I Do Declare: Most days I aim for humble and modest, but today is not one of those days

There are moments in one’s life when it is entirely acceptable to set aside efforts toward humility and restraint and to take up ownership of bragging rights with a flourish. Placing high in a prestigious screenwriting competition is one of those moments.

As I mentioned in my breaking news on Friday, I am 2nd runner up in the Kairos competition for my screenplay, The Bridge.

The logline (as I entered it in the competition) is:

A church shooting reopens old wounds for a family – and it takes the community coming together to heal them.

It takes place in the days after the Charleston Nine shooting. The main characters are fictional, though the setting and backdrop are real.

The Bridge is a faith-based story, which is not an easy thing to market in today’s entertainment landscape. I’m not whining; I’m highlighting a fact of life. And I said: “not easy,” not “impossible.” It takes a little more work to find the right avenue to get my screenplay noticed and hopefully made into a movie. Because there are film and production companies looking for such material, and there are audiences (more and more every day) that want to watch it.

The Kairos competition is one of those avenues for faith-based works. In fact, the full name of the competition is: The Kairos Prize for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays. And if that doesn’t clearly outline their mission, the description (from the website) reads: “Established by Movieguide in 2005, the primary purpose of the Kairos Prize is to further the influence of moral and spiritual values within the film and television industries. Seeking to promote a spiritually uplifting, redemptive worldview, the prize was founded to inspire first-time and beginning screenwriters to produce compelling, entertaining, spiritually uplifting scripts that result in a greater increase in either man’s love or understanding of God.”

I am grateful that Movieguide had the vision to create this competition, and I am grateful that my script was judged in the top three. And while a high placement in a prestigious competition like Kairos doesn’t guarantee a contract, a bit of recognition certainly doesn’t hurt.

At very least, it’s a huge boost to my creativity.

A comment from one of the contest organizers was most kind and quite flattering: “I want to congratulate you on an exceptional script. … This year’s contest was exceptionally tight, and your submission was highly rated. … It is an incredibly moving story, and the judges agree that is has great potential.”

I can go a whole year on a compliment like that. It certainly propels me back into my seat and gets my fingers on the keyboard, ready to generate more “compelling, entertaining, spiritually uplifting” works.

And as I do, I return to my “natural” state – humble, modest, and fully aware that I am on a mission and that only through God am I able to accomplish anything of worth.

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