Announcing SIFF Screenplay Competition Winners

4/25/2018 |
Amanda Bedell |

Brandon Hall’s Youth Decay takes top prize

SEATTLE, WA-April 25, 2018-SIFF is proud to announce the grand prize winner of the third annual SIFF Screenplay Competition. Taking home the Grand Jury Prize is Youth Decay by Brandon Hall, a teen comedy about the struggles of an all-girl punk band trying to change the world. Youth Decay will receive a live read-through at the SIFF Film Center on Thursday, June 7, 2018 during SIFF's New Works-In-Progress Forum programming, with screenwriter Brandon Hall scheduled to attend.

The SIFF Screenplay Competition connects strong scripts with independent financiers, directors, and producers, all alumni of SIFF's New American Cinema 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 the Festival."The Filmmaking process all begins with a strong story and we are honored to be a support to new talent in the independent film industry," said SIFF Executive Director Sarah Wilke. "The array of talent this year was was really exciting."

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 Screenplay Competition hopes to shine a spotlight on those scripts that will become the movies we remember forever."

Each screenplay submitted to the SIFF 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 Gerren Crochet (The Gersh Agency), Craig Detweiler (director, Remand), and Shelby Rachleff (The Westridge Foundation).

Grand Prize Winner
Youth Decay by Brandon Hall

Anh Sang by Barry Brennessel
Kibou by Cassie Hayasaka and Keith Hayasaka
Plan B by Paige Gresty

Amelia Was Here! by Millie West
Kelley's Coffin by Jon Hartz
Pale Souls by Michael Lavine
The Rodeo King of Brooklyn by Paul Longo
Seattle ‘94 by Charles Freeman
Strange Trails by Jordan Short

Prize include:

Grand Prize Winner receives:

  • Live script reading during SIFF 2018, invitation to SIFF 2018
  • All of the benefits at the Finalist and Semifinalist levels

Finalists receive:

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

Semifinalists receive:

  • Scripts are read by panel of film industry judges
  • Submission of script to alumni financiers, producers, and directors 
  • Cinematic Six Pack of tickets to SIFF 2018 and admission to regular-priced Forums events

About the Final Round Judges:

Gerren Crochet is a Packaging Agent in the Film Finance and Distribution group of The Gersh Agency where he puts together 40-50 films per year ranging in budgets from $500K to $35M. He grew up in Boulder, Colorado and attended Stanford University where he was a two-sport student athlete in football and track and field. After a brief stint in the NFL, Gerren went to work in capital markets and trading, investment banking, management consulting, and strategic intellectual property trading. Gerren received an MFA from the UCLA Producers Program and resides in Los Angeles with his family.

Craig Detweiler is a filmmaker, author, and educator who has written comedies for the Disney Channel and directed documentaries featured on ABC. Angela Bassett narrated his 2017 doc, Remand. Variety honored Craig as their 2016 "Mentor of the Year." Detweiler's cultural commentary has been featured on CNN, NPR, and The Wall Street Journal. His books include "iGods: How Technology Shapes our Spiritual and Social Lives" and "Into the Dark: Seeing the Sacred in the Top-Ranked films of the 21st Century". Detweiler recently moved to the Pacific Northwest to serve as president of The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology in Belltown.

Shelby Rachleff is Program Manager for the Westridge Foundation, which seeks to support individuals, organizations, institutions, and programs dedicated to promoting community and/or national social good. In Fall 2017, she spearheaded the launch of the SFFILM / Westridge Grant. Rachleff comes from Glassdoor and WME, where she worked in both the Talent and Motion Picture departments. A life-long lover of literature and film, Rachleff is dedicated to exploring how entertainment shapes our collective understanding of today's most pressing issues. Rachleff received her BA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from the University of Pennsylvania.

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

The 44th Annual Seattle International Film Festival runs 2018 May 17 through June 10, 2018 at venues in Seattle and surrounding cities.
The complete Festival lineup will be announced on May 3, 2018 with special advanced access to SIFF Members for individual ticket sales. Sales to the general public are available beginning Thursday, May 3. Purchases can be made online at or in person at SIFF Cinema locations (Film Center, Uptown, Egyptian).

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 longest, most highly attended film festival in the United States, reaching more than 145,000 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 363 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 10,000 students and youth in the community with free programs each year.