Screenwriting Competition
The Baltimore Film Office at the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) announces the winners of the 14th annual Baltimore Screenwriters Competition.

In the feature category, Maeve Tierney won first place with “You Mean Our Dad,” Maxwell Towson won second place with “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” and Harrison Demchick won third place with “The Grinning Man.”

In the shorts category, Vy Truong won first place with “The Senator,” Brad Cartwright won second place with “This Must Be the Place” and Dimitri Callwood-Jackson won third place with “American Dream.”

The winners were selected by film industry professionals Nina Kostroff Noble, Ken LaZebink, B.A. Parker and Annette Porter. The Baltimore Screenwriters Competition is a project of the Baltimore Film Office, a division of BOPA, in conjunction with film programs at Johns Hopkins University and Morgan State University. Funding is provided by The Arts Insurance Program, a division of Maury, Donnelly and Parr. Additional support is courtesy of the Charles Theatre and Senator Theatre, Maryland Film Festival, Movie Magic Screenwriter, NEXTCAR and Visit Baltimore.

In the feature category, the first place winner receives $1,500, an all access pass to the 2019 Maryland Film Festival, a Weekend in Baltimore Package, a rental car for the weekend and passes to area movie theaters. The second place winner receives $750, an all access pass to the festival and movie passes. The third place winner receives $350, an all access pass to the festival and movie passes. In the shorts category, winners receive cash prizes. All winners receive Movie Magic Screenwriter software.

Feature Winners
Maeve Tierney - First Place
In “You Mean Our Dad,” Sissy learns her estranged father has died and he had a daughter. So, Sissy adopts her and confronts her past. Maeve Tierney graduates with a master of arts in Film and Media from Johns Hopkins University in May 2019. She was a Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund Fellow for screenwriting in 2017. She won third place in the Baltimore Screenwriters Competition in 2018. Tierney hopes to continue pursuing her passion for screenwriting and is now working on a third feature script in her spare time called “Adjusting.”

Maxwell Towson - Second place
In “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” a legendary Wu-Tang Clan album goes missing in Baltimore and teen Naisha Brown must use her martial arts skills to fend off rivals and restore the album to its rightful place. Maxwell Michael Towson is a Baltimore native and Mario Kart champion. Maxwell co-wrote and performed in viral comedy sketches and web series for a plethora of digital platforms including Funny or Die, All Def Digital, and Official Comedy. He co-wrote Tomm Fondle’s and IFC Midnight’s feature film “Lowlife,” which premiered in theaters and video on demand in April 2018. Towson wrote and directed the 2018 Just For Laughs/Laugh Out Loud Short Film Contest finalist “The Prologue” and directed the short film “I Sit Alone,” which premiered at the 2018 Charm City Fringe Festival. He graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park and the American Film Institute Conservatory.

Harrison Demchick - Third Place

“The Grinning Man” has always followed Molly in the shadows of her life, but lately he has been getting closer. Raised in Baltimore on a steady diet of magical realism, literary fiction, science-fiction and Spider-Man comics, Harrison Demchick spent most of his formative years inside his own head, working out strange thoughts and ideas that would eventually make their way into stories, screenplays and songs. As a developmental editor, he has worked on more than 70 published novels and memoirs. As a musician, his debut EP, “Otherguy,” dropped quietly, even silently, in 2018. As an author, he has written literary horror novel “The Listeners” and 2019 short stories “Magicland” and “The Bead,” published in literary magazines Phantom Drift and The Hunger. As a screenwriter, he is an inaugural fellow of the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund in Film & Media at Johns Hopkins University. Demchick’s first film, “Ape Canyon,” is currently in post-production.

Shorts Winners

Vy Truong - First Place
In “The Senator,” a man travels back in time to convince his girlfriend to break up with him during one of their first dates. Vy Truong is a fervent supporter of Baltimore City, movie theaters and fellow local creatives. When Truong is not writing, she is watching old episodes of “Seinfeld,” reading screenplays of her favorite films or copy cataloging books at the Enoch Pratt Free Library where she is currently employed. “The Senator” is her second submission to the Baltimore Screenwriters Competition, where she previously placed second with her short screenplay “The Classic Gentleman” in 2018.

