Monterey County Film Commission Announce Winner
Jan 15, 2004, 12:19

Screenwriting Competition 2004”

“The Little Contest with Big Hollywood Connections,”
sponsored by the Monterey County Film Commission

MONTEREY, CA – The 9th annual Monterey County Film Commission Screenwriting Competition—“Hollywood Connections 2004”—will bring beginning and unsold screenwriters recognition and prestigious meetings with top film industry professionals. Joel Freeman, producer of the movies Love at First Bite and Shaft, leads this year’s lineup of affiliated Hollywood professionals.

Other professionals committed to meet with this year’s winners are: Michael Hertzberg (producer, Entrapment), Dr. Linda Seger (author, script consultant), Jeremiah Hahn (literary agent), and Dror Soref (writer/director).

Three grand prizes will be awarded in this year’s competition. The top winners earn the opportunity to meet in Los Angeles with an agent and at least two producers, who will provide support and guidance to the aspiring screenwriters. Winners also will receive valuable publicity for their screenplay and exposure within Hollywood.

Other awards offered in the contest:

An "Artistic Talent Award” goes to a screenwriter who shows great artistic potential. The prize is a $1,000 grant to the Maine Photographic Screenwriters Workshop.

A bonus $1,000 “Monterey County On Location Award” also will be given in recognition of an outstanding screenplay that includes at least 75% Monterey County settings.

This year’s newest recognition is the “Emerging Talent Award,” to be given the 4th place winner, who receives a script consultation from noted author and screenwriting consultant Dr. Linda Seger.

The Monterey County Film Commission Screenwriting Competition has evolved into a premier screenwriting contest, notable for providing second-round readers’ comments. The competition is designed to encourage screenwriters and to promote them to Hollywood.

Submissions must be full-length film or television movie scripts between 90 and 120 pages in length, and must not have been optioned or sold at the time of submission. Entry fee is $35 per script for early entries postmarked by March 1, 2004; $45 per script for those postmarked by the final deadline of April 1, 2004.

Complete rules and an application form may be downloaded at The Monterey County Film Commission is a non-profit organization working to bring film projects to local sites and provide supporting educational opportunities related to the film industry. For further information, call 831-646-0910 or email at

The 2003 Monterey County Film Commission Screenwriting Competition winner was Todd Stein for “Unbound.”

“Hollywood Connections 2004 Screenwriting Competition,”

sponsored by the Monterey County Film Commission.

Film industry professionals to meet with the winning screenwriters include:

Joel Freeman, Producer/Executive

With over 100 films to his credit, Joel Freeman has produced blockbusters such as SHAFT and LOVE AT FIRST BITE, as well as critically acclaimed masterpieces like THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER. Other commercial successes include THE OCTAGON with Chuck Norris and SOAPDISH with Sally Field. Currently, he has several projects in development including "Marti" and "Romantics, Misfits and Fools."
Freeman is a member of the Directors Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America, and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

Jeremiah Hahn, Agent

Jeremiah Hahn works for the Brant Rose Agency, a boutique literary agency in Los Angeles that reps writers and directors for film and television. He looks for projects that understand the importance of character, but do not forget structure or the marketplace. Recently he has been involved with such projects as THE COOLER, BUFFALO SOLDIERS, THE DEAD ZONE and the Oscar-Winning animated film SPIRITED AWAY.

Michael Hertzberg, Producer/ Writer

Michael Hertzberg has produced such celebrated comedies as Mel Brooks’ THE TWELVE CHAIRS, SILENT MOVIE, and BLAZING SADDLES. Hertzberg also produced OUT ON A LIMB and JOHNNY DANGEROUSLY. He was the producer and developed the story/script for the recent blockbuster, ENTRAPMENT, starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zita Jones.
Hertzberg is a member of the Directors Guild and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

Linda Seger, Author/Script Consultant

Dr. Linda Seger created and defined the job of script consultant in 1981, when she developed a system of analyzing scripts as part of her doctoral dissertation. She has consulted on over 2,000 scripts, including 30 produced television projects, and more than 40 produced feature films. Her clients have included TriStar Pictures, MGM/UA, Guber-Peters Entertainment, Ray Bradbury, William Kelley, Tony Bill, Dave Bell, Charles Fries Entertainment, Linda Lavink, Suzanne De Passe, and others.
Dr. Seger is the author of Making a Good Script Great, Creating Unforgettable Characters, The Art of Adaptation: Turning Fact and Fiction into Film, From Script to Screen: The Collaborative Art of Filmmaking (with co-author Dr. Edward Jay Whetmore), When Women Call the Shots: The Developing Power and Influence of Women in Television and Film, Making a Good Writer Great: A Creativity Workbook for Screenwriters, Web Thinking: Connecting, Not Competing For Success, and Advanced Screenwriting: Raising Your Writing to the Academy Award Level.

Dror Soref, Writer/Director

Dror Soref is an award-winning writer/director. With roots in Spain, Soref attended the University of Haifa, Israel, earning a degree in economics and sociology. He served in the Israeli defense force as a combat officer in the elite Golani Brigade. He later immigrated to the United States to study film production, first at the San Francisco Art Institute, and then at the cinema school of the University of Southern California.
His first directing assignment was a music video for "Weird Al" Yankovic, which helped establish the rock parodist as a major star. Soref’s subsequent film The Seventh Coin won two festival awards including Best Picture. Soref's 30-minute short Platinum Blonde told a hopeful story of two teenagers overcoming parental neglect. As the creative force behind the film, Soref was profiled in the Los Angeles Times, American Premiere Magazine, and The Hollywood Reporter. Platinum Blonde landed Soref a housekeeping deal at Paramount Studios.
For over 10 years, Soref served as a principal-director for Orbit Entertainment Group, one of Los Angeles’ fastest growing commercial production companies of the 1990s. Under Orbit's umbrella, Soref signed a strategic alliance with Mike Medavoy's Phoenix Pictures. The first picture under this deal was Basic, released by Columbia Pictures in spring 2003 and which reunited John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson.

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