Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing


Ernest Dempsey’s Screenplay Wins Award at Spotlight Film Festival

Modern History Press author and editor of Recovering the Self Ernest Dempsey has won the award for writing the best mystery/thriller screenplay at the 2023 Spotlight Film Festival of Jacksonville, FL.

This year’s annual Spotlight Film Festival was held in Jacksonville on July 29 – July 30, 2023. Among the winners in various categories was Ernest Dempsey’s feature-length screenplay Letters for Sarah. Completed in early 2023, the screenplay is inspired from and is an unofficial sequel to Annie Harmon’s 2006 book For Sarah.

The story of Letters for Sarah is set 20 years after the book’s events in a small town in New Mexico. The logline of the screenplay goes as:

Two teenagers find some old letters that tell the stories of abused runaway sisters. In trying to find whom the letters were addressed to, they unknowingly open the way for bringing to justice the murderer of one of the sisters.

Letters for Sarah won the Best Mystery/Thriller Screenplay Award at the festival.

Screenplay Letters for Sarah Award

Dempsey’s previous screenplay Out There ended up as a finalist at the 2020 Spotlight Film Festival, but the event was not held due to the COVID-19 emergency in place at the time. Earlier this year, Dempsey’s short script The One Egg Challenge was shortlisted among the 10 finalists for The 2022 Shark Awards, an international screenwriting contest held in the United Kingdom.

Currently, Dempsey is engaged in a writing a movie script for a production company in South Carolina and also collaborating on a book project with an author and film director based in Los Angeles, California.

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Recovering The Self is a forum for people to tell their stories. Individual contributors accept complete responsibility for the veracity, accuracy, and non-infringement of their reporting.
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