NFFTY, and winning Story Starts Here

This year, being 25 and in the last year of being considered a "youth" at NFFTY, I am honored to have not one, not two, but three of my works presented at this film festival. I have two shorts screened, and won the inaugural Story Starts Here screenplay competition with my short script Roberta's Living Room

After you've submitted work and forgotten about it, it's always nice to get a surprise email (or two) a few months later when it's least expected-

The best part of it all was that after I've been notified that I'm a finalist for the screenplay competition, the three judges each wrote me feedback. That was the thing I got all impatient waiting for. I had written this script on and off, rewriting bits again and again, for about 3 years. I was ready hear what professionals in the industry had to say about it. 

The three judges were Chris Grunden, the VP of film programming at HBO, Erica Sterne, a producer, and Wilbert Plijnaar, a storyboard artist for many major animation features.

When the feedback email finally came, I couldn't wait and just opened it during a meeting I was in. I got all secretly excited as I read the outpouring of positive reactions. 

ROBERTA’S LIVING ROOM successfully creates a world we haven’t seen before, with an inventive, magic-realism premise.

Roberta’s Living Room makes me want to watch this movie and read more of Judy’s work. She has an exciting, enchanting style and voice.

A life affirming story, that throughout paints evocative images, made me smile and laugh out loud at various intervals and ultimately I felt touched by.

What more can one ask for?

Here are just a few snippets from the feedback I received. I was anticipating a lot of constructive criticism, so when I saw the overwhelmingly positive reviews, it came as a huge surprise. Eventually when I won the competition and a $500 prize, that was all just the cherry on the top.

Now I just have to get this short film made...