Fresh Voices Headline Judge Hossein Amini Sees His Film "Shanghai" Finally Released In US

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Shanghai 3Fresh Voices Headline Judge Hossein Amini will see his film “Shanghai” released in the US by The Weinstein Company. TWC originally opened the Mikael Håfström directed film in China in 2010 but it was never released in the US. That is all about to change as the film has been slated for a limited theatrical run starting August 21, 2015.

The film, starring John Cusack, Chow Yun-Fat, Ken Watanabe and Franke Potente is a neo-noir set during the Japanese occupation of China during World War II. John Cusack plays an American Naval Intelligence Agent investigating a murder just as the US is being drawn in to the war by Pearl Harbor.

The film is produced by Academy Award Winning Producer Donna Gigliotti (Shakespeare In Love), Mike Medavoy, Barry Mendel, and Jake Myers.

New Sponsor Added: WriterDuet

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WriterDuetLogoPlainFlatWe are pleased to welcome WriterDuet as our new sponsor for 2015.Thanks to their generosity, winners of this year's screenplay competition will win this exciting new screenwriting software for free!

Changes to the Fresh Voices Scorecard: What you need to know

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By Fresh Voices Staff

We have made some changes to our scoring.  Why?

ScorecardRoger Ebert gave the Will Ferrell comedy Anchorman three stars out of four.  You know how many stars he bestowed upon the classic film Godfather, Part II in his original 1974 review?  Three stars out of four.  Well there you have it, Roger Ebert thought a Will Ferrell comedy and an epic crime saga were exactly the same in terms of quality.

Except he didn’t.  We know he didn’t.  He’s said so.  Numeric ratings have their place and their use, but at some point a general thumbs up or thumbs down is more practical.  That’s not to say that there’s no merit in numbers, but at some point you have to wonder if you’re not just overcomplicating subjective opinions with objective-sounding numbers.

This is why we have made some changes to our scoring.

Spotlight Charity: FilmAid International

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FilmAid logo stacked Print

Each year the Fresh Voices Screenpaly Competition donates a portion of the competition proceeds directly to charity. We are pleased to announce this year, the 2015 Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition will be donating to Film Aid International. 

What is FILMAIDall about?  (courtesy -

2015 Headline Judge - Hossein Amini

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Fresh Voices is pleased to announce Academy Award Nominated Screenwriter Hossein Amini has been named the Headline Judge of the upcoming 2015 Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition. Hossein Amini may not be a household name, but in the business of screenwriting, Hoss as he is known in the industry, is a name both recognized and highly respected. When you earn an Academy Award nomination for your second film, it certainly sets your career in the right direction. With such screenwriting credits to his name as Drive starring Ryan Gossling, Snow White and the Huntsman, Ronin 47, KillshotFour FeathersShanghai and an academy award nomination for his adaptation of The Wings of the Dove. Hoss has recently directed his first film, which of course he also wrote. It is the adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel, The Two Faces of January, starring Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst.

Top Literary Manager Evan Cavic Joins 2013 Fresh Voices Judging Panel

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Evan CavicEvan Cavic, a literary manager and producer at Principato-Young Entertainment has joined Joel Schumacher and Fresh Voices Chairman Joel Mendoza to judge the 2013 Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition and announce the winner of the Eli Richbourg Grand Prize Award Winner. 

In addition, as part of the Grand Prize Award, Evan will meet the winner for an informative lunch in Beverly Hills. 

We are pleased to welcome Evan Cavic to the 2013 Judges Panel.

Fresh Voices Gives Top Honors To Chris Bowen's Travis 6

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Chris Bowen Headshot

Fresh Voices is pleased to congratulate 2014-15 Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition Grand Prize Award Winner, Christopher Bowen.

Chris Bowen’s Science Fiction entry Travis 6, tells the story of a grieving man, wracked with guilt, who has six chances to go back in time and save the woman he loves from a tragic accident.

Travis 6 is a suspenseful journey inspired by such classics as Rashomon and Reservoir Dogs, as we watch the same story play out non-linearly, from several different perspectives. In the case of Travis 6, they are all the perspectives of the same man as he travels back in time and replays the same event over again, each time learning more from his prior iteration as he tries to change the course of history. The script explores universal themes of love, guilt and the need to let go of the past and move forward after tragedy.

Competition Chairman Joel Mendoza said, “What I admire most is that Chris wasn’t afraid to take some major risks with this piece. That they paid off exponentially in the script’s emotional journey is a testament to the strength and originality of the writing. For this reason Travis 6 rightly won not just the Competition, but the Courage & Fortitude Award as well. As we debated the winning scripts internally at Fresh Voices, there was one script we couldn’t stop talking about and it was clear we had found our winner.”

