Campus: San Francisco State University -- April 15, 2005

SFSU Student Wins National Scriptwriting Competition

Radio And Television Major Davin Affrunti's Feature Film Script 'Full Circle' Is A Crime Saga

San Francisco State University student Davin Affrunti recently won two prestigious national awards from the Broadcast Education Association: the Best of Festival/King Foundation Award and first place in the feature film category of the student scriptwriting competition for his script, "Full Circle." This is the second consecutive year that an SFSU student has received both awards.

"Full Circle" is a crime drama told through the eyes of ex-convict Vincent, the protagonist who is desperate to rescue his fiancée and daughter from a heroin addict who leads Vincent on a 16-hour long wild goose chase of crime.

Richmond District resident Affrunti wrote the script as an assignment for a Dramatic Writing class. Affrunti, who names Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese and Michael Mann as influences, finds it easy to write crime dramas, even though he only had three months to write the script. Affrunti said it usually takes up to a year for writers to come up with a good screenplay.

"If I'm going to say that any movie made me want to write a crime drama, it's definitely 'Heat,'" said Affrunti, referring to a 1995 crime saga by producer and director Mann.

"Davin has a lot of talent and the energy to work it," said Corless Smith, Affrunti's adviser and an assistant professor in the Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts Department. "I expect to see his name rolling in the credits very soon."

For Affrunti, one of the biggest challenges of writing a crime drama is portraying crime and legal procedures accurately. As part of research for the script, he read books on criminology and criminal justice, discussed terminology and went through scenes from his script with a homicide inspector. Affrunti also observed mannerisms and reactions of police officers on the street and placed himself in the mindset of "a nervous criminal on the lookout."

Affrunti and fellow SFSU student Sean Warner are in the process of producing "Full Circle" and hope to have the film picked up by a major production company at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Warner produced "Twitch," a short film that won second place at this year's Slamdance Film Festival.

For first place in the feature film category of the scriptwriting competition, Affrunti received scriptwriting software Final Draft 7 and a book from Michael Weise Productions. For the Best of Festival/King Foundation Award, Affrunti will receive $1,000 and Avid software at the 2005 BEA Festival of Media Arts award ceremony April 23 in Las Vegas.

Every year since 2002, SFSU students have placed in the top three of the festival's scriptwriting competition. Last year, Professor Emeritus Herbert Zettl was awarded the Distinguished Education Service Award. Zettl is well-known in the academic and professional field as a pioneer in media aesthetics.

BEA is a worldwide organization of professors and industry professionals who teach broadcasting and electronic media to college students.

The largest and most influential program of its kind in the West, the SFSU Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts (BECA) Department has graduated some of the top names in broadcast journalism, entertainment television and new media, including "Frasier" producer Peter Casey, HBO Operations Manager Dottie Simmons, CNN Headline News anchor Mike Galanos, and Bay Area news anchors Ken Bastida and Frank Somerville.

Contact: Matt Itelson, (415) 338-1743; (415) 338-1665;

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