Film Festivals and Screenplay Contests

It’s been a while since I’ve updated or added to my website. I’ have spent the last year writing and writing and writing. Currently have multiple screenplays entering in various film festivals and screenplay contests. Some have done quite well. Below is a list of my completed screenplays and how my writing has faired in the festivals and competitions.

  • Bone Creek (Horror/Western – Feature)
    • Adbhooture Film Festival – Winner, Best Horror Screenplay
    • Dreamz Catcher International Film Festival – Winner, Best Screenplay
    • Doge Film Festival – Winner, Best Feature Screenwriting
    • Vegas Movie Awards – Winner, Best Feature Script/Screenplay
    • Cult Movies International Film Festival – Winner, Best Feature Screenwriting
    • Multi Dimension Independent Film Festival – Winner, Best Feature Script or Screenplay
    • The Monthly Film Festival – Second Runner-up, Best Screenplay
    • Filmfest International Film Festival – Finalist, Best Feature Script or Screenplay
    • Bright International Film Festival – Finalist, Best Unproduced Script
    • Airflix Film Festival – Finalist, Best Screenplay
    • EdiPlay International Film Festival – Finalist, Best Feature Script or Screenplay
    • Delta International Film Festival – Finalist, Best Feature Script or Screenplay
    • Beyond the Curve International Film Festival – Finalist, Best Feature Script or Screenplay
    • Swedish International Film Festival – Finalist, Best Feature Script
    • International Screenwriting Competition – Finalist, Best Feature Script
    • Oil Valley Film Festival – Finalist, Best Feature Screenplay
      • Other Awards – 5 Official Selection, 1 Semi-Finalist, 1 Quarter Finalist, 1 Nominee
  • Burn (Crime/Mystery – Feature)
    • Airflix Film Festival – Winner, Best Screenplay
    • Multi Dimension Independent Film Festival – Winner, Best Feature Script or Screenplay
    • Las Angeles Motion Picture Festival – Winner, Best Feature Screenplay
    • Reno-Tahoe Screenplay Contest – Finalist, Best Feature Screenplay
    • Swedish International Film Festival – Finalist, Best Feature Script
    • Delta International Film Festival – Finalist, Best Feature Script or Screenplay
    • Sunvale Screenplay Contest – Finalist, Best Screenplay (Action/Adventure)
    • Beyond the Curve International Film Festival – Finalist, Best Feature Script or Screenplay
      • Other Awards – 4 Official Selection, 2 Semi-Finalist, 1 Honorable Mention
  • Craps, You Lose! (Crime/Mystery – Feature)
    • Multi Dimension Independent Film Festival – Winner, Best Feature Script or Screenplay
    • Delta International Film Festival – Finalist, Best Feature Script or Screenplay
      • Other Awards – 1 Official Selection, 1 Quarter-Finalist, 1 Nominee
  • Winter Solstice (Thriller/Suspense – Feature) *NEW*
  • From New York to Nashville (Drama – Short)
    • Grass Root International Film Festival – Winner, Best Short Script/Screenplay
    • New Jersey Film Awards – Winner, Best Short Screenplay
    • Delta International Film Festival – Finalist, Best Short Script
    • Multi Dimension Independent Film Festival – Finalist, Best Short Script or Screenplay
      • Other Awards – 2 Official Selection, 1 Semi-Finalist, 2 Quarter-Finalist, 2 Honorable Mention
  • Up Close and Personal (Suspense – Short)
    • Reno-Tahoe Screenplay Contest – Semi-Finalist, Best Short Screenplay
  • Malice (Suspense/Thriller – Feature) *COMING SOON*
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“sleep mode” – My first short film

I have completed my first short film, “sleep mode”. It might not be much, but it is mine.

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Moving on to the Quarter Finals

It’s not easy getting your screenplay read by an industry professional. So, I have entered four screenplays in several different awards contests via the Screenplay Awards Network. Every entry includes some level of analysis. By entering these contests, my screenplays will get seen and read by someone. Since entering, I have received quite a bit of analysis on the four screenplays. Valuable analysis. Using this analysis, I’ve been able to start fine tuning aspects of my writing.

I have also received some positive feedback in the form of advancing to the next round of a contest. Bone Creek and Craps, You Lose have both advanced to the Feature Quarter Finals of the Portland Screenplay Awards. In the Reno-Tahoe Screenplay Contest, Bone Creek and Burn have advanced the the Quarter Finals in the feature category, while Up Close And Personal has advanced the the Quarter Finals shorts category.

