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83 Park Street, Suite 5

Providence, RI 02903 USA
tel: 401/861-4445
401/490-6735 (f)


Mailing Address:

PO Box 162

Newport, RI 02840 USA

Street Address:

36 Rhode Island Avenue,

Newport, RI 02840 USA



RIIFF Photography

Courtesy of Mike Braca


Video Promotions by

Eric Latek, George T. Marshall, Shawn Quirk, Timothy Haggerty & Duncan Putney






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324 submissions received from throughout the United States and across the globe


(PROVIDENCE, RI) • Randi Barnes and Stacey Hegarty from Los Angeles, California were the Grand Prize Winner for this year's 2009 Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) Screenplay Competition. The awards announcement was made Wednesday by George T. Marshall, RIIFF Executive Director. The winning screenplay “Haunted House sitter,” follows the misadventures of twelve-year old Kirby Barrett who thinks he's found the ideal summer job taking care of his neighbors' house, but he gets more than he bargained for when it turns out to be haunted by a rather angry spirit.


From the New England region, local screenwriter Peter Bohush from Northbridge, MA, was among the top Prize Winners in the competition.


“It was an exciting year for us with this year’s competition,” said Jenn Dluggos, Manager of the screenplay contest. “Our judges were extremely impressed by the outstanding quality of this year's submissions and he level of creativity.”


According to Demetria Carr, RIIFF Managing Director, “Screenplay judges poured through 324 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, ten prizewinners were chosen in five different categories: Main Competition, Gay and Lesbian (GLBT), Local (New England) Focus, Horror, and Short Screenplay,” she 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. “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. Additionally, we have set up an online entry portal through our partner, Withoutabox.com, so that this competition has gone green with the majority of entries being submitted in a digital format. This has allowed us to expand our adjudication committee, bringing in more industry professionals.”


The 2009 prize winners:


Grand Prize:
Haunted House Sitter
Written by Randi Barnes and Stacey Hegarty, USA


First Prize:
Bus Rider
Written by Andrew Bluestone, USA
(Tied with)


Last Pirate of New Providence
Written by John Bain, Canada


Second Prize:
Pants on Fire
Written by Peter Bohush, USA


Honorable Mention:
Written by Ernest Plock, USA


Honorable Mention:
Written by Patrick Harrison, USA


Best Local:
Rum Runners
Written by Louis Rosenberg and Joe Rosenbaum, USA


Barren Branches GLBT Competition:
Blood is Thicker
Written by Jeff Austin, USA


Best Short Script:
Lost Dog
Written by Dean Friske, Australia


Best Horror Script:
The Sleeping Deep
Written by Jeffrey Blake Palmer, USA


Prizes awarded to the winners of the screenplay competition include: web placement services from Inktip.com, a free year of screenplay promotion services to the winners, through ScreenwriterShowcase.com; a 1-year Writers Database membership from Script Pimp; Full Script Delivery to over 3,000 industry professionals comprised of studio executives, producers, agents etc. through ScriptDelivery.net; Final Draft Screenwriting Suites from Final Draft software; books from Michael Wiese Books, and passes to the 2010 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 2010 ScriptBiz program, where actors will give scenes from their screenplay a live reading. Lodging will also be provided.



The mission of the Rhode Island International Film Festival is to discover and empower filmmakers. Held in Providence, and at locations throughout the state, RIIFF is one of only 63 film festivals worldwide that is a qualifying event for the Oscars. It is also 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. The next Festival will take place August 10-15, 2010.  For more information about the festival, please visit 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/