SHORT Screenplay Reading – EVERYONE HAS THEIR DEMONS, by Dustin Prince

Watch the August 2017 Winning Short Screenplay.

Genre: Thriller, Comedy

The willpower of a recovering alcoholic is put to the test when he takes shelter from the apocalypse in a sports bar.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Hugh Ritchie
John: Nick Wicht
Luke: David Occhipinti
Pop Star: Michael Lake
Business Woman: Alicia Payne

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

One man’s struggle to stay sober against all odds.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Comedy/sci-fi

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

All characters has a strong presence.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Risk/Reward

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

The Punisher

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Two days to write and one to revise.

How many stories have you written?

Nine.

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

Arctic Monkeys- when the sun goes down

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Finding the proper ending.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Sometimes passionate with my wife….if I’m lucky.

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

To receive proper and helpful feedback that we actually put to good use. Thank you!

****

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

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

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

Advertisements

Best Scene from PARADISE AT MAIN AND ELM Screenplay by Barry Brennessel

 

Genre: Drama

Adrian Stockwell and Ezra Cherevin both battle the fallout from their broken families. The written word becomes their therapy, their escape. With this shared passion, they learn to navigate a sea of challenges.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
EZRA – Hugh Ritchie
HARTWICKE – Percy Alexander Harris
ADRIAN – Benjamin Camenzuli
DR. DURSCHLAG – Paul Whitaker
STUDENT – Cass Van Wyck
WAITRESS – SECOND WOMAN WOMAN – Jane Smythe

Get to know the winning writer:

What is your screenplay about?

Two college students damaged by their upbringing develop a relationship through a shared passion for literature, and help each other navigate a sea of challenges.

What genres does your screenplay under?

Drama

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

The story is one of hope and survival, and it explores not only physical abuse, but verbal as well, and the lasting effects. And, wow, these characters. The tales they have to tell….

How would you describe this script in two words?

Grit. Solace.

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

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, which might be tied with Fargo, with Cocteau’s Orphee close behind.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

About 6 months.

How many stories have you written?

Approximately a dozen screenplays, 4 novels, and 3 short story collections. And a few radio ads. 🙂

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

It actually grew from a short story I wrote in college about a woman whose life begins to unravel when her safeguards vanish.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Since I adapted this from my novel, it was tough to figure out how to stay true to the book but make sure the story was told cinematically, as opposed to an hours-long “filmed novel”

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Travel, gardening, history, languages, and chocolate.

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

Read, read, read, and write daily.

***

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Short Screenplay: THE TEACHER by Josh Goodman

Watch the October 2016 Winning Short Screenplay.

THE TEACHER

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Drama

A young man confronts his teacher from high school

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Hugh Ritchie
YOUNG MAN – Benjamin Camenzuli
MISS PATTERSON – Becky Shrimpton

Get to know the winning writer:

What is your screenplay about?

A young man confronts his teacher from high school.

What genres does your screenplay under?

Drama

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

To get people talking about mental health and the voting system.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Dramatic confrontation

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

Reservoir Dogs

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

2 Months

How many stories have you written?

5 Short films 5 Feature scripts

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

People I know and don’t know with mental health issues

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Putting myself in another person’s shoes to write believable dialogue

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Filmmaking, art, people

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

Get other people to read your stuff and use their feedback.

***

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Best Scene from LOVE IS NOT LOVE Screenplay by Stephen Keep Mills

Best Scene from LOVE IS NOT LOVE Screenplay
CAST LIST:NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
FIRST MAN – Benjamin Camenzuli
FRANK – Paul Whitaker
CW1 – Percy Alexander Harris
CW2 – Hugh Ritchie
FIRST WOMAN – Cass Van Wyck
JOELLE – Becky Shrimpton
SECOND WOMAN WOMAN – Jane Smythe

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Drama, Romance

It’s all the gray that makes the glue.

Get to know the winning writer:

What is your screenplay about?

