Winning ANIMATION Feature Screenplay – STORM DRAGON, by Joey Curtis and Danny Klein

Watch the Winning SEPTEMBER 2017 Feature screenplay.

An outcast dragonfly unites a crew of misfit swamp critters to save the life of a boy trapped in a hurricane.

Genre: Animation, Family, Drama, Adventure

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Laura Kyswaty
B-Fly/Luther: Cameron LeRoy
Skylar: Rachel Rain Packota
Tatsu: Cory Bertrand
Pondhawk: Jim Canale
Aura: Regan Brown

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

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Winning THRILLER Feature Screenplay: WORD GAMES, by Joel Stern

Genre: Thriller, Horror, Drama

A commercial airliner flying to Paris explodes off the U.S. East Coast killing sixteen members of a high school French Club and a young pianist destined for greatness; a pair of deranged teens go on a terrifying high school shooting spree ending the life of a young girl devoted to serving God and mankind. If there is a master plan, how could these horrific events be allowed to happen?

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Val Cole
Sal: Kris Hagen
Dave: Peter Nelson
Monica: Shania Belton
Julie: Katelyn Varadi
Tanya/Shannon: Carina Cojeen
Lassen: Mike Ruderman
Bill: Nick Wicht

 Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

“Word Games” is about two strangers in a nursing home who are isolated because of the “Blizzard of the Millennium” . One man – Sal Genesinni – is the janitor. The other is Dave Phillips, an old man, wheelchair bound, who was found abandoned in the storm. While Phillips’ true identity remains a mystery, he and Genesinni play “Scrabble” to kill time. As they spell certain words it takes us back in time to real life events. As they recall these events they actually change what happened. This affects the destiny of the promising young people they speak of. As the story unfolds, we realize their “game” is a battle of wits between good and evil – one they engage in as different people throughout time.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Suspense/Horror

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

“Word Games” would provide moviegoers with a suspenseful, alternative view of destiny and attempt to explain why bad things happen to good people.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Story in two words: Inescapable destiny.

What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

The movie I’ve seen the most: “Pineapple Express”

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I wrote the short story two years ago (now on Amazon). I began writing the screenplay in January, 2016.

How many stories have you written?

I’m currently writing my third screenplay. I began my first, “Trickle Down”, a dramatic comedy based on the 2007 mortgage meltdown, in 2012.

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Favorite song – Rod Stewart’s “Have I Told You Lately…”

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Obstacles to writing screenplay: Trying to think as God

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Other passions: Sports, politics, travel, history

You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

Film Freeway: Easy to work with

What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

I entered the festival to gage interest in my work and to get it produced. “Word Games” also won a Finalist Award at the Cannes Film Festival Screenwriting contest in April of this year.

I was thrilled with the feedback I received. I made a few clarifications when asked to.

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

Winning Feature Screenplay – THE LAST PRISON by Richard Geiwitz

Watch the Winning AUGUST 2017 Screenplay. 

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy,

Judith, known as the “Mother Creator” by her robots, faces a takeover when the robots feel they are not being treated fairly.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Val Cole
Judith: Mandy May Cheetham
R-14: Angelica Alejandro
Reeve: Ryan Yusep
Alain: Peter Mark Raphael
Joshua: Allan Michael Brunet

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

The story follows Judith, a robotics genius who designed and programmed robots to mine a moon of Saturn, which is uninhabitable to man. The bots are designed to think independently and problem-solve. There are three series: administrative, worker and repair. The workers begin to resent their assigned role. They want more input into running the colony. The administrators disagree, citing their assigned programs. There’s a worker’s strike, exports stop and Judith is sent to face her creations, wondering if they are now smarter than she.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

The main genre is Sci-Fi, but social and political as well.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

 This screenplay should be made into a movie because it will be an entertaining drama set in another world, while also being thought-provoking. It looks into the future of man versus machine, creator versus creation, but also takes a look at society today.

How would you describe this script in two words?

 Frighteningly possible.

