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

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WILDsound Performer: ELIZABETH ROSE MORRISS

ACTOR ELIZABETH ROSE MORRISS

Height: 5″6

Hair: Brown

Eyes: Brown

ACTORBest Scene Screenplay – MISPRINTS
February 2016 Reading
Written by Adam Preston
ACTORBest Scene TV Pilot – MY LIFE WITH STELLA KANE
February 2016 Reading
Written by Linda Morganstein
ACTORFeature Screenplay – HENRIETTA’S ODYSSEY
February 2016 Reading
Written by L.R. Whittinger
ACTORShort Screenplay – FOR HOPE
February 2016 Reading
Written by Cindy Lee
ACTORShort Screenplay – LOVES LABORS LOST
February 2016 Reading
Written by Stanley Eisenhammer

 

ACTORShort Screenplay – TURN ON DESIRE
February 2016 Reading
Written by Lauren Hoekstra
ACTORFeature Screenplay – FIEND
May 2016 Reading
Written by Jeff York
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – THE TRENCH
July 2016 Reading
Written by Chris Beadnell

 

ACTORSHORT Screenplay – STRANGER
July 2016 Reading
Written by Jason Smith
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – MATERNAL FEAR
July 2016 Reading
Written by Stephen Milek
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – TREED
July 2016 Reading
Written by Sally Spitzli

 

ACTORSHORT Screenplay – THE BLUE DRESS
July 2016 Reading
Written by Dave Riese
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – THE FACTS OF LIFE
July 2016 Reading
Written by Chris Beadnell
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – FIRE!
July 2016 Reading
Written by Steve Biggs

Short Screenplay Table Reading – TURN ON DESIRE by Lauren Hoekstra

TURN ON DESIRE is the February 2016 Short Screenplay Winner.

Watch TURN ON DESIRE by Lauren Hoekstra

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Susan Wilson
LUKE – Mark Sparks
PIMP – Neil Kulin
BOY – Gabriel Darku
LOUDSPEAKER – Elizabeth Rose Morriss

Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller

Get to know writer Lauren Hoekstra:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your short screenplay about? 

It’s set in a not-too-distant future where the proliferation of virtual sex has killed meaningful relationships and created a society in search of ever-more extreme forms of gratification. Luke, the protagonist, is caught in this vicious circle of gratification and craving. Until he discovers he’s yearning for something long since forgotten.

Matthew: Why should this screenplay be made into a movie? 

Everyone wonders where we’re headed in the future and this story takes a trajectory of something we’re experimenting with today and shows a potential consequence.

Matthew: This story has a lot going for it. How would you describe this script in two words?    

A surreal romance

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

 Cinema Paradiso

Matthew: This is  a very tight, emotionally engaging and fun screenplay. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

 I wrote it very quickly as a short story a couple of years ago, then tried, and failed to turn it into a short screenplay. After that, I abandoned it for a few years, until recently. This time, the screenplay flew.

Matthew: How many stories have you written? 

 Not that many. I’m a director first, writer second.

Matthew: What motivated you to write this screenplay? 

I was about fifteen when internet became a standard household item. Over the next decade, I personally felt the effect it had on relationships and it made me want to capture what I think we might be losing.

Matthew: What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The main obstacle was the fact that the protagonist and antagonist never meet, so I had to create secondary characters to explain the story.

Matthew: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about? 

 I love directing and producing.

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

I’ve had another work featured and it’s amazing to hear your screenplay performed. I’ve found the feedback to be very helpful and I’ve incorporated nearly all the recommendations.

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

Contests that give feedback, like WILDsound, are invaluable.

 

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

 

 

Feature Screenplay Table Reading: HENRIETTA’S ODYSSEY by L R Whittinger

Henrietta’s Odyssey is the February 2016 Feature Screenplay Winner

Watch HENRIETTA’S ODYSSEY by L R  Whittinger:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Susan Wilson
HENRI – Amanda Pereira
EANIE/ARTHUR – Gabriel Darku
GEEGLE – Mark Sparks
ADA/MRS. STRICT – Elizabeth Rose Morriss
VARIOUS – Neil Kulin

Get to know winning writer L R  Whittinger:

1. What is your feature screenplay about? 
To save her Henrietta’s life, she is left on an earthling’s doorstep by Geegle one of the most untrustworthy characters in the plot. It so happens she is left on the wrong doorstep. She falls into the hands of the greedy Fritzgrumpy’s and becomes their slave. After Henri discovers she is a foundling and her supposed parents were only interested in being paid for looking after her. Her life turns upside down. Eanie Meanie saves Henri aided by with Geegle. So she can to find her way back to her real place in time and space.  However, the Black Cardinal who has taken her rights away wants her dead.
 
2. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie? 
This is a rare comedy script, as weird as Edward Scissorhands and as compulsive as Time Bandits. The story is told in the style of Alice in Wonderland with animated sequences. 
 
