Thank you to all that submitted screenplays to the Inaugural 29 PALMS MILITARY FILM FESTIVAL Screenplay Contest!!
We are humbled not only by the level of interest conveyed by the number of submissions but also by the quality and emotional truth that was expressed in those screenplays. Choosing only 6 was difficult to say the least, but below are our finalists:
Soldier Dog: Letters from Wolfie
By James Christopher
Story: 1973 When Mark’s, 14, older brother Danny, 18, goes to serve in the Vietnam War, Mark wants to do something useful too and donates his beloved dog, Wolfie. Soon afterwards he regrets it. When he tries to get Wolfie back, he learns that dogs are treated as objects and Wolfie is now a property of the Army. Encouraged by his teacher, Mr. Casey, Mark organizes a protest and eventually is successful. Wolfie can come home as soon as they found him in Vietnam.
by Kevin and Brian Flint
Story: Hollywood 1942. Harry, 40s, a cameraman, decides after his brother is killed in action to become a member of a unit of war reporters. After a lifetime in the business of dreams, he sees the brutality of the war, loses his best friend in it. When he makes it back alive, Harry insists that the truth about the war be told and has to go up in the hierarchy to the President of the United States to get his movie released.
Eight Hundred Dollars As Is
by Kurt A. Schauppner
Story: Town near a Military Base: Jake, 20s, the son of a wealthy man, is not sure what to do with his life and collects rent checks on his father’s behalf. He comes to know Andrea, 20s, who wants to commit suicide. After her husband, a Marine, died in action she doesn’t see any sense in living. As a first decision to really do something he wants to on his own terms, Jake decides to help Andrea who doesn’t open up to him though. When he continues trying things change, but first for worst…
by Stephen C. Settle
Story: Steve, 16, and Sam, 16, become friends. Sam is from a dysfunctional family, terminally ill and about to give up, Steve is middle class, his parents are about to get a divorce. When both ask to be enlisted as Marines, only Steve is taken because of Sam’s condition. They make a pact: Steve will fight for his country and Sam for his life. Eventually Sam loses his fight. Steve makes it home alive and understands that he must not repeat the mistakes others made before him.
City of Dust
by Kimo Wolfgang Shearin
Story: San Gabriel 1942: Jiro, a young American of Japanese descent, leaves his family after a clash with his father about how to deal with the growing resentments of the towns population towards the Japanese minority and goes to Hawaii where he witnesses the attack on Pearl Harbor. When his whole family is interned, Jiro goes back to help them, just in time to substitute his father, who dies. Jiro tries to keep the family together but his younger brother Masuro doesn’t accept Jiro’s authority and against Jiro’s will joins the Army to show that he is a true American. Jiro joins too, mainly to bring his brother home safely…
by Soso Whaley
Story: Fort Polk, Louisiana, 1960s. Private Long, 23, goes on a hunger strike when he learns that he is deployed to Vietnam. This causes national attention. When a protester sets himself on fire, Long gives up his hunger strike. The army offers him a plea deal if his is willing to spend a year in Vietnam. Long goes to Vietnam to witness the horrors of the war. He is assigned a job as a company clerk, but when a good friend is killed he joins a command to find and kill the sniper. He and another soldier are captured by the VC and tortured. His company is too late to find him alive but find a confession he allegedly signed, saying that he is ashamed of being a US soldier.