Friday, March 10, 2017

Boxcar Receives Best Short Screenplay Award

I want to take a moment to say thank you for all of the wonderful words I've received since winning the screenwriting award last Sunday night in Amsterdam. Thank you for reaching out to share in this moment. I also want to thank everyone at the New Renaissance Film Festival for acknowledging and supporting my work. I can't even put into words how incredible the last few days of my life have been.

We had an awesome time in Amsterdam and can't wait to return again. I had some terrific travel companions in Edward, Nick, and Albert. I also made some wonderful new friends at the film festival. My colleagues back home helped make this trip possible by covering my classes and commitments. And Joshua Zabatta took care of our furry children for us. Thank you!

When my name was announced as the winner I immediately thought of my grandmother, Dorothy, who left us nearly 20 years ago but continues to live on in my heart. She always encouraged me to be a storyteller and to never diminish my creativity. To say I felt her presence with me last night is an understatement. Everyone who knows me will be happy to know I made it down the stairs and on to the stage without falling. It was a surreal moment, definitely an out-of-body experience. In true fashion, we went and celebrated afterwards by eating tacos. It was a great time.

The screenplay I won for is called Boxcar. It is the story of two young men who are forced to hide their love in order to survive. On the night of their high school Homecoming dance, they decide to spend the night together in an abandoned boxcar in a train yard.

The response to their story is something I never could've expected. The story was first a play, which has been produced around the country with more productions scheduled throughout the year. The screenplay is currently in the running at five more festivals. It will also be published in an upcoming issue of the literary journal New Plains Review.

This journey has been (and is) an incredible one. I am humbled by this honor, knowing how fortunate I am to share my words with the world and do something each day that I love. As I said in my speech last night, we are all artists. Our creative lives require us to take risks each day. But believe me: the risks are worth it. Take them!

Thank you, again, for sharing this moment with me. It has been transformative, to say the least. I'm happy to say: many more stories are coming. This journey has just begun.

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