5/10/2017 |
Nina Cates | 817.776.1624 |

Jeff Scott's The Tiger & the Protected Takes Grand Prize

SEATTLE, WA—May 10, 2017—SIFF is proud to announce the Grand Prize winner of its second-annual Catalyst Screenplay Competition.Taking home the gold is The Tiger & the Protected by Jeff Scott, a moving drama about a high-school basketball star who jeopardizes his future after assaulting a student and the endless lengths his mother goes to protect him. The Tiger & the Protected will receive a live read-through at the SIFF Film Center on Saturday, June 10 during SIFF's Closing Weekend, with screenwriter Jeff Scott scheduled to attend as a distinguished guest of the Festival.

The SIFF Catalyst Screenplay Competition connects strong scripts with independent directors and producers, all alumni of SIFF's Catalyst program. It emphasizes the importance of the screenwriter in the creative process and closes the loop of mentorship and collaboration by drawing on industry professionals who have participated in and graduated from Catalyst over its five years of existence.

"We at SIFF are extremely excited by the incredible array of talent brought to the Festival through the Catalyst Screenplay Competition. The filmmaking process all begins with a strong screenplay, and we are honored to take part in supporting new talent in the independent film industry," says Executive Director Sarah Wilke.

Interim Artistic Director Beth Barrett says, "The script is where it all begins: characters, stories, and those memorable lines we quote for the rest of our lives. The SIFF Catalyst Screenplay Competition hopes to shine a spotlight on those scripts that will become the movies we remember forever."

Each screenplay submitted to the SIFF Catalyst Screenplay Competition received at least one page of written feedback from SIFF's team of trained screenplay readers. Semifinalist scripts are determined with the use of a 12-category, 10-point rating system. This year, the Finalist and Grand Prize scripts were selected by script supervisor Emily Zulauf (Inside Out) and producer Brent Stiefel (Obvious Child).

Grand Prize Winner

The Tiger & The Protected by Jeff Scott


I Can Change by Amy Lowe Starbin
Keeper of the Cup by Larry Shulruff 
This Close by Marc Messenger


Beasts Undiscovered by Jeremy Dehn and Catherine Dale 
Catherine's Cross by Millie West
Ladies by Natalie Nicole Dressel 
A Promise Kept by Linda Sunshine
Until the End of the Ninth by Beth Bollinger
The Zuckermans by Ethan Mermelstein

Prize packages include:

1 Grand Prize Winner receives:

  • Live script reading during SIFF 2017 Closing Weekend 
  • Invitation to SIFF 2017 (including domestic coach airfare and 2 nights hotel)
  • All of the benefits at the Finalist and Semifinalist levels

3 Finalists will receive:

  • Skype consultation with participating SIFF Catalyst alumni
  • All of the benefits at the Semifinalist level

6 Semifinalists will receive:

  • Scripts are read by panel of film industry judges
  • Submission of script to Catalyst alumni producers and directors 
  • Cinematic Six Pack of tickets to SIFF 2017 and admission to regular-priced Forums events

About the Final Round Judges:

Brent Stiefel is the founder and CEO of VOTIV, a music, film, and entertainment firm that specializes in independent, boundary pushing arts and ventures. In addition to his extensive work in music, Brent has helped produce a number of high profile independent feature films that have garnered the attention of film festivals and awards ceremonies alike. Brent is best known for his work on Free in Deed (nominated for four 2017 Independent Spirit Awards), As You Are (2016 Sundance Special Jury Award winner), and Obvious Child (nominated for two 2015 Independent Spirit Awards).

Emily Zulauf is a Seattle-based writer, teacher, and co-director of the Seattle Clemency Project. Prior to her move back to the PNW, Emily worked for Pixar Animation Studios in creative development and as the script supervisor for Inside Out. She's taught at TheFilmSchool and the Northwest Film Forum. She's a graduate of the Northwest School, Northwestern University and lives in the Northwest. She thinks it's ridiculous, too. 

SIFF Catalyst is a program of SIFF Education which is supported in part by 4Culture, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Alaska Airlines, The SiTy Foundation, and Wells Fargo Bank.

The 2017 Festival runs May 18 through June 11 at venues in Seattle and surrounding cities.

About SIFF

Founded in 1976, SIFF creates experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world with the Seattle International Film Festival, SIFF Cinema, and SIFF Education. Recognized as one of the top film festivals in North America, the Seattle International Film Festival is the largest, most highly attended film festival in the United States, reaching more than 155,000 annually. The 25-day festival is renowned for its wide-ranging and eclectic programming, presenting over 400 features, short films, and documentaries from over 80 countries each year. SIFF Cinema exhibits premiere theatrical engagements, repertory, classic, and revival film showings 365 days a year on five screens at the SIFF Cinema Uptown, SIFF Cinema Egyptian, and SIFF Film Center, reaching more than 175,000 attendees annually. SIFF Education offers educational programs for all audiences serving more than 13,000 students and youth in the community with free programs each year.