A special thank you to everyone who entered WIFVNE’s 2020 Short Screenplay Competition. We are delighted to announce our winner: Peri Michael! She wins $100 and an annual WIFVNE membership.
Peri has been working mainly as a production assistant and coordinator in the local film industry since graduating from UMass Amherst in 2018. During school, she studied business and film, and she was a campus talk show producer and a broadcast production intern with MGM Resorts. She has been spending quarantine baking (so many banana breads), studying (there was a solid attempt), and binge-watching Project Runway (oops). Peri looks forward to doing more writing and producing with the ultimate goal of producing scripted television.
Peri’s script “Beyond these Walls” is about a young woman struggling to be seen encounters a woman hiding from the world. “In writing the script,” Peri tells us, “I considered different interpretations of what ‘isolation’ could mean to someone, and I approached it with the broader goal of telling a story that is not often told. I really liked the idea of contrasting a woman experiencing literal isolation with one feeling it in a figurative sense. That concept grew into an encounter between an agoraphobic woman and a younger woman who feels pressured by her traditional religious family.”
The competition runner-up is Michele Hogan for her script “Rachel Birdsong Goes to War.” When Rachel Birdsong’s abusive ex is killed by his second wife, Rachel makes a bold decision that brings her out of isolation and restores her sense of dignity and self-determination that he stole from her long ago. Michele will receive an annual WIFVNE membership.
Originally from Boston, Michele is a film and TV writer whose writing draws on her extensive and varied life experiences, from having been a rebellious daughter of a prominent second-wave New England feminist, a single teenage mother living in a housing project, a law student working two jobs and raising three sons alone, a lawyer in New York’s Chinatown, and a teacher of legal English in Eastern Europe.
Michele’s feature, “Kelly’s Bar,” is being produced by Yvonne Russo and Casey Affleck’s Sea Change Media, with Academy Award nominee Matia Karrell attached to direct. “Kelly’s Bar” is based on Michele’s early marriage to a young Mi’kmaq man, which drew her into the South Boston Mi’kmaq community and resulted in the births of her first two sons.
Michele writes that “‘Rachel Birdsong Goes to War’ aspires to break the silence and shame around the lifelong psychological consequences of domestic abuse. #MeToo, #ShoutYourAbortion, #YouKnowMe, among others, have begun to shed light on the common female experiences of abortion and sexual harassment. It’s empowering and affirming to know that we are far from alone in these experiences.”
Special thanks to our guest judges!