Slamdance Announces 2018 Slamdance Screenplay Competition Winners

Slamdance today announced the winners of its 2018 screenwriting competition, awarding its Grand Prize to writer Jessica Sinyard for her television pilot “The Peak.” Additional prizes were awarded during a ceremony hosted by Writers Guild of America West across feature film, horror, TV pilot and short film categories. Upwards of 3,000 submissions were received for this year’s contest, and more than $16,000 was awarded to 2018 winners across all categories.

“The Peak” is a psychological survival thriller that follows a team of eight overachievers in their attempt to climb Mount Everest. When a team member goes missing on the peak, paranoia and altitude sickness corrodes the reliability of survivor accounts. With a dual narrative that interweaves both the team’s ascent and descent, “The Peak” reveals a complex central mystery that explores the choices people make when they believe no one is watching.

“This year’s competition proved that wherever you come from in this world our judges are waiting to discover and honor great new writing talent, especially if you are Jessica Sinyard from All Saints Saxby village in the north of England, “ says Slamdance President, Peter Baxter. “We are proud to award Jessica Slamdance’s 2018 Screenplay Competition Grand Prize for her pilot ‘The Peak,’ a pulsating psychological survival thriller that is primed for production.”

“Slamdance is such a vivacious, distinctive and inimitable festival, it is such as honor to be selected,” says writer Jessica Sinyard.

Slamdance recognizes four categories in its Writing Competition and congratulates the top three screenplays in each category. The top three 2018 Slamdance screenplays in each prize category are as follows:

Feature

1st place: The Innocent and the Vicious by Dominique Genest & Nick Kreiss

2nd place: Cancuncito by Carlos Alejandro Marulanda

3rd place: Girls In Trouble by Brenna Perez

Horror

1st place: Candle by Jonathan Redding

2nd place: Wendigo by Mike Langer

3rd place: Causeway by Stanley Wong & Patrick Dorsey

TV Pilot

1st place: The Peak by Jessica Sinyard

2nd place: Darkened Room by Tamara Maloney & Maeve McQuillan

3rd place: The Red by John Whitcher

Short

1st place: Ami by Matt O’Connor

2nd place: The Settlement by Nikolas Benn

3rd place: Sundown County by Victor Ridaura

Over the past 23 years, the success of the Slamdance Screenplay Competition and its winning writers continues to attract the attention of industry professionals searching for the best new independent writing talent. Slamdance Screenplay Competition winners that have gone to production include Maria Full of Grace from writer Joshua Marston and The Woodsman co-written by Nicole Kassel and Steven Fechter. Recent competition winners that have gone on to be produced include 100 Bloody Acres from co-writers Colin and Cameron Cairn and Jug Face written by Chad Crawford Kinkle.

The Slamdance Screenplay Competition is dedicated to discovering emerging writing talent. Since 1995 the organization has established a strong track record for identifying and supporting new screenwriters, and they welcome screenplays in every genre, on any topic, from anywhere in the world.

In addition to cash prizes, the top three screenwriters in each category receive prize packages that include Festival Passes good for all screenings and parties at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah (January 25-31 2019). Winners in the Feature and Horror categories are eligible for membership in the Writers Guild of America’s Independent Writers Caucus and also receive $2,500 in legal services from Pierce Law Group, LLP. All winners also receive a collection of Slamdance merchandise and will be included in the 2019 Slamdance Film Festival program which is distributed to industry professionals in Park City and year round.

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