Originally from Wilson, North Carolina, Christopher moved to Los Angeles in January of 2015 after earning his MFA in Screenwriting from Northwestern University and being named a 2014 Nicholl Fellowship Quarter Finalist. Chris now takes home the $3,000 Grand Prize Cash Award as well as a generous prize package from industry sponsors.

In receiving his Grand Prize Award Chris Bowen said, “I am beyond honored that Fresh Voices has chosen my script for the Grand Prize Award. This script in particular is very personal to me, so to learn that it connects with others is immensely rewarding.” 

Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition & Spotlight Award Winners

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2014 screenplay comp winners banner

We are pleased to congratulate all the Winners and Honorable Mentions of the 2014-15 Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition. The Grand Prize Award Winner will be chosen from First Place Winners and announced April 13th.

To request information on specific writers, winning loglines or particular scripts, please contact us.

Action/ Adventure
1st Place Winner Medal of Honor: The First Mission Duke Mulligan
Honorable Mention The Shadow Of Lost Fortune Matt DeMartini
Honorable Mention The Shadow Of Lost Fortune Scott Robert Waldvogel
Honorable Mention Wrath of an Eagle Bruno Borello

Comedy/ Rom-Com
1st Place Winner Three Months Jared Frieder
Honorable Mention Hitmanforhire Michael Duke
Honorable Mention Yard of Bricks John Arvai

Drama/ Period/ Biopic
1st Place Winner Whitman Steve Warren
1st Place Winner Whitman Marshall Allman
Honorable Mention A Thorn Emi Sano
Honorable Mention Misbegotten Todd Kemmerling

Family Film/ Animated
1st Place Winner Down On The Farm Julie Howe
Honorable Mention Hey Kid, Nice Costume Matt DeMartini
Honorable Mention Hey Kid, Nice Costume Scott Robert Waldvogel
Honorable Mention Rockefeller Squirrel Walter High

Science-Fiction/ Fantasy
1st Place Winner Travis 6 Christopher Bowen
Honorable Mention The Epic of Isabel Derek Silvers
Honorable Mention Unusual Shop on Persistence Street James Barclay

Thriller/ Horror
1st Place Winner Hollow Hunter Swanson
Honorable Mention Mr. Clark June Escalante
Honorable Mention The Interview Julie Pedersen

Short Script
1st Place Winner MPG Heather Ostrove
Honorable Mention Home By Six Matt DeMartini
Honorable Mention Home By Six Scott Robert Waldvogel
Honorable Mention The Ultimate Weapon Bill Sarre

1 Hr TV Pilot
1st Place Winner The Valley Duncan Ralston
Honorable Mention Apalachee Gannon Kenney
Honorable Mention Chasing Wings Steve Warren

½ Hr TV Pilot
1st Place Winner Mr. Doom Nick Watson
Honorable Mention 110% (Percent) Paul Read
Honorable Mention Takes A Village Libby Baker

TV Writing Sample
1st Place Winner Castle: Legacy Kathleen Cromie
Honorable Mention Family Guy: What The Phuc?! Dave Chan
Honorable Mention Mindy Project: Richie Castellano Paul Ditty


spotlight awards


Best Dialogue  The Valley by Duncan Ralston
Best Ensemble Cast Three Story House by Denis Curto
Best First 10 Pages Chasing Wings by Steve Warren
Best Foreign Script Killbook by Pearse Lehane (England)
Best Role for a Leading Man   Travis 6 by Christopher Bowen
Best Role for a Leading Woman Eighty-Eight Frequencies by Jeffrey Massie
Courage & Fortitude Travis 6 by Christopher Bowen
Culture & Heritage Award  Grant's Cross by Ernestina Juarez & Conrad Bailey
Diversity & Inclusion Award You Are Cheyenne by Jan Evans
Humanitarian Award The Important Man by Colleen Schukei & Heather Pearson

Congratulations 2014-15 Screenplay Competition Finalists & Spotlight Award Nominees

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2014 screenplay comp Finalists banner

After 11 months of reading and evaluating over 1,500 scripts, the Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition has been whittled down to the top 60 scripts. 5-8 scripts remain in each category and will now be read one last time in order to vie for the top spot in each category and the ultimate $3,000 Grand Prize Cash Award.

Thank you to all our participants, sponsors and a big congratulations to all our Finalists. This has by far been our most competitive competitionin our 5 years and we are truly excited by the quality of material in this final round.

Winners TBA April 6th

Fresh Voices is pleased to announce our 2014-15 Screenplay Competition Semi-Finalists

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2014 screenplay comp SemiFinalists banner

Congratulations to all our advancing screenwriters for faring so well in what has easily been our most competitive year to date. There are approximately 100 scripts from over 1,500 original submission now in the semifinals and vying for a top spot amongst the Finalists. A thrid round of judging is currently underway.

We have already received multiple read requests from various production and management companies for our winning scripts as anticipation builds. 

Finalists and a short list of Spotlight Award Nominees will be announced on March 24th.