by Kit Bowen 16 October, 2020
Check out the official press release about this event:
DTLA Film Festival, a leading showcase of independent film in Los Angeles, announced today that writer Ben Everhart’s “The Creator” has been selected as the grand prize winner of it 2020 Screenplay Contest. The story about how the unlikely collaboration between Gene Roddenberry and Lucille Ball produced the multi-billion-dollar Star Trek franchise will be produced as a taped-to-live table read, debuting on Wednesday, Oct. 21st 7:00 pm PST on the festival’s Facebook and YouTube.
The virtual table read, directed by Colleen Davie Janes, will feature a cast of 30-plus players with Michael Bakkensen (“The Americans,” “Madame Secretary”) and Risa Benson (“Home Cooked News,” “Rescue Me”) in the starring roles of struggling screenwriter Gene Roddenberry and Hollywood icon Lucille Ball, whose production company Desilu took the chance on producing the first-ever prime-time science-fiction for network television.
“It’s a huge honor to be selected for DTLA Film Festival’s table read. “The Creator” was a true passion project, and I’m grateful to the festival for this opportunity. Everyone at the festival has been tremendously supportive -- and they’re bringing a thoughtful, creative vision to the event. My script is in great hands,” said Everhart.
Everhart noted that while most people know Star Trek; as a beloved science-fiction franchise, they don’t realize that it was created from a decidedly progressive point-of-view. “Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek during the 1960s, in the midst of The Civil Rights movement. He used the show to make a political statement, to champion diversity and positive representation. He was one of the first to cast people of color in leadership roles and embrace storytelling with racial, political and philosophic themes,” he said.
Established as a nonprofit arts organization in 2008, DTLA Film Festival is the largest film-TV event in downtown Los Angeles, the historic core of the Film Capital of the World. Its mission is to showcase films by and about groups traditionally underrepresented by Hollywood. The 12th edition of the festival, originally scheduled for October, was cancelled last March because of the COVID-19 national health emergency. In lieu of a live event, the organizers decided to channel its resources to hosting a screenplay contest, culminating in a public, online table reading of the winning feature-film entry.
“The relevance of this story to the racial and political reckoning now happening in America really resonated with our programming team. It’s also a fascinating look at how one of the most unlikely collaborations in the history of Hollywood resulted in one of its most beloved franchises. Ben’s screenplay is extremely well-written, bringing to life the characters of Gene Roddenberry and Lucille Ball in an engaging and authentic way,” said Karolyne Sosa, the festival’s director of programming.
Ticket sales for the “The Creator” table read event on Oct. 21st go on sale at the festival’s website on Oct. 6th: https://www.dtlaff.com