Bermudian film-maker Lucinda Spurling has claimed the top prize in an international screenwriting contest in Texas.
The writer, producer and director, who has garnered acclaim for documentaries Respice Finem and Rare Bird, said she submitted her screenplay Me and Jezebel to the Houston International Film Festival on a whim, and was shocked to win.
“I am very grateful because it will give the screenplay some momentum, as I am hoping to find production partners and shoot the film next summer,” she said. “It is based on a true story, and features my favourite actress, Bette Davis
“My daughter, Eva’s middle name is Davis after the actress, and Eva, now five, has informed me she is changing her name to Bette Davis when she grows up.”
The screenplay, based on a book by Elizabeth Fuller, details how Ms Davis, already a cinematic legend, moved in with Ms Fuller while fleeing paparazzi after the release of her daughter’s tell-all memoir.
The logline for the screenplay adds: “When two days turn into a month, the Fuller family face the ultimate test and suburban Connecticut will never be the same.”
Speaking about the competition, Ms Spurling said that she entered her screenplay because she was in the process of submitting Respice Finem to the festival and noticed they had a screenplay category.
“As it turned out, the documentary didn’t get into the festival, but the screenplay did,” she said. “The festival contacted me to tell me about a month ago that I was going to receive something and I would find out the night of the award gala.
“Unfortunately, I couldn’t fly to Houston, but was notified on Monday that I received the top award, a Grand Remi Statuette for Best Screenplay of the Festival. They are going to send me the statuette.”
She also noted that Mother of All Secrets, a thriller she filmed on the island earlier this year featuring Daytime Emmy-winning actress Kate Mansi and Top Gun star Kelly McGillis, along with a host of local actors, is moving along in post-production and should be completed in September, with a trailer expected to be released soon.