What is most exciting to me is that Bone Creek has now received two advancements. While I know I still have a lot of work to do and improvement to my writing, I know I’m headed in the right direction. I can’t wait to find out if I have further advancements in these, or other awards contests.

Bone Creek by: Armand Arekian
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Writing a new blog post about writing

I haven’t been away, but I haven’t written, updated, or done anything with this blog. I have been on Twitter and Instagram, and not on Facebook. I haven’t written anything here in quite a long time, but I have been writing. I’ve written a book that is self published on Amazon. It is titled Burn and written under the pseudonym Blake Hill. You can find the link to it on the right side of the page.

In addition to writing Burn, I have been engrossed in writing screenplays. Yes, that is plural…I’ve written, at least the first draft, of several. I also have several more works in progress. I can’t remember if writing a book led to writing a screen play, or a screenplay led to the book, but I am having a great time writing…being creative.

Although I have additional manuscripts written in addition to Burn, I don’t know if I will actually publish them. Each manuscript I have turned into a screenplay, and I actually enjoy writing screenplays more…and the screenplays are actually getting read.

Over the last few months, I have enter four screenplays in six contests. I have received some decent feedback, and so far, I have received notice that two of my scripts have advanced in a contest. I don’t know if anything will come of it, but it is still exciting to get an email that a screenplay has advanced to the next round.

If nothing else, I know they are being read.

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Negative for Lyme, so…I Don’t Know

My blood test for Lyme came back negative. So I really don’t know what was going on. But whatever it was, is gone. And I do think the antibiotics did the trick.

Since then, I’ve been putting in the hours and miles to get my base fitness back to where it should be for this time of year. I actually feel surprisingly good considering what I went through and not being able to ride efficiently, if at all.

I went right to work on my normal cyclocross training of 2 days of endurance rides, 2 days of hill sprints, and 1 day running. Towards the end of July I add in cyclocross specific skills on the run day.

So, overall I feel great. The blood test for Lyme came back negative, so…I don’t know. I just want to continue to feel as healthy as I do now.

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Spring, Early Spring, and Lyme

Today was a little bit of a season milestone for me. I actually rode outside today. You see, it’s been a difficult spring for me with training…or actually even riding. As the weather started to improve to get off the trainer and get outside, I had no motivation, desire, what ever you want to call it, to ride. Indoors or outdoors. It got to the point where I just didn’t want to do anything. My knees hurt, my hands hurt, headaches, and fatigue. Very fatigued. I live in the woods and I’m fully aware of ticks. I occasionally find one crawling on me after walking the dog, and I’ve found one attached only one. That was years ago and the test were negative for Lyme. This time around, I didn’t found anything attached to me or even crawling on me, but everything that I have been feeling points to Lyme disease. But no “bullseye” type rash either, or any rash at all. Just fatigue and a body that ached all over.

After a visit to Google to read up on Lyme disease, I decided that I really should go see my doctor. Based on the best timeline that we could determine, it’s still another week for the 6 week incubation period before we can do a blood test. My doc put me on antibiotics anyway. After five days, I could feel the fatigue going away. I could ride the trainer again. I say trainer because my body still mostly ached. I didn’t really want to be out on the road and not be able to continue, so I stayed on the trainer. If I couldn’t continue, I would just stop and get off the bike.

But today, everything just fell into place for me. No feeling of fatigue, body felt mostly good, and a 3 hour window between batches of rain. I didn’t know how I would feel, so I planned on riding my 13 mile sand lake route. I ended up feeling better that expected, so I added two pretty stiff climbs to test myself. While I’m not even close to race shape, the month or so of bad training, or basically no training, didn’t effect my fitness too much. So it shouldn’t be too long before I’m back to where I should be for this time of year.

Even if you don’t find a tick or rash on you, be aware of the symptoms and your body. Even if you just suspect, see your doctor. Early treatment, and you shouldn’t be knocked out for too long.

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2020 will mark the sixth time the Chicago area will be hosting the event

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Cycling announced today that the 2020 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships have been awarded to DuPage County’s Cantigny Park in Wheaton, IL. The event is expected to attract over 1,800 athletes to Cantigny Park from December 8-13, 2020.

The DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau/DuPage Sports Commission will partner with USA Cycling to host this elite race, part of the 2020 USA Cycling National Championships schedule.

