2015 GRAND PRIZE WINNER
Award-winning filmmaker Mark Allen is an MFA graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. His most recent feature screenplay placed as a finalist in the 2016 Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab. His previous works in film and television have made the final round of the HBO Writer’s Fellowship and the 2015 Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab, as well as played at numerous festivals around the country, most recently winning Best Short Film at the Princeton Film Festival. He holds a JD from UC Berkeley School of Law and a BA from American University. Prior to attending USC, Mark’s experience varied greatly, often shifting between law, politics and film. Most notably, he has worked with George Lucas at Lucasfilm and Hillary Clinton on her 2008 presidential campaign.
Nikki S. Colt
AESCHYLUS - Michael Helms
ALICE'S MISFORTUNES IN UNDERLAND - Nikki S. Colt
ASHLAND - Dan Ritter
AWAY FROM THE SLOUGH - Danielle Barcena
GRAVEL HEART - Michael Curtis
LONDON TOWN - Nikki S. Colt
NORTHBOUND - Mark Allen
RACING THE SUNRISE - Amy Russo
THE FOREVERLANDS - Kyle Harris
TURN ON DESIRE - Lauren Hoekstra
2016 Grand Prize Winner
Carol Garlick served in the United States Air Force before she began training at New York University where she learned to professionally craft stories for film, television and stage. She is a 2015 Tisch Future Screenwriter Fellow, a Fusion Film Festival finalist and LA Femme Film Festival finalist for her military based one-hour pilot, “Enlisted” and now an OneStone Artists Alliance Grand Prize winner for her female driven boxing short, “Palooka”. Originally from Glasgow Scotland, she holds a B.A. in English from CSU Sacramento and an M.F.A in Dramatic Writing from Tisch School of the Arts. She is also a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.
A LESSON IN A PIANO LIFE - Evan Migliozzi
BLOOD CAN’T LIE - Thien Nguyen
CAT & MOUSE - Jeremy B. Story
DEAD SPRINT - Jason Tostevin
GOING UNDER - Kryssa Schemmerling
HANGDOG COMPANY - Amy Russo
JOSEPHINE’S PORTRAIT - Mike Kuse
PALOOKA - Carol Garlick
THE MOVE - Tom Sanchez Prunier
THE SECRET - Eve Noel
2017 GRAND PRIZE WINNER
THE TABLE TOP DANCER
By the time I was eleven I had been on an airplane eleven times. I had travelled between England, Europe, The Bahamas and the United States. My mother was from The Bahamas and my father was from India. Although I am a U.S. citizen, I grew up in southwest London in a town named Tooting. London was also the place where I fell in love with the movies. My cousins and I often spent Saturday afternoons at the cinema.
I was raised by my grandmother, and my cousins were stand-ins for brothers and sisters. My Gran hardly ever went to church; however, she was in her Bible practically every day. Every November, Gran would gather all the children from our extended family in England and we would start rehearsing for her annual Christmas pageant. She would adapt stories and parables from The Bible into short, efficient plays and we would perform for all the adults in the family. Little did I know that Gran was planting within me the seeds of performing and storytelling.
In the late 20th century, I was sent to America to live with my mother in East Orange, New Jersey. I attended Seton Hall University on the east coast, and I later graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas with a degree in Cinema. After a short-lived stint in Atlanta, and a long-lived one in Las Vegas, I moved to Los Angeles.
My first short film, a sci-fi piece called Consciousness, got me into my first film festivals, and I even won an award. I followed that up with a little comedic short film entitled The End of the N-word (but, the N-word is still around). I’ve directed several short films and I’ve worked on a bunch more. I also wrote, produced and directed one season of a comedy web series called BNN - Black News Network. For the past two years I’ve been writing screenplays: feature, shorts, a TV spec, and a couple of pilots. And it has been really quite fulfilling.
Winner, Artists Alliance Short Screenplay Competition, 2017
Winner, Best Short in the Fresh Voices Screenplay Comp, 2016
Semi-Finalist at the Nashville Film Festival, 2016
• The Table Top Dancer – A seven year old girl experiences a heart attack while her father is helpless to intervene.
