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Providence, RI 02903 USA
tel: 401/861-4445
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Newport, RI 02840 USA

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Newport, RI 02840 USA



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RIIFF Announces Winners for its

2008 Screenplay Competition

Over 300 submissions are received from across the globe and throughout the United States


Amy Neswald from New York City was the Grand Prize winner for this year's 2008 Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) Screenplay Competition.


From the New England region, local screenwriters Karen Webb from Hopkinton, MA, Caitlin McCarthy from Worcester, MA, Rachael Smith from Hope, RI and Jason Burns from Providence, RI, were among the top prize winners in the competition. Entries for the event came in from across the globe.


“Our judges were very impressed by the quality of this year's submissions,” commented Adam Short, manager of the screenplay contest. “So it was pleasant surprise to learn that many of the winners this year had a local background. There is a lot of film talent in Rhode Island, but it often doesn’t receive the national recognition that it deserves. Our prizes will go a long way in helping to remedy this discrepancy.”


According to Short, “Screenplay judges poured through 300-plus screenplay entries this year, the largest entry base in the competition’s history. Each submission was analyzed and scored according to a set of five criteria, including Character, Dialogue, Setting, Plot and Technique.


“After extensive reading and deliberation among the judges, twelve prizewinners were chosen in three different categories: Main Competition, Gay and Lesbian, and Short Screenplay,” he added. Each will come with its own set of awards.


“We could not be more pleased with the selection of this year’s winners,” noted George T. Marshall, RIIFF’s Executive Director. “This competition continues to grow and expand, giving us access to some of the world’s up and coming writers in the craft. The quality that we have seen this year makes for a truly inspiring and exciting competition.”


The 2008 prize winners are:


Grand Prize
"The Placeholder" by Amy Neswald; USA
Everybody Bean dates can’t help but to find love with someone else. While searching for a new sublet apartment, she gives 'love' a break.


First Prize
“Christmas Cake” by Karen Webb; USA
An American woman running from a bad relationship lands in Japan, in heavy competition for the job of her dreams, and falls head over heels in love with a Japanese man she can't have.


Second Prize
“Wonder Drug” by Caitlin McCarthy; USA
A scientific drama about how DES (diethylstilbestrol), the world's first drug disaster, harms the lives of a Big Pharma executive, a feminist doctor, and a thirty-something newlywed across different decades.


Local Prize
“My Own Private Myocardial Infarction” by Rachel Smith; USA
Since his mother's death, Charlie has written off his heart as broken. When he meets someone who challenges this diagnosis, he must choose between his head and his heart, between who he is and who he can be.


Honorable Mentions
“INRI” by Paula Lynch; USA
John and Maggie Devine take a road trip to Rhode Island in search of a miracle for him; but they unexpectedly find a miracle for her.


“The Saxon” by Nigel Grant; USA
In this medieval Cain and Abel story, a young Saxon has to leave his monastery home before taking final vows. He struggles with his religious morality as he surmounts Norman prejudice, fights off the murderous attack of his elder brother, and becomes a valiant knight battling the forces of 14th century France.


GLBT Grand Prize
“Pansy” by Sean Patrick McCarthy; USA
A gay boy at a Catholic high school befriends a 40 year-old man who becomes his confidante and lover.  When his parents discover their relationship, the revelation sends the troubled teen on a downward spiral with tragic consequences.


GLBT First Prize
“Get Back” by Kieran Turner, USA
A former child star who was outed by the press in a scandal that killed his career has the opportunity to to go back in time to the eighties and to relive high school with his adult sensibilities. Now, he is comfortable with his sexuality, and is able to pursue the relationships that he shunned the first time around.


GLBT Second Prize
“The Collecting Point” by Danna Scott; USA
In 1968, a young female assistant museum curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City delves into the sex and drug scene of the underground pop culture while discovering deceit and corruption at the highest levels of the Met.


Short Screenplay Grand Prize
“Nice Guys Finish Last” by Jason Burns; USA
Do nice guys always finish last? Jake is a typical American guy struggling with the romantic implications of that question. With the help of his best friends, Greg and Babs, Jake tries to keep his head above water as he swims in a proverbial sea full of fish.


Short Screenplay First Prize
“ID” by Melissa J. White; USA
A singing telegram messenger becomes an unlikely FBI terrorist suspect.


Short Screenplay Second Prize
“Burt’s Used Cars” by Greg Rebman, USA
Buddy Nedermeyer is a used car salesman who has lost the will to sell. His world has nearly ground to a halt. When Lou, a smooth criminal, drives onto the lot, Buddy concocts a plan to reenter his own life.


Prizes awarded to the winners of the screenplay competition include: web placement services from Inktip.com, listings from Sell-a-Script, consultations from Silver Wing Script Services, DVD’s from On The Page, books from Michael Wiese Books, and passes to the 2009 Rhode Island International Film Festival and ScriptBiz Screenwriter’s Workshop.  The Grand Prize winner from the main competition will be flown to Providence to attend the 2009 ScriptBiz program, where actors will give scenes from her screenplay a live reading.


The Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) discovers and empowers filmmakers.  Held in Providence, and locations throughout the state of Rhode Island, RIIFF is one of only 62 film festivals worldwide that is a qualifying event for the Academy Awards (i.e. “Oscars”).  RIIFF is New England’s largest film festival.  Its innovative programming, cultivated industry ties, and loyal audiences have made the Festival a strategic and desirable platform for film premieres, drawing hundreds of independent filmmakers from around the globe. For more information, write RIIFF, P.O. Box 162, Newport, RI 02840. Telephone: 401-861-4445. E-mail: info@film-festival.org,


For more information about the RIIFF Screenplay Competition, please visit the RIIFF web site at www.rifilmfest.org


As part of the awards for the RIIFF Screenplay Competition, top winning contestants will receive from Ink Tip™ (Writers' Script Network):

1) An e-mail announcement about your winning screenplay to about 6,500 industry professionals.
2) Placement of at least your logline and synopsis on our password protected web site. You may also place the treatment and/or script.
3) Placement of a second script on the site.
4) Include a logline (pitch) for your winning screenplay in our printed publication, which is snail-mailed to about 5,000 Industry Professionals. http://www.inktip.com/



Also, as part of the awards for the 2008 RIIFF Screenplay Competition, two top winners will receive a full service story analysis package from Silver Wing Script Services.

• The packages are valued at $165 each and include 4-6 pages of typewritten
analysis on everything from dialogue to structure to characterization and
theme, as well as proofreading and editing notes on the screenplay itself.
More info can be seen at www.silverwingscripts.com.