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VMA students win script writing competition

Sheehan Vazquez

Jesse Sheehan '14 and Armando Vazquez '14 won a script writing competition at the 2013 Ivy Film Festival. (Courtesy photo)

Two Visual and Media Arts students recently won the Ivy Film Festival’s undergraduate shorts writing competition, marking wins for the department’s students for the second year in a row.

Armando Vazquez ’14 and Jesse Sheehan ’14 won the festival’s inaugural television pilot writing competition and were honored at a ceremony April 14 at Brown University in Providence. Vazquez was among the students who won an award last year.

Vazquez won this year for Limbo Lane, a contemporary adaptation of the O. Henry short story Dream. In Vazquez’s short film script, an inmate on death row meets with his old friend, a minister. The two spend the last minutes of the inmate’s life discussing morality, ethics, and the role religion played in their lives.

Vazquez said his parents became very emotional upon hearing he won the Ivy Film Festival award, saying his mother shouted in excitement and his father shed tears.

“Our family has been struggling with several things for the past three years,” Vazquez said, “and I think any good news that I bring back makes him very happy. The fact that I’m succeeding at something he knows I love and that he loves himself… just turns him into a big, mushy faucet.”

Sheehan won for Alt, an animated half-hour comedy in which a scientist travels to an alternate universe, and inadvertently acquires his dream job as a field agent for a secret government organization.

“I loved the idea of parallel universes so I wanted to incorporate that into the plot somehow,” said Sheehan, who compared his pilot to a comedy version of the Fox science fiction show Fringe.

“My parents have always been very supportive of me,” Sheehan said, “but I think this is the first time they realized the quality of my writing has improved from silly videos I made in high school to something that’s actually award-winning.”

Emerson also had three students named finalists in the Ivy Film Festival writing competition: Sophia Youssef ’14, Miller Pipkin ’14 and Jacqeline Sosa ’14 in the categories of undergraduate shorts, graduate shorts, and TV pilot, respectively. Several students also were named finalists in the Acclaim TV writing competition. The students in these competitions wrote their scripts in Associate Professor James Macak's courses: Writing the Television Pilot and Writing the Short Subject.

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