In past years, my fellow judges and I agonized over the decision-making process. This year, it was easy. We all agreed on one script.
That screenplay was Alpha by Christina Pamies. She wrote a thought-provoking science fiction script about alternate dimensions. In her story, people have found a way to travel from the “alpha” and “beta” worlds, encountering different and less perfect versions of themselves. Alternate Services is responsible for returning these “rogues” to their own dimension.
It’s hard to write a sci-fi story that you haven’t seen a hundred times before. Alpha kept my interest, especially as I realized that our world was the “beta” reality. Pamies did a great job at making this concept seem plausible and tragic.
One of the other judges described the script as “emotionally mature” which was an apt description. While the scenario was sci-fi, characters grappled with outlandish problems of identity and reality like actual people would. In other words, it’s believable, the most important test for science fiction.
See the rest of the winners of Visions 2012.
Also of note is Pretty All the Time by Annie Coburn, which won for Outstanding Narrative Production. This is a great script too – it won the 2009 DC Shorts Screenplay Competition – and now has begun its life as a short film on the festival circuit.