Jonathan LaPoma

Author / Screenwriter / Songwriter

Press Releases

April 7, 2015–Jonathan LaPoma Wins Grand Jury Prize and 1st in Drama in Las Vegas Screenplay Contest

Jonathan LaPoma Wins Both the Grand Jury Prize and First in Drama in 2015 Las Vegas Screenplay Contest

Award-Winning Screenwriter and Novelist Wins Two Highest Honors in International Screenplay Contest

SAN DIEGO, CA—April 7, 2015 – Jonathan LaPoma announced today that his feature-length screenplays The Way Back Home and La Tierra Que Yo Amo (Land That I Love), co-written by Natalia Porras Sivolobova, have won the two highest honors possible in the 2015 Las Vegas Screenplay Contest, the Grand Jury Prize (The Way Back Home) and first place in the drama category (La Tierra Que Yo Amo). LaPoma’s screenplays have won six first-place awards in the past six months, and 37 total awards/honors since 2013. The Las Vegas Screenplay Contest stands with the few elite and respected screenwriting competitions that can deliver on the promises of prestige and prominence for its writers. All of their judges are experts in the field of screenwriting and production, and all have joined the organization to find the best new writers seeking discovery.

The Way Back Home is a coming-of-age drama about a young animal-loving boy who must cope with his father’s insistence that he’ll someday work in the slaughterhouse that has employed the men of their family for several generations. A dark and disturbing look into the complexity of father and son relationships, The Way Back Home shows what horrors can result when shame and abuse are passed from generation to generation. The Way Back Home has won eight awards/honors since 2014, including the Grand Jury Prize in the 2014 Hollywood Screenplay Contest and the Grand Prize in the 2014 London Film Awards (Feature Screenplay category), and is ranked in the top 4% of the over 2,500 scripts listed on It can be described as a mix between Kes and Billy Elliott. 

La Tierra Que Yo Amo, co-written by Natalia Porras Sivolobova, is a gritty romantic drama about a 30-year-old half-Mexican, half-American woman with dual citizenship, who struggles to find her identity once she returns to her hometown of Oaxaca, Mexico after failing to make it as a dancer in New York City. La Tierra Que Yo Amo has won seven awards/honors since 2014, including making the finals of the 2014 New York Screenplay Contest, the 2015 WriteMovies 37 Screenwriting Contest, and the 2015 Women in Cinema International Screenplay Competition, and is ranked tenth in the romance category of’s “Top 10 Contest Winning Scripts.” It can be described as a mix between Before Sunrise and Even the Rain. Patricia Chica (Ceramic Tango, Wolverine Hotel) is attached to direct.

“Both The Way Back Home and La Tierra Que Yo Amo are heavy, character-driven dramas with an important underlying message, and I’m honored that they’ve placed so highly in this competition,” LaPoma said. “I’m also honored to share my first-place victory for La Tierra Que Yo Amo with co-writer, Natalia Porras Sivolobova, whose passion and creativity made working on the script such a joy.”

“Recognition is the fuel that keeps creation alive,” Porras Sivolobova said. “I feel great gratitude and honor to win this award.”

A full list of the winners can be found at

Jonathan LaPoma has written five feature-length screenplays that have won a total of 37 awards/honors since 2013, two novels, and hundreds of poems and songs. His novel, Developing Minds: An American Ghost Story, and his screenplay, A Noble Truth, will be published by Laughing Fire Press in early 2015, and his short story, A Sacrifice to the God of the Blues, is featured in 34thParallel Magazine’s November 2014 issue. His work often explores themes of alienation and misery as human constructions that can be overcome through self-understanding and the acceptance of suffering. LaPoma lives in San Diego and teaches at a public secondary school.

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