New York writer Anna Ray-Jones has won the 2018 Byron Bay Film Festival Screenplay Contest for her script Blood Tartan.
“Blood Tartan is a lively romp which sees Will Shakespeare heading north to the wilds of Scotland to write a new play for the king, but becoming entangled in a supernatural whodunit that would do the Bard proud,” said contest director Pim Hendrix.
“The screenplay stood out from the pack for its beautiful, concise writing, its ingenuity, and its brilliant dialogue,” Hendrix said.
“This was such an enjoyable screenplay to read. It sizzled on the page and was completely engaging at every twist and turn.”
The win sees Ray-Jones collect $US1500 plus the latest screenwriting software from Final Draft.
Second place went to Shilo, written by Australian Robyn Ravenna.
Shilo tells the story of a part-Aboriginal teenager who runs away from the city to track down his father in the Central Australian desert.
It is heartfelt and traumatic, with raw blood and guts characters in a highly-charged emotional journey to find and make sense of their place in the world.
Ravenna wins the latest version of Final Draft for her work, as does Gabrielle Gozo, who clinched third place with her screenplay, Afrodeutsche, which tells the story of a black housekeeper working for two gay SA officers in Nazi Germany.
“This was such a different take on an era that has seen so many films and screenplays written about it,” Hendrix said. “It was interesting and refreshing; the characters were just so unique, flawed, and multi-dimensional.”
This year’s contest attracted a wide range of screenplays from all over the world.
“Every year, the contest is growing as word spreads,” said Hendrix. “It is one of the only contests in Australia offering a lucrative cash prize for first place.”
Entries for the 2019 Screenplay Contest will open later in the year.