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Several win scriptwriting contests

Seventeen Emerson students and recent graduates have won or placed as finalists or semi-finalists in eight scriptwriting contests during the Fall 2013 semester, according to James Macak, associate professor in the Department of Visual and Media Arts.



Irene Merrow '14 with friend Annie Johnson and film director Susan di Rende. (Courtesy Photo)

Irene Merrow ’14 won for best television pilot at the Broad Humor Film Festival in California.

Cornelius “Neil” Murphy, MFA ’15, won the Woods Hole Film Festival’s Short Screenplay Competition.

Daniel Kahan ’14 was a finalist in the Austin Film Festival’s Pitch Competition.

Rachel Reuben ’12 and Collin Kittredge Smith ’12 were honored at the Austin Film Festival’s TV comedy writing competition.

Gabi Conti ’09 was a finalist in the New York TV Festival’s comedy script competition.

Rio Contrada ’13 was a finalist in a contest sponsored by Acclaim Film & TV.

Merrow won at the Broad Humor Film Festival for best TV pilot with her comedy Housekeeping, which received a staged reading by actors. Housekeeping concerns a college student, who, unable to pay her tuition, drops out and resorts to working as a hotel housekeeper.

Reuben and Kittredge Smith scored as finalists at the Austin Film Festival Screenwriters Conference for their spec episode of the MTV comedy Awkward. The festival received more than 8,600 entries in its film and TV competitions. Reuben and Kittredge Smith were chosen for one of three finalist slots in the spec TV comedy category. (A spec script, also known as a “speculative script,” is an unsolicited TV script or screenplay.) Luke Durett ’14, Kelly Roderick ’14, Emily Bolcik ’13, and Zach Ehrlich ’14 placed in the second round for the same contest.


Kahan, Murphy

Daniel Kahan '14 and Neil Murphy, MFA '13, won or were finalists in film festivals this semester. (Courtesy Photo)

Also at the Austin festival, Kahan was one of 16 finalists out of 150 competitors in the pitch competition for his 90-second presentation on his screenplay, Zombiepocalpyse.

Murphy not only won the Woods Hole Film Festival’s Short Script contest for his short film script, You’re a Good Guy, Eli, but it came in second at the Idaho Writers Guild Short Screenplay Competition and placed as a semi-finalist in the Slamdance Short Screenplay Competition. His script focuses on the friendship between characters Andrew and Eli. After Andrew leaves his wife and quits his job, he can’t wait to introduce Eli to “the new amazing woman” that prompted these changes in his life.

Conti was a finalist in the New York Television Festival’s comedy script contest for her script, Ex-Communication, which concerns a young woman who gives all her exes a second chance after breaking up with her boyfriend. Conti currently performs stand-up comedy, works on the Comedy Central show The Jeselnick Offensive, and is a contributing writer for actor Zooey Deschanel’s website.

Contrada was a finalist in the Acclaim Film & TV Spring/Summer Competitions for his spec script for American Horror Story: Asylum.

Other Emerson students and alumni who placed as semi-finalists in these contests were Pinwen Lien, MFA ’13, Andrew Soupcoff ’14, Kimberly Burke ‘12, Alyssa Thorne ‘11, Anna Thorup ‘11, and Hannah Try ‘11.

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