By Rosa Graham, Find the Funny
Dec 2, 2004, 13:33

Burbank, CA-, home of the first Screenplay Contest exclusively for comedy screenplays, has announced its celebrity judge for a special online Holiday Pitch Slam. Sean McKittrick, producer of the newly re-released dark fantasy Donnie Darko, will judge the top five pitches sent to for November/December.

Starting his career as an intern for New Line Cinema while still attending UCLA, Sean knew early on he wanted to be a producer. "I wanted to do it all," he said. After reading Richard Kelly's Donnie Darko script, a flawless blending of sci-fi, horror, and fantasy, Sean began what was to become an exciting and fruitful collaboration. Released in fall of 2001, Donnie Darko featured Jake Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze and James Duval. Nominated for three Spirit Awards, and by the London Film Critics Circle, Darko went on to become a cult classic, finding new life in its DVD release. A Director's Cut has recently been released.

Sean's Darko Productions, formed in partnership with Richard Kelly, is in pre-production with Kelly's comedy/thriller/sci-fi/musical Southland Tales, and will feature Sarah Michelle Gellar, Seann William Scott, Jason Lee and Janeane Garofalo. Sean will also produce Kelly's thriller The Box, which began life as Richard C. Matheson's short story Button, Button, which then became a cult classic episode of CBS's 1980's revival of The Twilight Zone.

The Find the Funny Pitch Slam gives comedy screenwriters a chance to test market their pitches before a real Hollywood Producer. Bill Graham, Find the Funny's Director of Partnerships, hosts the monthly online Slam. Each month, a new guest from the Hollywood film industry judges the top 5 pitches. Results are posted online along with judge's comments. Finalists receive a six-month posting on and the winner receives a free entry in the 2004 Find the Funny Comedy Screenwriting Contest. More information about the Slam can be found at Join in the fun -- send your comedy pitch to Next deadline is December 20, 2004.

Past Pitch Slam Judges
July - CLIFFORD WERBER, former Director and Worldwide Co-Production and Acquisitions for Warner Bros. and now Producer of A Cinderella Story with Hillary Duff, said of Winning Pitch You Wish, "This can be a great entree into a wonderful and relatable character-based comedy - one I would be happy to further."

August - GREG SHAPIRO, producer of Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, said of Winner Betty Sheridan's Hold the Onions, "Grandma on a drug run could be very funny, but work on the characters. That's where the comedy is."

September - STEVEN PAUL, producer of Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, said of Piers' Beckley's Men at Work, "Good, but not great -- the winner."

October - NIRA PARK, UK producer of Sean of the Dead, selected thwo pitches as Joint Winners. Nira said of Steve Gullion's Insanely Beautiful, "Great, sick pitch! I'd definitely want to read the full script!" Of Thomas Ortiz's Molly Bit the Big One, Nira said, " Great pitch and great idea; I like the idea of giving it a trailer trash twist!"

Find the Funny Screenplay Contest is the first competition dedicated to comedy. The contest is designed to discover, reward and promote new comic screenwriting talent. Comedy screenplays are not lost in a pile of dramas, thrillers, sci-fis and bio-pics but given the attention they deserve. Coordinated by award-winning screenwriters, Find the Funny Screenwriting Contest is a much-needed showcase for writers of the most profitable genre in Hollywood. Submission information can be found at

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