University of Pittsburgh
February 11, 2010

Pitt Film Studies Program to Partner With Steeltown Entertainment Project in Workshop Feb. 20

The workshop is one of a series of events for the Steeltown Film Factory competition
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The University of Pittsburgh Film Studies Program in partnership with Steeltown Entertainment Project will hold a workshop from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feb. 20 in the Alumni Hall Auditorium, seventh Floor, 4227 Fifth Ave., Oakland. The workshop, titled "The Director's Pitch: Transforming Screenplays Into Productions," is one of a series of events for the Steeltown Film Factory screenwriting competition.

Launched in November, the Film Factory competition called for students and aspiring filmmakers to submit their 10-12 page, Pittsburgh-inspired screenplays to have them judged by such top filmmaking professionals as 300 (2006) producer Bernie Goldmann; CBS Television's Two and a Half Men director and Pittsburgh native Jamie Widdoes, who played fraternity chapter president Robert Hoover in Animal House (1978); Lionsgate producer John Dellaverson (A&S '68), who produced Tyler Perry's Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005); and Carl Kurlander, senior lecturer at Pitt, Hollywood screenwriter of St. Elmo's Fire (1985), television writer-producer of Saved by the Bell, and native Pittsburgher whose new documentary My Tale of Two Cities about Pittsburgh has its theatrical debut at the South Side Works on March 19.

In a January workshop at Carnegie Mellon University, the top 10 finalists from the more than 100 submissions were chosen and asked to rewrite their scripts. Three of the top 10 scripts were written by former Pitt students. Five finalists will be selected from this group of writers at the Pitt workshop. The panel, moderated by Kurlander, will include Widdoes, Heide Waldbaum, production manager for the virtual world of Avatar, and Lisa Smith, producer of the History Channel's The People Speaks-with Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, and Bruce Springsteen-who will discuss pitching a story and elements of directing with a focus on these screenplays.

Those chosen at the Pitt workshop will go on to the next round at Point Park University.

The Film Factory competition includes a $25,000 total prize package, which will be used to produce the winning film or films in the southwestern Pennsylvania region during the summer of 2010. The completed films will be screened at the 2010 Three Rivers Film Festival.

Tickets for the Pitt event, available online, are $10 for adults and $5 for students.

For more information on the Steeltown Film Factory, contact Jodi Klebick at or visit

For more information on Pitt's Film Studies Program, contact Jennifer Florian at or visit