Thank you to all the amazingly talented writers who submitted to this season of Diverse Voices and shared your story. Together, we raised $3,327 for ARRAY – a nonprofit dedicated to the amplification of independent films by people of color and women filmmakers globally.Diverse Voices strives to provide a contest that is focused on promoting and encouraging diverse voices in Hollywood. The contest encourages stories that are told from perspectives that are often underrepresented in Hollywood today. Past winners have signed with Industry Entertainment, Gotham Group, and Heroes and Villians.
Every finalist was so incredibly strong that narrowing it down was incredibly difficult for the WeScreenplay team, the judges, and the jurors. The top scripts were read by our amazing jury:
Daniela Gonzalez, Circle of Confusion
Circle of Confusion is best known for producing the mega-hit The Walking Dead. Clients have also worked on features like Get Out and Spider-Man as well as TV hits like Game of Thrones and Black-ish.
Jermaine Johnson, Zero Gravity
Zero Gravity Management clients have worked on features like Pulp Fiction and Jumanji and television shows like Stranger Things and American Horror Story.
Santa Sierra, TV Writer
Santa Sierra is a TV writer who is working on some of the coolest shows on television, including Narcos.
Jewerl Ross, Silent R Management
Jewerl Ross has clients who have written Academy Award-winning Moonlight and the mega-hit Pixar film Coco.
And so, without further ado, the Diverse Voices winners:
Shorts Category Winner
Headlights On White Roses In The Driveway written by William Paul Smith
The powerful short script is about Conner, a Native American youth, who meets Jason on a dating app and is thrust into an emotional journey forcing him to recognize the dangers of compromising one’s own limits.
A few excerpts of notes from the judges on this script:
“The story makes its impact through subtle but hard-hitting twists, and the characters are fully nuanced, which allows them to represent broader issues.”
“The characters are well-rounded, human, and unique. The plot is compelling, and the cultural aspects are strong and authentic.”
Feature Category Winner
Black & Blonde written by Jon Davis
This feature tells the incredible true story of how Marilyn Monroe helped Ella Fitzgerald overcome racial barriers in order to get the singer booked at L.A.’s hottest jazz club.
Jon had not just this script, but three scripts in the finals of the contest! Here are a few excerpts from the judges on this script:
“Marilyn and Ella make for a great combination, and their chemistry just works. The script doesn’t rely on reputation; it builds on it. While this is a true story that sells itself, credit goes to the writer for making it compelling throughout.”
“Black & Blonde is a well-written biopic and the dialogue gives the screenplay a great feeling of authenticity.”
Television Category Winner
Resist written by Nancy French-Gerlach & Susan Morse Miller
This pilot follows a sheltered daughter of the Dutch elite who could fly under the radar during the Nazi occupation if she just stays home and works in her family’s haute couture boutique. But her life takes a devastating turn and she’s drawn into the world of an unlikely mix of young resistance fighters determined to take back their country.
Here are a few excerpts from the judges:
“The script captures the tense atmosphere of the historical period you’re covering, without falling into caricatures or clichés to tell its emotional story.”
“The script is an incredibly well-written and brilliantly adapted historical narrative. One forgets they are reading a work of fiction based on true events because the scenes seem charmingly effortless without remotely hinting at exposition.”
The Grand Prize Winner
A Girl from Haiti written by Nicole Taylor-Roberts
The tense and emotional story is about Salome, an outspoken 17-year old-Haitian girl, who awaits the day she can join her dad in Miami, but she has to make that trip sooner than expected when a massive earthquake turns her life and country upside down in an instant. Now in order to escape what has become a tragic paradise, she’ll have to journey from safety to adulthood with the only people she has left — a murder and a thief. This is not your average coming of age story.
And a few excerpts from the judges on the Grand Prize Winner:
“The writing is beautiful and takes us to a new world in a completely immersive way. The script is a page turner that delivers with massive emotional punches.”
“This is a highly original and absolutely captivating screenplay that offers a strongly defined central protagonist.”
Please join us in extending a huge congratulations to these incredible winners. We’re so excited for what’s next!