LOS ANGELES, CA – The Delegation written by Shane Andries has won the 2015 Slamdance Writing Competition Grand Prize. Andries was awarded $7,000 in cash prizes for his feature script at the annual awards ceremony hosted by the Writers Guild of America West on October 7, 2015.
The Delegation tells the story of a rookie congressional staffer who convinces a maverick congressmen to send a delegation to the jungles of South America to investigate the truth behind infamous cult leader Jim Jones.
Slamdance recognizes four categories in its Writing Competition and has established a reputation for finding production worthy screenplays. Each winner received additional cash prizes. The top three Slamdance screenplays in each prize category are as follows:
1. The Delegation by Shane Andries
2. Ignorant by Anita J. Justice
3. Jacksonville by Jeffrey Field
1. Speak of the Devil by Jesse J. Cook
2. 77 Minutes by Shani Grewal
3. Silver Moon by Travis Stevens
1. Deep Storage by Susan Earl
2. The Contract by Sean Corrigan
3. Minstrel Boy by Colin Scott
1. Castle Rock by Jamie King
2. Escape/Artist by Alan R. Baxter
3. Hits by Jeffrey King
“With nearly 3,500 total submissions, a 50% increase over last year, finding these twelve was no easy task,” says Screenwriting Manager, Summre Garber. “We feel truly honored to receive so many wonderful submissions and thank all of the entrants for entrusting your work with us. Hopefully our feedback service provided with each submission contained useful and constructive criticism so that no one feels like they’re leaving empty handed. Congratulations to our winners, we can’t wait to see these scripts get made and what you write next.”
“As WGAW’s President, and as a proud member of the independent film community, I’m delighted to join Slamdance in supporting emerging writers. Slamdance’s annual Screenplay Competition has always found writers of talent and promise, and has helped expose deserving work to the larger community. It’s a mission the WGAW is honored to support,” states WGAW President, Howard A. Rodman.
Slamdance received nearly 3,500 submissions for the Writing Competition, which strives to bring attention to the most talented emerging screenwriters and introduce them to the industry.
The Competition has established a reputation for finding production-worthy screenplays written by emerging talent. Andrea Janakas’ 2014 teleplay Search for Life has been optioned by eOne and Laurence Fishburne’s company, Cinema Gypsy and is currently looking for a network home. Janakas says about her Slamdance experience “After winning the Slamdance Grand Prize for my teleplay Search for Life it was optioned immediately, opening up a year of meetings with great companies and building a network of terrific producers, not only for this project, but for the other projects I’ve been working on. Thanks, Slamdance for jump-starting my career!”
Cash and service prizes for the 2015 Writing Competition amounted to $20,000. Pierce Law Group, LLP, a long standing sponsor of Slamdance, provided a total $7,500 in legal services to the category winners.
Other examples of how the Writing Competition connected screenplays to production include
Maria Full of Grace from writer/director Joshua Marston and The Woodsman co-written by Nicole Kassel and Steven Fechter, directed by Kassel. Recent winners that have gone on to be produced include 100 Bloody Acres written by co-writers/directors Colin and Cameron Cairn and Jug Face written and directed by Chad Crawford Kinkle.
The success of the Slamdance Writing Competition over the past twenty years and the writers it has discovered continues to attract the attention of industry professionals searching for the best new independent writing talent. As a year-round organization, Slamdance serves as a showcase for the discovery of new and emerging talent and is dedicated to the nurturing and development of new independent artists and their cinematic vision.
The Slamdance 2016 Film Festival will run concurrently with the Sundance Film Festival, January 22-28, in Park City, Utah. Slamdance still lives by its mantra: “By Filmmakers, For Filmmakers.” No other festival is fully programmed by filmmakers. Slamdance is proud to count among its alumni many notable writers and directors who first gained notice at the festival, including such cinematic luminaries as Christopher Nolan, Marc Forster, Jared Hess, Oren Peli, Lena Dunham and Benh Zeitlin. New filmmakers and writers today realize that Slamdance is a place to launch their careers. For more information, please visit Slamdance.