January 2018 – Interviews with award winning screenwriters:

7 Screenwriter Interviews from award winners:

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Carl F. Zimmermann (TOE TAG MURDERS)
Interview with Winning Screenwriter Carl F. Zimmermann (TOE TAG MURDERS)

Interview with Winning Screenwriter JoAnn Hess (FRAMER)
Interview with Winning Screenwriter JoAnn Hess (FRAMER)

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Robert Cox (DRAGONSONG)
Interview with Winning Screenwriter Robert Cox (DRAGONSONG)

Interview with Winning TV PILOT Writer Katie Grotzinger (MINNIE NOIR)
Interview with Winning TV PILOT Writer Katie Grotzinger (MINNIE NOIR)

Interview with Winning TV Pilot Writer Ed Vela (PSI-COM)
Interview with Winning TV Pilot Writer Ed Vela (PSI-COM)

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Sheri Davenport (EYES OF DAWN)
Interview with Winning Screenwriter Sheri Davenport (EYES OF DAWN)

Interview with winning screenwriters Edward Ocean & Michael Sgueglia (THE NOWHERE MAN)
https://matthewtoffolo.com/2018/01/09/interview-with-winning-screenwriters-edward-ocean-michael-sgueglia-the-nowhere-man/

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Screenplay Festival: January 7, 2018 Event

The FEEDBACK Film Festival’s first Screenplay Festival event of 2018 features a reading of a Fan Fiction feature screenplay (Black Widow, Marvel Universe) and 7 1st scene readings from various genres and festivals.

If there was a theme to this evening, it would be ROMANCE with SUSPENSE.

CAST LIST: Kiran Friesen, Alicia Ryan, Carly Tisdall, Carina Cojeen, Christopher Huron, Peter Nelson, David Occhipinti

 

FAN FICTION Feature Screenplay: BLACK WIDOW: FUGITIVE, by Brooke Elowe

Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime, Fantasy

After the events of Captain America: Civil War, Natasha Romanoff is on the run. Branded a fugitive for violating the Sokovia Accords, Natasha tries to keep her head down and lay low, but there’s no rest for the world’s greatest spy…

CAST LIST:
Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Natasha: Kiran Friesen
Ava: Alicia Ryan
Ivan: David Occhipinti
Tony Stark: Christopher Huron
Nick Fury: Peter Nelson
Tori Raven: Carly Tisdall

***

ACTION 1st Scene Script Reanding of ZOMBIE CRUIZE, by A K A SMITH

Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller, Horror

Poseidon Adventure meets Night of the Dead. When the world’s largest cruise ship is over-run by thousands of shambling, groping, synthetically reanimated corpses, celebrity Vlogger Rozo and her Dad Ammy, the Chief Engineer, must help the last survivors off the ship – which is made all the more hellish when it capsizes, as these particular flesh-eaters can swim like demented sharks.

CAST LIST:
Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Rozo/Holly: Carly Tisdall
Macavoy: Peter Nelson
Satoshi: Christopher Huron
Ruben: David Occhipinti
Qadira: Kiran Friesen
Kerry Jo: Alicia Ryan

***

DRAMA 1st Scene Script Reading of SCUPPERNONGS, by Lynne Ashe

Genre: Drama, Coming of Age, Romance

In a North Carolina vineyard at harvest time, sixteen-year-old twins vie for the affections of an exotic newcomer to their small town. When they uncover truths about themselves and a haunting family secret, their lives are forever changed.

CAST LIST:
Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Mrs. Slenway: Kiran Friesen
Will: Christopher Huron
Shane: David Occhipinti
Sam: Carly Tisdall
Girl: Alicia Ryan
Boy 2: Peter Nelson

***

DRAMA 1st Scene Script Reading of PREY FOR THE DAY, by by Richard M. Kjeldgaard

Genre: Drama

A financially successful couple, seeking a combination of passive income and early retirement, take a trip from California to Florida at the invite of Miami businessman who is seeking investors in the financial recovery of the local real estate markets. Their business trip soon turns into a fight for survival as there is more to this trip than meets the eye.

CAST LIST:
Narrator: Carina Cojeen
John: Christopher Huron
Kathy: Carly Tisdall
Miguel: Peter Nelson
Jessica: Alicia Ryan
Driver: David Occhipinti

***

COMEDY 1st Scene Script Reading of THE WRECKERS, Kristy Leigh Lussier & Lee Vander Boegh

Genre: Comedy, Romance

They’re paid to turn weddings into disasters, and now are hired to plan a fake one. But when thrown into a job out of their element, this unbreakable duo quickly discover the only disaster they’ve created is the one between themselves.

