The L.A. judges chose Judd's script, "Search for the World's Best Indian Taco," a fanciful comedy of an old Indian man telling his grandson the story of his search for true love; while the Albuquerque judges selected Jackson's script, "Indios Primeros," a drama about a Native American man who helps a young Mexican family that has just crossed the border.
"Indios Primeros" will shoot in September with a premiere date set on Oct. 9 and 10 at the VSA North Fourth's 2nd Annual Two Worlds Festival in Albuquerque. "World's Best Frybread" will lens in November and will screen in Los Angeles in early 2010.
Both judging panels were comprised of members of the entertainment industry and the American Indian community and included SCIC Executive Director Paula Starr, VSA North Fourth Art Center Executive Director Marj Neset, screenwriter Travis Adam Wright, filmmaker Rodney Johnson, producer Stephanie Stonefish Ryan, producer Tony Estrada, journalist Robert Schmidt, Native American Public Telecommunications marketing director Kim Baca, writer Tom Clagett, Two Worlds Festival Program coordinator Ollie Reed Jr., filmmaker Tim Ramos, writer/actor Michael Callas, former Creative Spirit winner Shawn Imitates Dog, SCIC producer Pamela Peters, VSA Marketing Director Susanna Kearny, and SCIC consultant Leroy Bingham.
SCIC, InterTribal Entertainment and the VSA North Fourth Art Center would also like to extend honorable mentions to the following scripts and writers: "The Yard" by Vincent Blackhawk Aamodt, "Two Indians, A Fountain and a Light" by Andrew Roa, "People of the Loom Room" by Ron J. Hoskie and "The Chairman" by Daniel L. Stone.
This year, I read all the scripts named except Indios Primeros and People of the Loom Room. Search for the World's Best Indian Taco was by far the best script I read; there were no other contenders for the no. 1 spot.
These results tell us a couple things. One, that Steven Judd has the goods as one of the few Native writers in Hollywood. Two, that as perhaps the only non-Native and non-filmmaker among the judges, my tastes are roughly the same as everyone else's.
For more on the subject, see 2008 Creative Spirit Competition and 2008 Script Winners Named.