Melanie Schiele Slamdance Screenwriting prize
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Grand prize totals $60,000

Melanie Schiele has won the grand prize at this year’s Slamdance screenplay competition for “Butterfly Children.”

The award includes $10,000 cash and $50,000 in production funds from Forest Whitaker’s Juntobox Films, the competition partner with Slamdance. The story centers on a husband and wife, whose marriage is on the brink of failure, reconnecting as they help their young daughter try to beat a rare life-threatening skin disease that is leaving her skin as fragile as butterfly wings.

First place in the feature screenplay category went to Mary F. Unser for the “The Ecdysiasts” for her script about a 13-year-old breaking free of his isolation and lifting his heart-broken family out of their grief.

Second place went to “Swine” by Clayton Sakoda and a joint third place was awarded to “Terrestrials” by Elliot and Teresa Sutherland; and “Wallingford” by Lisa Rubin.

The horror screenplay trophy went to Mark Strassel and Rebecca Rudell for “Exquisite Corpses,” in which a  surrealist parlor game turns deadly when college art students summon a series of macabre creatures. “That Time of the Month” by Joe Hauler took second place and “Dead Tired” by Geoffrey Uloth was third.

” Think Ink” by Emily Hu won the short screenplay prize, including an option to be produced and premiere at Slamdance 2015. “The Substitute” by Madeleine Sims-Fewer took second and “Before the Bomb” by Tannaz Hazemi and James Grimaldi finished third.

“Resident” by Andrew Gerngross won the teleplay/webisode cateogory including $3,000 cash.  “Security” by Brian Hurney took second and “Kidding” by David Holstein was third.

Tuesday’s awards ceremony was hosted by the Writers Guild of America West. The competition drew 2,500 entries.

Previous Slamdance screenplay winners include Joshua Marston’s “Maria Full of Grace” and “The Woodsman” by Nicole Kassel and Stephen Fetcher.

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