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‘The Fall’ Wins Slamdance Screenwriting Grand Prize

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.”

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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:

Feature

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

Horror/Thriller

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

TV Pilot

1st place: “Bitterroot” by Kayne Gorney & Maria Hinterkoerner

2nd place: “American Infamy” by Evan Iwata

3rd place: “Devil’s Garden” by Steve Wang

Short 

1st place: “Dig Deeper” by Girault Seger

2nd place: “Dunked” by John Bickerstaff

3rd place: “Hawk Bells” by Kristian Mercado Figueroa

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