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Jamaican Writer Dominique Holmes Makes Final Cut at Austin Film Festival
Many travellers have learned that the seemingly quiet and inviting green of the Rio Grande as it passes through the Bog Walk Gorge belies the dangerous turbulence beneath. Jamaican screenwriter Dominique Holmes is mining that undercurrent to reap modest success with her TV pilot ‘Bog Walk’ which has been silently lapping up awards and acclaim on the film festival circuit.
Boasting a logline that describes it as the story of a pastor who uses his influence to build a criminal empire, ‘Bog Walk’ has been listed among the ten 2016 semi-finalists in the ‘Teleplay - AMC One-Hour Pilot’ category.
“I've been writing for as long as I can remember,” Holmes says, “but I began writing screenplays in college at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.” She explains that her path to screenwriting wasn’t a straight one, as she had entered college with another discipline in mind.
“I had gotten in as a painter, but I loved film and I loved writing,” Holmes explained. “Screenwriting combined those things perfectly, and it was a blast,” she said. Her interest found her journeying from Chicago to Singapore where she studied dramatic writing at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Asia.
With ‘Bog Walk’, Holmes appears to be reaping the rewards of that passion.
‘Bog Walk’ also recently won the TV Pilot category WeScreenplay Diverse Voices competition. Culled from 500 entrants, ‘Bog Walk’ was one of five winners in the competition designed to encourage underrepresented writers. ‘Bog Walk’ has also found success at the 2016 Nashville Film Festival Screenwriters Competition where it is one of three finalists in the 60 Minute Pilot category.
Now returned to her homeland, Holmes explains that she is intent on telling Jamaican stories that the world will want to hear.
“I am passionate about bringing Jamaican stories to a global audience,” Holmes said.
‘Bog Walk’ is the second project she entered into the Austin Film Festival.
“I went to the Austin Film Festival for the first time one year ago for the premiere of Sophie, a short film I co-wrote with director Alle Hsu,” Holmes explained. “I'm excited to return to the Austin Film Festival this year with an original Jamaican pilot,” Holmes says.
She’s particularly excited about being involved with a festival which focuses on writing.
“Austin is unique because it's a writer's film festival,” Holmes said. “I was blown away by the quality of their programming last year, and I'm so happy to have the opportunity to return with a script in competition.”