Screenwriter Jill Sim, who completed her Certificate in Feature Film Writing earlier this year, won second place at the 2009 Phoenix Film Festival Screenplay Competition for her script Lost Canyon. The story, a western drama about an adventurous woman in 1920s Arizona, was developed from beat to fade out in her Writers’ Program classes.

Jill also won third prize in our annual UCLA Extension Screenplay Competition for her script Passengers. Also a work of historical fiction, Passengers tells the story of two women in the antebellum south, one a slave, one a white Underground Railroad agent, who work together to rescue an enslaved family in the Deep South.

“After a decade working as a freelance journalist with three failed novels stashed in a drawer, I realized I’d been dismissing a lifelong desire: I always wanted to write for the movies. I stumbled on the UCLA Extension website by accident, and was inspired then and there to enroll in the Writers’ Program. Lost Canyon and Passengers owe their successes to the first-rate instructors at UCLA Extension, who pass along the same tricks of the trade professionals use, while providing an unconditionally supportive and stimulating environment in which to develop work. I have become the storyteller I always wanted to be.”

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