CCBC's Evan Balkan captures first place in features category of the 2016 Baltimore Screenwriters Competition

May 10, 2016

Evan L. Balkan, English Department Coordinator for the Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville, garnered first place in the Features category of the 11th Annual Baltimore Screenwriters Competition for his original period historical sports-drama, “Spitfire.” The screenplay is about eleven year-old Caroline Panski, growing up in Baltimore in the early 1950s,and her desire to play ice hockey even though, “Boys play hockey; girls ice skate.” Her life is further complicated when her father dies in the Korean War and Caroline befriends Joseph, an African-American student integrating her school. The limitations of his race and her gender mean they must find an ally in each other.

According to the announcement, the competition is designed to create awareness of screenplays as a literary art form and to encourage new screenwriters into the entertainment industry. The Baltimore Screenwriters Competition is a project of the Baltimore Film Office at the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, in conjunction with film programs at Johns Hopkins University and Morgan State University. Funding is provided by Morgan State University, The Arts Insurance Program, a division of Maury, Donnelly and Paur and Johns Hopkins University. Additional support is courtesy of the Maryland Film Festival, NEXTCAR and Visit Baltimore, The Charles Theatre, the Senator Theatre and Landmark Theatres.

In addition to this screenplay, Balkan is the author of six books of nonfiction, including The Wrath of God: Lope de Aguirre, Revolutionary of the Americas (University of New Mexico Press). His writing has appeared in numerous journals and literary magazines throughout the United States, as well as in England, Canada, and Australia. He was recently chosen as a fellow in the inaugural Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund Screenplay Lab at Johns Hopkins University. He holds degrees from Towson, George Mason, and Johns Hopkins Universities and has served as a guest lecturer at many institutions, including Bryn Mawr, Johns Hopkins, and Yale universities.

Professor Balkan, a Towson resident, has been on the CCBC faculty for 15 years and currently teaches screenwriting and creative writing in the School of Liberal Arts on the Catonsville campus.