2015 ScreenCraft Action & Thriller Screenplay Contest Winners Announced!

by Cameron Cubbison - updated on April 18, 2016

April 18, 2016 UPDATE: Congratulations to runner-up Sarah Hopkins! She just signed with a literary manager!

P.A.L. by Christopher Runyon has been selected as the Grand Prize Winner of the 2015 ScreenCraft Action & Thriller Screenplay Contest. An imaginative action romp that one of our judges described as "almost like Max Max meets Big Hero 6", P.A.L. is set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland and centers on a 13-year-old girl who fights for survival while searching for a new body for her older brother, whose consciousness and voice guides her from a computer chip she wears around her neck. The script takes a celebrated subgenre and imbues it with an original energy and emotional core and boasts a sharp structure and style to spare.


FET (Female Engagement Team) by Sarah Hopkins has been awarded the Runner-Up prize. It's an exciting, grounded and character-driven dramatic thriller that uses as a springboard the real concept of Marine Female Engagement Teams, liaison units deployed in small detachments with male infantry units in order to collect information from families and communicate with women without breaking cultural taboos. The script centers on Kate, a college student turned Marine, who finds herself part of a new “hearts and minds” operation in Afghanistan designed to interact with the local women, but soon finds herself the target of a Taliban leader. It's a well-written and convincingly researched thriller that features an original and very human protagonist.


Members of a Female Engagement Team speak with a local Afghan man during a patrol in Marjah. (Photo: Cpl Marionne T. Mangrum/Marine Corps)


Runyon — also a finalist in the 2015 ScreenCraft Sci-Fi Screenplay Contest with his script Eurydice #5 — will receive $1,500 and a phone call with legendary Die Hard, 48 Hrs. and Commando screenwriter Steven E. de Souza and a top literary manager.

Hopkins will receive $500 and a phone call with a literary manager. Their projects will be submitted to ScreenCraft's network of agents, managers, producers and studio execs, as will the following finalist scripts:

  • Deployable by Alex Greenfield and Ben Powell
  • 1001 Bullets by Scott Hamilton & PJ Hamilton
  • The Trill Nikkia by Leon Chills
  • The Iron Horse of Lucy Steele by Paul E. Zeidman
  • The Passenger by David Case
  • Rocked by Mark Cerulli
  • Operation Sandstorm by Derek Asaff
  • The Delegation by Shane Andries

In addition to de Souza, judges this year included: Tanner Mobley, creative executive at Nu Image; Lone Survivor, The Greyand Dredd producer Adi Shankar; Cameron Jewell, development executive at Ombra; and Michael Colleary, screenwriter of Face/Off and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.

Congratulations to the winning writers and finalists, and thank you to our judges and to everyone who submitted projects. View the quarter-finalists and semi-finalists here.

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