Catherine Gray, an award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker from St. Louis Park, will have a reading by professional actors of her new screenplay, Loonie’s Tune, on Monday, January 26, 7:30 p.m. at the Illusion Theater, 528 Hennepin Avenue (corner of 6th and Hennepin) in the Hennepin Center for the Arts.
Loonie’s Tune, was inspired by interviews the author did at the Minnesota Correctional Facility for Women in Shakopee. It is a story about the difficulty of making a fresh start and the life-changing, conflict-producing choices three generations of women must face when Loonie comes home from prison.
As Gray interviewed the women, and they told about their lives, she resolved that she would pass along their wisdom. She says, “I could relate to the desire these women had for a better life and how much they wanted to learn from past mistakes.”
Loonie soon became a fictional embodiment of the women prisoners Gray had met—women who wanted so desperately to reconnect with their children. Because Gray has sisters, who at one time were jailed for drug charges in Arizona, she felt a personal connection to these Shakopee inmates and a desire to understand their world.
The reading is open to the public. It is sponsored by the nonprofit Minnesota Screenwriter’s Workshop. A donation for the Screenwriters’ Workshop is requested at the door.
St. Croix Watershed Research Station Launches Artist/Writer Residency Project
The St. Croix Watershed Research Station invites writers to apply for a new artist and writer in residence program that will begin in June 2003 at the James Taylor Dunn Pine Needles Cabin just north of the Marine on St. Croix along the St. Croix River.
The program invites natural history artists or writers to spend two or three weeks in residence to immerse themselves in a field experience, gather resource materials, and interact with environmental scientists and the local community.
Applications will be accepted from writers and visual artists who focus on environmental or natural history topics. Participants will interact with environmental scientists and to create links between their art, the natural world and the sciences.
As part of the program, artists are expected to design an outreach project to share their work with the local community and to contribute an original work for the benefit of the research station.
Housing and rustic studio space is provided for the artist’s choice of a 2- or 3-week residency; two residencies will be awarded for the summer of 2003. Application packets are available from the research station after March 31; the application deadline is May 2, 2003.
For more information, contact Sharon Mallman at the St. Croix Watershed Research Station, 651-433-5953, extension 13.
On April 12, 2003, IFP MSP, in partnership with Mr. Hafed Bouassida, Chair of the Screenwriting Program at Minneapolis Community & Technical College, held the first annual screenwriting conference focused on the art and business of screenwriting geared toward screenwriters in the Upper Midwest region.
The mission of the conference is to concentrate on a singular aspect of the complex process of screenwriting each year and to highlight the business of writing. This year’s conference focused on adaptation for the screen. Guest panelists included Stephen Molton and Fred Mills.
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Science’s Greg Beal also was a featured guest. Greg, who administers the Academy’s Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowships, spoke on the business side of screenwriting. Participants learned about topics such as breaking in, submissions and identifying contacts, agents, managers and production companies, education and schools, contests, the “need” to move to Hollywood, making independent films, writing from the heart vs. writing commercial.
Sometimes we learn the most about life by staring in the face of death. Jesse lives a routine life until he takes on the care of his dying mother. Faced with her daily struggle with death, all that was routine in Jesse’s life—family, girlfriend, career—is called into question as he learns that real living is never routine.