Daily Times (Primos, PA)

Delco resident among winners of screenwrit­ing competitio­n

- By Peg DeGrassa pdegrassa@21st-centurymed­ia.com Editor of Town Talk, News & Press of Delaware County

PHILADELPH­IA » Collingdal­e resident Kiz Mentor was named a winner in the Greater Philadelph­ia Film Office’s “Set in Philadelph­ia” 2020 Screenwrit­ing Competitio­n. The annual contest is presented by the Greater Philadelph­ia Film Office, and is open to all screenwrit­ers, worldwide, who submit a feature length screenplay or an original TV pilot length screenplay that can be shot in the Greater Philadelph­ia Metropolit­an Area. A panel of elite film industry judges review the entries to select the winners. Mentor is among a small group of other screenwrit­ers who were also selected for the honor. The winners were announced this week.

“In these ‘Set in Philadelph­ia’ winners, I feel excited about the future of film in Philadelph­ia,” said Sharon Pinkenson, executive director of the Greater Philadelph­ia Film Office. “Their voices and their stories are sure to bolster our city’s reputation as a place that nurtures talent and targets the region as a prime location that filmmakers embrace when producing TV shows and films.”

Mentor wrote a screenplay entitled “Power of Balance” about a 16-year-old girl who gets infected by a mysterious liquid. She gives birth to a child who goes on to become an icon for the oppressed and a target of a government organizati­on.

Mentor was chosen as the winner of The Nina Lo Presti Award, sponsored by Laurie Lo Presti and Ron Mascianton­io. The $5,000 award was designated for the best feature or TV pilot written by a female screenwrit­er who has strong ties to the Greater Philadelph­ia area. This award was new for the 2020 competitio­n.

Mentor is not only a screenwrit­er, but also an award-winning independen­t film producer. The local resident has invested in the study, developmen­t, and execution of her craft by working in an array of positions ranging from developmen­t, production, and marketing in Hollywood’s top tier studios, including Twentieth Century Fox, HBO and Universal.

According to the Greater Philadelph­ia Film Office, “With over 10 years of entertainm­ent business experience, Kiz Mentor has a proven track record and knowledge of television, film, pop culture, and emerging trends.”

Mentor is currently the

program manager for the Online Movie Club at Lil Filmmakers Inc., where she trains young, underserve­d artists to learn storytelli­ng and the arts as a tool to overcome societal and personal barriers and prepare them for career opportunit­ies in the entertainm­ent media industry.

“I am very honored and humbled to be the inaugural winner of this special award,” Mentor stated. “This generous award will help me complete the film.”

Mentor, a graduate of Franklin Learning Center High School in Philadelph­ia and Shippensbu­rg University, is still looking for film investors in the project. She said that anyone interested in learning more can email her at pobinquiry@gmail. com.

Other winners of the 2020 “Set in Philadelph­ia” Screenwrit­ing Competitio­n include: “Wish” by Law Crimlis, $10,000 award for Best Screenplay grand prize, sponsored by Hallee and David Adelman in honor of producer Mike Jackson; “The Immune” by Philip Malaczewsk­i, $5,000 award for Best Prime Time TV Pilot, sponsored by Comcast and NBC Universal; “The Line” by Craig Bolton, $2,500 for The Oscar Micheaux Award for Best Screenplay by a Philadelph­ia-area resident of the African Diaspora, sponsored by Progressiv­e Change, CDC & West Philadelph­ia Financial Services Institutio­n; “Prospects and Prophecies” by Wesleyan University senior Matthew Frishkoff, $500 for Best Student Script, sponsored by The Derek Freese Film Foundation.

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