CAST LIST:
Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Ellen: Carly Tisdall
Trevor: Christopher Huron
Groom: Peter Nelson
Pastor: David Occhipinti
Bride: Kiran Friesen

***

HORROR 1st Scene Script Reading of Red Light, by Dempsey Tillman and Ted Dewberry/strong>

Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi

A slacker husband (with a child on the way) gets a rude awakening when aliens invade his home and target his family.

CAST LIST:
Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Miriam: Carly Tisdall
Aaron: Christopher Huron
Cork: David Occhipinti
Bluetooth: Alicia Ryan

***

LGBT 1st Scene Script Reading of Falling Star, by Katie L. Marshall

Genre: Drama, Romance

Driven to a mental breakdown by those profiting from her fame, a young pop star is forced to keep her sexuality a secret and faces a deadly choice until a chance encounter with a hotel chef transforms both of their lives.

CAST LIST:
Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Brooke: Carly Tisdall
Rachel: Kiran Friesen
Alexa: Alicia Ryan
Man: David Occhipinti

***

TV 1st Scene Script Reading of KILLING MOSES, by Ricardo M. Fleshman

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Private Detective Moses Byone and his effeminate partner, former antiques dealer Armond Fontenot get more than they bargain for in the seedy underbelly of 1970s New Orleans.

CAST LIST:
Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Daniel: Christopher Huron
Lisette: Carly Tisdall
Vanessa: Kiran Friesen

******

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

Director: Kierston Drier

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Op: Mary Cox

November 2017 – Read the best of Interviews with Award Winning Short Filmmakers

Matthew Toffolo interviews the best of short filmmakers from around the world. 

Interview with Filmmaker Vasili Manikas (ANTICA)
https://matthewtoffolo.com/2017/11/04/interview-with-filmmaker-vasili-manikas-antica/

Interview with Filmmaker Jean-Claude Leblanc (STUDDED NIGHTMARE)
https://matthewtoffolo.com/2017/11/04/interview-with-filmmaker-jean-claude-leblanc-studded-nightmare/

Interview with Filmmaker Jonathan Brooks (MILK MAN)
https://matthewtoffolo.com/2017/11/03/interview-with-filmmaker-jonathan-brooks-milk-man/

Interview with Filmmaker Paul Scheufler (TASTE OF LOVE)
https://matthewtoffolo.com/2017/11/03/interview-with-filmmaker-paul-scheufler-taste-of-love/

Interview with Filmmaker Tamara Hansen (TWO)
https://matthewtoffolo.com/2017/11/03/interview-with-filmmaker-tamara-hansen-two/

Interview with Filmmaker/Animator Amr Kamel (PROMETHEUS INDUSTRIES)
https://matthewtoffolo.com/2017/10/27/interview-with-filmmakeranimator-amr-kamel-prometheus-industries/

Interview with Filmmaker Navid Tavakolnia (BEAUTIFUL)
https://matthewtoffolo.com/2017/10/27/interview-with-filmmaker-navid-tavakolnia-beautiful/

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.

 

****

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

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

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

August 2017 – Interviews with Award Winning Short Filmmakers

Read this month’s interviews with filmmakers from around the world. Their short films have played at multiple festivals and have won multiple awards. 

Interviews by Matthew Toffolo

Interview with Director Jeremy Garcia (STAR WARS: TRIALS)
https://matthewtoffolo.com/2017/08/04/interview-with-director-jeremy-garcia-star-wars-trials/

 

Interview with Director Richard Paris Wilson (A MONSTER CALLED CHARLES)
https://matthewtoffolo.com/2017/08/04/interview-with-director-richard-paris-wilson-a-monster-called-charles/

 

Interview with Director Holy Fatma (PLEASE LOVE ME FOREVER)
https://matthewtoffolo.com/2017/08/04/interview-with-director-holy-fatma-please-love-me-forever/

 

Interview with Director Liv Mari Ulla Mortensen (65.5)
https://matthewtoffolo.com/2017/08/03/interview-with-director-liv-mari-ulla-mortensen-65-5/

 

Interview with Director Knútur Haukstein Ólafsson (HOPE)
https://matthewtoffolo.com/2017/07/31/interview-with-director-knutur-haukstein-olafsson-hope/

 

Interview with Director Camille Laloux (NOVEMBER UNDER ASHES)
https://matthewtoffolo.com/2017/07/31/interview-with-director-camille-laloux-november-under-ashes/

 

Interview with Director Carla Shah (ICARO)
https://matthewtoffolo.com/2017/07/31/interview-with-director-carla-shah-icaro/

 

Winning FAN FICTION Screenplay – DR. WHO “The Kingdom of the Mara” by Paul Hewitt

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure

The Doctor accidentally picks up Shona and the two investigate a red comet that lands on Earth. The Doctor discovers the Mara are back, and must use their technology against them to defeat them once more.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
The Doctor: Brian Carleton
Shona: Konstantina Mantelos
Solomon: Anthony Botelho
Vladislav: Jack Comerford
Mila: Andrea Meister
Enok: Jordy Kieto

Get to know the writer:

What is your TV spec screenplay about DOCTOR WHO about?

