mesmer (Alexandria), Terry Gau (Richmond), Eric Hurt (Charlottesville), Douglas Bari (Stanardsville), Maja Olsson (West Point), and Johnny Saint Ours (Charlottesville).


Todd Densmore


Bankrupt and about to lose his land, a small town farmer decides to knock off a local drug house, but things don’t go as planned.


Neil Harvey


A wise-cracking accountant finds both cash and chaos when he starts working for a colorful Southern criminal.


Alec Richards


A small town fixer arranges the contract killing of a local man for a wealthy client; the client’s son-in-law. What seems a personal vendetta turns into a veritable nightmare, with repercussions for the client, the fixer, and the entire town.


Alexander Mesmer


A suburban couple and a recently-arrived immigrant develop friendship and learn life lessons from each other after the latter is hired as a landscaper by the well-to-do family.

Terry Gau


A world-famous conductor finds himself exiled to a small town, where he butts heads with the female conductor of a local volunteer symphony.  He gains humility, perspective, and friendship as he re-discovers his passion for music and rights a wrong from his past.


Eric Hurt


On a secluded island in the Chesapeake Bay, an aging waterman lives an isolated life. When he rescues a boy and a woman from the banks of the bay, his solitary life becomes their shelter.


Douglas Bari


The life story of Santa Claus as told by Mrs. Claus.  Think enchantment.


Maja Olsson


A teenage girl runs away to Richmond where she is taken under the wing of a college dropout who is struggling with the death of her sister.


Johnny Saint Ours


A vigilante fighting for what’s been done to her and a photographer on a self-destructive quest for redemption meet in the midst of a war-ravaged landscape