Meet the 2018 Feature Retreat & Fellowship 2nd & 3rd Place Winners!

We are pleased to introduce our second and third place winners in the 2018 Feature Fellowship competition. Avishai Weinberger won second place for his screenplay DRIFT OFF and Belinda Schmid won third place for her screenplay JESSUP CREEK. Congratulations to them both!

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Avishai Weinberger is a writer-director from New York with an affinity for horror and science fiction. He attended Maale Film School in Jerusalem for a year, followed by four years at NYU Tisch, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in film and television production. His thesis film, a horror-romance short titled Third Date, screened at festivals around the country. Currently, Avishai lives in Brooklyn with his family, where he enjoys leading Saturday prayer services in his synagogue. This is his second year attending the Cinestory Feature Retreat.




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Belinda Schmid is a recent graduate from the UCLA MFA Screenwriting Program. She also has a BFA in Film and TV from New York University and spent a year in the American Film Institute Directing Program. She is a current finalist for the 2018 Alfred P. Sloan Screenwriting Award and was a semi-finalist for NBC’s Writers on the Verge program in 2017.

Belinda has written and directed numerous short films. One of which, THE PAINTED LADYwas nominated Best Short Film at the New Zealand Film Awards and screened at numerous festivals internationally. Her first screenplay, SEEING THROUGH SMOKE, was developed by the New Zealand Film Commission and was selected for SPAAmart in Australia as well as shortlisted for the Cannes Residence.  She has also directed commercials, a top-rated New Zealand reality series, and an award-winning comedy series in New Zealand.

Belinda is originally from New Zealand but now lives in Los Angeles where she is pursuing a career in writing for television and film.

Meet Travis Opgenorth, the 2018 CineStory Feature Fellow

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We're thrilled to introduce the 2018 CineStory Feature Fellow, Travis Opgenorth, whose winning screenplay THE POACHER swept us away with its tense, dramatic turns.

Originally from rural Wisconsin, Travis grew up surrounded by farms, dirt racetracks, and auto junkyards. Now, he lives in L.A. where he has built a career as a post production professional while also writing multiple award-winning scripts. His scripts have won or placed in twenty-five different contests, including first place in both the Creative World Awards and the Nashville Film Festival (Action/Thriller), finalist in the PAGE Awards, and semi-finalist in the Nichols Screenplay Fellowship. Travis stated, however, that "winning the CineStory Feature Fellowship is by far my most prestigious and potentially impactful win." 

A reluctant adventurer, Travis is always trying to expose himself to diverse life experiences, and he enjoys writing stories that make history thrilling while trying to craft his own thrilling history. During his downtime (laughs), Travis enjoys playing on the floor with his two young kids and sitting poolside with his wife and a beer.