A contest we alerted you to back in April, and have been following since - the Rockstone Foundation (RFI) and Black Women's Entertainment Network (BWE) Web Series Writing Contest, which promises a guaranteed production deal of up to $10,000, and an air date on the Black Women's Entertainment Network's website (bwenetwork.com). The main criteria for entry being that the web series must feature a Black woman in a lead role.
Following the initial announcement earlier this year, the selection committee received over 400 submissions across all genres, and crossing continents. And 3 or so months after we alerted you to the contest, the esteemed group of judges have narrowed those 400 submissions down to 10 finalists!
Did you make the cut? Find out below:
Rockstone Foundation (RFI) & Black Women's Entertainment (BWE) Network's Web Series Writing Contest: Finalist Announcement
Beverly Hills, CA, July 13, 2011 - The Rockstone Foundation Inc has announced the ten finalists for its 2011 Web Series Writing Contest sponsored by nascent online television network, the Black Women's Entertainment Network (BWE).
"We sincerely thank all the writers who submitted their work to this ground breaking writing contest designed to create more roles for Black Women. We received over 400 submissions spanning all genres, from across the US, Europe and Africa. So as you might expect, selecting our ten finalist was a Herculean task for our staff,"said Rockstone's Programming Director, Lucinda Jackson.
She continues, "We were so inspired by the quality of the submissions, we decided to select ten finalist instead of the five that was previously announced. To the writers whose names do not appear below, please by any means do not interpret this as an attestation to the strength of your submission, or its potential for future success. And to our finalists, we say, simply, Congratulations! One winner will be announced in early August 2011."
Production of the pilot episode based on that winning screenplay will be produced by the BWE Network for up to $10,000 and premiere on the Network.
Visitors to both BWE and RFI's websites can learn more about the writer(s), rate their screenplay, and leave comments. According to Jackson, votes and comments will be considered when selecting the winner, "so please vote with care," she says affectionately.
To vote visit http://www.rockstone.org/contest.htm or http://www.bwenetwork.com. Community votes and comments, as well as recommendations from a panel of judges consisting of web content providers, filmmakers, and film & TV industry executives will select the grand prize winner.
"Our sincere thanks to everyone for your continued support of the RFI and the Black Women's Entertainment Network," says Jackson.
AND THE 2011 FINALISTS ARE . . .
A marriage counselor's relationship drama affects her objectivity at work.
Written by: Steve Burks
26 year old Willow Tanner is living the perfect dream: gorgeous and devoted husband, great career, good friends, enviable life -- until a jarring event zaps her awake.
Written by: Brooke Obie
FANGIN follows the story of SUNYI, a 23 year-old African American woman, as she battles blood-addicted, vampiric gang of Fangers in her hood while struggling to take care of her 17 year old sister ABBY, who has also gotten the taste for blood. When Sunyi’s romance with fanger JAY-BLING rekindles, she is caught in a life-and-death struggle to retain her humanity, and find hope for the two people she loves most.
Written by: Jake-ann Jones & Gabriel A. Tolliver
FINDING MY OBAMA
Nef has a history of dating the wrong type of guys. She decides to break this cycle and only date men that have similar qualities of President Barack Obama. She encounters many frogs on her journey to land a prince but she does this all in an effort to find her own Obama.
Written by: Jacqueline McKinley & Antonia March
Tricia Lewis, "Parole Officer of the Year", is no nonsense, by the book and extremely meticulous when it comes to her job. Her career is on the fast track. Her love life however is the exact opposite - nonexistent. She goes home to a microwave meal and a romance novel every night. Enter Jackson Ward who is handsome, intelligent charming and every woman's dream; he just has one small problem, he's her parolee.
Written by: Channing Godfrey Peoples
A dangerous new breed of black Vampires protected by added melanin roam the earth. RAYNE, a half Vampire, half Human hybrid has one insatiable need: to eradicate corrupt Vampires.
Written by: Niykatu Jusu
LITTLE BLUE EYES
ELENA, a young, black professional woman, has just been fired. Her kid sister Terry moves out, forcing Elena to pay full rent. But she soon finds a roommate, KEISHA, a militant black woman in her 40s. Then she finds an abandoned WHITE BABY in an alleyway and calls up Carlos, an illegal "baby broker." But she soon changes her mind and decides to keep the child, hiding it from Keisha, and especially from Carlos.
Written by: Rob Santana
An aspiring actress navigates the world of massage, Hollywood and men. She videotapes her sessions live through Upstream for her insatiable audience.
Written by: Kenyetta Smith
Shani is on the verge of reinventing herself. A harried para-legal by day, she attends culinary school by night in order to fulfill her dreams of becoming a master pastry chef and putting her specialty dessert business - Sweet Jonz - on the map. Love is not on the menu... until a minor fender bender brings a man into her life who just might be the icing on the cake!
A young African American woman begrudgingly travels with her Caucasian fiancé to Guatemala to open a bed and breakfast for American and European tourists with his Jamaican-born college roommate.
Written by: Gerard Brown & Tia Dionne Hodge
Contestants where also asked to name their ideal cast for their web series. The top ten most requested actors were: Kerry Washington (28 times), Gabrielle Union (20 times), Zoe Saldana (16 times), Idris Elba (16 times), Meagan Good (16 times), Taraji P. Henson (12 times), Naturi Naughton (12 times), Jada Pinkett Smith (12 times), Vivica A. Fox (8 times) and Queen Latifah (8 times).
This year's Judges include (alphabetized): Aymar Jean Christian (Blogger, Televisual), Darrien M. Gipson (Director, SAG Indie), Effie Brown (Film Producer/ COO Duly Noted Inc.), Jennifer Williams (President, Organization of Black Screenwriters), Michael Ajakwe Jr. (Executive Director, LA Web Series Festival), Lisa Osborne (President/CEO, Jigsaw Global), Michell L. Davis, Esq. (Partner, Register Lett LLP), Nicole Olivas Jenkins (Original Programming/Scripted and Reality at BET), Rob Hardy (Filmmaker, Partner at Rainforest Films), Stephanie Piche (CEO, Executive Producer Mingle Media TV Network), Taj Paxton (Filmmaker, Good Karma), and Tanya Kersey (Hollywood Career Strategist & CEO, BlackTalentNews.com).