Meet our Spring 2016 Contest 3rd Placed Winner: AMBER by Johnny Sanchez

Spring 2016 Competition

Finishing in 3rd place for our Spring 2016 international screenwriting competition is a great achievement. Johnny and his script AMBER fought off some high-quality scripts that ended up earning honourable mentions. Ultimately though, Johnny and his script, AMBER, thoroughly deserved this placing and we are delighted to tell you all a little more about him.

For finishing in third place Johnny receives:

1 Full year of script mentoring for the winners, including development notes on all re-writes of winning scripts. Worth $3,200.
Up to $1 million in option monies from the A-List producers we work with. If an established studio/production company with theatrical credits wishes to option the script, we will fly the winner to Los Angeles and pay (up to $4,000) for their accommodation. We will pitch the top three projects to relevant production companies (such as Neal Moritz Productions, Bruckheimer Films, Scott Rudin Prods.) & studios (Paramount, Warner Bros, Universal, etc.). You keep ALL the option/sales money. The names of the top three winners and their projects are mentioned in press releases and on the web. The third-place winner will receive our free Gold consulting package. Intensive pitch coaching to help you get immediate attention and stand out as a pro amongst the hordes of wannabes.

 

Here’s some background on Johnny:

Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. to undocumented parents from South America,  Johnny only spoke Spanish until he was six years old. One day, his mom heard him praying in Spanish: “God, if you can teach me to talk in English like the other kids do, and understand what they’re saying, I promise to eat all my vegetables”. To this day, Johnny still eats all his vegetables (except for green beans, he hates green beans).

In 3rd grade, Johnny was cast as Rabbit #3 in his elementary school’s Christmas show. His commitment to being Rabbit #3 was unparalleled. It was this experience that first showed Johnny the power that storytelling wields in bringing people together and he decided to commit his life to this pursuit.

At 13 years old, Johnny was accepted into the prestigious L a Guardia High School  for the  Performing Arts, in NYC. It was here where he honed hisindividual sensibilities as an artist and developed his skills as a critical thinker. After graduating, he discovered social activism. He dedicated a year of his life to this work, and eventually became an artivist (artist + activist).

Soon after, Johnny moved to L.A. and started building his professional acting career. As an actor, he’s worked with such great directors as Steven Soderbergh, Michael Bay, Sidney Lumet, Frank Oz, Arthur Hiller, John Badham, Hugh Wilson; just to name a few.

Wanting to spread his wings more, Johnny started producing. As a producer, Johnny produced the highly critically acclaimed film FIND ME GUILTY directed by Sydney Lumet (Academy Award Honoree), starring Vin Diesel and Peter Dinklage; and   also EVEN MONEY starring Academy Award Winners Kim Basinger and Forest Whitaker. In addition to features, he’s also produced shorts; leading them through all phases of production… including NOISE (Director Max Williamson) and MUSCLE (Director Heidi Marshall). MUSCLE is currently on the film festival circuit, and recently won the Judge’s Honorable Mention Award and the Spirit of Indie Filmmaking Award.

It was a matter of time before Johnny would start writing stories that reflected his passion for uniting people. Johnny co-wrote A THROUGH M, a politically based, SciFi, short film, that won numerous awards including Best Dramatic Short Script.

AMBER is Johnny’s first feature screenplay. From 1,000 entries AMBER won 3rd place in the Write Movies Screenwriting Contest. And out of 4,523 scripts, AMBER made the top 5% (Quarter Finalist Award) at the BlueCat Screenplay Competition. AMBER is currently in development.

As a multi-hyphenate (actor+writer+producer), Johnny gravitates to stories tha depict statistically underrepresented communities, and that highlight the struggle and triumph of the human spirit. Johnny is dedicated to entertaining and inspiring the viewer to create personal and social change.

And here is a short synopsis of the third placed script, AMBER:

AMBER lives alone with her single mom, who struggles to pay the mortgage and make ends meet.  To help her mom pay the bills and keep their home, Amber starts dealing drugs with a local street gang.  In the gang Amber meets OMAR, a boy raised in the streets his whole life, and falls in love with him.  But since she’s the only white person hanging out with the gang, Amber’s loyalty is questioned and she’s forced to undergo an initiation that includes armed robbery.  After proving herself, she’s welcomed with open arms.  But when a rival street gang shows up and a deadly shootout ensues, everyone is arrested.  Everyone, except Amber.  When she visits Omar in prison, Amber barely recognizes the boy she fell in love with.  As she exits the prison, Amber is faced with the reality of why she got away and Omar didn’t. They live in a world divided by class, gender and race.  Inspired by a true story.

Congratulations to Johnny on his third placed finish! Visit his web site (www.JohnnySanchez.com) and his website for AMBER the film at amberthefilm.com

Follow in Johnny’s footsteps and enter in our current main international contest, the Summer 20116 screenwriting competition! Only $34 to enter before August 21st. Or free entry when your order one of our discounted consultancy packages – for our Judging Feedback (just $69 – normally $99), and Studio Consulting ($99 – normally $129) and Development Notes ($149 – a huge $50 discount from the normal $199!) and we are freezing the price of our Elite Consultancies at $299 – a unique price to get up to an hour of consultancy from a top studio executive!

 

Bios on second placed Paul Gross and overall winner Rob Laffin too come shortly…