Success Stories

Success Story: Travis Kurtz

Posted on Aug 5, 2014

After winning the  Grand Prize winner for Comedy in 2004, Travis Kurtz received several writing gigs for comedy scripts.  Travis said, “Not long after winning at Screenplay Festival, I won Best Comedy Script at the LA Screenwriting Festival, and the two wins certainly helped persuade producers to hire me.”

One of Travis’ projects, READY OR NOT (, won Best Film & Best Comedy at the Mammoth Film Festival and received worldwide distribution.  He followed that by opening his own production company to create online comedy content and was named “YouTube Next Comic.”  The Santa Monica-based production company BermanBraun then hired Kurtz as a producer/director to create high-quality content for their online channels.

Travis continues to write and produce, and Screenplay Festival could not be happier for him.


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Success Story: Hilliard Guess

Posted on Jul 22, 2014

Since winning the competition with his horror script, “30 Miles From Nowhere,” Hilliard has had an amazing career. He’s a member of the WGAw and very involved with:The Committee of Black Writers (CBW), The Educational Committee, as well as The Gay & Lesbian Committee.

Through his company,, Hilliard’s written, directed, or produced Pilots, Short Films and Web Series in different genres. Most of the time Hilliard partners with Alisa Banks of Keep It Short Productions and together, these two as a producing team, are the perfect fit to help young filmmakers take their projects go from script-to-screen.

Currently, Hilliard’s a very busy Assignment Writer for TV & Film in the Independent World. Known for being a fast and compelling writer has helped Hilliard find a lane for himself and it continues to grow every year. As an instructor for The Organization of Black Screenwriters (OBS) since 2007, Hilliard was encouraged by his mentors to expand his knowledge and become the Host of his very own show, “SCREENWRITER’S RANT ROOM”  Podcast (on iTunes and Stitcher). The show was an instant hit. Heard in over 15 countries across the world and nearly 46 states, to thousands of listeners and fans they call “Rant Room Heads.” The podcast is one of a kind. Just raw and unfiltered Real Talk, that simply keeps it “100!” Hilliard and his co-host, @LisaBolekaja, give you tips on screenwriting from a real writers who aren’t afraid to tell it like it is!


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Adam Balsam (Grand Prize Winner, Comedy, 2007) wrote the screenplay for the animated film “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return,” which will be released on May 9, 2014. The cast includes the voices of Lea Michele, Martin Short, Dan Aykroyd, Kelsey Grammer, Jim Belushi, Oliver Platt, Megan Hilty, Hugh Dancy, Bernadette Peters, and Patrick Stewart.
Great work Adam!
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