The Doctor and Shona (last seen in the episode “Last Christmas”), find themselves in Bohemia during the Dark Ages. A tyrant, Lord Ivan, hoards a peculiar red crystal with telepathic powers called the Crimson. Wearing jewels made of Crimson, Lord Ivan and his followers collectively conjure a serpentine gestalt being from the darkest recesses of their minds: The Mara.

Possessed by The Mara, Lord Ivan quickly conquers all before him. He besieges the largest castle (and only cathedral) in the rival kingdom of Vladislav. The Doctor knows that walls, warriors and weapons are no match for the insidious, seductive spell of The Mara.

The Doctor and Shona rouse King Vladislav and his people to fight The Mara through very unconventional means – particularly for The Doctor. The world’s future truly rests on a hope and a prayer.

Why does this screenplay fit into the context of the show?

It’s a traditional good versus evil story with the odd bits of comedy and horror that you’d expect from Dr. Who. I wrote it for the 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi – who I think is fabulous – a throwback to the 70’s Doctors, Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker.

This story is very much in the mold of classic Doctor Who. You have a historic setting that is disrupted by the presence of a perfidious alien – oh, and then there’s The Mara and a mysterious red crystal. Seriously though, The Mara was one of my favourite Who monsters from the 80’s and I am surprised it has not reappeared on TV (yet). The companion Tegan’s experience with the “evil dream snake” is what made her my favourite during the Peter Davison years.

We all know The Doctor’s companion is a surrogate for the audience and a great companion makes for a great Who story. I chose a character from a recent Christmas special – Shona McCullough (played wonderfully by actor Faye Marsay)– because I immediately saw in her the potential for a long term TARDIS traveller.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Faith Wins

What TV show do you keep watching over and over again?

Doctor Who
(also Game of Thrones, Mad Men…)

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Six months (Off and On). So maybe 6 weeks’ worth of an actual research and writing (and rewriting).

How many stories have you written?

Two Features (Housesitting, Guttersnipe)
One Documentary (All About Me)
One Short (co-wrote) (Saved From The Grave)

Next up is my own TV series and this TV spec script was an excellent exercise in writing for this genre.

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

In My Life (The Beatles)

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Time was my biggest obstacle… finding the time.

The second challenge was how to portray The Mara. It is obviously not my own creation, so I wanted to do justice to the original Mara stories with my version.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Acting, films, politics, history, rugby and beer (not necessarily in that order)

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

I had my first feature screenplay analyzed not once, but twice. I was impressed by the depth and value of the criticism. So I did not hesitate to submit my Doctor Who script for analysis and I am pleasantly surprised in the end to have it recognized here. Thank you.

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

It’s an old cliché but true: Write what you know. That’s why I picked Doctor Who for my first TV screenplay.

Be prepared to take a lot of criticism along the way. Your story (and your skills) will benefit from it.

Procrastination is thine worst enemy.

*****

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

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

May 2017 – Read interviews from 10 different festival directors from around the world.

Interviews with 10 Film Festival Directors from 7 different countries from around the world. Interesting insights from festivals on how they run the festival and why. Interviews by Matthew Toffolo. Enjoy:

1. SIMPLY SHORTS Festival
Interview with Festival Director Gregory Kelly (SIMPLY SHORTS)

2. GREAT LAKES CHRISTIAN Festival
Interview with Festival Director Shawn P. Greene (Great Lakes Christian Film Festival)

3. LIGHTS, CAMERA, TAKE ACTION Festival
Interview with Lindsey Paricio (Lights, Camera, Take Action Film Festival)

4. AMERICAN YOUTH Festival
Interview with the American Youth Film Festival

5. OCEAN CITY Festival
Interview with Festival Director William Strang-Moya (OCEAN CITY FILM FESTIVAL)

6. KEW GARDENS Festival
Interview with Festival Director Jayson Simba (KEW GARDENS FESTIVAL OF CINEMA)

7. FAMILY Film Festival
Interview with Festival Director Warren Workman (Family Film Festival)

8. PRAGUE INDY Film Festival
Interview with Festival Director Diana Ringo (Prague Independent Film Festival)

9. COURTS D’UN SOIR Festival
Interview with Festival Director Stéphanie Demers-Hébert (Courts D’Un Soir)

10. MONMOUTH Film Festival
Interview with Festival Director Nicholas Marchese (Monmouth Film Festival)