The San Francisco Film Society has announced six finalists for its prestigious annual SFFS/Hearst Screenwriting Grant.
The $15,000 prize goes to a screenwriter who has been writing for at least five years and has one feature-length screenplay under his or her belt. Priority is given to screenwriters who have successfully had their work produced in the past.
"We love our role in helping to shepherd a film from that moment of inspiration all the way to the screen," said Filmmaker360 director Michele Turnure-Salleo. "[T]he SFFS / Hearst Screenwriting Grant is a great way for us to become a meaningful partner early in a project’s development. There is an enormous amount of talent in this group of finalists, which makes it a genuine pleasure to engage in the process ahead that will lead us to selecting our winner. We can’t wait to explore these worlds further!"
SFFS plans to announce the winner in mid-October. To learn about each of the screenwriters and their respective projects, check out the list, care of the press release, below.
A. Sayeeda Clarke and Micah Shaffer -- "White"
It's another sweltering 120-degree winter day with five more days to Christmas and hot is the only season left. The best protection from the sun remains the naturally occurring melanin in one’s skin. Like many valuable natural resources, in this future it is coveted, extracted, bought, sold and stolen. Bato enters into a race to save his daughter as he is forced to sell the new currency of this world.
Jed Cowley -- "Let's Talk About Slavery"
Bill is a white dude from Texas. He walks into Harlem and starts apologizing for slavery. He thinks he will be applauded for being open, honest and upfront about race issues. Why can’t Jamund, a black man Bill just met, simply accept his apology?
Rola Nashef -- "Nadia's House"
Second-generation Lebanese girlfriends, pursuing love, marriage and individuality under the watchful eye of their immigrant community, discover a secret gateway to a freer life at Nadia's house.
Gita Pullapilly and Aron Gaudet -- "Hinterland"
Mike and Grace Mills have seen enough. Tired of living in a fear-driven, surveillance-state, broken-down version of the America they grew up in, they pack up their family and head into the barren hinterlands of Wyoming to build a new life "off the grid." But when ATF and FBI agents suspect that the Mills might be domestic terrorists, they realize every trace of the life they left behind could lead to their unraveling.
Tom Putnam -- "Dark Divide"
"Dark Divide" is the true story of renowned naturalist Dr. Robert Pyle's month-long trek across the largest undeveloped wilderness in America. Intent on discovering a new species of butterfly, along the way he meets the loggers and environmentalists hotly contesting the unspoiled resource and finds himself confronting first-hand the area’s notorious Bigfoot legends.
Bethany Ashton Wolf -- "Midnight Juliet"
A gothic coming-of-age tale of unrequited love between a beautiful, hauntingly pale girl who will never see the light of day because she has a disease that won't allow her in the sunlight, and a handsome champion swimmer from the wrong side of town who loses his one chance at a better life after sustaining a serious injury that won't allow him to ever swim again.