What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

 “Network,” the most visionary film of all time.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

 It was written in the mid-eighties. If I recall correctly, it took about 6-8 months. My inability to land an agent put it on the shelf for a long time. I converted it into a novella, but didn’t sell it. I recently turned it back into a screenplay, updating certain technical aspects and reworking dialogue. Maybe the third time is the charm.

How many stories have you written?

I’ve written ten feature screenplays, three short scripts and two treatments. So, far, they’ve won or placed in 71 contests. There are a few other scripts from the past I might update along with new projects in the works.

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

 “Pride” – U2

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

 Technical issues. Computers, programs and robotics were different in the 1980s when this was first written. Researching the recent rewrite was fascinating. Also, creating the future as envisioned today. Of course, this is a more social issue story than scientific. So putting the Bible and Plato’s Republic into outer space was interesting.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I love Asian culture, philosophy and architecture. I’m fascinated by the Feng Shui design of ancient cities in China and Japan. I love watching movies and TV series from around the world, stories you can’t find in Hollywood.

You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

It’s easy to use and actually fun, like shopping on Amazon. There are a lot of festivals to choose from. It’s easy to search for festivals and the many filters save a lot of time.

What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

I’ve always liked the feedback. It really points out what needs another look. Other scripts I’ve entered haven’t won, so I was completely shocked when this one did. I had to read the email a couple extra times before I believed it.

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

Winning Feature Screenplay: PEACE PLEDGE, by George M. Johnson

Watch the Winning August 2017 Feature Screenplay Reading

Genre: War, Drama, Romance

A disillusioned First World War veteran, challenged by a reckless Anglican priest, reluctantly fights for peace against fascists in 1930s Britain, losing both friends and family but gaining a second chance in love. Based on the true story of Canon Dick Sheppard and the Peace Pledge Union.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Dick Sheppard: Scott McCulloch
John: Brogan Caulfield
Esme: Sandra Krstin
Alison: Julie Sheppard
Burt: Peter-Mark Raphael

 

B>Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

A disillusioned First World War veteran, challenged by a reckless Anglican priest, reluctantly fights for peace against fascists in 1930s Britain, losing both friends and family but gaining a second chance in love. The screenplay is based on the true story of Canon Dick Sheppard and the Peace Pledge Union, the strongest pacifist movement in history.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Period drama, history, biopic

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Peace Pledge is a gripping and heart-felt story about standing up for what you believe in, even against all the odds. It is also a tale of redemption, love and the power of the human spirit. Peace Pledge is timely with the centenary commemoration of the end of WWI on the horizon (and the 80th anniversary of the beginning of WWII); the story becomes more relevant every day with the escalation of military spending and worldwide violence.

How would you describe this script in two words?

heart-warming, uplifting

What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I started researching it in 2012 and have worked on it along with other projects since then.

How many stories have you written?

I have written about a dozen stage-plays, some of them award-winning. “Still Life With Nudes” is a comedy about seniors who stage a sit-in at a contemporary art gallery in protest when their full-length nude self-portraits were rejected. It won the National Playwrighting Award and several other awards. I’ve also penned three award-winning screenplays, including “Peace Pledge,” which received Honorable Mention in the Euroscript Competition, and “The Wonder,” a finalist in the British Independent Film Festival, as well as half a dozen children’s stories, one, “Marissa and the Mountains,” to be published by Simply Read next year.

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Universal Soldier has been a long-time favourite.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Information about the Peace Pledge Union has been buried in history and so it took considerable digging to piece together the peace story.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am passionate about social justice issues, particularly fighting threats to the environment where I live in B.C.. I also enjoy canoeing, camping, and travelling with my family.

You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

It has been great!

What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

A friend had entered and told me it was worthwhile. I was elated at the encouraging, articulate, insightful feedback and inspired to make further revisions to make this the best script possible.

