Greater Erie Film Office Announces Screenplay Contest Winners

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015 at 8:16 PM
Greater Erie Film Office Announces Screenplay Contest Winners by Jim Wertz

Tim Larson writes. But whether it’s been for academic publishing, educational videos, or feature films, he’s always maintained some modicum of control over the final product. That’s all about to change.

That’s because Larson is the winner of a screenwriting competition sponsored by the Greater Erie Film Office and the Alzheimer’s Association - Greater PA Chapter. The theme of the competition was memory and dementia. As part of his award package, Larson’s script, Age of Kaos, will be produced in the Fall by multiple filmmakers as part of a forthcoming film making contest also sponsored by the Greater Erie Film Office.

Entrants of the Short Film Competition will use Age of Kaos in order to create an innovative, thought-provoking short film that explores the theme of memory, dementia, and/or Alzheimer’s. Although working from the same script, each entrant is expected to draw from his or her own interpretation.

Larson’s story is drawn from his own experiences dealing with family members who suffered from dementia. It’s follows a professional cartoonist whose dementia is the artist’s reality, while remaining abstract and misunderstood by his caregivers.  

“My grandmother had dementia,” Larson shared, “and it was really poignant to me how people don’t see their perception as a form of reality. For people with dementia, what they’re experiencing is real. But for the people on the outside it’s not real and they treat the experience that way. I tried to put myself in the position of someone who’s constantly being told what that what you’re experiencing isn't real.”  

The inaugural awards were announced last Wednesday at FILM at the Erie Art Museum, a seasonal program of the Film Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania. Other finalists in the screenwriting competition included (2nd Place) Nick Warren and Nick Fidorra’s “Everything to Process,” (3rd Place) Terri Kauffman’s “Stubborn,” and (4th Place) Sarah D. Meiklejohn’s “The Great and Wonderful Willy.”

Larson says, in his experience, this kind of screenwriting competition is quite unique, in part because of the theme and partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association, but also because other filmmakers will have an opportunity to put their mark on his work.

“I don’t even know how I would approach it if I were making the film,” says Larson, who owns and produces films for Grant Larson Productions with his wife Mary. “Once you get it in the hands of multiple filmmakers, I image it will be approached from a lot of different directions and they might not even be recognizable as coming from the same story. I think that’s pretty cool.”

Details on the filmmaking competition will be available later this summer. For updates, visit the Greater Erie Film Office website, filmerie.com.

Jim Wertz can be reached at jWertz@ErieReader.com, and you can follow him on Twitter @jim_wertz.  

 

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