Selma resident places high in Screenwriting contest

Published 9:30 pm Tuesday, May 21, 2019

A Selma resident was honored in a script writing competition.

Timfreit Drane received an award of excellence last month at the BEA Festival of Media Arts held in Las Vegas. Drane wrote a screenplay about his life story entitled, “Touch the Ceiling.”

Drane wrote the screenplay during a script writing course he took at East Tennessee State University.

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“The Instructor said the script was great and recommended that I put it into a scriptwriting contest,” Drane said.

Touch the Ceiling is virtually Drane’s autobiographically. The subject ranges from his stint as a AAU basketball coach, battle with drugs and being homeless. Drane co-coached the Selma Shadows, a AAU team, with former Selma High basketball coach Ronald Lane and Ken Burton. Several members went on to play Division I basketball, some had NBA careers.

“I couldn’t get a job, I got on drugs and I slept under bridges,” Drane said. “You couldn’t make this story up.”

Drane has acting experience, appearing in television shows Fatal Attraction and Hardcore Pawn in 2013.

Selma attorney Yusef Salaam praised Drane for having the courage to share his life story. Salaam and Drane worked on a community project, which is part of the script.

“Mr. Drane and I have been working together for years,” Salaam said. “It’s one thing for people to honor him with an award. It’s another thing to see it on film, the humiliation and exhilaration Mr. Drane went through. Mr. Drane is a son of Selma. The people need to borrow from his script. White people and black people in Selma both have gone through the struggle.”

Lane, who also played basketball at Selma High in the early 1980’s, said he and Drane both overcame adversity.

“We both had ups and downs, we always had to sharpen each other,” Lane said. “It’s part of a spiritual journey. I had success as a teacher and coach, he had success in show business. It’s been a journey, but a good journey.”

Drane, who graduated from Southside High School, said he received positive feedback about the script in Las Vegas.

“It was great to see the money movers,” Drane said. “Everyone I met at the awards show was involved in the film world. It was a great networking opportunity.”

Drane, 50, said he hadn’t heard from a producer nor a filmmaker about making the script into a movie.

Drane, who has an engineering degree, is proud of the progress he’s made in society.

“I had to forgive those who wronged me and it was a life lesson,” Drane said. “If I can do it, you can do it. I want to be the voice for the voiceless.”