Goldwyn script prize rewards ‘Deep’ thinker

Civil War pic snags $10,000 prize

Paul J. da Silva, graduate student in screenwriting at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, has won first prize in the Samuel Goldwyn Writing Awards for his screenplay “Deep South.”

The 48th annual awards were announced Monday by Samuel Goldwyn Jr., president of the Samuel Goldwyn Foundation. Previous Goldwyn winners include Allison Anders, Francis Ford Coppola, Pamela Gray, Colin Higgins, Eric Roth and novelist Jonathan Kellerman.

The first-prize winner receives $10,000, second prize is $5,000, third prize is $3,000, first honorable mention is $2,000 and second honorable mention is $1,000. Judges included Anders, Gray and Richard Schickel, author, filmmaker and Time magazine film critic.

The winning screenplay is set in the Civil War and involves a treasury agent from California who must rely on an escaped slave to guide him backward through the underground railroad in order to recover a shipment of stolen Union gold before it reaches the Confederate treasury.

Second place went to Tony Moton for “All Bets Are On,” the story of the relationship between a 12-year-old Little League baseball player and his philandering grandfather, set during the summer of 1969 in Chicago. Thor Challgren’s “Guy LaFlob,” centered on a 30-year-old underachiever who dreams of playing pro hockey, was tapped for third place.

Honorable mentions went to “The Job” by Marshall Thornton and “Defection” by Christian Guzeck.

More than 100 feature-length screenplays were submitted from students at seven University of California campuses.

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