IN HER OWN WORDS: AMC Theatres Kansas City FilmFest Collaborates with Kansas City Women in Film and Television for Screenplay Contest
Just Google “female screenwriters” and some of the stories are not so positive about the struggles women writers face in Hollywood. To counter this, the AMC Theatres Kansas City FilmFest has united with Kansas City Women in Film and Television (KCWIFT) on a screenplay contest that is aimed at creating a short film that would be about 13 to 17 minutes in length. The film festival runs April 11 to 15.
Meagan Flynn Mesmer, a board member for KCWIFT and the screenplay contest chair, says film festivals can benefit from a screenwriter contest and many do such as the Austin and Las Vegas film festivals. However, the aspect of having a screenwriting contest for women’s works or works co-authored by women seemed overlooked. Hollywood still is male-dominated, but Mesmer says women are getting more attention and a few more opportunities. “It’s really perfect for the budding writer and those who also want to see that screenplay made into a short film.” The winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize.
More than 40 screenplays came into the Women in Film and Television judging panel. Many have come in from the metropolitan area and a few from overseas including one from the United Arab Emirates. “It’s a great response for a first-year event,” says KCWIFT President Michelle Davidson-Bratcher. “We started promoting the event in November.” She says the group is thrilled to partner with the FilmFest and Executive Director Jeph Scanlon. “They have such a strong reputation in the film community in the area, even nationally and internationally.”
The semi-finalists for the screenplay contest will be announced at the Kansas City Cinema Showcase March 15. The five semi-finalists will then have their works performed in a staged reading at the April film festival. The professional actors will tackle the five works on April 14. Along with the winners of the AMC Theatres Kansas City FilmFest, the winner of this inaugural contest will be presented April 15. “We are hoping that the cash award will allow the screenwriter to see her words become that film,” Bratcher says. l