Gotham Awards Contest

By Salon Staff
Published August 23, 1999 4:00PM (EDT)

WE HAVE A WINNER! We asked you to send us your "pitch" about why you should win a trip to New York and the IFP Gotham Awards and boy, did you provide us with some good reading!

Thanks for entering the IFP Gotham Awards contest. We've had a number of really creative entries, and our Arts & Entertainment Editor Cynthia Joyce has made her final selections!

Click here for all the up-to-the-minute coverage of the IFP Gotham Awards. We've got Table Talk discussions and more!

Congratulations to David Miller of Austin, Texas, our Grand Prize winner!

David and a friend will be traveling to New York to attend the first-ever cybercast of the IFP Gotham Awards on Sept. 22, 1999. David will also receive two tickets to selected screenings and passes to rub elbows at the "IFC Salon," an IFP Gotham Awards pre-show reception area for celebrity chat beginning at 6:00 p.m./ET. Oh the excitement! David, please send us a postcard!

Without further ado, here's the winning "pitch":

"The scene is Texas, land of big hair, big guns, and big death row sentences. Our hero, a 25-year-old struggling writer-want-to-be dreams of the day when he will meet not only his destiny as the next Danielle Steele, but also taste the riches and culture that New York City has to offer. To spiritually prepare himself he imbibes flick after flick starring Matt Damon, Steve Buscemi, and anyone else famous but hip enough to do something not for money, but for the love of god and art! He dresses in black and wears periwinkle-colored sunglasses, talks to other Texans about the dismal state of cappuccino and pizza outside the five boroughs, and imitates Christopher Walken with wild abandon until finally there is an Internet campaign to drive him from the state. With an angry mob holding pitchforks and signs which read "he needs killin'" outside his loft apartment in the fashionably poor warehouse district our young destitute writer furiously searches for any way to save him from the fury of the Texas hinterland. Hoping to land anywhere near his Mecca he enters contest after contest on the web, including a trip to Patterson, NJ to view a Johnson & Johnson factory outlet store; but it is only a train ride away from paradise, he reasons. Realizing he only has two weeks' worth of freeze-dried potatoes, beef jerky, and bottled water for Y2K rations, he hopes his door and stomach can outlive the mob as he waits with baited breath to find out if the crow will fly at midnight and there will be a plane to whisk him off to Gotham and save his wretched life."

Congratulations to our runners-up too! Read their "pitches" and enjoy!

Honorable Mention:

Nell Steelman Whitlock of Raleigh, NC

"See, this 15 year old Carolina kid, Andrew -- who wants more than anything to become a great director, (already having shown promise with his
documentaries about the local flea market and comic book store people) -- wins a trip to the Gotham Indies, where he meets, as luck would have it, a kindred spirit, a California girl upon whom her wacky, starstruck mother Jonquille Wood from Oshkosh imposed the name Holly. An opportunity arises during a break in the festivities to slip away from parental eyes and the kids pledge their devotion to each other in the middle of a glittering Times Square and promise to wait for each other until they finish high school, knowing that their parents will oppose any contact except by email or videotape, and, of course, this obstacle only strengthens their determination to keep in touch. Love prevails and, over the next few years, Andrew and Holly make and send
each other parallel sets of films that record their growing up on opposite coasts-- a series of coming-of-age vignettes, ranging from the
comic to the tragically sublime. Once they reach college age, they manage to get into the same prestigious film school where -- in spite of numerous humorous and traumatic complications -- they manage to blend the vignettes they made
independently into a surprisingly evocative first film that is not only just critically acclaimed and commercially profitable but also destined
to become a classic. Now, in the final reel, years later, Andrew (along with wife Holly and
their three young children) returns to the Gotham Awards, not as a boy with a dream, but as the great director, whose works are being honored
retrospectively in the festival. "If perhaps it hadn't been for my incredible luck of winning a trip to this great festival as a boy, and meeting my dear Holly, I might never have been standing before you tonight..." he beams, as the music rises and the scene fades."

Honorable Mention:

Chip Grimshaw of Toledo, OH

"It's like "Mallrats" meets "Babe: Pig in the City". A recent college graduate, who is a slacker in the truest sense of the word and an absolute pop culture fanatic, is looking for a way to escape the humdrum tedium of life in Toledo, Ohio. Bored while at work, he happens to check out an insightful online magazine ("Speakeasy" or something like that) which is offering a free trip to New York! He's inspired, and quickly drops an email with his contest entry. He wins the contest and has strange adventures, all of which are oddly reminscent of other famous scenes, the strangest being the bike-riding scene from "Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid". New York, the IFP Gotham Awards, and he are forever changed."

Click here to learn more about the IFP Gotham Awards.

The IFP Gotham Awards are sponsored by the Independent Film Channel. IFC is managed and operated by Bravo Networks, and is the first channel dedicated to independent film presented 24 hours a day, uncut and commercial-free.

See OFFICIAL RULES for complete contest requirements.

Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------