Happy Jack earns Honorable Mention at 2 film festivals
I’ve entered Happy Jack, my first feature-length screenplay into a few film and screenplay festival competitions, and the returns so far are encouraging! Happy Jack earned Honorable Mention selections at the Santa Barbara International Screenplay Awards and the Changing Face International Film Festival.
On the Changing Face International Film Festival awards page, it feels particularly great to be listed with writers from places like Australia, Brazil, Italy and Romania. The world is full of talented writers, so it’s an honor to place among peers from around the world.
So what does earning a pair of honorable mention awards mean for Happy Jack? As far as the script being purchased, probably not much. These awards do provide great exposure for writers hoping to be noticed by people in the industry looking to buy scripts. However, Happy Jack needs to get in the winner or finalist category before anyone’s going to come knocking on my door.
But for a screenplay-writing beginner like me, two honorable mention awards in the span of a week is a clear signal from experts that Happy Jack is a marketable script. Keep working, and it could sell. That’s not just me inferring. The award selection notice I received from Santa Barbara included the following line:
You should be encouraged to continue writing, as your scores for Happy Jack were quite strong in a very competitive field.
The commentary provided by the Santa Barbara judges sent a similar message of “good work, but keep working,” starting off:
Happy Jack is an inspirational drama with equal elements of mystery and romance. Post Katrina New Orleans sets a lively, yet unsettling tone for the action. The script serves our heroic healer well by painting a clear picture of his backstory but does not do enough to explain the catalyst of his otherworldly powers, nor the science behind them.
For now, I’ll wait to see how Happy Jack does in a few more competitions and collect more feedback, then hopefully have solid direction on how to smooth the rough edges then start pitching.