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Student’s Screenplay Attracts Film Festival Attention

December 09, 2016

Noah Foster-Koth BA ’19, one of ten winners of the Seattle International Film Festival’s Catalyst Screenplay Competition, had the unique pleasure of hearing his screenplay Red Ivory come to life via a table reading that was part of the 2016/2017 SIFF Catalyst First Draft series. Festival organizers identified Foster-Koth’s script as one of the best unproduced screenplays, competing with 150 submissions from writers of every age group and level of experience. 

Foster-Koth, an English major, credits the positive influences of Visiting Assistant Professor of English Michael Mirabile and Associate Professor of English and Department Chair William Pritchard, in particular.

“Mirabile’s class about films adapting books changed the way I look at bringing a written work to cinema. His class was a big influence on my next screenplay, the one I’m working on now. Our English department is phenomenal… there’s so many different types of writing that are taught here. There’s so much academic freedom.”

Red Ivory is a story detailing Tanzania’s blood ivory trade and the individuals who have dedicated themselves to its obstruction. It follows wildlife ranger John Roundtree, a former elephant poacher who has redirected his efforts to preventing the crimes he once committed. Foster-Koth began writing the screenplay as a junior in high school, following a visit to the Oregon Zoo, and drew inspiration from a 2013 trip the student took to Tanzania.

Foster-Koth says his ultimate goal for Red Ivory is production, which well may be aided by the exposure of his Catalyst Screenplay Competition win. As a semifinalist, his script was read by a panel of film industry judges and submitted to Catalyst alumni producers and directors.

This story was written by Scout Brobst ’20.

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