3. This story has a lot going for it. How would you describe this script in two words?    
Humungously funny
 
4. What movie have you seen the most times in your life? 
City of Ember (2008). It is always on TV and has a deep interesting plot.
 
5.  This is  a very tight, emotionally engaging and fun screenplay. How long have you been working on this screenplay?  
This story began as a manuscript around 2006. It was published as Henri and the Alien (2008) and one London publisher immediately said it should be a film. Within a few years, I had developed a children’s TV series. I had interest at MIPCOM, Kidscreen, and CMC, but thought a feature film would allow me to build a stronger brand. I have been working on the screenplay with other projects for two years. 
 
6. How many stories have you written? 
I have written nine stories if one does not include different versions of the same story for different media. 
 
7. What motivated you to write this screenplay? 
I think taking this story from novella to TV series, to Screenplay has been an enjoyable experience. I laughed and cried along with it. I had another screenplay on my PC about dolphins at the same time, which is now in pre-production under another writer’s name. It taught me how to write in multiple mediums for different audiences. 
 
8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay? 
Writing screenplays is like learning a language, very different from novels and literary fiction. It has a different grammar and tense. This problem is common to all writers, who switch from TV to films, or to books. One obstacle is always the problem, what to cut and what to keep, and which character leads and when. Another problem with a visual medium is leaving the right clues, for an actor to pick up the character’s emotional state. How many films have you watched, where a dialogue line can be interpreted many different ways with, pauses, expressions, etc. 
 
9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about? 
I love history and am sad that many writers do not use authentic situations in historic films. The past is very intriguing and can offer enormous opportunities emotionally. I tend to be a workaholic because I was born on Saturday. I love the irony of politics, sport, and religion and wonder how they can subsume people. That is the novelist and thinker coming out. I think everyone should study anthropology, so they, can see how ridiculous humans are.  
 
10. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
I feel WILDsound is a great way to develop a screenplay and get friendly feedback. It can be slow, but that has advantages, as every writer needs, at least, three projects underway at a time. You cannot keep reading the same thing repeatedly without a break. You need to be on the ball and creative.   
 
11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers? 
As William Nicholson (Gladiator, 2000) told me screenplays are about story. Never be possessive about you work. If you are, no one will want to work with you. The real trick for someone like me who writes book to film screenplays is, think out of the box and remember films are about seeing not feeling. Lastly, unless you are also a director or producer you will likely be undervalued for your contribution. The industry is geared to publicizing a few directors or actors to attract audiences. Thankfully, WILDsound is giving screenwriters the place they deserve. 
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Watch Short Screenplay: FOR HOPE by Cindy Lee

For Hope is the February 2016 Winning Short Screenplay.

Watch FOR HOPE by Cindy Lee:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Susan Wilson
NIC – Elizabeth Rose Morriss
THEMBA – Mark Sparks

Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Drama

Get to know writer Cindy Lee:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your short screenplay about?

Cindy Lee: My short screenplay is about two rhino poachers who flip their car in the Kruger National Park. Even though their lives are literally hanging in the balance none of the locals who arrive on the scene will help them. The locals decide to take a stand and send a message. Enough is enough.

Matthew: Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Cindy: Rhino poaching will wipe out the Rhino population if it isn’t stopped soon. We need to get this message across in an interesting and dramatic way that will find a larger audience. Hope is a young female Rhino who had her horn hacked off, but survived thanks to some amazing Doctors. This story is For Hope and all the other Rhinos.

Matthew: This story has a lot going for it. How would you describe this script in two words?

Cindy: For Hope.

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

Cindy: Requiem For A Dream.

Matthew: How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Cindy: About a year.

Matthew: How many stories have you written?

Cindy: A lot in my head. Only a handful to paper.

Matthew: What motivated you to write this screenplay?

Cindy: I travel to the bush a lot and the one time we went we didn’t see any Rhino. When we asked the ranger why, he said they weren’t allowed to call out their positions on the radio any more because poachers may be listening. That made me very sad. Sad enough to want to do something about it.

Matthew: What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Cindy: None really. I did do lots of rewrites and eventually had to say ‘Okay stop, it’s done.’

Matthew: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Cindy: Directing. That’s my other big love.

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

Cindy: I loved that not only did we get feedback but you also did a live reading of the screenplay so I could hear it come to life.

The feedback was great. I changed the title – good call – and took out the directing notes (hard not to write them in when you’re a director). It made the screenplay flow much better.

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

Cindy: Get a comfortable chair.

 

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

WILDsound Performer Jan. 31st Event: Elizabeth Rose Morriss

Actor Elizabeth Rose Morriss will be performing at the January 31 2016 Writing Festival event.

See the winning screenplays that will be performed at the festival on the 31st

elizabeth_rose_morrissHeight = 5’2

Hair: Dark Brown

Eyes: Hazel

This will be the first time the actor will be performing at the festival.