“We are honored that DuPage County’s beautiful Cantigny Park in Wheaton has been chosen to host the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships,” said Beth Marchetti, Executive Director of the DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau.  “DuPage has had the pleasure of hosting nationally recognized sports events for nearly 100 years. This announcement only bolsters this wonderful legacy, and on the heels of officially launching the DuPage Sports Commission today, it makes it even that much more exciting.”

The 2020 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championship races will take place at Cantigny Park, the former estate of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The course will be created specifically for the event, it will navigate some of the unique landscapes and features of the park, including the McCormick House, the First Division Museum and the iconic tank display, and trails through the 500-acre estate. The Chicago area is one of the largest cyclocross communities in the United States and has hosted the cyclocross national championships six times, including the very first national championships in 1963.

“From developing racers and cross focused clubs to hosting outstanding races, the Chicago area has shown itself to be one of the largest Cross communities in the U.S.,” said Chuck Hodge, USA Cycling’s Chief of Racing and Events. “We are honored to bring our Cyclocross National Championships to DuPage County; Cantigny Park will serve as a beautiful backdrop and the central location should attract riders from all over the country.”

For more information on the 2020 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships, visit:

For media inquiries, please contact Guillermo Rojas at

Source: USA Cycling

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KMC Crossfest


KMC Crossfest

September closed out with the KMC Crossfest at Thompson International Speedway in Thompson, CT. Held at the speedway, but it was all dirt, grass, and hills..or at least almost. This year the course was changed up quite a bit from last year. The 2 mile course used the fields, dirt, grass, and elevation that Thompson has to offer. The fast straights, tight turns, short steep run-ups (ride if you can), off cambers, steep descent, and uphill finish kept the race challenging and a lot of fun to ride.

Saturday racing was part of the CT Cyclocross Series, while Sunday was was a USA Cycling PROCX event. My racing was in the Masters 50+ category, and as you may know I often refer to as the really fast old guys. And you may also know that I’m no longer fast, but I enjoy it anyway and have fun at every race. Both days I do think that I did well for myself. I think that this race course might be one of my favorite courses too. I finished 31st on Saturday and 26th on Sunday, and -1 lap each day, but overall I had two very good races.

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Cross Is Here #crossishere

Early cyclocross racing started for me on August 26 at the Syracuse Bicycle Cyclocross Festival, held at the Empire Farm Brewery in Cazenova, NY. A fun and Challenging race course through the grounds of the Brewery. A 12th place finish was a very promising start to the season for me.

The following weekend I once again headed west to the Syracuse area. This time to Chittenango, NY for the BonkWerx Cyclocross Race. It was held on the property of Clear Path for Veterans. Another challenging Central New York race course that required my mountain bike skills to come out. With another 12th place finish, I feel the best I ever have for that early in the season.


Kirkland CX barriers

Two weekends off from racing then brought me to Kirkland Town Park for Kirkland CX and the start of the NYCROSS Race Series. I always like this race and I usually ride well. This year was no exception. The 2 mile course was changed a little bit, which I thought was a definite improvement over previous years. I think between my fitness and readiness for the season, this year’s course suited me a little better too. NYCROSS categories and Masters age groups where changed up quite a bit. This year my NYCROSS category is 50+ which include 50+ and 60+ scored separately for the day’s racing, and together for the overall. I finished 12th in age and 15th overall. The 15th place finish is the one that counts for the overall. I had a very strong and clean race that is even more promising for me.

The next weekend of racing will bring me to KMC Crossfest in Thompson, CT, at the Thompson Motor Speedway. This will be my first ‘big’ race of the season.

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Cyclocross Just 3 Weeks Away



It’s already August, and that means that cyclocross season will be here very soon. In fact, for me, it’s just 3 weeks away. Yep, cyclocross in August. August 26 to be exact. The Syracuse Bicycle Cyclocross Festival will be held August 25 and 26 on the grounds of Empire Farms Brewery in Cazenovia, NY. The weekend will include a cyclocross clinic on the  25th with a full day of racing on the 26th. Normally I would start my season in Springfield, MA at the Blunt Park Cyclocross Race. This year I wanted to do something different so I’m going west instead of east.

With only 3 weeks left until racing, I really need to ramp up my ‘cross specific training…running, barriers, dismounts, remounts, etc. So far it seems to just needing to shake off the rust.

My race plans for this season are pretty much the same as other years with the NYCROSS Series being my main focus. Other races will be Gloucester weekend, Syracuse weekend, Northampton weekend, with a few other weekends and individual races where and when I can.

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