All the latest news, ideas, and opinions from Denver's Independent Literary Center: lighthousewriters.org
It’s straight out of Gatsby, except there are no dead people involved. A beautiful home abutting the Botanical Gardens, 120 happy people, sipping wine and sampling tasty vittles. Agents and editors being stalked by well-meaning writers with a manuscript in their back pocket. I’ll leave further reports on the actual party to Laurel, our capable intern reporter, and focus instead on one part of the program.
For the second year in a row, Lighthouse faculty were up for a member-sponsored teaching award of $1,000, plus the handsomest darned statue you ever did see. The first award went to William Haywood Henderson, maestro to the novelists (and humanists) of the world since 2001, who has inspired everyone from published authors to would-be first timers to do their work, to be good, and to trust that if they sweat and cry and toil enough, it’ll get there.
This year, the award went to Alexandre O. Philippe, who joined the Lighthouse faculty in 2000, and quickly became one of the most popular, cult-like figures to ever cross our threshold. His first feature-length film, Chick Flick: The Miracle Mike Story, was created with the help of many of the students in those early classes–some of whom continue to work with him today.
His current project, The People vs. George Lucas, has captured the imagination, passion, and even indignation of people all over the world. It will be completed and released next year, and you can see the trailer here. Alexandre continues, despite all of his personal and commercial projects, to teach a diligent group of screenwriters in our Master Screenwriting workshop, as well as teaching dozens of popular one-day workshops. He’s also on the faculty at the Grand Lake Retreat (pdf) this year, so if you want to get in on some Philippeness, we know just the place to do it. (Plus, and this can’t be overstated, there’s game night.)
Thanks to all who made it to the party, and to Alexandre for his acceptance speech that made at least one person an emotional wreck (she shall go unnamed), and to Jay and Emily, who put on the party (about which more will be posted later), and to Charles & Carleen, who led the Beacon Award committee, and to all of you, who made this year’s Lit Fest the grandest, most devilishly fun, and most successful yet.