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American Gem Short Screenplay & Literary Festival
2011 Screenplay Contest

Enter your Short Screenplay, Short Story, Treatment in American Gem Short Screenplay Contest / Literary Festival. 

Winning Screenplay in the American Gem Short Screenplay Contest will be Produced.

Grand Prize Winner / Short Screenplay Gets to Pitch Screenplay to Producers, Studio Executives and Agents. Certificate of achievement awards to the Top 25 scripts and top 3 in each of the other categories.

from script to screen


13th Annual FilmMakers International Screenwriting Awards
Screenplay Contest Interview


| Winners | Bio | Synopsis | Script Excerpt |


Grand Prize Winner Ruby Akin



Ruby Akin
of New York, NY


Ruby Akin

Ruby Akin is a New York based writer, artist and mother. She studied screenwriting at New York University and The New York Film Academy. She was a quarterfinalist in The Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting Competition for her script "The Tailor from Taegu and Mrs. Abernethy." Ruby is also currently working on a series of art and film projects that address sociopolitical issues.


New York City 1945: Korean-American tailor, Kim Lee, pursues a forbidden, passionate love affair with a seductive white war widow, Libby Abernethy. But when her mentally unstable, jealous brother-in-law returns from the war determined to force Libby into a loveless marriage, their secret is revealed and Kim must risk his life to protect the woman he loves from a dangerous, damaged man.


Part 1.

I knew I wanted to be screenwriter when........

I've probably wanted to be a screenwriter for nearly as long as I've been watching movies. I was a big cinephile as a kid, thanks in part to my father; we'd watch movies together and discuss them often. This definitely influenced me and eventually led me to start working on stories I wanted to see realized on the big screen.

I know I've succeeded when........ 

I  know I've succeeded when I can I get a genuine emotional response from an audience.

My inspiration to write THE TAILOR FROM TAEGU AND MRS. ABERNETHY.....

Came from an odd combination of things that struck me around the same time, unexpectedly. One afternoon I was walking on the Lower East Side when it started to rain heavily so I ducked into an empty coffee shop. Vera Lynn's "You'll Never Know" was playing, the music, the smell of coffee, cigarettes and rain, made the place feel haunted, almost like I'd stepped into another time period. It really affected me in a strange way. I also happened to be following the story of a man who had been politically targeted and accused of a crime he didn't commit, I guess those two incidents influenced me into deciding on a time period, and the kind of story I was interested in writing about.

Part 2.


FilmMakers Magazine: What inspired you to write?

Ruby Akin: Every film I've ever seen and every book I've ever read, that has moved me.

FilmMakers Magazine: Is this your first script and how long did it take you to complete?

Ruby Akin: Yes. A few months.

FilmMakers Magazine: Do you have a set routine, place and time management for writing?

Ruby Akin:
I write at home mostly. I try to put in at least an hour of work per day or more there, but it's important to change my routine and location when I feel like it's getting stale. I write my first draft out longhand because there's something about using a pen instead of a keyboard that makes it more intimate for me. Music is also a great source of inspiration during the creative process. I like to have a play list handy while working.

FilmMakers Magazine: Do you believe screenplay contests are important for aspiring screenwriters and why?

Ruby Akin: Absolutely. I think contests are a great source of support and recognition for up-and-coming writers. It's an excellent way to get your work in front of producers, agents, managers and talent.

FilmMakers Magazine: What influenced you to enter the FilmMakers International Screenwriting Awards / Screenplay Contest?

Ruby Akin: Word of mouth. I also like that Filmmakers International seems really dedicated to helping new talent succeed and they have great sponsors working with them.

FilmMakers Magazine: What script would you urge aspiring writers to read and why?

Ruby Akin: I've found it's definitely worthwhile to read scripts in the genre you're working in. I thought "Blade Runner" was a fantastic screenplay. It has so many elements to it: Futuristic, neo-noir, romance, suspense, action, thriller and even a dash of dark humor. I learned a lot from it.

FilmMakers Magazine: Beside screenwriting what are you passionate about and why?

Ruby Akin: Traveling. It's a great source of continuing education for me.

FilmMakers Magazine: Who is your favorite Screenwriter and Why?

Ruby Akin: I guess I'd have to say Woody Allen. He's actually pretty versatile. Not many screenwriters have been able to write, direct and act in so many of their own films. I really admire how he's able to cross genres too. He can write a great suspense thriller just as brilliantly as any of his comedies and he'll sometimes have elements of both in the same film. It's bewildering how he's able to extract comedy from tragedy with such mastery, but he does it often. He's also great at engaging his audience in a very personal way. 

FilmMakers Magazine: Name the director you would love to work with and why?

Ruby Akin: Very tough question - it's a toss up between Adrian Lyne and David Lynch. I think Lyne really understands emotional conditions under the influence of love and infatuation. Many of his stories depict the darker side of passion and its hold over the human soul, he skillfully does this by revealing the secret dream-like world his characters live through while madly in love. David Lynch knows how to captivate his audience and take them on a journey through raw emotion, with characters that both frighten and fascinate. He's one of the all time great surrealists but he's also an expressionist. He's my kind of director.

FilmMakers Magazine: Name the actor you would love to work with and why?

Ruby Akin: Jeremy Irons, in my humble opinion he's probably the most talented actor working today. He presents tremendous depth and realism in every part he plays.  

FilmMakers Magazine: Any tips and things learned along the way to pass on to others?

Ruby Akin: I think it's important to learn how to hear criticism impersonally. It takes a lot of courage to show people your work, but knowing what to edit out is crucial. You may write a fantastic scene but it doesn't mean it's a necessary scene. When it comes down to it, if you've written something that doesn't move the story forward, or reveal something relevant about the character, it should go. That was the most difficult part for me. In my experience it really helps to hire a script analyst or get the opinion of three people who you really trust: if they all agree about a scene that bugs them then it's pretty safe to say you should probably go back and rewrite it or cut it out completely. For a writer that can feel like cutting off a finger (dramatically speaking) but in the end you don't need the dead weight of an unnecessary scene. That was hard for me.

FilmMakers Magazine: What's next for you?

Ruby Akin: I'm looking forward to pitching this script along with others I'm working on now. I just finished a romantic drama and I'm currently working on a dark comedy.

FilmMakers Magazine: Where will you be five years from now?

Ruby Akin: I'm not exactly sure but hopefully in good health and definitely working on a script!



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