Luciana Lagana and Gregory Graham’s Feature Screenplay “Old River Road” Wins ‘Best Dramatic Screenplay’ at the 2013 AOF International Film Festival

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The dramatic feature screenplay “Old River Road” wins at a major film festival for the second time this year. The wife-and-husband team behind the winning script - Dr. Luciana Lagana, a clinical psychologist, expert speaker, tenured California State University Northridge professor, and award-winning actress/screenwriter, and her husband, businessman/actor/screenwriter Gregory Graham - are excited to share the good news.

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Luciana Lagana and Gregory Graham win 'best dramatic screenplay' at the 2013 AOF International Film Festival

it was hard to focus and say something meaningful to a staring crowd of hundreds of people beyond a simple ‘thank you.’ It finally hit me that Del (the festival’s director) had played with us and that we had actually won.

As a full professor at California State University Northridge (CSUN), Luciana Lagana’s intent to represent CSUN “in a distinguished way” when pursuing artistic endeavors (as she expressed in an interview with ‘CSUN Today’) is materializing. Together with her husband, Gregory Graham, Luciana accepted the ‘best dramatic screenplay’ award on August 22, 2013 at the ‘Action on Film International Film Festival’. This is the second win for “Old River Road,” which also won the ‘Award of Excellence in Screenwriting’ at the Canada International Film Festival in Vancouver, British Columbia in April 2013.

The screenplay, which is available on The Black List website, offers a moving mixture of drama, romance, crime, suspense, as well as anti-bullying and anti-pollution elements. The script, inspired by true events, intrigued the director of the AOF festival, Del Weston, who is also a writer/director/producer.

“Del and his team, including his friendly wife Theresa, are very supportive of independent filmmakers and emerging screenwriters. They make you feel as though you are a part of their family,” stated Luciana. She is thrilled that Del has signed off to be the film coordinator for “Old River Road”; he has already connected the award-winning screenwriting duo to producers and well-known actors to explore production options.

“This is so exciting, I cannot wait to see this movie produced,” said Gregory. He added that it is a great honor for their screenplay to be considered for production by entertainment industry professionals who have been in the business for decades and have major star names attached to their production companies. In addition to screenwriting credit, the couple also hopes to score leading roles in the film.

Del’s sense of humor proved almost too much to handle for Luciana just before he announced that they won at the award ceremony. “Del decided to call the names of the nominees and the runner-up, but he wanted to read from the winning script, most likely to get people excited and give them a taste of the writing style,” Luciana said. “When it was time to give out the award for ‘best dramatic screenplay,’ he proceeded to read from it. He kept on reading, but nobody was getting up to accept the award. Finally, he said, ‘My mistake, Luciana…' After that, it was all a blur, as my husband screamed with excitement and dragged me to the podium while the attendees applauded and watched us stumble our way through the crowd. I am usually enthusiastic and energetic, no matter how surprised I am, but at first it was hard to focus and say something meaningful to a staring crowd of hundreds of people beyond a simple ‘thank you.’ It finally hit me that Del had played with us and that we had actually won; he is certainly a lot of fun,” concluded Luciana.

Written by Matthew Terhune, MFA

Luciana Lagana is a caring clinical psychologist and an established professor of psychology, sexuality, and gerontology at CSUN, where she teaches classes and mentors many students. At CSUN, she also conducts government-funded research on ethnically diverse, primarily low-income older women’s physical, psychological, social, and sexual health. Additionally, Luciana is an award-winning actress/screenwriter and has 30 IMDb credits for acting in many independent movies and TV series since 2006. Gregory Graham, her husband, is a businessman, an award-winning screenwriter, and has been an actor since 2000. He has 40 IMDb credits and has acted in many movies as well as TV series such as “CSI Miami” and “Trust Me.”

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