25 November, 2008

Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays comp

The 4TH Annual $50,000 Kairos Prize for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays --
Deadline is December 1, 2008!

Sponsored by The John Templeton Foundation, MOVIEGUDE® announces the 4th Annual Kairos Prize for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays. The primary purpose of the prize is to further the influence of moral and spiritual values within the film and television industries. Set up to help inspire first-time and beginning screenwriters to produce compelling, entertaining and spiritually uplifting scripts, the winning scripts are read by top execs in addition to the monetary awards.

PRIZES: Grand Prize: $25,000 · 1st Runner Up: $15,000 · 2nd Runner Up: $10,000

FINAL DEADLINE: 1 December 2008 (online entry)

For complete information please visit www.kairosprize.com

Entry fee: $75 (£49, €58)

It's a gamble to pay that much but I suspect they haven't had a lot of entries so far which increases the odds a little. But how many of us have a family friendly feature in our portfolio? Should we bother writing one if we prefer writing about sex and drugs and violence?


Jonny Quest said...

Hey, I have been following your blog for a while now and firstly I would like to thank you for the post the other day that had the link to a very informative seminar!! I loved it. Secondly I just want to comment on the new post, I haven't read the fine details of the brief for this comp and I don't plan on entering it, as but I have a morally uplifting screenplay that also just happens to be a dark and graphic story. My point being that 'morally uplifting' is a bleak statement as it is in the eye of the beholder or at least the writer.

Andy Conway said...

It's an interesting one, this, as there seem to be a number of requirements.

Spiritually uplifting is not the same as 'morally' uplifting, the latter of which implies a much more prescriptive tone (how people should behave rather than how they might understand).

Their site also talks about promoting a 'redemptive world view' and there's mention of Family films - a genre that is quite specific (and would seem to discount your 'dark and graphic' story, Jonny).

They also talk about 'scripts that result in a greater increase in either man's love or understanding of God', so there's a specific Christian bias as well (and if you have any doubts as to how they interpret 'God', read their History section).

They should just call it the Christian Screenplay Competition and be honest about it.

Robin Kelly said...

Thanks Jonny, you're welcome.

I agree with Andy that "spiritual" is code for religious. As in women asking me "are you spiritual?" I suspect the reason they are being so ambiguous is because they want Christian films but don't want to put off non-Christian writers.

I write about things I don't believe in all the time - like aliens, ghosts and good police officers - so writing for that specific, huge, lucrative market shouldn't be a barrier to non-believers.

Andy Conway said...

I'd say 'spiritual' can mean many things, from most other religions/cults to the pseudo-spiritual-add-a-bit-of-everything-from-Wiccan-to-quantum-physics pot pourri that keeps shops like Zen in business and is so beloved of most of the hot young women I want to sleep with (great blog on it by City Boy here: http://www.cityboy.biz/node/352 He is truly strumming my pain with his fingers, singing my life with his words...).

So when women ask you if you're 'spiritual', Robin, they just mean 'Do you believe in utter nonsense because it makes you feel nice?' Your answer should be 'OMG!!! Come and see the crystals I have on my bedpost!!!' ;-)

But you're right. They're too embarrassed to call it a Christian screenwriting comp but want non-Christian writers to enter.

I'd be up for writing a 'spiritually uplifting' screenplay (in the manner of The Five People You Meet in Heaven, &tc) but not something that is specifically Christian.

Robin Kelly said...

Call me a muppet but I actually used to earnestly lecture women on the pointlessness of crystals and the like rather then just pretending to believe in the magic. Actually, I'll call myself a muppet. Robin, you're a muppet!