 

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

WATCH Mid-Year FEATURE SCREENPLAY Winners (January-June 2017)

Watch the Winning Feature Screenplays for the first half of 2017

ACTORLGBT Feature Screenplay – ARRANGING MIA
June 2017 Reading
by Joanie Fox

ACTORFAN FICTION FEATURE Screenplay – MARVEL ZOMBIES
May 2017 Reading
by Christopher J. Valin

ACTORACTION FEATURE Screenplay – THE FLIGHT OF THE SOULS
May 2017 Reading
by Guy Quigley

ACTORFAMILY FEATURE Screenplay – QUEST FOR LIGHT
April 2017 Reading
Written by Byron Anderson

ACTORTHRILLER FEATURE Screenplay – NEMESIS
March 2017 Reading
Written by Carl Joglar

ACTORANIMATION FEATURE Screenplay – PIXYLATIONS
February 2017 Reading
Written by Joe Laudati

ACTORHORROR FEATURE Screenplay – INCURABLE
January 2017 Reading
Written by Jeff York

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Carl Joglar – March 2017 Feature Screenplay Winner

Winning Screenplay – NEMESIS
Written by Carl JoglarCAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
STROUD – Cassandra Guthrie
BURNHAM – Dan Cristofori
MONTERO – Jane Hailes

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Thriller, Crime, Action

A car wreck allows a fugitive recovery agent’s prisoner to escape into the woods where she’s forced to pursue the killer, but when the other driver finds her in the wilderness, the hunt becomes complicated and the agent begins to suspect the woman’s involvement was not by chance.

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

NEMESIS is about a fugitive recovery agent who, after being disgraced and fired from the U.S. Marshals, attempts to cover legal fees in a custody battle for her son by cashing in on the capture of an elusive killer. Unfortunately, she gets into a car wreck, her prisoner escapes into a vast wilderness and she’s forced to hunt him down again. But (without giving too much away), when the driver of the other vehicle finds her in the woods, the situation becomes increasingly complicated because of some hidden agendas.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I’d say it could fall under drama, thriller and action because there are elements of all three, but if I had to categorize it, I would call it a dramatic thriller.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Just thinking about this, it occurs to me that no answer could sound very humble. I do feel very strongly about its merits, but even moreso after I started receiving so much positive feedback. People would say, “Wow, this is insane”, which I take as a compliment because you want to shake people up. I think the fact that three characters that are so different from each other are basically trapped in this environment together makes for a really curious situation. I feel like people might say, “I’ve got to see what happens when you put THESE three together.” But more than that, the main character’s journey is heart-breaking and relatable. I tried to make the ultimate example out of her. The moral of the story is “Don’t let your situation change who you are”. And who hasn’t been tempted at least once to step over that line?

How would you describe this script in two words?

“Intense” and “fast-paced”. As a writer, I have an unhealthy yet productive fear of being boring, so in a story, I’m obsessed with something either always happening or about to happen.

What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

Jaws. It’s so amazing on so many levels. Story, acting, editing, etc. But Neil Simon’s The Goodbye Girl is a close second. That main character is the most charmingly hilarious train wreck I’ve ever seen. Great stuff.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I’ve worked longer on this script than I have on my marriage. I’m kidding. I actually wrote the first draft in less than a month, but of course, I’ve been making changes ever since, so it’s going on six months now and one draft kind of melds into the next, so who knows how many.

How many stories have you written?

I’ve been doing this since 1996 so I’ve lost count. If I included short scripts and commissioned scripts, the number would be ridiculous, but as far as strictly original speculative full-length screenplays.. probably 24 that I can remember. Oh! And a book. I wrote a contemporary sci-fi YA novel called THE PERILS OF QUAD. Right now I’m trying to find a home for it at a traditional publishing house.

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Wow, that’s tough. I don’t know if this is good or bad, but ever since I was little, there’s been something about Earth, Wind and Fire’s “Fantasy”. I love it to this day and I really have no clue why. Maybe it was playing in the background the first time a girl kissed me or something. ..Right now, though, I’m addicted to Disturbed’s cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Writers are going to hate me for this: There were no obstacles. There never are. I’ve never had writer’s block. If I did, I never realized it. I mean, I always get nervous when I start but once I’m off and running, that’s it. The pages start to pile up. Obviously, they don’t come out perfectly but they always come out.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

My wife and child, of course. They’re my world. But the weird answer to that would be Vintage Marvel comic books. I’m not a collector, by any means. I just love the look, the feel, the simplicity, even the smell of a dog-eared silver age Marvel Comic. I guess because it brings me back to the days when my biggest problem in the world was deciding between Apple Jacks and Fruit Loops. Man, if life could always be like that. Good times.

