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WorldFest has announced their screenplay competition winners for 2007.
WorldFest Houston has announced their Platinum Award winning scripts for 2006.
WorldFest has announced its complete list of screenplay award winners.
WorldFest Houston 2001 wraps up with awards, box office up 5%.
An interview with screenwriter Mark Hudelson regarding the Worldfest - Houston Writing Competition.Q: What's the title of the script you entered in this contest, and what's it about?
A: It's called "The Raft of the Medusa" and it's based on the famous 1818 painting of the same name in the Louvre. My story focuses on the artist, who interviews survivors of a contemporary shipwreck and paints their ordeal. He brings dead bodies back to his studio to accurately capture death, interviews the corrupt captain of the "Medusa" in prison, and all the while is having an affair with his own aunt...who gets pregnant. The themes of the script are betrayal and obsession.Q: What made you enter this particular contest? Have you entered any other contests with this script? If so, how did you do?
A: I entered a few other contests, usually placing in the semi-finalist or quarterfinalist level. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. I entered the Worldfest-Houston competition because it's associated with a great film festival and has had a role in some well-known filmmakers' early careers: Spielberg, Ridley Scott, etc.Q: Were you satisfied with the adminstration of the contest? Did they meet their deadlines? Did you receive all the awards that were promised?
A: I thought the contest was managed well. They receive a ton of submissions from around the world, but they keep everyone updated through their website. Their awards are called "Remi"s, after the famous western artist Remington. You can pay extra for a fancy Remi in marble or titanium or something, but my standard-issue Remi is on my wall and reminds me that my writing doesn't totally suck. I won a Gold Remi in the Historical/Period Piece category, which sounds great, and I'm proud of, but there's a Platinum level above the Gold in each category, and then there is an overall Grand Prize and a Special Jury Award. Of course, in query letters, I just tell them I won a Gold Remi. Sounds better.Q: Were you given any feedback on your script? If so, did you find the feedback helpful?
A: Feedback wasn't part of the contest. Although someone did write on my winning form letter, in blue felt tip pen: "Congratulations." So I felt special.Q: Has your success in this contest helped you market your script? Were you contacted by any agents, managers or producers?
A: I've really self-marketed. I recently sent out a new batch of query letters, with the Gold Remi award mentioned, so we'll see if that holds any weight. I know query letters are regarded by many as a waste of time, but I sent a query to Viggo Mortensen's agent at CAA, explaining my script and why, really, he'd be great for this role. And they requested it. And Viggo read it...but passed (obviously...why else would I still be entering script competitions?). Still, from that, I was able to get in touch with an agent at CAA who, although not MY agent, likes my writing and has been very helpful. And query letters also got my script requested by Warner Brothers Independent and Imagine Entertainment, where it has been well-received and has given me contacts for my next script.Q: What's your background? Have you written any other screenplays or television scripts?
A: My day job is associate professor of art history at a community college. Not that my limited experience counts for much, but I think that art history is an ideal major for screenwriting. Art history is all about stories told in pictures. It gets you to look analytically And that discipline requires a lot of writing, too.
I have written one other script: "Missing Mona Lisa." It's based on the true story of the Mona Lisa's theft in 1911. It was optioned a few years ago and is currently in development at one of Bob Yari's companies.
A: No, I don't live in LA, but in the OC (although no one IN Orange County actually calls it "The OC"). So I'm just an hour away if Viggo reconsiders and wants to meet over coffee and discuss my script.Q: What's next? Are you working on a new script?
A: I like stories that deal with minor figures from larger, well-known stories. Like my Mona Lisa script: here's the most famous painting in the world, but who's this unknown guy who stole it and kept it for two years? What are the stories of those two guys who were crucified on either side of Christ? That's not my currrent script, but it is about some minor figures mentioned in the Bible. I like stuff that's based on fact or recognizable stories.