Baltimore screenwriters competition reveals winners

The Baltimore Film Office at the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts is proud to announce the winners of the fourth annual Baltimore Screenwriters Competition. Steven Sullivan of Baltimore took first place with Out of Pocket; while David King and Ralph Hruban placed second with Halsted: A True Story, and Chris LaMartina of Baltimore came in third place with For the Taking.

The competition is designed to create awareness of screenplay as a literary art form and to encourage new screenwriters into the entertainment industry. The Baltimore Screenwriters Competition is presented by Mayor Sheila Dixon, Morgan State University and Johns Hopkins University, sponsored by Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association (BACVA), Blue Sea Grill, Marriott/Renaissance Hotels, MECU, Baltimore’s Credit Union, Maryland Film Festival and NEXTCAR, and produced by the Baltimore Film Office at the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts.

2009 BALTIMORE SCREENWRITERS COMPETITION WINNERS

First Place
Steve Sullivan, Out of Pocket

The Baltimore resident works in Washington, D.C. as a communications director. Out of Pocket is one of 10 feature-length screenplays Sullivan has written. His screenplay, Neighborhood Watch won first place in the 2007 Baltimore Screenwriting Competition. In 2003, English Majors was runner-up in the Set in Philadelphia Screenplay Contest, and God’s Gift was a second-rounder in the 2006 Austin Film Festival screenwriting contest.

Out of Pocket is a drama about the lives of a happily-married couple that spin out control when a series of coincidences uncover a dark past.

Second Place
Ralph Hruban and David King, Halsted: A True Story

Ralph Hruban is a professor of pathology and oncology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md. At Hopkins, he heads the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center. An author of four books and over 500 scientific papers, Hruban has a strong passion for medical history and was drawn to the drama of Dr. William Stewart Halsted’s story and its underlying message- perseverance through unspeakable suffering. Hruban and David King are deeply proud to honor the man who gave so much of himself to make surgery safe.

David King is a screenwriter, novelist, poet and teacher who lives and works in Marion, Mass. King has taught college writing, worked with disabled adults, and served as a writers’ assistant for ABC News. The University of Virginia graduate also received a master of fine arts from Colorado State University. Currently, David is working on his new novel, “SH-BOOM.”

Halsted: A True Story chronicles the life of William Stewart Halstead, considered America’s contribution to surgery and called the “father of safe surgery.” The screenplay is based in the late 1800s through early 1900s.

Third Place
Chris LaMartina, For the Taking

Chris LaMartina is a 24-year-old filmmaker from Baltimore, Md. In 2006, LaMartina was voted “Best Local Filmmaker” by City Paper. Additionally, LaMartina’s film, Book of Lore won “Best Horror Feature” at the 2007 Shockerfest International Film Festival. Recently, his film Grave Mistakes was acquired by Pop Cinema for worldwide distribution.

For the Taking is LaMartina’s first feature-length screenplay written outside of the horror genre. The romantic comedy centers round character Carter Stewart and his struggles with being a kleptomaniac. The witty screenplay is set in Baltimore.

First place winner receives $1500, an all-access pass to the 2009 Maryland Film Festival, a weekend in Baltimore package, which includes two nights at the Marriott/ Renaissance Hotels, dinner at Blue Sea Grill, a car for the weekend from NEXTCAR and movie passes to the Charles and Landmark theaters. The second place winner receives $750; an all access pass to the 2009 Maryland Film Festival and movie passes to the Charles and Landmark theaters. The third place winner receives $350; an all access pass to the 2009 Maryland Film Festival and movie passes to the Charles and Landmark theaters.

The Baltimore Film Office will accept entries for the 2010 Baltimore Screenwriters Competition Oct. 1-Jan. 29. The early submission deadline for entries is Nov. 20. The absolute deadline for entries is Jan. 29. Final scripts will be judged by film industry professionals.

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