Screenplay Competition & Masterclass

Each year, the festival will explore a new theme and focus on some of the behind-the-scenes aspects of the filmmaking process. The theme for this first year is “Hometown Stories.” The screenwriting competition, also for short films, is based on the same theme and will explore the foundational aspect of filmmaking – the script.  A focus of this new four-day event is to bring the community together to experience the best films they’ve never seen and experience one of the foundational aspects of filmmaking – the screenplay.


Official Screenplay Selections


TRANSPLANT – Writer: Timothy McDevitt
A Philly sports fanatic with strong connections to his South Jersey hometown has trouble accepting that his relocation to North Carolina may be more than temporary. As his young son becomes “too southern”, he takes him back “home” to reconnect to his Jersey roots, but he soon learns that home is defined not by where you live, but by who you live with.

HURDLES – Writer: Tina Shakiyah
A teenage track star is diagnosed with a chronic illness that challenges her to jump a new type of hurdle.

NOTHING IN DURHAM – Writer: Thomas Buhrman
Twenty years ago a guitarist left his musical family, which was the premiere French Goth band of Durham, North Carolina. The group could not function without him, so they disbanded and drifted into absurd lives: an artist who makes unusable tools, a lifestyle mime, and the owner of a conceptual hotel. The guitarist hoped things would be better for him elsewhere, but they weren’t. Now the guitarist returns to Durham to look for his family, and things have changed dramatically. During his search he meets a taxi driver who doesn’t drive, mimes, hipsters, a junk librarian, and other creatives on the fringes of the community. Things don’t go as expected.


The winning script also wins a table read at the Festival on Saturday, June 16.  The table read will be hosted by the Cary Playwrights Forum.

Prizes are provided by InkTip, where producers go for scripts and writers. Winners of the Walter Hines Page Screenplay Award will receive an InkTip Script Listing to promote themselves and their scripts to InkTip’s entire network of producers, managers, and agents.

Companies who are InkTip members include: ABC, Anonymous Content, APA, CBS Films, HBO Films, ICM, Paradigm, Paramount Pictures, Hallmark Channel, FX, Universal, WME, Echo Lake, Zero Gravity, Bad Robot, 20th Century Fox, and many more. Producers have made more than 350 films from scripts and writers found through InkTip.


Screenwriting Master Class

Saturday, June 16 – 10 a.m. Free but reserved tickets required. RESERVE NOW

In Shawn Schepps’ Screenwriting Master Class, you will be taught a foundation for your screenplay, or simply your idea, which will get you started on your own scripts. For all you TV writers out there, television has the same rules of a screenplay! Shawn has written five produced screenplays as well as TV. In this Master Class, Shawn will focus on the idea, how to tell a story with a beginning middle and end. She will focus on character work, but must importantly, the structure of the screenplay which is not as mysterious as you might think. The class is fun, and interactive. Bring your computer or a pen and paper as you will be doing mini exercises in class. Shawn doesn’t just lecture, she involves the students, clients, and all writers to join in. It’s going to be a positive and exciting journey!


Shawn SchepShawn Schepps pictureps grew up in Los Angeles. She began her career as a child actor doing television, theater and commercials, like guest starring in, “The Brady Bunch.”  Shawn took time off to be a teenager and went back to acting again.  She has appeared in such films and TV such as, “The Terminator,” “Racing with the Moon” and “Golden Girls.”

Shawn penned her first play, “The Steven Weed Show” which played in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  Shawn has written other plays as well, “Conspicuous Consumption” and “Mary Had a Little Cult”, a musical for The Hidden Theater Company.

Shawn wrote the movies, “Encino Man” and “Son-in-Law”, “Lip Service” and “Drumline”.  Her last movie was entitled, “You and I” directed by Rolin Joffe.

She wrote and directed, “L.A. Woman” for Disney’s Sunday Night at the Movies.  She has creating two TV series, one for FBC starring Lisa Ann Walters and another for The WB starring Jackie Gurerra and worked on “Drop Dead Diva.” Shawn was a writer/producer on “Weeds.” Her latest pilot in development is “Deep Blue” and “A Thin Line” for Warner Horizon.

Shawn has written pilots for HBO, Showtime, Lifetime, FOX, ABC, Sony, Warner Brothers, FOX 21, and The Disney Channel and Disney Studios. She continues to act.