VIRGINIA FILM OFFICE ANNOUNCES 2019 VIRGINIA SCREENWRITING COMPETITION WINNERS
~Winners are from Manassas, Charlottesville, and Sterling~
RICHMOND, VA — The Virginia Film Office has announced the three winners of the 2019 Virginia Screenwriting Competition, an annual event founded in 1989 as a way to promote Virginia’s in-state talent and give exposure to aspiring screenwriters.
The winners and their screenplays are Marlene Free (Manassas) for Mad House (pilot episode), Bruce McClelland (Charlottesville) for Balkan Ghost (feature screenplay), and Justina Mitchell (Sterling) for Great Aunt Virginia’s Gifts (feature screenplay).
The Virginia Screenwriting Competition was created by the Virginia Film Office to celebrate the accomplishments of Virginia writers, as well as to promote the future of filmmaking in Virginia. It provides screenwriters with a forum for their work and an opportunity to present their scripts to decision makers in the film industry. Four years ago, the competition began accepting hour-long pilot episode submissions as a reflection of the changing content-creation landscape.
The competition is one of the few in the nation requiring no entrance fee. Well-known past winners include Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul –creator Vince Gilligan, who won in 1989 for his screenplay Home Fries and went on to produce the aforementioned shows with frequent competition judge Mark Johnson; and 2003 winner Megan Holley, who won for her screenplay Sunshine Cleaning.
Each writer submits a screenplay for evaluation by a panel of Virginia judges. Final scripts from the first round of judging are then sent to a second panel comprised of professionals active in the film or television industry. Virginia Film Office director Andy Edmunds presented the winners with their awards during the 2019 Virginia Film Festival in Charlottesville on Saturday, October 26, prior to a screening of the Virginia-filmed Harriet at the Paramount Theater.
Finalists in the competition: Marcieanna Klaustermeyer (Chesapeake), Jürgen Vsych (Williamsburg), Richard Stone (Falls Church), Clyde Santana (Norfolk), Chris Hanna (Norfolk), and Chris Bishop (Danville).
2019 VIRGINIA SCREENWRITING COMPETITION WINNERS & FINALISTS
Marlene Free (Manassas, VA)
MAD HOUSE (series pilot)
Noelle and Simone, a pair of dysfunctional sisters with a knack for taking bad situations and making them worse, must put their differences aside and work together or watch their lives fall apart around them.
Bruce McClelland (Charlottesville, VA)
A young Bosnian woman comes to Virginia to study the war that left her an orphan. When she discovers a war criminal hidden among refugees, her struggle to bring him to justice unlocks a terrible secret from her past.
Justina Mitchell (Sterling, VA)
Inheriting her family’s Virginia farm, a young woman hopes to find the happiness she knew there in the past.
To save George Washington’s army, Clancy Redbeard, the sweet-natured, bumbling son of a notorious Virginia pirate, must kill his loyalist brother.
When a car accident puts the lead singer of a rock band in a coma, the singer’s younger brother, a shy obituary writer, finds it is finally his chance to jump into the spotlight – but stepping into his brother’s shoes resurrects his brother’s dark past.
ANGELS IN HIP HOP LAND
When Word, a discouraged gifted teen pianist from the hood, sets out to make his fortune in the world of gangster rap, he attracts a manipulative female demon posing as a hard-core rap producer, and an undercover guardian angel. Now he faces success that is not just about him and has deadly consequences.
LINE IN THE SAND
The screenplay tells the story of Harry F. Byrd Sr.’s Virginia plan of ‘Massive Resistance’ against the 1950s move to integrate schools, and the struggles against it.
A young billionaire has all anyone could ever want except the love of his life, and yet his superstitions prevent him from seeing that “the one” for him has been right in front of him all along.
A woman learns to climb cell towers to escape abusive men.
The Virginia Screenwriting Competition is held annually and is open to Virginia residents. The majority of the script must take place in Virginia or at locations that could reasonably be filmed in Virginia. For further information on the competition visit www.filmvirginia.org.
October 26, 2019 – Virginia Screenwriting Competition Winners Justina Mitchell, Marlene Free and Bruce McClelland receive their awards on stage at the Paramount Theater during the Virginia Film Festival, prior to the screening of Virginia-filmed Harriet. Photo credit: Eze Amos.