Movie Maniac

Winning screenplay a 'fun exercise' for WSU student

Wichita State University recently announced the winner of its annual Holman Screenwriting Award.

This year's recipient is Luke Geddes, a graduate student in WSU's English department, who will receive a $500 prize for his screenplay "The Brill Building."

The story is set in the iconic Brill Building in New York City during the early 1960s. The central characters are part of the outgoing "doo-wop" music scene and struggle in the wake of a changing music revolution.

"Geddes has a clear sense of character and place," said Mike Wood, director of the film studies certificate program at WSU. "His dialogue is some of the most natural that I've read."

Geddes says he was drawn to the story from his experiences as a child.

"I have always been interested in the pop music of the late '50s and early '60s — the pre-British Invasion era," he said. "Growing up, my family always played the oldies station in the car."

While Geddes says he's proud of the award and the script, for now he's going to set it aside and concentrate on writing prose fiction.

"Fiction publication is much more accessible than movie production," Geddes said. "If I were serious about making a film, I'd probably write a script that I knew would be cheap to produce, not an intricate period drama. 'The Brill Building' was more of a fun exercise."

This is the ninth time the Holman award has been given. It is made possible by an endowment from Eldon and Carol Holman. Carol Holman was director of WSU's Media Resources Center from 1956 to 1978.

Tallgrass events — May is gearing up to be a busy month for the Tallgrass Film Association.

On May 19, the group that hosts the annual Tallgrass Film Festival will present a screening of the 9/11 documentary " Rebirth" as its Third Thursday offering this month.

Filmed over the years following the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on New York's World Trade Center, the film takes a look at the physical and emotional healing process in the aftermath of the tragedy.

On May 26, the association begins its warm-weather season with the Cinema Alfresco series at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through July 28 at Rock Island Studios in Old Town Square, 337 N. Rock Island.

This year's theme is "Get Twisted," showcasing films with twist endings, plot twists or "films that are just plain twisted."

A complete lineup is available at

Certified cinema — The Murdock Theatre film series will present a screening of the French film " Certified Copy" at 7:30 p.m. May 19 at the theater, 536 N. Broadway. Tickets are $7.

The story follows a middle-aged British writer who travels to Tuscany to promote his latest book.

There, he meets a French woman (Juliette Binoche) at a lecture. She invites him on a tour of the scenic countryside, but the locals mistake him for her husband.

They keep up the pretense for fun while spending their day discussing art, life and love, and increasingly start acting like a long-married couple.

Are they play-acting on a whim or is there more to their seemingly new relationship than meets the eye?

The film has won several accolades, including a best actress prize for Binoche at the Cannes Film Festival.