USC Student Named Winner of Million Dollar Screenplay Competition

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival
Stanley Kalu

The winning screenplay will be produced as a feature film with a budget of at least $1 million, and the writer also will receive a $50,000 education grant.

The LAUNCH's Million Dollar Screenplay Competition has found its winner.

USC student Stanley Kalu, who is currently entering his senior year, won first place for his screenplay The Obituary of Tunde Johnson, which follows a wealthy, black high school senior who falls victim to an endless time loop of police brutality.

Kalu’s screenplay will be produced as a feature film with a budget of at least $1 million, and he also will receive a $50,000 education grant, as well as representation by APA and Valor Entertainment.

Co-founded by producers Jason Shuman (Rebel in the Rye, Lone Survivor) and Zachary Green (Spartan), The LAUNCH is a screenplay competition for college students that hopes to find the next generation of great screenwriters from around the world. ScreenCraft partnered with Launch, acting as the presenting sponsor for the Million Dollar Screenplay Competition.

“Stanley Kalu is an incredibly talented young writer, with a unique voice that deserves to be heard and a story we are thrilled to help bring to life,” Green said in a statement.

Added Shuman: “We could not be more excited to have Stanley as our first grand prize winner and applaud all of the winning entries.”

The remaining seven finalists also will receive educational grants, with the second- and third-place winners also landing representation. Funding for the entire competition was provided by philanthropists Chuck and Marni Bond.