To All Writers, Mentors, Filmmakers, and Friends

A couple of months ago, the CineStory Foundation became aware that there’s a film festival in Arizona calling itself the CineStory International Film Festival.

Let us be clear: we have NO AFFILIATION with this other organization.

Since this is their first year in operation and we've been active for over 20 years, we consulted with a trademark attorney who informed us that they are in violation of common-law trademark.

So last week, we sent them a cease-and-desist letter to notify them of their violation stating that they need to change their name. But when FedEx attempted to deliver their letter, FedEx said they couldn't because their address (which is on their website) does not have a floor nor a suite number. On top of that, the address was for a hospital.

Now, there are some real questions surrounding their validity as even being a legitimate film festival. So if you have any friends or colleagues currently submitting films to festivals, please caution them about submitting to this group.

Also, we want to stop this group from negatively affecting us in any way, because we have worked extremely hard so when people hear the name CineStory, they think about screenwriting, the retreats, mentorship, and community. 

In the end, we all know there’s the only one true CineStory and need to make sure everyone else does, too.

Your Friends at the CineStory Foundation

Meet our 2016 TV/Digital Category Winners!


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Jared Ronin began writing scripts after reading A Streetcar Named Desire at his Tennessee high school. His work drew him to New York where he graduated with a BFA in Dramatic Writing from Purchase College in 2009. After writing commercials for various companies around the country, television production brought Jared to Los Angeles where he currently pens one-hour dramas.


Arun Narayanan is a writer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. His half-hour pilot script THE ADVENTURES OF ASH AND OWEN, which was named the winner in the Original Comedy category of CineStory’s 2016 TV/Digital competition, was also a finalist (top 10) in both the Final Draft Big Break Contest and the Page International Screenwriting Awards in 2015. In the same year, Arun’s first feature-length screenplay SOME KIND OF MIRACLE was selected by the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) for their Emerging Storytellers program. He is currently writing a feature film made-for-television for Larry Levinson Productions.

When he’s not writing, Arun works freelance as a video editor and as a Content Tagger for The Walt Disney Company. He directed the short films CELLULOID DREAMS, which aired on PBS’s Shorts Showcase in 2013, and FALSE WITNESS, which will air on ShortsHD in 2016. Most recently, he produced the South Africa-set feature-length documentary TAKING STOCK, which will have its festival premiere this summer.

Arun received an MFA in Film & TV Production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts in 2014.


Daniel Fox went from high school to the Vancouver Film School just months after Kevin Smith bailed from the very same establishment, making Daniel one of the few people in the world who has seen Mr. Smith’s student documentary. Daniel is pretty sure that means that he is super interesting and that you should get to know him.

Vancouver was in one of its busy seasons with multiple television shows being filmed there. Being a big fan of this brand new science fiction show called “The X-Files” Daniel was of course just about the only person in his class who didn’t stumble across one of their shoots. He did however manage to get kicked in the shin by Fox Mulder’s little sister… so there’s that.

Upon graduation Daniel crewed various shorts, music videos, television shows, and films in Vancouver and Toronto. He has held every position from Craft Service to Location Manager and back again. However somewhere in this time he realized that carrying C-stands was not scratching the creative itch, and he finally turned to what he thinks he should have been doing all along – writing.

Since then Daniel has had a feature film script place as a Top Ten Runner-Up at Scriptapalooza, in the top 10% at Nicholl’s, and nab him a spot at Cinestory’s features retreat. He has also written a number of books over the years, one of which ranked as number one in Amazon. For about three days. In Germany. In a sub-sub-sub category. Still, he was pretty excited to see his name above such luminaries as Stephen Fry and George R.R. Martin.


 Danny Mendoza is a Cuban-American storyteller from Miami, Florida. He is trained as an actor, writer, director, and producer - and he works in those capacities in film, television, digital media, commercials, and theatre. He is based out of Miami and New York.

Danny Mendoza is a Cuban-American storyteller from Miami, Florida. He is trained as an actor, writer, director, and producer - and he works in those capacities in film, television, digital media, commercials, and theatre. He is based out of Miami and New York.

And the TV/Digital Fellowship Winner is...

From a talented field of writers, we're proud to announce L.M. Harter as the 1st ever CineStory TV Fellow!

L.M. grew up in an old coal miner's house and was first runner up Little Miss Parade of the Hills Pageant (to this day she still believes the other girl cheated.) She took her driver's exam with a drunk instructor who kept passing out, no windshield wipers in the rain, a driver's door that wouldn't open, and to top it all off: a pregnant cat hyperventilating while pacing around the pedals. Between the Mennonites who lived next door and painted sewage pipes as playground equipment she had a very traditional childhood.

She eventually collected impractical degrees in Communications from Ohio University and a Screenwriting MFA from the University of Texas resulting in prettily framed papers that her office wall quite appreciates. She started her own production company, making a few shorts that have screened globally (but does it count if the festival misspells the name of your short?)  Her scripts have done well at Slamdance, the Austin Film Festival, Zoetrope, Table Read My Screenplay and Screencraft’s Screenwriters’ Residency. 

Lover of TV, gin, sleep and occasional recreational activities like binge watching depressing documentaries on Netflix. She is beyond excited and flattered to be Cinestory’s 2016 TV/Digital Fellow.