8 Finalists Announced for SFFS/Hearst Screenwriting Grant

Finalist Destin Cretton

Finalist Destin Cretton

SFFS just announced the eight finalists for the fifth annual SFFS / Hearst Screenwriting Grant. The $15,000 grant will be awarded to a screenwriter who has been practicing for at least five years and who has previously written a minimum of one feature screenplay. The 2013 finalists include a number of writer-directors whose work has recently made waves on the international festival scene, including Destin Cretton (Short Term 12), Tom Gilroy (The Cold Lands) and Eliza Hittman (It Felt Like Love). The winner will be announced in mid-September.


A, Eliza Hittman
Skye, a teenage girl living in rural Pennsylvania, catches a Greyhound bus on a secret journey to New York City to do something for which she might never be forgiven. Hittman's previous work includes It Felt Like Love (2013).

The Best That Tomorrow Will Bring, Tariq Tapa
A recently homeless widow drives cross-country on a parade float, hoping to meet the grandson she has never known before he is deployed to war overseas. Tapa's previous work includes Zero Bridge (2008).

Liquid Courage , Shaka King
In the 90's, drugs and alcohol ruined Deuce Harding's career. In 2013 they'll make him a star. King's previous work includes Newlyweeds (2013).

Ma, Destin Cretton
After being a mom for 30 years, Jan is forced to deal with the fact that her youngest son has finally left the nest. On a road-trip down the Oregon Coast, she begins to learn what it means to live life after motherhood. Cretton's previous work includes Short Term 12 (2013) and I Am Not a Hipster (2012).

Our Lady of the Snow, Tom Gilroy
When a convent is threatened with dissolution, the elderly nuns begin to have ecstatic visions. When the atheist teenager who cooks for them begins to share in those visions, supernatural events come to the aid of the convent. Gilroy's previous work includes The Cold Lands (2013).

Snow the Jones, Alistair Banks Griffin
When teenage vagabond Lexi joins a traveling door-to-door sales crew, she discovers a world much darker than the one from which she was trying to escape. Griffin's previous work includes Two Gates of Sleep (2010).

Sollers Point, Matthew Porterfield
After serving a parole term detained in his father's house, an ex-offender finds the adjustment to society and the workforce more difficult than the confines of home. Porterfield's previous work includes I Used to Be Darker (2013) and Putty Hill (2010).

Stick and Chub, Jeremy Teicher and Alexi Pappas
In a small American town obsessed with competitive running, 21-year-old star athlete Plumb Marigold rebels against her parents, coaches, agents, and teammates just weeks before the upcoming Olympic trials. Teicher and Pappas' previous work includes Tall As the Baobab Tree (2013).

Previous winners of the SFFS / Hearst Screenwriting Grant are Maryam Keshavarz and Paolo Marinou-Blanco for The Last Harem (2012), Ian Olds and Paul Felten for The Western Habit (2011), Eric Escobar for Conveyance (2010) and Mora Stephens for Made in the USA (2009).