Christian Screenwrite Announces Winners of Fifth Annual Contest

Question: "Can one call heaven on a cell phone" inspires winning entry

Christian Screenwrite has announced the winners of their 2007 Christian screenwriting competition. Winners will receive cash awards and passes to the WYSIWYG Film Festival, an internationally recognized event for wholesome, family cinema entertainment.

George Petersen of San Diego, Ca., won first place for his drama, NO REST FOR THE WICKED, about a professor who gets a call from the Devil on his cell phone and can't get rid of him. Leo Loving of Euless, TX., won second place for PHANTON MANDARIN, a biographical drama about John Birch, an American missionary who struggles between his passion to bring God's Word to the Chinese people and his patriotic duty. Cleo Bresett Jr. of San Antonio, TX., won third place for CHERISH THIS DAY, a drama about a Marine who returns home for his dad's funeral and remembers the lessons he learned about life, love, faith, and the everyday courage it takes to make a living.

"Selecting the winning entry this year was extremely difficult because all three of these scripts are worthy of first place," said LaVonne McIver- James, founder of ChristianScreenwrite. "After deciding on finalists, it took nearly a month to select a winner because the scripts were extremely well written."

Petersen, a professional photographer, wrote his winning script after he came across an Internet article posing the question: Can one call heaven on a cell phone.

"I am very pleased and excited to be honored as a finalist in the 2007 Christian Screenwrite Contest, a screenwriting contest that stands out for its recognition of the intrinsic dramatic nature of Christian values and for its uncompromising approach to artistic standards," said Petersen. Loving, wrote PHANTOM MANDARIN after remembering a story he read about a missionary to China who became a field intelligence officer for the army in the second world war, performed heroically, and was brutally murdered by allies.

"Not long ago I mentioned to my good friend Robert Birch, who has been following along with me on this journey, and is the younger brother of John, the central character of my true-story screenplay, that I believed 2008 would be the year of success for Phantom Mandarin,'' said Loving.

"Since writing the screenplay 20 years ago, and after many rewrites, and the work collecting much dust, I dared not speak to anyone in such a hopeful manner about the script until I entered this contest. You cannot imagine the exhilaration I felt when I received word that I had been chosen a finalist."

Bresett Jr., the third place winner, was inspired to write CHERISH THIS DAY by "fond childhood memories of working alongside my father as a common laborer." Bresett's simple and poignant story was an early favorite in the contest, according to McIver-James. "Emotionally, the script profoundly moves readers," she said.

Updated: 06/17/2008

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