Congratulations to the Winners of 2019 UCLA Extension Feature Film and Television Writing Competitions!

If you are an industry professional (agent, manager, producer or executive) and interested in connecting with our competition winners, please contact the Writers’ Program Screenwriting Representative Chae Ko by clicking the button below.

 

Feature Film Winners

1st Place Winner | Frank del Aguila 
Quetzal (Drama)
A Latino drug addict ex-gang member attempts to clean up his life by admitting himself into an Orthodox Jewish rehab, where his past catches up to him endangering the lives of the people trying to help him.

 

2nd Place Winner | Kerry Kolbe
Swallow (Dramedy)
17-year-old Lola is desperate to study particle physics at Cambridge like her hero Stephen Hawking but is trapped playing parent to her dysfunctional family of twitchers (a.k.a bird watchers) who drag her on a wild chase of her late mother’s “spirit animal,” a rare albino swallow.

 

3rd Place Winner | Kelly Campbell
Pyramid Scheme (Action/Adventure Comedy)
When the dead Pharaoh’s two wives are buried alive in his pyramid tomb, they must overcome their differences – and the patriarchy – to get out alive.

Television Spec Winners

1st Place Winner | Leon Golterman
Mindhunter: Sons of Sam (One-Hour Spec)
To solve the ritualistic murder of a Jewish girl, FBI agent Bill Tench must consult the notorious Son of Sam, who forces him to face his failure as a father.

 

2nd Place Winner | Marion Kotzenberg
Madam Secretary: Old Friends (One-Hour Spec)
Elizabeth is in Brussels to negotiate a contentious EU trade agreement that becomes the target of a terrorist threat.

 

3rd Place Winner | Angus McNair
The Good Place: Janet’s Id (Half-Hour Spec)
An unexpected visit by two distrustful demons forces Eleanor and the other humans to hide in Janet’s secret neighborhood, where they confront their pasts, their insecurities, and the physical manifestation of Janet’s angsty Id.

Television Pilot Winners

1st Place Winner | Sandra Hamada
Lucha Lopez: Illegal Alien (One-Hour Pilot)
On the eve of her Quinceñeara, a straight-laced Latina who dreams of being the first in her family to go to college discovers a shocking truth: her immigrant family isn’t from Mexico but an alien planet. Now she must rise up to protect her family against a government determined to capture them, all while trying to pass A.P. Biology.

 

2nd Place Winner | David Crane
The Mashings (Half-Hour Pilot)
“The Mashings” follows a brilliant, young and volatile chef, Josephine “Joey” Mashings, as she endeavors to transform her family’s run-down brewpub in the sticks into the preeminent dining destination of the United States.

 

3rd Place Winner | Jenny Raftery
Mom’s Club (Half-Hour Pilot)
Two ex-best friends wage war against each other through rival mom groups in sunny, conservative Arizona.

 

Thanks to our Writers’ Program instructors and mentors:
Cynthia Hsiung, Zac Hug, Nancy Nigrosh, Koji Sakai, Barry Vigon, and Michael Weiss.

Special thanks to our industry judges:
(Feature Film)
Rick Berg, Code Entertainment
Elisa Oliveras, New Cadence Productions
Chris Sablan, Avenue 2020
(Television)
Chelsea Benson, Echo Lake Entertainment
Isabella Mastrodicasa, Heroes and Villains Entertainment
Mette Norkjaer, BOOM! Studios

Some of our past winners have succeeded in developing successful entertainment industry careers! Expand to see a list.

To name a few:

Jonathan Redding, 3rd place 2018 Television Spec Writing Competition Winner with the script Designated Survivor: “Trauma” (One-Hour). He is now currently a staff writer on Homeland.

 

 

Christina Strain, 1st Place 2015 Television Pilot Writing Competition Winner with the script The Fox Sister (One-Hour). She is now currently a staff writer on Magicians.

 

 

Moisés Zamora, 2nd Place 2015 Television Pilot Writing Competition Winner with the script Second Coming (One-Hour). He is now currently a showrunner on Netflix’s Selena. His other credits include American Crime and Star.

 

Barbara Stepansky, 1st Place 2013 Feature Film Writing Competition Winner with the script Sugar in My Veins (Drama). She was nominated for the Emmy and won the WGA Award for her feature Flint. Currently she is writing for Outlander.

 

Greta Heinemann, 1st Place and 2nd Place 2013 Television Pilot and Spec Writing Competition Winner with the scripts The King of Valleywood (One-Hour) and Sons of Anarchy: Deliverance (One-Hour). She is writer and producer on NCIS: New Orleans.

 

Julie Wong, 3rd Place 2013 Television Pilot Writing Winner with the script Ana In Between (One-Hour). She is currently a staff writer on Grey’s Anatomy.

 

 

Denise Harkavy, 1st Place 2012 Television Spec Writing Winner with the script Awkward: Motherhood (Half-Hour). She is a writer and producer on Batwoman and Manhunt. Her other credits include The Expanse, The Brave, Queen Sugar, and Franklin & Bash.

 

Elissa Matsueda, 1st Place 2010 Feature Film Writing Competition Winner with the script Happy for You (Comedy). She’s had all four of her screenplays produced including Spare Parts, Reversion, The Miracle Season and Dog Days.

 

Annabel Oakes, 1st Place 2008 Feature Film Writing Competition Winner with the script Lovest(r)uck (Comedy). She is currently a writer for mini-series The Edge of Seventeen. Her other credits include Atypical, Downward Dog, Angel from Hell, and Sirens.

You Too Can Succeed! Expand here if you are a prospective student.

Eligibility:

Contest applicants must have completed two feature film courses or one advanced course in the Writers’ Program in the 36 months for feature film submission or two television writing courses or one advanced course in the Writers’ Program in the 36 months (pilots) or 24 months (specs) for TV submission prior to the competition deadline in order to qualify. To enroll in courses to become eligible, click here.

If you meet the eligibility requirements, check this page for details on deadlines and instructions.

The Top Three Winners in Each Category receive:

  • A guaranteed read by an agent, producer, and/or creative executive
  • A one-on-one script mentorship (a $2,150 value) with a professional screenwriter prior to the final judging
  • Announcements with names, script titles and placing in an industry trade magazine such as Deadline, Variety or Hollywood Reporter
  • Names, loglines, and contact information sent to more than 1,000 entertainment industry executives
  • An exclusive career development seminar with a studio executive, agent, or manager to be determined by the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program

If you have any questions contact writers@uclaextension.edu or 310-825-9415.

 

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