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GRAND PRIZE (4)
WeScreenplay Shorts Virtual Lab
The top scripts are read by our incredible industry jury and at least 4 winners will be invited to WeScreenplay’s exclusive Virtual Shorts Lab. This two-day lab will be filled with virtual meetings with industry professionals, workshops, and more so you can learn, network, and gain exposure.
Winners will also receive:
• A copy of Final Draft screenwriting software
• Ongoing mentorship from WeScreenplay team including an initial phone call, guidance for drafting query letters, research methods for finding the right representation, prep before big meetings, and strategic planning for career next steps.
$10K SHORT FILM GRANT
Presented by TALON ENTERTAINMENT FINANCE
Talon Entertainment Finance will select one project from this year’s submissions to receive a $10,000 short film grant! Supporting this initiative is Talon’s Managing Partner Steven Demmler and Board Member Tony Armer.
Talon Entertainment Finance's Steven Demmler and Tony Armer will review all of this year's finalists. They will also meet with a select number of finalists.
Top scripts are considered by our incredible industry jury that includes:
Screenwriter, LIAR LIAR, HEARTBREAKERS
Paul Guay’s movies have grossed over half a billion dollars. He conceived and co-wrote LIAR, LIAR, at the time of its release the sixth-highest grossing comedy in history. The screenplay received an Honorable Mention in Scr(i)pt magazine’s list of the Best Scripts of the Past 10 Years. He co-wrote THE LITTLE RASCALS, Universal’s second-highest-grossing film of the year; co-wrote HEARTBREAKERS, starring Sigourney Weaver, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Gene Hackman. He polished THE NEVERENDING STORY, the beloved children’s fantasy which spawned two sequels, two TV series, three computer games, a stage play, a ballet, and an opera. After directing the most successful comedy (or for that matter, drama) in the 75-year history of Santa Monica’s Morgan-Wixson Theatre, Paul made his movie-directing debut with three short comedy films he wrote: THE GODFATHER, THE VAMPYRE, and WHO GUARDETH THE GUARDS? The films will be unleashed in 2023.
Development Executive, Original Film
Sammy Warshaw began his career at WME, working in the Motion Picture talent department. His obsession with horror movies lead him to Blumhouse Productions, where he worked on films such as HAPPY DEATH DAY, INSIDIOUS 4 and BLAKKKLANSMAN. From Blumhouse, Sammy joined Neal Moritz’s company Original Film (FAST & FURIOUS SAGA, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 1-2, 21-22 JUMP STREET) as an Executive. At Original Film, he worked closely on the development, prep, production and post-production process on SONIC THE HEDGEHOG, ESCAPE ROOM, and SPENSER CONFIDENTIAL. While his passion for genre filmmaking remains strong, he’s dedicated to championing unique & fresh voices across all genres.
Writer/Director, THE SMILING MAN
A.J. Briones has over 20 years of film and games experience with an emphasis on visual storytelling, animation and performance capture. His began his career in the videogame industry, where he worked at various roles at Sega of America, Midway Games and High Moon Studios. In 2007, A.J. began working as an animator. Over the years, he has collaborated with directors Matt Reeves, Brad Bird, Peter Berg, Chris Colombus and others, designing iconic shots and sequences for films such as Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Iron Man 2, and the Planet of the Apes franchise. Currently, A.J. is working at Lightstorm Entertainment as a Sequence Supervisor on James Cameron's Avatar sequels. This year he was recognized with a Visual Effects Society award for Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a CG Project for his work on Avatar: The Way of Water. A.J.'s short horror film The Smiling Man has screened internationally in over 60 film festivals, including SXSW, and won numerous awards. The Smiling Man debuted online via Blumhouse and Crypt TV, going viral with over 10 million views, and had its network television premiere on Robert Rodriguez’ El Rey Network Horror Anthology, presented by John Carpenter.
Producer & Literary Manager, Pannon Entertainment
Andrea Dimity is a film producer and literary manager based in Los Angeles. She started working in the entertainment industry while attending the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television. Since then she has worked for such prolific producers and directors as Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Todd Phillips and Chris Meladandri in feature film development. Before starting Pannon Entertainment Inc., a Los Angeles based production/management company, she has collaborated on several projects with the Walt Disney Studios. She is currently executive producing “Burn Run” a spec script that was set up at Thunder Road Pictures.
ALEX GEORGE PICKERING & MATTHEW BREAULT
Screenwriters and WeScreenplay Alumni
Matthew Breault and Alex George Pickering are an LA-based screenwriting team repped by Citizen Skull Management. Originally from Colorado Springs and Boston, MA respectively, they met at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where they earned an MFA in Cinema-TV Production and collaborated on the FotoKem gold-winning short Efrain, USC's best film of 2011. Since then, they have written webisodes of Puss in Boots and Kung Fu Panda for DreamWorksTV (now Peacock Kids) and optioned several scripts, including the upcoming features Crate and Impulse Control. They also won the Filmmatic Drama, Shore Scripts Drama, Script Pipeline TV and Script2Comic contests, as well as finalist awards in the Nicholl Fellowship, Austin Film Festival, WeScreenplay, ScreenCraft and more. Matt directed the Streamy-winning series The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy, and Alex wrote the Ryan Coogler-directed short film Fig, distributed on HBO, and the upcoming comic book series Heard, based on his award-winning feature script. Most recently, they set up their feature historical drama Jumpman with a prominent production company.
Filmmaker and Producer, Dweck Productions
Theodore Schaefer is a New York-based filmmaker and producer. His directorial debut, GIVING BIRTH TO A BUTTERFLY premiered at the 25th Fantasia International Film Festival and is being released by Cinedigm and Fandor. Through his work at Dweck Productions, Theodore produced WE'RE ALL GOING TO THE WORLD'S FAIR (Sundance 2021, released by Utopia and HBO MAX) and THE ADULTS (Berlin 2023, released by Universal). He began his career working as a first assistant director on independent features including HOW HE FELL IN LOVE and FRAMING JOHN DELOREAN, before joining Dweck Productions in 2018.
Head of Development & Partner, Mammoth Pictures
Alexis Bronte is a screenwriter and development executive whose scripts have won several awards. Prior to her executive work in development, Bronte was mentored by two award-winning screenwriters of Disney/Universal hits and a Golden Globe/BAFTA-nominated director, who she continues to consult with today. She later worked as a script consultant and on several independent features, eventually landing on Disney’s Christopher Robin. Bronte has a unique grasp of story that connects on both a deep personal level and large scale. Bronte started as Head of Development at Mammoth Pictures in 2021.