What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

I have to credit my best friend and producer, Alex Torres for that. He found out about the festival and immediately entered the screenplay. He’s the best. When I first read the feedback I received, I was pleasantly shocked because it was immediately apparent that this was a festival run by experienced and competent professionals and they clearly took the proper time to analyze the material. As a writer, you really deeply appreciate when people like this give you credit where it’s due, but also make a fair and efficient effort to help you develop the best story you can put forward.

 

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

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Jeff York – January 2017 Feature Screenplay Winner

Winning Feature Screenplay for January 2017.

INCURABLE
Written by Jeff YorkCAST LIST:NARRATOR – Hugh Ritchie
JIM – Robert Notman
CATHERINE – Victoria Kucher
SARAH – Olivia Jon
DR. NEUBER – Julie Sheppard
GABRIEL – David Occhipinti

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Horror, Thriller, Romance

Jim has ALS. Feeling he has no hope, he wants to end it all. Then he meets Catherine – who is a Vampire!

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

INCURABLE is about Jim Reed, a man in his early 30’s, with his whole life ahead of him, who is stricken with ALS. He contemplates suicide to avoid the painful death sentence that the disease usually is, but then he meets Catherine Adler, a woman whom he will soon discover is a vampire. They fall for each other and then Jim decides to let Catherine bite him to give eternal life and thwart his ALS forever. Of course, becoming a vampire is not that easy and that’s where the drama ensues. Jim discovers that there’s a whole helluva lot more to his new lease on life, as well as his relationship with Catherine.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Because it deals with vampires it readily falls into the horror category, but it is also a romantic drama as it really examines the relationship that develops between Jim and Catherine. I’d also argue that it has an indie character study feel to it as it is far from the typical violence and gore found in the horror genre. INCURABLE is more head and heart than than blood and guts.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

INCURABLE is a more unique horror tale for the reasons I listed previously, but also because of the unique proposition that enables Jim to accept Catherine’s offer to turn him. Because she’s rich and gets her blood supply from the black market, Jim will not have to kill anyone to sustain his vampirism. I’ve never encountered the idea of murder taken off the table in a vampire tale.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Character-driven horror.

What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

“Jaws” is my favorite film of all time, and truly set the template for INCURABLE in that it too was a character-driven piece that had thrills and chills, yes, but it never lost sight of the complex humans in battle with the shark.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

It took three months to write originally, with a few months of rewrites after that incorporating reader’s notes, friends’ opinions, contest feedback, etc. From there, it did very well in contests, but I’ve always tweaked it along the way. As the saying goes, you’re never really done rewriting until the film is in the can!

How many stories have you written?

I’ve written nine movie screenplays, two TV series pilots and pitches, and a theatrical play. (I also write a movie blog and am a film critic, but those are different stories!)

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I love horror but often found myself cheering for the monster to defeat the stupid characters being pursued. It occurred to me that the genre needed more complex storytelling as well as characters. I’ve always been a fan of vampire lore as well, and wondered if one could be a vampire without killing. The idea of a rich vampire who didn’t have to kill for blood, who could buy it on the black market instead, came to me shortly after that.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Editing. Writing isn’t difficult for me, but honing, polishing, editing, really examining every word – that is a lot of work. And it’s a challenging and incredibly detailed kind of intricate surgery as well.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am passionate about movies, the arts, cats, animal rights, and politics, those less so these days with Trump’s victory. I worry we’re going into some very dark days ahead.

What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

I loved that such an organization felt a similar passion for horror. And that winning entries would be read by actors and filmed for all to see! I’ve always loved table reads. Also, the feedback I received from the festival was terrific. And I rewrote INCURABLE to reflect the terrific suggestions.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Be patient. Writing takes time. Connecting with people who can help you with your scripts takes time. Waiting for someone to find the money to greenlight your script will likely take a lot of time. Thus, enjoy being a writer no matter what the outcome, and if you’re lucky to get your work on the big screen remember that’s the icing on the cake, not the whole cake.

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editing: John Johnson


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