2020 WINNER - FEATURE FILM
Directed by Joseph Mensch
Written by Joseph Mensch & Metin Aksoy
Produced by Adam Folk
Based on the memoir "Career Criminal: My Life in the Russian Mob" by Gary Govich
Genre: Crime | Drama | True Story
Logline: A young stockbroker at a shady Wall Street firm gets betrayed and sent to prison for six years. When he gets out, his quest for revenge makes him a target of New York's Russian mafia.
Director's Bio: Born in New York City, Joseph Mensch is a director and producer known for Bushwick (2017), Asher (2018) and Caviar (2020).
Director's Statement: Caviar is a crime drama set in New York’s Russian-American underworld. It explores the intersection of organized crime and its clean-cut cousin, Wall Street crime, through the eyes of a first-generation immigrant. Inspired by the gangster movies of Scorsese and Coppola, Caviar draws on the history of Brighton Beach in the 90s — Russian-Jewish refugees fleeing the Soviet Union and landing in Brooklyn, the entrenched Italian mob reacting to this “Russian invasion,” and the effect of a newly deregulated Wall Street on the world of organized crime — for rich and unexplored territory for the next addition to the genre. My own Russian-Jewish heritage spurred my interest in the subject, and my work as a producer on the films Bushwick and Asher convinced me to take the plunge into writing and directing. This is my first feature.
2020 WINNER - SHORT FILM
YOU'VE GOT TEXT
Directed by Matthew Moore
Written by Diana Lee Woody
Produced by Diana Lee Woody and Janeva Zentz
Genre: Crime | Thriller
Logline: A protective daughter becomes suspicious when the family dinner is interrupted by text messages for her new stepmother.
Writer's Bio: Diana Lee Woody is a screenwriter/playwright/physicist. She has written produced plays, radio plays, and award-winning screenplays. She has produced, written, and directed award winning films. Her plays have been performed in the United States and Canada. Diana is a member of the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights, The Dramatist Guild, and The American Physical Society. She is a native of the east coast, hailing from Silver Spring, Maryland.
2020 WINNER - FEATURE SCREENPLAY
Written by Dusan Zaritch
Genre: Crime Noir
Logline: Charlie Nihill, a private detective with a heart-wound bigger than the Atlantic, is hired to find a missing jazz drummer. So far so good. Missing husbands are a dime and a dozen in this town. The trouble is, also missing is the jazz club owner's wife. Charlie has to find his way through the hazy maze of mad preachers, strung out trumpet players, sleazy club owners, and double-crossing spouses to get to the crux... which is incidentally a path through his own private hell.
Bio: D. Zaritch has been writing screenplays, plays and graphic novels for 15 years running. Redheaded Venom has already been voted a semi-finalist at the LA Crime and Horror Film Festival. His screenplay for Signature Work (developed into an indie neo-noir feature) has been awarded the audience award at a screenplay festival in Serbia. D. Zaritch was also a finalist at the Humphrey Bogart Film Noir Short Festival in Miami with his short The Devil That We Made. He resides in Los Angeles, and lives and breathes Noir.
2020 WINNER - TELEVISION SCRIPT
Written by Scott Cahill
Genre: Crime | Action | Drama
Logline: In the endless war against ruthless drug cartels, sometimes the greatest danger lies from within. A rogue DEA agent wages a personal battle for revenge and redemption on the streets of Los Angeles and Guadalajara.
Bio: Scott Cahill has written two screenplays in the crime action/drama genre based on his professional background as a retired DEA Special Agent. He has no experience in the motion picture industry and is seeking an opportunity to present two concepts which are inspired by true life investigations. Throughout his career, Mr. Cahill has conducted complex international narcotics investigations and most recently supervised a real-life Mexican Cartel investigation from which the fictitious pilot concept THE UNJUST is inspired. Mr. Cahill is intimately familiar with the structure and modus operandi of global narcotics trafficking groups including their link to terrorist activities which was the inspiration behind a second concept, CEDARS OF GOD.
2020 WINNER - BOOK
CELTIC KNOT (A Clara Swift Tale)
Written by Ann Shortell
Genre: Historical Crime | Mystery
Logline: During the time of the Canadian Confederation, a 15 year-old Irish immigrant housemaid believes the authorities have convicted the wrong man in the assassination of her boss, a staunch supporter of nationhood, Thomas D'Arcy McGee.
Bio: Ann Shortell is an award-winning fiction & nonfiction author based in Toronto, Canada, with ties to the U.S, the U.K., & Ireland. Celtic Knot, with 13 American & Canadian award honors, is the debut of a series of Clara Swift Tales, which will feature hinge-points in North American history reimagined through the lens of a bright, young, female Irish immigrant. In her next book, An Irish Goodbye, Clara is caught in the midst of a Metis rebellion, then an attempt to embroil President Grant in the Irish battle against Britain, with the new country of Canada as the target.
2020 WINNER - STAGE PLAY
THE PEOPLE VS. FRANKENSTEIN
Written by Kevin Glover & Nicola Cuti
Based on the book "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley
Genre: Horror | Courtroom Crime Drama
Logline: A tenacious lab assistant and a wily Southern lawyer join forces to defend a legendary monster charged with the murder of his creator, Dr. Victor Frankenstein.
Bio: Kevin M Glover is perhaps best known as the producer of the cult classic indie films Dinosaur Valley Girls, Venus Flytrap, Scarlett Countess, Mummy’s Kiss and Love Bites. An optioned, multi-award winning screenwriter, Kevin is also a published short-story author and member of the Los Angeles chapter of the Horror Writers Association. Most recently, he is the creator/publisher of the Scary Tales Publishing line of horror comic books.
Nicola “Nick” Cuti is a two-time winner of the Ray Bradbury Award for writing excellence and a 2009 Inkpot Award winner for his work in Comic Book Art. He has worked as editor, artist and writer for such distinguished comic book companies as DC, Marvel, Charlton and Warren (publisher of Creepy, Eerie, and Vampirella comics). He created numerous characters including superhero E-Man and the underground classic Moonie. Nick continues to write for horror magazines, including The Creeps, Fractured Scary Tales, and Forbidden Gallery.
Number of Entries: 631
Based On, or Inspired by, True Events
United States: 71%
Feature Film or Screenplay: 47%
Short Film or Television Script: 27%
Book or Manuscript: 24%
Stage Play: 2%