Shia LaBeouf just might have a future as a screenwriter if he ever gets tired of acting: The “Transformers” star has made it to the quarterfinals of the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards, a contest for up-and-coming screenwriters.
LaBeouf has a bragging point most of his fellow quarterfinalists don’t: His feature film script, “Honey Boy,” is in production at Automatik Entertainment, where Brian Kavanaugh-Jones (“Midnight Special,” “Sinister”) is a producing partner. Lucas Hedges will star alongside LaBeouf.
That might seem like a built-in advantage, but PAGE executive director Kristin Overn said the contest, which has attracted some big names in the past, is judged anonymously so that no one benefits or is unfairly judged for having a famous name.
“Though it may appear that someone working in the industry would have no need to enter a screenwriting contest to get their project recognized and produced, that is not necessarily the case,” Overn told TheWrap. “Achieving the status of finalist or winner in a well-known competition like ours is a ‘stamp of approval’ that can add extra juice to a project and help get the attention of agents and producers, who might otherwise dismiss a script written by an actor or crew member.”
PAGE says it aims to “discover the most exciting new scripts by up-and-coming writers from across the country and around the world.”
Writers can’t have earned more than $50,000 working as a screenwriter or fictional TV writer. But as long as the screenplay hasn’t been optioned or produced as of the date submitted, it’s eligible for an award.
Martin Starr, Maika Monroe (“It Follows”) and Natasha Lyonne will also star in “Honey Boy,” which follows a child actor as he works to mend the relationship with his hard-drinking, law-breaking father.
Besides being an actor and (now) a screenwriter, LeBouef is known for his performance art, like the time he wore a paper bag that read “I am not famous anymore” over his head on the red carpet at the Berlin Film Festival, or the time he invited fans to the Angelika Film Center in New York as he watched every movie he’s appeared in and broadcast his reactions to the world.
LaBeouf, who is currently shooting “The Tax Collector” with director David Ayer, wasn’t available to speak with TheWrap about “Honey Boy.”
Overn said some of the famous people who have entered in the past include Cary Elwes (“Princess Bride”), who penned the script for “Elvis & Nixon” along with Hanala Sagal and Joey Sagal, was a PAGE finalist and was made into a film. And the TV drama pilot “The Saint,” written by Kunal Nayyar (“Big Bang Theory”) and Corey Sorenson (“Chicago Fire”), was a finalist last year.
“We are now in our 15th year here at the PAGE Awards and are quite highly regarded by the industry, so we do often receive submissions from people who work in various other capacities in the business, including directors, actors and crew,” Overn said.