Skye's the Limit!

Skye Emerson’s CHALLENGER Wins Fresh Voices Grand Prize Award

Grand Prize Winner Reef Challenger

HOLLYWOOD, CA.            4/11/19

Women reigned victorious at the 2018-19 Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition this week with both the Drama and Family Film Categories being dominated by a group of talented, all-star, female writers. Leading them all, it was Skye Emerson’s historical drama, CHALLENGER, that wowed the jury and took home the Grand Prize Award. Additionally, the screenplay received two Spotlight Awards: Best Role Written for A Female Lead and the Fresh Voices Culture & Heritage Award.

Skye Emerson HeadshotA prolific and accomplished writer, Skye received her MFA from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film & Television just last year. She was most recently selected to the 2019 Sundance Institute Screenwriters Intensive Program and awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Commissioning Grant at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

Challenger tells the story of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, as told through the eyes of American astrophysicist and space pioneer Sally Ride, who after becoming America’s first woman in space and America’s youngest astronaut ever, was later appointed to the investigative commission to determine the cause of one of America’s greatest space tragedies never told!

The script excels in many ways, as a tragic and true reminder of America’s space program, as a court room drama, as a faithful biopic, as a story of love and romance and an LGBTQ story for the #metoo era about a heroic, steadfast woman who shattered the glass ceiling and fought for truth and for what she believed in a male dominated industry.

The story offers a strong female lead that will not only appeal to top tier talent, but a role that will inspire an entire generation of women to break free of the constraint’s society may place upon them and to aspire to great new heights.

Upon receiving the award and the $3,000 cash prize, Skye said, “I’ve always been drawn to strong woman of diverse backgrounds, and Sally’s journey has long been one I’ve wanted to put into a screenplay. This is a relatively new script for me, and so that it has been received so positively really validates my belief and my work to bring Sally’s story to life. I am honored and thrilled by this recognition as a diverse voice with an important story to tell. It means the world to me to have Fresh Voices champion my work and support me as a writer.”

Handing out the award, Competition Chairman Joel Mendoza remarked, “this script highlights a significant cultural and historical event that defined a generation, particularly kids like me who were in elementary school at the time, watching the events unfold in my classroom. This was an American tragedy that demands the big screen treatment. The way Skye has chosen to frame and tell this story is wholly engaging as much as it is inspiring. By focusing the story and the events from the perspective of Sally Ride, we are expertly guided through this uplifting hero’s journey by Skye’s deft and confident hand.”


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