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Amazon Studios Announces Best Movie and Best Script Awards for 2011 Contest

Photo of Jacob Combs By Jacob Combs | Thompson on Hollywood February 10, 2012 at 8:00AM

Amazon Studios, the open source-inspired studio run by Roy Price with a mission to find new films and screenwriters and offer them first-look deals with Warner Studios, has revealed the winner of its "Best Test" movie and best-script awards.
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Amazon Studios

Amazon Studios, the open source-inspired studio run by Roy Price with a mission to find new films and screenwriters and offer them first-look deals with Warner Studios, has revealed the winner of its "Best Test" movie and best-script awards.

The family musical "12 Princesses," written and directed by Rob Gardner, won the Best Test film award, which carries with it a prize of $1 million.  Matthew Gossett won the $100,000 best-script prize for his thriller "Origin of a Species."

We wrote about the launching of Amazon Studios back in November 2010, noting the power of Price's idea to solicit feedback from Amazon subscribers on editing films to eventually have them produced by Warner Bros., which could provide a new and intriguing model for success in risk-averse Hollywood.  We also wondered whether the project would run afoul of the Writers Guild of America's rules, since many of the submissions to Amazon Studios could fall outside of the Guild's purview.

Last month came the first script winners from the project's December contest, "Villain" and "The Alchemist Agenda," out of more than 3,000 script submissions, Price told us.

Among the judges who chose the 2011 winners were writer-director Alexander Payne, producer Lawrence Bender, screenwriter-producer Akiva Goldsman and Executive Vice President of Production for Warner Bros. Courtenay Valenti.  What remains to be seen is whether Amazon Studios can make the successful jump from soliciting submissions to producing an actual film. That's its biggest challenge.

This article is related to: Awards, New Media & Technology, IN THE WORKS


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.