Screenplay 10 years in the works wins prize

WITH TIME ON HER HANDS during the SAG strike of 2000, actress Ellie Weingardt began writing a comedy screenplay about an elderly woman who adopts an elderly beagle to ease her loneliness and encounters difficulties in keeping it.

After many revisions and a staged reading by her fellow actors, Weingardt felt confident enough to enter her script, “Aurora,” in a contest last winter.

To her utter surprise and delight, “Aurora” was chosen one of 30 winners in the 2009 Exposurama International Film Competition, and one of the three winners in the Family category.

“This was the first contest I ever entered and I did it just to see what would happen,” Weingardt said. “I expected nothing, so it was unbelievable for it to one of the winners.”

As one of the prizes, the winning scripts are being sent to directors, producers and agents. “If I get lucky, of course we’ll shoot in Chicago,” she said.

Reach Weingardt at 847/433-7098