It’s about love and my story takes a different look at it. We all know the romances and the quest for perfection—but in my view, Love is made from all the parts we don’t even notice. My logline: “It’s all the grey that makes the glue.” There are no formulas, only the unseen exchange of vulnerabilities.

What genres does your screenplay under?

It’s a love story. A romance. Narrative Fiction.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

The images are good and it’s a fable and I think film is the best medium for story-telling.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Satiric. Sexy.

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

Oddly enough, A Man for all Seasons and that’s because Paul Scofield’s performance is one of a kind. That was a long time ago, now I watch everything with Jeanne Moreau.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Much too long. I had a first reading of it 5 years ago. The script never seemed right to me and I’ve hammered and hacked away at it, getting rid of characters, adding others, removing entire scenes. I have to make this now because time’s running out and there has to be a statute of limitations on re-writes.

How many stories have you written?

Around 50.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

Desire. At 69, I’m surprised how alive I still am and at the same time how much of my life is behind me. I wrote this to find a perspective for both the loss of and quest for Life that I feel with aging.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I just had to get the script right for myself. That took a while and in that meantime, the hope always is that at some point you’ll get to where you have the confidence to make it happen.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Red Wine.

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

Writers who are dramatists, ie. not novelists, need to know the nature of scene-making—what can the actor’s performance bring, what can the editor do, what music is needed—you can’t just write, you have to create a piece that can be furthered by the brilliance of others. And don’t forget to be entertaining.

***

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Best Scene from THE ACCIDENTAL ANGEL Screenplay by Oren Weitz

Best Scene from THE ACCIDENTAL ANGEL Screenplay

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Hugh Ritchie
DANIEL – Benjamin Camenzuli
RIONA – Cass Van Wyck
MOLLY – Becky Shrimpton

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Action

Daniel is about to learn the truth about his childhood, and find the strength to grow back his wings. All but to realize he was predestined to save the world from a new world war, and to reveal some even darker truths about himself.

Get to know the winning writer:

What is your screenplay about?

An 18 year old boy realizes he has the ability to grow back his angel wings and that his destiny is to prevent the next world war, but by doing so he will have to make some sacrifices.

What genres does your screenplay under?

It’s a drama with an action and fantasy angle.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

It’s a coming of age story with a twist. The blending of intimate moments, suspense brought on by the global scale attacks and fantasy creates a thought provoking story. Audiences will be left contemplating and talking about what they just saw long after they’ve left the theater.

How would you describe this script in two words?

A bitter foretelling of humankind’s fate.

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

Princess Bride

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Approximately one year.

How many stories have you written?

Three completed scripts and a fourth on its way.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

The spark came from a single scene I had in my mind, the scene in which the antagonist slays the protagonist’s father. That single scene alongside the rise in terrorism on a global scale served as what motivated me back in November 2014 to write this story.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Keeping a good balance between the social-political issues and the coming of age story. And, also, maintaining a balance between the realistic and fantastic motifs.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Photography

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

Always take a break from the story and step away from it, forget about it for a while.

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Best Scene Reading – Le Chat Noir by Paula Sewell

Watch Best Scene Reading of LE CHAT NOIR:

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Animation, Family, Comedy

A tough alley cat detective teams with the pets of an upscale neighborhood to find a missing black cat, and uncovers a deeper mystery.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR/TWINK – Danielle Nicole
CLANCY – Geoff Mays
MICKEN – Hugh Ritchie
BIGGIE – Scott McCulloch

Get to know writer Paula Sewell:

1. What is your feature screenplay about?

A tough alley cat detective teams with the pets of an upscale neighborhood to and a missing black cat, and uncovers a deeper mystery.

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

This movie is not only a modern day noir, and a mystery, it is also about family, and what makes a family.

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

Pet Noir

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

Road Warrior. It is the ultimate hero’s journey. It’s also thebest script I’ve ever read.

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

From first draft to current draft, I’ve been working on this one for about a year.

