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Michael Curtis

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June 1, 2015

“Gravel Heart” Wins 2015 Best Short Screenplay at SIFF

June 1, 2015 | By | No Comments

SIFF laurels

Fantastic news this week from Maine!

We’re proud to announce that Gravel Heart has been named Winner of the inaugural Script to Screen Competition at the Sanford International Film Festival. The victory comes close on the heels of recent accolades for Gravel Heart at the WILDsound Writer’s Festival and ScreenCraft Short Screenplay Competition.

It’s what you hope for from the earliest stages of the writing process – that somewhere down the line what you’re writing will move people in some way.

There’s a sense of momentum now with the script that may prove helpful in launching a successful crowdfunding campaign sometime next year. But we can only consider going into production on the film once the screenplay finishes its entire festival run.

Many competitions disqualify screenplays from competition the moment they are optioned, sold, or moved into production in any way. So we’re waiting for several key festival competitions to be adjudicated before deciding which path to pursue with Gravel Heart. 

The hope is that any prize money the script might garner from competition could ultimately be used to finance the project down the line.

It’s been humbling and gratifying in equal measure that the story is resonating with people. It’s what you hope for from the earliest stages of the writing process – that somewhere down the line what you’re writing will move people in some way.

That seems to be the case with Gravel Heart.

This screenplay makes me happy that we rolled the dice on a screenplay competition.
– James Harmon, SIFF Director

Sanford International Film Festival director, James Harmon, summed it up generously: ‘Gravel Heart was clearly our best submission. We had judges crying at the table… This screenplay makes me happy that we rolled the dice on a screenplay competition. We’ll never forget Gravel Heart, and I hope we can play some part in its journey from award-winning screenplay to award-winning film.’

The festival in Sanford has offered to host a Maine premiere of Gravel Heart if the film comes to fruition late next year or in early 2017.  That would bring the project full circle with the festival and would be a really neat story for us.

We’ve been focused on film collaboration in the southeast, but to potentially work with a festival in Maine and bring filmmakers from the southeast and northeast together on this short film would be a lot of fun.

We’ll never forget Gravel Heart, and I hope we can play some part in its journey from award-winning screenplay to award-winning film.
– James Harmon, SIFF Director

At this point we’re not ruling anything out! Stay tuned over the next few months for more developments.

Michael Curtis

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March 11, 2015

Best Short Screenplay Award

March 11, 2015 | By | One Comment

091A4377-w-laurels

Auspicious Beginnings

I have good news to share today!  Matthew from Toronto’s WILDsound Writer’s Festival informed me that the Gravel Heart script has been awarded 2015 Best Short Screenplay and will receive a staged reading with professional actors in front of a live audience later this month.  Thanks, Matt!

It’s always nice to “win” something, of course, but I don’t value awards in and of themselves. Sometimes they can be a barometer of sorts that at least something about a project is resonating with people. So it’s great to hear that the next slated project is connecting in some small way with audiences – at least so far. And hopefully our team can continue to build on that throughout production and editing.

Still Tweaking

The screenplay for Gravel Heart continues to evolve as our project team forms and the script gets honed and prepped for production.  We will augment the reading in Toronto with a staged workshop reading of our own here in Georgia – also scheduled for this month. I feel our last film, Gift, could have been stronger if I’d workshopped the screenplay with actors before filming. So that’s what we plan to do with all new screenplays going forward whenever possible.  I was tweaking the script and removing superfluous dialogue as recently as this morning.

But I’m happy the screenplay is getting out there and that festivals are responding to it.

I am still keenly interested in finding some producers in the Atlanta area or the southeast to help bring this film to fruition.  I’d like to launch a crowdfunding campaign this summer, and there’ll be lots of work to do around that.  If you’d like to be a member of the funding team, please get in touch and be a part of grassroots indie filmmaking in the southeast.

 

 

 

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