SAC '14 Alumnus and Screenwriting Sub-major Chad Rhiness was awarded the Best Feature Screenplay top prize of $15K for his script 13.1 in the Final Draft Big Break Competition.   In his senior year, April 2014, Rhiness' script, 13.1, also received the prestigious UM Hopwood Award for undergraduate screenplay. Chad said, "The script that won the Hopwood, 13.1,  the same script I wrote in Jim Burnstein's 410 (the Rewrite course), won the Big Break award. It wasn't just my hard work that led to this, but the support and influence of the staff and students that surrounded me that made this script better every day. Also, I thanked Jim Burnstein (Director of Screenwriting) and Terri Sarris (Associate Chair), and the Screen Arts department in my speech. There's no evidence of it. But it happened. I promise."


The Department of Screen Arts & Cultures' Screenwriting program is known for its merit-based credential called the Screenwriting Sub-major.  Entrance into the Screenwriting Sub-major is for SAC majors who demonstrate a special talent for writing for the screen.  In recent years, the Screenwriting Sub-major has grown to over two dozen SAC majors with each graduation class.