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Slamdance announced the winners of its 2022 screenplay competition, with the grand prize going to writer Gabriel Malasig for his screenplay titled “American Retail.” The screenplay follows a Black woman as she struggles to supplement her music career through a dead-end retail job at a superstore.

Additional prizes were awarded during a live ceremony that took place at the Nuart Theatre and co-presented by the Writers Guild of America West and Landmark Theatres on Sunday. Slamdance recognizes writers in its feature film, horror/thriller, TV pilot, short film and mentorship categories. More than $18,000 in prizes, in addition to various industry services, are awarded to winners across all categories.

“We received over 4,200 screenplay submissions this year,” said festival manager Lily Yasuda. “Our readers were blown away by the quality of scripts this year, and our winners exemplify everything we look for in a screenplay: bold, original and unafraid to tackle complex social issues head-on. We could not be more proud of this group of writers, and are honored to help them take the next step in their careers.”

Previous winners include 2021 winner Neil Ferron, who subsequently signed with Entertainment 360, and Tyler Tice, whose 2018 Grand Prize-winning feature ”Day Shift” was produced by Netflix.

Carlotta Summers has received the Slamdance Screenplay Mentorship Award for her series pilot script “The Wanderer,” which follows an illegitimate mixed-race heiress going undercover to fight a white supremacist group during America’s Reconstruction era.

“Our alumni team are honored to mentor Carlotta and her exciting new work ‘The Wanderer.’ We believe this script holds the potential to be a great series,” said Slamdance president and co-founder Peter Baxter. “Its themes of justice, overcoming racism, family legacy, finding one’s true-self and worker’s rights particularly resonated with us as we’re still dealing with these issues today.”

The full list of winners follows:

Feature
1st Place: “American Retail” by Gabriel Malasig
2nd Place: “Løvset’s Manoeuvre” by Elizabeth Chatelain
3rd Place: “Take My Hand” by Sam Pavich
Short
1st Place: “Merrow” by Alexander Seltzer
2nd Place: “Past Due” by Jesse Nesser
3rd Place: “Cálmate, Mija” by Victor Ridaura
Pilot
1st Place: “Texas Prison Rodeo: Vaquero” by Aaron Kozak and Driscoll Otto
2nd Place: “Workless” by Jacob Norremark
3rd Place: “Nora & Sam” by Nadia Osman
Horror
1st Place: “The Vault” by Ryan Self
2nd Place: “DeadMe” by Asabi Lee and Paul Hart-Wilden
3rd Place: “Glimpse” by Richard Martin and Josh Calvert

(Winner Gabriel Malasig, left with Slamdance’s Peter Baxter)