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Vanessa McMahon

Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)



SVFF Screenwriters Lab and High Scribe Competition Offers Unique Opportunity for Aspiring Writers

“SVFF Screenwriters Lab and High Scribe Competition Offers Unique Opportunity for Aspiring Writers” Award-winning writers Mark Duplass to Host and Nat Faxon to Judge

Sun Valley, Idaho…..The Sun Valley Film Festival (SVFF), presented by Zions Bank and taking place March 2-6, 2016, is focused on more than just showcasing great indie movies. It is also focused on providing numerous opportunities for aspiring talent, seasoned professionals and film fans to learn from industry experts.

Mark Duplass, an Award-winning writer, director, actor and producer of independent film and television, is this year's host of the Screenwriters Lab (SVSLab). Along with his brother, Jay, Mark co-founded Duplass Brothers Productions, responsible for such Sundance breakout hits as Tangerine (Magnolia Pictures), The Overnight (The Orchard), and The Skeleton Twins (IFC Films). Currently, Mark is working on season 2 of the HBO series Togetherness, which he writes, directs, produces and stars in. He is known for many more films including The Puffy Chair (Roadside Attractions & Netflix), Baghead (2008, Sony Pictures Classics) Cyrus (2010, Fox Searchlight), Jeff Who Lives at Home (2011, Paramount Vantage), and The Do-Deca-Pentathlon (2012, Fox Searchlight).

Nat Faxon is the SVSLab judge and will mentor each finalist of the SVSLab’s ‘High Scribe’ competition. Faxon won the Academy Award® for Best Adapted Screenplay for co-writing The Descendants and in 2014 he co-wrote and co-directed the acclaimed comedy, The Way Way Back. Faxon is also well known for his starring roles in the Fox comedy series Ben and Kate and the FX series Married.

The Screenwriters Lab, sponsored by Boise State University, is one of SVFF’s unique signature educational forums. Led by award-winning screenwriters, the Lab is a two hour glimpse into everything screenwriting, and includes the ‘High Scribe’ screenplay competition with submissions of original screenplays and TV pilots from aspiring writers. The Lab opens with a live table read of the host's current work. Next, the host shares stories about his/her career and has a Q&A with the audience. After a short Wyoming Whiskey sponsored tasting, The High Scribe award, presented by ScreenCraft, is announced and an excerpt from the winning script is shared with the audience in a live table read with professional actors. This is a very high-profile interactive event that draws crowds, generates buzz and launches careers.

HIGH SCRIBE COMPETITION & AWARD Spotlighted in the Screenwriters Lab is the High Scribe screenplay competition, which gives finalists an opportunity for one-on-one meetings with some of the industry's finest to discuss their work.

The Screenwriters Lab is now accepting original screenplays and television plots from aspiring screenwriters. The top three High Scribe finalists will enjoy exclusive residency at the SVFF, where they are housed and mentored by established screenwriters, included in parties and provided a Filmmaker's Pass. The High Scribe winner receives a cash prize of $1,000 and invaluable career mentoring from top industry experts.

The previous High Scribe finalists have all benefited tremendously from their experience. In the SVSLab’s first year, High Scribe winner, Cody Tucker, met with Academy Award® winning writer, Steve Gaghan (Syriana), who helped secure an agent for Tucker. In year two, Lab finalist, Ken Pisani, not only got a manager through Lab mentor and Academy Award® winner David Seidler (The King's Speech), but currently Pisani is working on a project with Seidler. Last year’s High Scribe winner, Clark Carrol, continued his relationship with Toy Story 4 writer Will McCormack. Carrol and McCormack’s have met in Los Angeles to further develop his script.

SVSLab - High Scribe Screenplay Competition Submissions being accepted at


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