This weekend Southern Virginia University student Cimone Furler will see words and images from her mind come to life on the silver screen at the 9th Annual LDS Film Festival in Orem, Utah.
Furler was notified on New Year’s Day by the festival’s founder, filmmaker Christian Vuissa, that her screenplay, “Knots,” would be produced and shown to audiences at this year’s festival.
“Knots” tells the redemptive story of a teenage boy who is tied up and left in the desert, but his complicated life has left his soul tied up in knots too.
“I’ve wanted to be involved in film since I was a little girl and winning this opened a door to a possible career and future opportunities,” Furler said. “I want to be a screenwriter for families and LDS audiences.”
Furler, a senior, from Portland, Ore., attributes her success to two classes she took at Southern Virginia University. In fall 2008, she took a screenwriting class and the following fall, she took a literature and film class.
“I have felt incredibly guided throughout this whole process,” Furler said. “ “From the time my dad reminded me about the competition only weeks before its deadline to its upcoming showing at the festival this whole process reminds me how blessed I am.”
When Furler told her husband she was considering entering the competition, she explained there was a $30 fee and that she would not win, but she still wanted to submit it to the competition.
Furler submitted her screenplay to the fourth annual script competition for the LDS Film Festival. Submissions were required to be no longer than seven typed pages. After the November entry deadline, three filmmakers read all the submissions and one selected Furler’s to produce with a $500 budget.
Lauren Moss, who selected Furler’s screenplay from among all the entries, told Furler that the story had both an interesting plot and great potential.
After collaborating with Moss and making some practical adjustments to the script, Furler got on a plane this week to attend the festival. On Saturday, the competition films will be presented with an introduction from Vuissa. Furler looks forward to seeing the final product of hard work.
“I feel that there is a lot of mindless, entertaining fluff produced,” Furler said. “I like films with a strong positive message. I wanted this to be a film that could uplift and inspire people to become their best selves.”