Winning Feature Screenplay – DUE SOUTH by Evan R Schullery

Watch the Winning Feature Screenplay for November 2016.


GUS – Cory Bertrand
AL – Matthew Lawrence
CARL – Peter-Mark Raphael
BEAVER – Vince Jerad
FRAN – Andrea Lawrence
VARIOUS – Cassandra Guthrie


Genre: Family, Animation, Comedy, Adventure

Gus, a misfit goose who can’t fly, gets left behind by his family migrating south for the winter. He sets off to look for his family; along with Beaver, who wants to find his own family he lost as a young beaver. And Carl, a scrawny squirrel who is lovesick for an uninterested porcupine.

Get to know the winning writer:

What is your screenplay about?

A bratty gosling who can’t fly is abandoned by his family when they migrate south, so he undertakes the journey on webbed foot with two furry companions and a questionable “instink.”

What genres does your screenplay under?

“Due South” is an animated family/comedy.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

“Due South” should be made into a movie because it appeals to the whole family and is an underdog tale. There are zany characters that kids will enjoy and adult humor as well. Both will keep everyone entertained and engaged the whole way through. It also addresses universal themes like family, friendship, identity, and the ability to change given the right experience.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Family fun.

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

Rocky IV- it’s always on television and if I don’t watch it I’ll feel un-American.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I wrote the first draft of this screenplay several years ago and it has been through a few drafts since then. I took months off from working on it before approaching it again with fresh eyes. It’s hard to declare that something is “done” after you’ve invested so much time and energy into it, but I’m happy with where it is now and overjoyed that this contest is recognizing it.

How many stories have you written?

I have written several screenplays and have many more in different stages.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

The concept of a young goose being left behind and having to make the journey on foot appealed to me. I’m not sure where that came from, but the structure of the story fell into place pretty easily and provided a good framework to start writing it. Once I started throwing around some ideas for a meaningful ending, I was motivated to finish it.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The toughest part about writing any screenplay is finding an idea that inspires you enough to spend hours, weeks, months, and even years writing it. It’s one thing to think of a good idea, but another to see it through to completion. For me, if I’m inspired enough by the moment at the end of the story that defines it’s true meaning, then I will be motivated to do whatever I have to do to finish it.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Music, educating the youth of America, and thwarting the apocalypse.

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

I found the festival online and thought “Due South” would be great for it. I was impressed with the detailed feedback I received on it- the suggestions were very helpful. I could tell that the reader really read the story and I am humbled by the positive response. It means a lot!


Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

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Watch the January 2016 Feature Screenplay Winner

Written by Howard Fridkin


Genres: Action, Adventure, Thriller, Crime

For the ultimate revenge, an internationally renowned mystery writer uses his latest novel as a blueprint to steal the Eiffel Tower.

NARRATOR – Holly Sarchfield
MONIER – Lorne Hiro
LAMADOUR – Peter Nelson
MANDRELL – Dan Cristofori
LORRAINE – Katelyn Vanier

Get to know writer Howard Fridkin:

1. What is your screenplay about?

For the ultimate revenge, an eccentric Parisian crime novelist financially persuades the world’s greatest detective, scientist and architect into helping him execute the greatest heist of all-time: stealing the Eiffel Tower.

2. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

It brings back to the cinema a more mature high action/adventure thriller in the tradition of such eventful classics as “The Guns of Navarone,” Where Eagles Dare,” “The Towering Inferno” and Goldfinger,” which were all box office giants. With nothing but Marvel and DC comic book movies flooding the theatres, I thought this would be something challengingly fresh to excite audiences with…in other words, “Mission Impossible meets “Ocean’s eleven.”

3. How would you describe this script in two words?

Unprecedented concept.

4. You are the first writer to have ever had three feature screenplays read at our festival. Two of them high concept scripts that the actors LOVED performing. You can’t possibly have more feature screenplays completed….do you?

Unless I’m retiring, there’s always another in the pipeline.

5. What makes this screenplay and your previous script (The Last Adventure of Shay Blaze) stand out from the pack is your ability to mix genres. Crime Extraordinaire can be categorized as a “Crime meets Mystery meets Adventure meets Action, with a little bit of Romance mixed in!” Is mixing so many genres into one completed story a calculated decision in prep?

To help make my mark, I tend to take big risks with extravagant concepts and that usually means fusing different genres together, which I always love experimenting with. But the real trick is to ground them in some basis of reality so your audience will trust you to win them over with an exciting, new approach to your story and not something that eventually turns incredulous.

6. You make it very convincing that the Eiffel Tower could be stolen in your screenplay. Can it really happen? (AKA – Is your engineering and math realistic in the script, or did you make it all up?)

No. I really had to do my homework on this one. I researched ad nauseam all the mechanics of the operation in order to keep things credible. However, for the sake of pure entertainment, some suspension of disbelief is camouflaged by reality based information.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

As a kid, I was always infatuated with two historical landmarks: the Eiffel Tower and the Great Wall of China. One of my favorite films is the original“The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. For some reason its title inspired me to come up with a plot about taking something big, so since I was preoccupied with the Tower, it seemed like a logical choice to marry the two ideas together and see what happens with it in a screenplay. And who knows…maybe one day the Great Wall will be a sequel.

8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The most demanding challenge, of course, was creating convincing characters that would eliminate the reader’s skepticism that an operation of this magnitude could actually be accomplished, and not to drop the ball in its execution; otherwise, the script would have just been a house of cards.

