Staged Reading – The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center will host a live Free staged reading of Vagabond the winner of the First Annual BHERC Screenwriting Competition written by Wayne A. Hazle.

After receiving submissions from all across the country, the BHERC selected Wayne A. Hazle as winner which garnered him a staged reading at the festival, a writing mentor, 2 confirmed meetings with industry executives to discuss his script, festival passes, and a one year membership to the Organization of Black Screenwriters (OBS).

The reading will be apart of the African American Film Marketplace and S. E. Manly Short Film Showcase Saturday Nov. 6, 2004 7:30pm - 9:00pm at Raleigh Studios - 5300 Melrose Ave.

Free staged reading
Vagabond is the story of Jordan Hopewell, a callous real estate executive going through an emotional and spiritual crisis. Out with friends one night, Jordan spots a young homeless drug addict. Their eyes meet for a split second. Later that night the young woman is found dead on the streets. Months later, the police are unable to find the young woman’s identity. Jordan obtains her ashes then goes on a quest to discover her identity and return her to her family.

Wayne Hazel (writer) – Mr. Hazle was named the Grand Prizewinner of the First Annual BHERC Screenwriting Competition after receiving an almost perfect score in judging. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1989 with a B.S.E. in Computer Science Engineering and a minor in Film Study through the Annenberg School of Communications. Hazle spent several years in the corporate world, while continuing to nurture his love for film by taking screenwriting, acting and production classes.

In 1998, Hazle founded Jaguar Films with one of his primary goals being to create compelling, mainstream African-American characters. His guidance over Jaguar Films' production of a contemporary version of Edgar Allen Poe's, "The Tell-Tale Heart" garnered him recognition as one of five African American filmmakers honored on Showtime's 1999 Black Filmmaker Showcase.

After taking the "The Tell-Tale Heart" on the film festival circuit from New York to Santa Monica, Hazle took a year "sabbatical" from film production. During this time he has made exotic treks across the globe. These include mushing sled dogs on the Iditarod trail, walking through the Killing Fields of Cambodia, standing with monks in Angkor Wat, observing the faithful prostrate themselves before the sacred Emerald Buddha in Thailand, watching Hindu pilgrims bathe in the Ganges, spotting tigers in the jungles of India, and basking in the glory of the Taj Mahal.

During these the emotional and pious sojourns, Hazle found himself open to the complexity of the human condition like never before. Towards the end of 2002, he began working on an ambitious project that has always been near to his heart. "The Pen" is an anthology series that chronicles the life of an ornate fountain pen as it travels through the lives of various people. In 2003 Jaguar Films will begin production on "The Pen", with the first story lensing in early February.

Carol Mays (reading director) - Writer/Director Carol Mayes is currently a Disney/ABC Writing Fellow. Her The Shield spec script, entitled “Karma”, was selected from over 2,000 entries to win her one of the twelve prestigious Disney Fellowships for 2004.

Mayes completed her first feature film Commitments, starring Allen Payne, Victoria Dillard, Joe Torry, Fredro Starr and Virginia Capers, for Black Entertainment Television. A heartwarming romance about a workaholic New York City woman who finds love and new life in a small southern town, Mayes adapted the screenplay from the novel, “Commitments” by Carmen Green. The film premiered on BET in spring of 2001.

A native of Harlem, New York, Mayes wrote and directed the film Rituals for Lifetime Television as part of their annual Women’s Film Festival. Rituals, starring Regina King, Isaiah Washington and Jenifer Lewis, is a romantic comedy about love and voodoo magic. The film has aired on Lifetime, screened at festivals worldwide, and has received numerous awards, including from the Toronto International Film Festival, Urbanworld Film Festival in New York City and the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame.

Mayes’ fourth screenplay, Voice, was a semi-finalist for the Chesterfield Film Writer’s Project. Other screenplay awards include: A Spell On Me, which was a finalist for the Urbanworld Film Festival’s script competition and One Love, which was a finalist for the Chesterfield and Urbanworld competitions.

Mayes graduated from the American Film Institute with a Master of Fine Arts in Directing. Her thesis film, Tendrils, starring Phyllis Yvonne Stickney and Charnele Brown, was honored with several awards including a DGA Student Film Award, the CINE Gold Eagle and was a finalist for the Student Academy Awards. The screenplay for Tendrils won AFI’s Martin Ritt award, which included a $10,000 production grant.

In theatre, Mayes directed the staged reading of “Prelude to a Revolution” by Tonya Wright at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles for the Sixth Annual Juneteenth Reading Series.

Before attending AFI, Mayes worked for several years in television production, including as a producer for the children’s show, Sesame Street. During that time, she wrote and directed several short films, including Visiting Ieshia, which is currently airing on that show. Also a published writer, Mayes’ screenplay of Rituals was adapted from her short story, “Just Insurance”. That story was printed in Essence Magazine when it won Essence Magazine’s National Short Story contest.

We would like to recognize the runner-ups:

Winston Barber - "Next"
Jeffrey C. Benson, Jr. - "Pharaoh's Reign"
Rodney Charles - "Reclaimed"
Magaly Colimon - "Living Life"
Shari Himes - "Then Came You"
Rene Rawls - "Get to the Back of the Line"
Rachel Skerritt - "If You Only Knew"

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