Patrick Evans has won South West Screen's Screenwriter Development Competition, judged by Oscar-winning screenwriter Bill Nicholson.
His screenplay White Elephants is about a father and teenage daughter, set against the backdrop of corruption in the Nigerian oil industry.
Gloucestershire-born, Cornwall-based Evans beat screenplays from 128 other budding writers from the South West of England. The competition was launched in Cannes in May and industry experts came up with a shortlist, given to Nicholson for the final decision.
The award brings a cash prize of $6,000 (£3,000) and mentoring from Nicholson to develop a feature-length script.
Nicholson said: 'The winning screenplay benefitted from a simple powerful idea that was sustained throughout the plot; as well as a richly researched setting. White Elephants delivers a dynamic central relationship and a thriller action plot against a background of contemporary political relevance. I now look forward to working with Patrick Evans on maximising the emotional impact of the wonderful story he has created.'
Evans added: 'I'm very much looking forward to working with someone of Bill Nicholson's inspirational talent and experience on developing the script to the next stage. I think the kind of support offered by organisations like South West Screen is absolutely invaluable as an incentive to writers and filmmakers in the region.'