Brad Cartwright - Second Place

In “This Must Be the Place,” Charlie and his daughter have fled to Baltimore film life on Smith Island after his crabbing partner was killed running drugs up the Chesapeake Bay.  A Russian mobster from Miami tracks him down and kidnaps his daughter, hoping Charlie will lead him to his missing drugs. Brad Leroy Cartwright is a Baltimore-based artist that spends his free time enjoying the outdoors and eating barbecue. He was previously a Baltimore Screenwriters Competition finalist for his feature-length script “Skunk Ape.”

Dimitri Callwood-Jackson - Third Place

In “American Dream,” Mr. Jackson tries to stop the horrid things going on at Ms. Justice’s house, but ends up in a little problem of his own. Born in Virginia and raised in Bowie, Maryland, Dimitri Mikahl Callwood-Jackson first came to Baltimore City to attend Morgan State University. Graduating in December of 2016 with a bachelor of fine arts in Screenwriting and Animation, he currently works as a media specialist at the Baltimore Teachers Network. Creative storytelling has always been his passion. This is Callwood-Jackson’s first time entering a screenwriting competition. He is a revolutionary storyteller and producer that uses the elements of his multifaceted culture with themes from his life experiences to shine light on dark corners of the human experience. Callwood-Jackson credits the manifestation of his writings to God, family and the culture.

2019 Baltimore Screenwriters Competition Judges

Nina Kostroff Noble
Nina Kostroff Noble is a freelance producer and producing partner of David Simon’s Blown Deadline Productions. With Simon, Noble has produced two long running series and two miniseries from HBO—“The Wire,” for which she won a DGA and Peabody award, and a BAFTA nomination, and the Peabody award-winning “Treme.” The miniseries include “The Corner,” which won the 2000 Emmy for best miniseries, “Generation Kill” and “Show me a Hero.” Her latest project is HBO’s “The Deuce,” starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco. Noble was previously a field producer, production manager and first assistant director for the Levinson/Fontana company, working on a variety of pilots and movies for television including NBC’s “Homicide: Life on the Street.” 

Ken LaZebink
Ken LaZebink writes for television, film and the theater. LaZebink shares story credit with Garrison Keillor for the director of Robert Altman’s last film, “A Prairie Home Companion.” He wrote the Lionsgate film “Thomas Kinkaid’s Christmas Cottage,” released in 2008, starring Peter O’Toole and Marcia Gay Harden. LaZebnik’s television writing has ranged from over 20 scripts for “Touched by An Angel,” to writing for “Army Wives,” “Providence,” “Star Trek: Enterprise” and the new series “When Calls the Heart” on the Hallmark Channel. He is founding director of Stephens College’s master of fine arts in TV and Screenwriting, a low-residency program based in Hollywood. 

B.A. Parker
B.A. Parker is a writer and radio producer from Baltimore. A former film professor at Morgan State University, Parker found her way to a production fellowship with “This American Life.” She has also produced at Gimlet Media, and is currently an associate producer with NPR’s “Invisibilia.” Until last year, her mom thought podcasts were those little cubes that make coffee, so her kid’s entire career trajectory is moot.

Annette Porter
Annette Porter is a producer at Nylon Films, an independent film company based in Baltimore and London. Porter is also the director of the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund at Johns Hopkins University, whose mission is to support new and emerging voices in filmmaking. She has directed and/or produced short and long form factual films on topics ranging from contemporary arts and culture to environmental and social issues. Porter is recognized for building and managing creative production teams internationally. Her clients include Avon, L’Oreal, Rambert Dance Company, UNESCO, Victoria & Albert Museum and Warner Brothers, and Women’s Aid, in addition to broadcasters BBC, NBC, ITV, Discovery (Fr), NHK (Japan).

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