Associate professor places in top 15% at national screenplay competition

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Lisa Shirota, (808) 956-7352
Communications Director, Social Sciences, Dean's Office
Posted: Sep 28, 2015

Mark Moody
Mark Moody

“Union," a drama screenplay by UHM Communications Associate Professor Marc Moody, placed in the top 15 percent of more than 8,625 submissions in the 2015 Austin Screenplay Competition.

Set on the eve of the American Civil War, the piece follows two poker hustlers, who are partners at the table as well as the bed. After being caught cheating at cards by the infamous Bowery Boys of Tammany Hall in New York City, the pair join the Union army along with their pet chicken. As the war progresses, their relationship is challenged by many forces and, after injuries that separate them, causes one to take an epic journey to reunite with the other.

The Austin Screenplay Competition is an annual competition held by the Austin Film Festival (AFF). Today, the Austin Screenplay Competition is considered one of the most prestigious screenwriting competitions worldwide. The Austin Screenplay Competition receives more entries than any other competition in the world.

Founded in 1993, the AFF is an organization in Austin, Texas, that focuses on writers’ creative contributions to film. Initially called the Heart of Film Screenwriters Conference, the AFF functioned to launch the careers of screenwriters, who historically have been underrepresented within the film industry.

Moody is an associate professor in film and screenwriting at the School of Communications in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1983 with a bachelor of arts in Drama. He went on to obtain his master’s degree in screenwriting from Ohio University School of Media Arts and Studies and his MFA in film at Ohio University School of Film.

An award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter, he has received many awards, including being a two-time semi-finalist at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscars) Nicholl Fellowship International Screenwriting Competition, placing in the top 30 out of 6,730 submissions for his screenplay "Union." He also has won numerous awards for his feature film, Almost Normal, including the Phred Love Best Hawai'i Filmmakers Award at the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival, and Best of Fest at the prestigious Breckenridge Film Festival. Almost Normal has gone on to achieve international distribution in six countries, has aired on MTV and has achieved streaming distribution in 2013 for ITunes, Amazon Instant Video and Netflix Streaming, among several other sites. 

He is currently writing a screenplay short for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Carson Film Series at The Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film with a shooting date for summer of 2016.

The School of Communications  in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa offers academic programs in Communication and Journalism. Communication focuses on communication in intercultural and professional communities, information and communication technologies (ICTs) and policy, and the media arts. Journalism is professionally oriented and develops critical thinking skills and ability to gather, analyze, and organize information, and to communicate it clearly and responsibly through print, broadcast, and online media.

The College of Social Sciences (CSS) at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa is engaged in a broad range of research endeavors that address fundamental questions about human behavior and the workings of local, national and international political, social, economic and cultural institutions. Its vibrant student-centered academic climate supports outstanding scholarship through internships, and active and service learning approaches to teaching that prepare students for the life-long pursuit of knowledge.