6. How many stories have you written?

Way too many to count. I’ve been writing since childhood.
Bad poems for dead cats were my forte as a nine year old. Currently I’m writing my first novel.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I was motivated by the handmade Lost Cat signs I see posted everywhere, my love of noir films, and the huge number of animated films I’ve seen since having my children. Plus, every character is based on a pet I had in my own childhood.

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

Figuring out the way into the story; which characters to include, which to cut out; how to have the tropes of noir film be in a children’s film; and deciding what would be appropriate to talk about in a children’s film. Spaying and neutering? Probably not.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

History – especially early American history. I can’t imagine saying goodbye to my family FOREVER, then sailing for two months, only to have to build my own house when I got there. And then 150 years later, deciding to take on the most powerful country in the world for independence. Craziness.

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

In the beginning, write what you know. When you’ve gotten some experience, write what you’re passionate about. Realize that criticism is not a personal attack. Takecare of housekeeping before you hand someone a draft – spelling, punctuation, anything that will throw someone out of the story. You have complete control over that. And never, ever stop writing.

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

My family and I recently moved from Los Angeles to Toronto, and I was hoping to meet other writers and people in the area. I also love to hear actors takes on something I’ve written. I loved the feedback. A lot of it was spot on and will be helpful when I do my next draft.

****
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Feature Screenplay Reading – Catch the Devil by Martin Blinder

Watch the April 2016 winning feature screenplay.

CATCH THE DEVIL by Martin Blinder:

Genre: History, War, Adventure, Drama

Synopsis: A Civil War true adventure tale of three Union soldiers, the first winners of a Congressional Medal of Honor, whose audacity and bravery trumped the superior lethal technology of the Confederate South in their daring raid into the heart of Dixie.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Danielle Nicole
EVERETT – Geoff Mays
MABEL – Scott McCulloch
VARIOUS – Hugh Ritchie

Get to know writer Martin Blinder:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Martin Blinder: A true story about how, during the American Civil War, three daring Union soldiers, a suicidal fatalist, a reckless gambler and a morose obsessive-compulsive sneak into the Confederate South well behind enemy lines and there commit many successful acts of sabotage, all the while eluding almost an entire pursuing Confederate Army, and at war’s end are awarded this nation’s first Congressional Medals of Honor for bravery, one of them, posthumously.

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

MB: So many of the action films that come to the multiplex consist of fictional and unreal characters or comic book figures who are faced with apocalyptic forces of evil. They all seem the same to me – unconvincing, loud, and ultimately boring. By contrast, Catch the Devil is the largely true story of real men who bravely place themselves in situations of real peril and who, despite conflicts between them and in their inner selves, ultimately prevail. You will care about all the people in this story on both sides of this epic fight. A motion picture is an excellent medium with which to tell this highly visual tale.

MT: How would you describe this script in two words?

MB: Character driven.

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

MB: I often cannot find the time to see the new movies as they come out (and I am including those wonderful television series), let alone find the time to again see a movie already viewed but I think I’ve seen Casablanca and Gungadin more than once.

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

MB: That remains to be seen. Still working on it.

MT: How many stories have you written?

MB: Probably a dozen.

MT: What motivated you to write this screenplay?

MB: Real and attractive characters have a real, highly visual adventure that incidentally perfectly fits the Hollywood formula for a compelling film.

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

MB: Telling a complex story involving a half dozen fully developed characters in less than 200 pages.

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

MB: Unfortunately, too many things. Seems I have a short attention span.

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

MB: Unlike a book or article a screenplay has no life unless it’s performed.

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

MB: 1. Read your script aloud twice, first just the dialogue, then just the descriptions.

2. Look at every page without reading a word. There should be lots of wide space. If you see big chunks of words you’ve got some cutting to do.

3. However succinct your writing, there isn’t a paragraph in your script that would not profit from losing a sentence, and not a sentence that would not profit by dropping at least one word. I have posted on my writing desk some advice given back in medical school by my old professor of surgery:

“If in doubt, cut it out.”

****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson