Screenplay competition to fuel prod'n slate

Slamdunk Films, an offshoot of Park City, Utah’s, Slamdunk Film Festival, has set up a first-look deal with Cooper/Hellman Entertainment, the production firm headed by L.A. producer Barry Cooper and “Reservoir Dogs” executive producer Monte Hellman.

The primary feed to Cooper/Hellman comes via the Slamdunk Screenplay Competition, which will announce its second round of winners this month. The first five winners, announced after Slamdunk in January, yielded a development deal with Phoenix Pictures for Justin Wilson and Ezra Segal’s script, “Commander in Chief.”

‘Very exciting’

“Slamdunk is beyond a film fest,” Hellman said. Slamdunk co-founders Cabot Orton and Keith Spiegel “are committed to promoting indie film on an international basis. With their screenplay competition they’ve developed tremendous access to sharp, bright new talent and that’s very exciting.”

Orton reports “19 companies looked at the five winning screenplays in our last round. Cooper/Hellman gets the right of first look at the next three winners.” Judges for the competition include “She’s All That” scribe Lee Fleming, “October Sky” screenwriter Lewis Colick and “The Faculty” co-writer David Wechter. Slamdunk bowed in January 1998 with the world premiere of Nick Broomfield’s music doc “Kurt and Courtney.”

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