Whitman teacher wins third consecutive screenwriting award

By Almeera Anwar

Christopher King works at Whitman Middle School teaching students about media literacy and TVproduction; but when he is not at his day job, he is probably writing.

This year his writing was recognized for the 3rd year in a row at the 2012 Pacific Northwest Writers Association’s Literary Contest. Last year, we wrote about his 2nd place finish at the contest. He co-wrote this piece with Gabriel Beristain, a Mexican cinematographer, and the plot is centered around the story and life of Tina Modotti and is called the “The Tina Modotti Project.”

Tina Modotti, in brief, was an artist, model, actress, political activist and humanitarian. She was introduced to photography at a young age, thriving at it from the start, and she was one of Edward Weston’s favorite models. She was a member of the Mexican Communist Party and worked with international worker’s relief. She passed away in Mexico City at the age of 42 under somewhat mysterious circumstances, which makes for a great story, but on the whole is remembered for her photography and fascinating life.

The two men, King and Beristain, both loved Modotti’s legacy and brought their talent together for this piece when they met in L.A. years ago. They began working on this script then and continued to connect and edit via email since then. Both hope the script gets picked up and is produced into a movie,but King is skeptical that this will actually happen.

“In this day and age, one of the hardest movies to get made is a period piece; especially having to do with Mexico in the ‘20s and ‘30s. It just doesn’t fit into the young male audience,” said King, still hopeful their piece is good enough to get noticed. “But if the right people get interested and involved it could happen. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed at this point.”

Photo courtesy Christopher King

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