Big Bear Lake Int. Film Festival Announces Screenwriting Finalists
An important component of the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival (BBLIFF) is its screenwriting competition. This is the 9th year that the Festival has given aspiring writers the opportunity to submit entries, receive evaluations of their work and vie for an invitation to participate in the Festival.
Over 200 entries were read and evaluated by a team of readers. Each entry is carefully considered by readers and the five highest rated screenplays are invited to take part as finalists in the Festival. In alphabetical order by title the Finalists are: Brothers by Kirk Weddell of Brighton, United Kingdom; Chances by Jeff Trently of Levittown, Pennsylvania and Anthony Stitt of Los Angeles; Germain’s Prime by L.D. Goffigan of Los Angeles; Season of the Mists by Kevin Brodie of Coventry, Connecticut; and To a Dancing God, by Robert Horvath of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The top five scripts are currently being read by an eight-member panel of Hollywood professional producers, agents and managers who will select 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners and 2 honorable mentions. Distinguished judges for the 2010 screenwriting competition are Cari-Esta Albert, producer; Cathy Tarr, story-editor, CAA; D.C. Fontana, award-winning writer; Jennifer Good, agent, The Alpern Group; Ashley Berns, manager, Circle of Confusion; Cary Kozlov, literary agent, Leslie Conliff, manager, Intellectual Property Group; and Chris Soth, writer/consultant, Million Dollar Screenwriting.
The BBLIFF screenwriting competition is unique among film festival screenwriting competitions because each entry receives back written evaluations of their script from a minimum of three different readers. Those that make it to the second round receive evaluations by six readers. Screenwriting Competition Director Sandy Steers points out that, “The majority of competitions do not provide writers with feedback and those that do charge extra for it. We receive thank you notes every year from writers who appreciate the level of assistance this valuable feedback has given them.”
A previous screenwriting competition winner, Iris Yamashita, realized her dream after participating in the BBLIFF competition. Yamashita was nominated for an academy award for best screenplay for the Clint Eastwood movie Letters From Iwo Jima (2006). Yamashita was discovered during the competition by a film festival juror, Catherine Tarr at Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Tarr recommended the screenplay to Paul Haggis and Clint Eastwood who were working on a companion production to “Flags of Our Fathers.” Yamashita later returned to Big Bear to participate as a speaker on the screenwriting panel.