Monday, March 28, 2011

'TV ME!' winners include Anna Maria resident

A local, unpublished author might have just landed the break of a lifetime.

At the very least, she’s enjoying recognition for her work, a cash reward and professional tips regarding the commerce aspect of the art process.

“A Love Worth Waiting For” by Myra Holmes of Anna Maria won first place in the one-off category in the inaugural Sarasota County Film & Entertainment Office (SCFEO) “TV ME!” pitch contest.
The winners were announced Monday.

“Well, I was really thrilled, I love to write and had that story with me since 1990,” Holmes said.

She won for a 15-page treatment of her unpublished novel of the same name.

Holmes describes it as: “A sensuous and provocative love story between a journalist and a nun beginning in Florida, then moving to Albany, N.Y., Nicaragua and Washington D.C.”

Born and raised in Tampa, Holmes retired as a librarian/media specialist in 1990 and relocated to Anna Maria with her husband. When he died in 2005, she started writing “A Love Worth Waiting For.”

“I finished it last year,” Holmes said, “just in time to enter this contest.”

Sarasota resident Austin McKinley’s television series treatment “Quixotic” earned the grand prize. In addition, McKinley also earned first place in the scripted category for his sitcom pitch “Local Access” and third place in the one-off category with a sci-fi, made-for-TV movie pitch “Quintessence.”

“Each of the 250 entries was judged ‘blind’ to ensure that the judges didn’t know whether the creator was local or out-of-state, man or woman or a writing team, young or old, or any other identifying characteristics that could unfairly influence a judge’s opinion,” said Jeanne Corcoran, director of the SCFEO, a division of the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County (EDC), in a statement.

As the grand prize winner, McKinley will travel to Los Angeles with complimentary airfare, hotel accommodations, ground transportation and meals as well as a $350 cash stipend.

The SCFEO will host McKinley at meetings with Hollywood decision-makers where he will make an in-person pitch and promote his winning original TV concept.

McKinley will also receive a $7,500 production grant from Sanborn Studios, which has facility in Lakewood Ranch, to create a two-minute demo video of the winning concept

Sanborn’s Los Angeles office representative will host the behind-the-scenes tour in Hollywood, as well.

“It was unexpected that one writer would be outstanding across multiple categories and take several awards,” Charles Meyer, contest director, said in a statement. “It’s a testament to the winner’s talent. We also far exceeded our expectations on the number of entries in our first year of the contest, and we attracted talent from across the nation.”

South Orleans, Mass., resident Caroline Gallagher’s “Yes Kids Can,” an inspirational reality TV pitch, won first place winner in the unscripted category.

Entrants from California, Arizona and Nevada as well as Floridians from Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Homosassa Springs and Boca Raton won second and third place awards in the three categories. A complete list of winners is available at:

Each first place category winner for scripted, unscripted and one-offs (“A Love Worth Waiting For” by Holmes) received a $250 cash prize, a custom-designed award and other gifts at the event.
Winners will also receive a practice pitch session with the professional pitch coaches. Additionally, the concepts of the first place category winners will be sent to executives and decision-makers in the television industry for consideration.

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