Nadeem RajwaniIn April of 2016, Fresh Voices named Kenyan born screenwriter, Nadeem Rajwani, the Grand Prize Winner of the 2015 Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition. His Nairobi set screenplay, “City In The Sun”, took home the Grand Prize Award, and in addition won three Fresh Voices Spotlight Awards including the “Culture & Heritage Award”, “Best Ensemble Cast”, and “Best Foreign Script Award”.

The story is an interwoven tale of two men from very different backgrounds, providing for their families in profoundly different ways. It explores the family dynamic from these two divergent perspectives and touches upon such powerful themes as domestic violence, its effect on the family for generations to come, and the uplifting message of the limitless heights we will go to for our loved ones.

Additionally, the film is a portrait of Nairobi; an international city still struggling to shrug off its third world past. As such, the narrative investigates such timely and relatable social themes as police brutality, corruption and points a finger at the social injustices that remain between the have’s and have not’s. While Kenya may seem like a world away, it is very much a story that plays out in our own neighborhoods on a frighteningly regular basis. The climax of the film is a story of two worlds colliding in completely unexpected ways.

The deftness with which the script is written, and the confidence in how such a complex story plays out, is surely that of a writer we wanted to know more about.

Below is an interview with 2015 Fresh Voices Grand Prize Winner Nadeem Rajwani on how he came to screenwriting, how he came to Fresh Voices, and how he came to win!


Jupiter Ascending Theatrical Posterby Vance Berk

Since I first saw Jupiter Ascending in February 2015 it’s climbed the ranks as one of my all-time guilty pleasures.  Why?  Although the Waschowskis’ film was a catastrophic failure both critically and at the box office, I think it’s an important learning tool for any aspiring science-fiction writer on what NOT TO DO.

At the time of its release, I was writing a feature-length spec script based on a universe I’d been developing since high school.  Leaving Jupiter Ascending, I learned 6 important lessons that would influence every key decision as I developed my own Science Fiction Space Opera.


APAThe stand-out writing team of Scott Robert Waldvogel and Matt DeMartini have signed with Agency for the Performing Arts and The Gotham Group for agency and management representation respectively.

Scott and Matt entered Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition in 2014 with nine scripts in various genres. What was more remarkable was that all nine scripts read by The Gotham Group Logodifferent judges across different genres and formats advanced to the quarter finals. Four different scripts were named finalists and ultimately three scripts earned honourable mentions in the screenplay competition. Following up with awards and placements in such notable competitions as Page, Final Draft, Stage 32, Austin and Bluecat, their hard work and perseverance paid off last year when their various successes, accolades and achievements landed them both a reputable agent and manager. Great work guys and congratulations!!


New CW2010 Fresh Voices Drama Winner Louise Ransil has set up her winning script and her story of MARLOWE to Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment and The CW Network for CBS Television Studios.

Marlowe is based on the true noir life of Samuel Marlowe, an African American PI in 1930’s Los Angeles who served as the real life inspiration for Raymond Chandler’s famous Philip Marlowe character. Samuel worked for many of the movie studios during the Golden Age of Cinema, protecting and investigating their starlets and working in collusion with the film bosses, mob bosses and the Los Angeles Police Department of the time. 

According to The Hollywood Reporterthe story has been redeveloped as a TV procedural written by Devon Greggory (CSI, New York). Louise Ransil is Executive Producing alongside Aaron Kaplan. Congratulations Louise!!


ATX FestivalWith the ATX Television Festival opening in Austin, Texas this weekend, Fresh Voices competition chairman Joel Mendoza was interviewed for an article on what makes a perfect pitch.

“I think that a lot of writers tend not to spend enough time…putting together a coherent pitch. And when they do get in front of somebody, they tend to go off on tangents and not be as focused as one needs to be,” he says.

Mendoza recommends focusing on the three basic points of your story—what does the protagonist want, what stands in his or her way, and how do they overcome it?

“If you can think clearly in those blocks then you’ve got a good chance of gaining somebody’s interest,” he adds. “Beyond that, always enthusiasm, positivity, and being able to be a salesman. At the end of the day, that’s what it is.”

Read the full article for Get In Media here.... 



Its Good Enough To Ship2

How do Bridezillas happen?  They happen when someone seeks absolute perfection where absolute perfection is impossible.  They happen when 99% isn’t enough.  They happen when you have someone who believes that everything must be in the right place or it should never be done at all.  Bridezillas should never be writers!

The best writing advice I ever heard was from a professor at my alma mater who told me that the greatest skill a writer can have is to know when his work is done enough.  I was, at the time, writing a paper on the gentrification of Washington D.C. during the 1990s, and I mistook the advice to mean that I could stop when I get to the bear minimum of pages required, not do a spell check, say “Eh, it’s good enough” and go to the local bar to have a 22 ounce glass of some frothy IPA I convinced myself was delicious, but really I hated and was just trying to convince that girl in my “Federalist and Anti-Federalist Writings of Pre-Colonialist North America” class that I was cultured and mature. - - Don’t judge me. We’ve all had that phase.


Moutaz JadMPower Pictures Makes Deal on 2012 Competition Winner Megalopolis

In the first deal since announcing the winners of the 2012 Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition just one month ago, 1st place winner in the Science-Fiction/ Fantasy category, Moutaz Jad has struck a deal with established Hollywood production company MPower Pictures, to attach the company as producers to his winning script Megalopolis. MPower Pictures has produced several movies including Snowmen, American Carol, and the Golden Globe Nominated Machine Gun Preacher directed by Marc Forster and starring Gerard Butler.

jack messittSince winning last year's Grand Prize, Fresh Voices circulated Jack's winning screenplay Adventures in Babymaking to leading production companies and ultimately caught the eye of A-List Screenwriter Jeremy Garelick (The Break-Up, The Hangover). Since their first meeting, the two are collaborating on a project with an eye towards Jeremy directing. Jeremy was most recently hired by New Line to write the reboot of the Police Academy franchise.


jack messittGrand Prize Winner of the 2011 Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition. Chosen from nearly 1,000 screenplays, ADVENTURES IN BABYMAKING is the story of a reluctant father and his persistent wife as they navigate the frustrating and often ridiculous world of trying to have a baby.

Please check out what Jack had to say about his approach to writing, and what has been happening since winning the competition.


Page 4 of 6

Newsletter Signup

Contact Us

© 2018 Fresh Voices LLC. All Rights Reserved.