9. The hero/anti-hero/smartest guy in the room in your story is a writer himself. A man who figures out all the pieces of the complicated puzzle to make this ultimate caper happen. Do you really think the great & successful crime writers have the ability to use their past research in prepping their stories, plus their imagination to pull off something like stealing the Eiffel Tower?

Well, you just can’t go around every day stealing any national monument you want and get away with it. You must become an expert on the subject you’re writing about to be taken seriously. Anything is possible so long as you’re willing to do the homework and back up your imaginative ideas with a set of logical rules to abide by.

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

I’ve been extraordinarily lucky with WILDsound’s feedback over the years. It helped me achieve three table reads, which are so important to improve on what I thought was my final draft. You can drive yourself nuts reading your material over and over again, trying to reach perfection. But until you actually hear the dialogue and scene descriptions being read by other voices, sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees. These table reads have helped me catch overlooked errors that I never saw with my own two eyes on the pages.

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

Giving someone advice is like telling them how to dress. Everyone has their own style (voice) and wardrobe (scripts). Rather than giving advice, I’ll take my own: “I write every screenplay as if it were my last, so it has to be the best.

Today’s Writing Festival Testimonials

Read testimonials of recent submitted works and their reactions to the feedback they have received from the festival:

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Thank you so much for this feedback-I have read it and look forward to really making time to consider all these points and suggestions-I appreciate the detail and your staff’s thoughts on improvements..

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A note to let you know that I thought your review of “Unconditional Love” was right on. Thanks for the encouragement regarding the basics of the thesis. Also, your comments about the weak points were well make.

– Chet Shupe, Unconditional Love, Short Story
Thanks for the feedback! Very helpful advice for my next draft.

– Ryan Feldman, Girls, TV Spec Screenplay
I just wanted to say THANKS for the feedback. It was very specific, detailed and makes a lot of sense. It helped me to consider a lot of what I hadn’t considered before. I really do appreciate the time you took to prepare this and I feel this was money well-spent. I will continue to work on this and send to you again in the near future. Thanks again.

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Thank you for the detailed feedback. Whoever did this feedback is a caring person with heart!

– Doris B. Gill, Rembrandt and the Seedlings, Feature Script
Thank you for this helpful feedback. I will follow your suggestions.

– Bonnie Toews, Split-Second Start, 1st Scene Script
Thanks for your feedback, you don’t know how much it means to me, I agree with you on the points that need to be changed, but I’d like to add that the Kuwaiti family are not going to stay in the series for two long, they are just there for two more episodes that’s all, and the reason why is that Mubarak will be murdered and David Cortiez is his soon, so he goes to Kuwait to investigate what really happened and finds the killer.

– Asim Abraham, Blood Brothers, Feature Script
Thank you so much for your critique. I really appreciate it!

– Linda Collison, Looking for Redfeather, Play
Many, many thanks to those of you who vetted my book, THE PITS. All its short comings were expertly noted and I have taken your comments and advice on board

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Thanks so much for the feedback, I really appreciate it. I will definitely take this advice and keep improving the script.

– Jason Mageras, Parks and Recreation, TV Spec
Thank you so much for your feedback for my story ‘The Killing of Freddie Foster’. That’s a great critique and will definitely makes some changes.

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Thank you so much for your feedback; it is very appreciated.

– Melody Stewart, Indigo, Feature Screenplay
I appreciate the constructive criticism of the reader and the respect for what the play is and not attempting to turn it into something it is not.

– E. Thomalen, Hecuba, Play
Thanks so much for your feedback. Excellent notes.

– John Alarid, Kodak Moments, TV PILOT
Thank you for the wonderfully insightful feedback. I’m elated to hear Heart of Fire has such potential.

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First, thank you for your efforts and the interest you have shown. I appreciate your help.

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Thanks for the feedback. I’m definitely taking all your notes into consideration. I appreciate every single comment.

– Ruben Diaz, Mystery Road, 1st Scene Screenplay
Thank you! I find your comments extremely helpful and I look forward to a re-write and resubmission.

– Taylor Albertson, 29.0, Short Screenplay
I must commend you for your brilliant feedback. I’ve received a couple of feedbacks in the past, and have taken care of most story problems that you raised. But no one had pointed out the issues your team raised in the fourth paragraph. Which is right on point. And raises valid questions that need answers.

– Chidi Ezeibieli, Inhuman Nature, 1st Scene Screenplay
As usual, totally impressed by, and very appreciative of, the below critique! Thank you so much and I will work on the edits you speak of in my next draft.

– Michael Zamanis, Drive-Thru, Feature Screenplay
Many thanks for the feedback, it’s very helpful! I will have another look at it and implement some improvements.

– Virginia Burges, The Virtuoso, Novel
Thank you for the very informative feedback. I really appreciate the diverse perspective that was given. Again, thank you.

– Jamison Derfler, God’s Will, Feature Screenplay
Awesome feedback! Thank you so much for the time and effort that was put into reading my script and delivering these constructive notes.

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These notes are extremely helpful. I appreciate the time / effort your team put into it! Will get to work..

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Thank you so much for the very helpful feedback!

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Thanks very much for the feedback!! It was a bit brutal to read. But thanks again very much!! Now I have a bit more direction and certainly got more than my moneys worth. I’ll use this service again for sure!

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