Awards and Honors

David Ames Film Award

2016-2017 Contest Information


The Park School of Communications is pleased to announce the David R. Ames Film Award.  This annual award is designed to inspire creativity and recognize the talents of young scriptwriters and filmmakers.  Thanks to the generosity of David R. Ames '72 this award will provide funding up to $5,000.00 to produce the winning original script selected by a panel of faculty judges.

All full-time Park students are eligible and encouraged to submit a short narrative script for consideration.  Finalists will be asked to put together a production team filling all key crew positions, a production proposal and pitch their projects to the award committee.

The selected projects team will be enrolled in a 1-credit mini course during the SP17 semester.  Projects funded by this award can not be submitted towards any other credit bearing course.  The award will go towards the production of a short, narrative script to be shot over Spring Break 2017.


Monday, September 26, 4:00PM – Script submission deadline

Monday, October 17 – Announce Finalists 

Friday, November 4 – Production Notebooks Due 

Week of November 11  -November 18 – Finalist Pitches 

Friday, November 22 – Announce Winner 

Beginning of Spring 2017 semester – Pre-production

Spring Break 2017 – Principle photography to be completed

End of Spring 2017 semester – Post production

TBD – Screening for faculty for critique


Script Submission Deadline:
Monday, Sept. 26, 2016 by 4:00 P.M. to April Johanns in Park 379

Submission Guidelines:

A.    Screenplays must be written in English.

B.    Scripts may be between 8 and 15 pages in length as the ideal film for festival runs between 8 and 12 minutes.

C.    Content must be original.  Adaptations of books, plays, or other source material are not acceptable.

D.    Content must also be narrative.  This award is not for documentary or experimental film.

E.    Scripts may be co-authored by two Park School majors.

F.    Scripts must be submitted in standard screenplay format.  They should be single sided, printed on plain white paper, in Courier 12 point font with proper margins.  All pages except page 1 must be numbered in the upper right hand corner.

G.    Scripts must have a standard cover page listing the title, name of author(s), mailing address, telephone number, and email address.  Judging will be anonymous. Therefore, do not include a name on any of the script pages—only the title page.

H.    Scripts should be registered with the Writer’s Guild of America Script Registry.

Scripts that do not conform to the above criteria will be automatically disqualified.


All finalists are required to submit a production packet for the award committee to review. 

Production Packet Submission Deadline:
November 4 to April Johanns in Park 379

Submission Guidelines:
The production packet includes a production notebook (A) and sample work (B).

A.    Prepare, organize, and clearly label a 1-inch binder, to hold your production proposal.   All materials listed below must be included in the binder:

  • A Letter from a TVR or CPMA production faculty member stating that he or she is willing to mentor the project and supervise a 1-credit Independent Project class for the proposed production.

  • 1-2 Page Narrative Description detailing your approach to production of the script.  You may wish to describe visual styles, use of sound, and other techniques that you can realistically employ and how the choices support the story.

  • Crew Organization listing the names and contact information for Park students filling the key crew positions including but not limited to Producer, Director, Director of Photography, Sound Designer, Production Sound and Editor.  The screenplay’s author may choose to fill any of these or another crew position.

  • A Production Schedule addressing pre-production, principal photography over Spring Break, post-production, and estimated date to screen the final film at the Park School of Communications.

  • Budget Plan: Indicate how you plan to use the prize money from pre-production through post.  The budget might include the cost of additional equipment rental, hiring professional actors, film stock, expendables and all additional goods and services. Prize money may not be used to hire professional crewmembers. Any project that proposes the employment of professional crew members will be disqualified.

  • Miscellaneous: Please feel free to add any pertinent information to further clarify or support your proposal.  For example, you may wish to include a casting plan or list of locations.


Submit 3 copies of a 10-minute DVD containing samples of produced work. You may wish to include 10 minutes of a film by the director, or several shorter clips by the director, D.P. Production Designer, Sound Designer etc. – whatever is most useful in supporting your approach to production.  DVDs that run longer than 10 minutes will be disqualified.

Production teams will be disqualified if any material is missing from the packet.


All finalists will be required to pitch their proposed project and production materials to the Award Committee. 

Finalists will be notified of specific date, time, location and guidelines.

Award Decision Announcement:

The committee will choose one production team from among the finalists to be awarded up to $5,000 and given the green light to make their film.

Please Note:

Projects funded by this award cannot be submitted towards any other credit-bearing course by any member of the creative team.

About David Ames:

Semi-retired at 58, David Ames manages Ames Enterprises LLC and serves as president and a member of the board of directors of Xethanol Corporation. He has had a highly successful and diverse career in Internet/data services, entertainment, telecommunications and the computer industries. He has been an active venture capital investor in alternative energy companies, technologies, processes and services. He is a member of the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition and co-founded Alterna Energy to make investments in alternative energy companies. In 2008 he was named chief executive officer council of ACORE, the American Council on Renewable Energy. Formerly he served as co-chairman of Technology General Contractors, LLC, a full service home automation company and has been an advisory member on nonprofit organization boards, including Women in Cable and The Broadband Forum. He completed the Benton & Bowles marketing/ advertising MBA program in association with Columbia University and the Wharton Business School.

David is a member of the School of Communications National Advisory Board, and in February 2006 he and his wife, Cindy, hosted the College’s DVD event in Atlanta. In 2004 he established the David R. Ames Film Fund in the Park School to provide funds annually for student film project in cinema and photography. He is a member of the President’s Associates.

As an undergraduate, David served as a staff manager for WICB-TV and was head of the station's film and graphic department. He served as director and head of TV operations for the Office of Student Concerns, and was an art photographer.

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