By Devin D. O’Leary
Governor’s Cup Runneth Over--Governor Bill Richardson announced last week the four winners of the 2006 Governor’s Cup Short Screenplay Competition. Last time the Governor’s Cup happened, it took the form of a statewide short film festival, the winners of which went on to compete for the best short in New Mexico. This time around, the Governor’s Cup focussed on writing. According to the State Film Office, more than 400 entries were sent in from all corners of New Mexico--from Farmington to Lovington, from Raton to Chapparal. “We were delighted by the response from the writing community,” said Lisa Strout, director of the New Mexico Film Office, in a press release.
Four of the short screenplays that were submitted have now been chosen as the best overall. Those four winning screenwriters will each be given a $5,000 budget toward the creation of their film, plus use of the state’s production equipment and trainees from the Film Technicians Training Programs in Las Cruses, Roswell, Santa Fe and Albuquerque. The winners will also recieve free tuition to the Screenwriting Conference in Santa Fe (May 31-June 4) and a copy of Jungle Software’s new Gorilla Pro Software, which helps filmmakers with budgeting, scheduling and accounting. All in all, not a bad package.
Writer Hanna Macpherson was one of the winners, thanks to her script “Dearth,” the story of a young girl’s dramatic impact on a dying women. Her film will be shot in Roswell. David Valdez and Philip Gunn also won with their script “A Day in Heaven,” in which a widower builds a machine so he can visit his wife in Heaven. Their film will be shot in Las Cruces. “A Piece of the Pie” is a comedy set in Pie Town, N.M., and was written by Scott and Paula Merrow. It will be shot with help from the Film Technicians Training Program at TVI in Albuquerque. The fourth and final winner was Rick Romancito, whose family story set in Taos Pueblo titled “Benito’s Gift” nabbed the National Geographic All Roads Film Project award. The All Roads Project is a forum for indigenous and minority-culture storytellers to bring their lives, experiences and cultures to new audiences. Romancito, who is full-blood Pueblo Indian, will produce his film with the assistance of the governor’s Film Technical Training Program at the Santa Fe Community College.
All four films will be shot around the state throughout the month of June. All films produced will remain the property of their writers/directors and will hopefully screen around the state later this year. The Governor’s Cup Screenplay Competition was funded with help from Comcast Cable and the National Geographic All Roads Film Project.
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