Semi-Finalist, WeScreenplay Diverse Voices Competition, 2016
Quarter-Finalist in Shore Scripts TV Pilot Contest, 2016
• MoneyGripp – Two black L.A. detectives come out of the Great Recession fashion conscious and financially ambitious and face a barrage of the criminally desperate and disenfranchised.(original pilot)
Winner, Best TV Spec Drama at WILDsound Festival, Nov. 2015
Semi-Finalist in the Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition, 2016
Honorable Mention in the Screenplay Festival, 2016
• The Americans – “Revolution & Resolution”
AASSC: When did you realize that you had a talent for writing?
CG: I grew up in Glasgow, Scotland. And sometimes on the weekend the “pub” would come to the house instead. My aunts, uncles, and family friends would get together in our tiny living room to drink, laugh, and sing. And because it’s Scotland, I was in the middle of it all in my nightgown. I remember I would try everything to keep their attention on me because having my family’s love showered over me like that was the truest form of joy I had ever felt. So I took on the role as the entertainer. Out of everything I was trying to “wow” them with, they liked my writing the most. You could say that was the first time I actually realized I had some form of writing talent. I spiritually came to realize my own abilities of actual talent this year. It has been the scariest, wildest time and I am so grateful for the relationship I have with it.
AASSC: How would you define your own work, and why?
CG: From my heart. Literal bits of chunks, bloody and raw on the page. Beating.
AASSC: Do you have a set routine, place and time management for writing?
CG: No. Because that’s impossible. My routine is I live writing in every moment I’m in and if I have a thought I like, I write it down. When I go back to it, if it triggers the same emotion in me, then I’ll explore it and sit down with it for 20hours straight and flesh out into a full script.
AASSC: What was the inspiration for writing Palooka?
CG: I was commissioned to write it and it was suggested that “boxing” should have something to do with the story. With that seed, I developed Palooka. Yes, it deals with boxing, but the heart of it is about a woman trying to have it all and the constant struggle she comes up against to achieve it always seem to slam her back. I can relate to her. I felt a lot of women could too.
AASSC: What has happened with Palooka since winning the Artists Alliance Short Screenplay Contest?
CG: Since winning, Palooka has been heading in the direction of production. Recently the campaign for it has been launched by the actors and producers and it will be coming out in 2017. I’m excited to see it come to life! You can follow it on Twitter @palookathemovie .
AASSC: What projects are you currently working on?
CG: Palooka was the first of six short films I had been commissioned to write this past year. I have had the fortune of going all the way to the Pentagon because of a small short film about the military that will be starring OITNB’s Jackie Cruz (Flaca) called HANG FIRE. My most recent commission, SERVED UP was for Pras Michel (founder of The Fugees). All the short film projects are in pre-production and set to film this year. In the meantime, I am writing a feature length film, THE DYING KIND that I am very excited to share with the world.
AASSC: Is there a link or site where people can follow what you are up to?
CG: Yes! Twitter mainly — @carolgarlick
AASSC: What advice would you give to writers that are just starting out?
CG: 1. Handwrite your script first and always.
2. Screenwriting is not something that you can do if you just like it. That’s not enough. It’s for the person who loves their characters more than the producers their trying to sell it to. It’s for the person who respects their vision and always thinks of how to merge it for the greater good rather than over-doze people with it to feed their ego. It’s also for the person who’s ready to learn something new everyday for their entire life to mature their craft.
3. Follow your art.
AASSC: Besides writing, what are you passionate about and why?
CG: I’m very passionate about my faith. It’s the direct source of my strength and talent and I am forever grateful for the walk I am on with the Lord in the middle.
AASSC: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
CG: Prayerfully, I see myself in a position of growing young writers and filmmakers. I am flexible about how that “looks”.
Winner in the Spotlight:
Carol Garlick, 2016 Grand Prize Winner for "Palooka"
A COMPLETE MAP OF THE WORLD
Jonathan Samuel Brostoff
BLESS ME FATHER
E. Maryll Botula
Jonathan Samuel Brostoff
Kenny Wright Jr.
FADE TO RED
THE TABLE TOP DANCER
2017 HONORABLE MENTIONS
DAD’S JOKES by Chris Collings
HAIRBALL by Jesse Knight
LOLO’s AMERICAN FOOD TRUCK by Tahir Bell
MEAN CREEK by Dan Goforth
SALINE COUNTY, ILLINOIS by Jeffrey Howe
SIX MONTHS by Amber Patton
THE PROFESSOR by Christopher Plain
THE THIEF & THE ALCHEMIST by Will Nixon
VICTIM by Jason Gruich
WHEEL’S UP by Robert K. Benson & Duane Tollison