Slamdance has awarded its grand prize for screenwriting to Tamra Teig and Michael Lipoma for their feature screenplay “The Fall.”
The festival announced a dozen prizes Thursday night during a ceremony hosted by Writers Guild of America West across feature film, horror/thriller, TV pilot and short film categories. Slamdance awarded more than $16,000 to winners across all categories.
“The Fall” is a historical drama set in East Berlin in 1989, where a single mother is forced to become a spy to save her son after he’s framed for murder. Her act of revenge, woven into historic events, leads to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
“With over 4,200 submissions this year, our judges were challenged by a wealth of exciting new writers to choose from,” said Slamdance president Peter Baxter. “Many plugged into the passion and concern around socially conscious themes our world is currently dealing with in raw, fun and unique ways.”
Teig and Lipoma said, “The recognition of industry professionals validates our abilities as storytellers in a way that praise from a friend or relative never can.”
The festival, launched in 1995 as an alternative to Sundance, has included showings of such notable titles as Oren Peli’s “Paranormal Activity.” The fest takes place at the Treasure Mountain Inn in Park City, Utah, in January with entries limited to films with budgets of less than $1 million.
Slamdance alumni include Joe and Anthony Russo, Christopher Nolan, Marc Forster, Jared Hess, Lena Dunham, Benh Zeitlin, Seth Gordon, and Lynn Shelton. Significant titles that debuted at Slamdance include “Mad Hot Ballroom” and Gordon’s “The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.”
Screenplay competition winners that have gone to production include “Maria Full of Grace” from writer Joshua Marston and “The Woodsman,” co-written by Nicole Kassel and Steven Fechter.
The top three 2019 Slamdance screenplays in each prize category are as follows:
1st place: “The Fall” by Tamra Teig and Michael Lipoma
2nd place: “Margo & Perry” by Becca Roth
3rd place: “Cherries” by Matthew Sadowski and Amelia Wasserman
1st place: “Cherry” by Jordan Prosser
2nd place: “Into the Trees” by Matt O’Connor
3rd place: “They Live on Skid Row” by R. J. Daniel Hanna
1st place: “Bitterroot” by Kayne Gorney & Maria Hinterkoerner
2nd place: “American Infamy” by Evan Iwata
3rd place: “Devil’s Garden” by Steve Wang
1st place: “Dig Deeper” by Girault Seger
2nd place: “Dunked” by John Bickerstaff
3rd place: “Hawk Bells” by Kristian Mercado Figueroa