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  • Writer's pictureKathryn Orwig

Finalist in the 2018 National Film Festival for Talented Youth's Screenplay Competition

Updated: Aug 17, 2020

My short film script, "The Adventures of Star Girl and the Marble Roller" has been chosen as a Top 4 Finalist!

It’s September, 2018. My work just finished their 10th-year anniversary party. It was a great event! But my soles ache in my shoes. Although, not as bad as they did on the first day of wearing them. All I want is a shower and to sit. But I still have to make it to my bus a number of blocks away.

But tonight, the sunlight is pretty. Streaming through Michigan leafed trees still green from Summer. Fall crisp air is only just starting to leak through in the mornings, this evening is warm and muggy. Students across campus are huddled in packs around the diag. Talking, laughing, reading, sleeping in hammocks, studying (or failing to) but each enjoying the night and being outside before the snow swirls in.

I finally make it to the bus station and breathe. Almost home. I look at my clock on my phone, the numbers lighting up under my touch. The bus pulls around the corner and lets people off through the side door. Us on-boarders wait for the signal, a single hand raised, and then, the fingers bend and snap a few times letting us have passage. I swipe my card and find a seat closest to a window. I like to watch the world roll by, and day dream about my someday.

Someday, I won’t have to ride the bus every day. Someday, I won’t have to work two to three jobs. Someday, I’ll travel to Greece. Someday, I’ll be working in a writer’s room in the beautiful sunny and never cold weather of California. Someday, is always so far away. Just a picture in my mind I can never step into, but it’s always there. And I let my mind wander as people fill up the bus.

An older, light-skinned, black woman sits beside me. I like the beads braided in her hair. But I don’t say this. People rarely talk on the bus to each other. I keep staring out the window, staring at my someday. We move.

As the bus ambles along, I scroll through my phone, social media: check. One email: check. Business emails next. I look up here and there, trees zip by, rail road tracks, people, cars, pavement, orange barrels, cute houses. I miss having a house… A few minutes from my apartment, a few bends away, one more street light, I see it in my email.

NFFTY 2018.


Is it good or bad news? Good or bad? I ask myself as I quickly hit the email. I’m not one to wait. Just give it to me straight.

I am pleased to inform you that your screenplay, The Adventures of Star Girl and the Marble Roller, has been selected as a finalist for the NFFTY 2018 Story Starts Here Screenplay Competition…

And I start to cry. On the bus. Holding a hand to my mouth I keep silent as the tears gather in my eyes. Happy tears. Tears of joy. My hands shake. I wipe the tears as they fall, I don’t want anyone to see me. But the woman does beside me. But I avoid eye contact, I couldn’t answer right now even if I wanted to. My vocal cords won’t move. I want to stand on the bus and shout “I did it! I did it! Everyone I’m a Finalist!” I text my mom with shaking hands.

She calls me.

“WHHHATTT do you mean you’re a finalist!!???” She asks happy.

“I’m a finalist in the contest, Top 4! I get to go to Seattle!!!”

A few more exclaims of cheer from us both.

“I’ll tell you more, almost home!”

And then I hang up. And the woman beside me smiles and goes, “Congratulations. That is so wonderful!”

All I can do is nod and say, “Thank you! I am so happy!”

She smiles at me, genuinely, and nods her head. Happy that I’m happy.

I pull my stop, wipe the last of my happy tears from my eyes, and say, “Sorry.” I have to get past her.

“Not a problem.” She replies and moves her stuff, so I can slip by. I do, wave at the driver goodbye and thank you, and step off my bus. Feet on solid ground in Michigan.

But my mind is in Someday. I can see the world map I have hanging in the hallway filled with pins of the places I want to go, the few blue pins where I have been, the couple pink pins my Mom has gone to and the few orange pins Dad traveled to in the navy. I can see the yellow Someday dot over Seattle. Someday, I’ll travel to Seattle. And that day is soon.

No longer a Someday.

But a tomorrow. 

Thank you to everyone who has been with me on this journey so far! NFFTY 2018 is a film festival that takes place in Seattle, WA. Here is the link to the screenplay competition if you would like to know more. I couldn’t describe everything better than the NFFTY already does on their website.

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