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Stephen Boncella – February 2017 1st Scene Screenplay Winner

Watch the winning February 2017 1st Scene Screenplay.

Winning Screenplay – BROKEN FRAME
Written by Stephen BoncellaCAST LIST:

NARRATOR – John Fray
SLEAZY MAN – Peter Mark Raphael
MIKE – Gabriel Cameron
SHERIFF BROWN – Brian Carleton
EMMA – Victoria Urquhart


Genre: Drama, Family

Facing life on the streets, a returning Vietnam veteran must undertake his most difficult challenge; reconcile with estranged drug-addicted sister and stop her from selling the family farm out from under him.

Get to know the winning writer:

What is your screenplay about?

On the surface it may seem like a simple “Save the farm” story, but underneath it’s a gritty tale about redemption and second chances. It may take place in the Seventies but there are elements that today’s audiences will identify with.

What genres does your screenplay under?


How would you describe this script in two words?

Gritty, emotional.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

In this day and age of fx driven tent poles, it’s important to have stories that are tactile and character driven. I’m not saying that this is the next ‘ROOM’ or ‘MOONLIGHT’ but I feel my screenplay has a good story with engaging characters that audiences would relate to. And besides, who doesn’t like the Seventies.

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

I can’t really say I’ve watched one particular movie more than another. I’m a sucker for the classics like ‘CASABLANCA’ and ‘FROM HERE TO ETERNITY’. I love westerns. I’m also a big Jennifer Lawrence fan and I have seen all of her movies. Last year I had the good fortune to have seen ‘ROOM’ and I was blown away by it.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I’m still working on this screenplay and it will be a long time before I’m able to say I’m finished with it.

How many stories have you written?

I published a few poems and a short story years ago. I have also written two other screenplays before this, though I’ve never submitted them anywhere.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

The short answer is a Lynyrd Skynryd song (no it isn’t ‘SWEET HOME ALABAMA’ or ‘FREEBIRD’) My sister had gotten me a mixed cassette of their songs for my birthday and on it was ‘COMING HOME’ When I heard it the first thing that popped into my head was the opening scene you see in ‘BROKEN FRAME’. After listening to it about twenty times I had the general outline of the story.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I could write a screenplay about the challenges that I faced writing ‘BROKEN FRAME’. Apart from the usual problems that plague any writer (writers block, procrastination, distraction, self doubt, indecision, ect) perhaps the greatest tragedy that I faced was accidently erasing my entire screenplay. That was a dark moment. Fortunately I was able to retrieve an older file, so I only lost one month of work instead of four years of my life.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I enjoy woodworking as well as the outdoors. I also enjoy history and science and I will watch any documentary that I can find.

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

I found this contest via a Google search. This is one of only two contests of this type anywhere. Festivals such as this are great because it gives writers, who may not be finished with their screenplays a chance to showcase their work before completion. And the feedback that Wildsound gives is top-notch. I appreciate the time and the effort it takes to evaluate each and every screenplay.

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Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com
Editor: John Johnson
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Video Pitch for BROKEN FRAME, Feature Screenplay by Stephen Boncella

Watch the Video Pitch for BROKEN FRAME

Get to know writer Stephen Boncella:

1. What is your story about?

It’s 1975 and Mike Davis, a decorated Vietnam veteran, has trouble surving in an America plauged by high unemployment and hostile towards returning serviceman. He hopes for a fresh start in the one place he vowed never to return, the family farm he left in order to escape an abusive alcoholic father. Standing his way is Emma, the kid sister he abandoned long ago. She’s grown up to become a drug-addicted prostate and the current owner of the farm. Emma has her own plans for the farm, sell it to the highest bidder and move to LA.

2. Why should people know this story?

I feel what makes this story wonderful is that it isn’t simply a “save the farm” story. It deals the with bonds of family, no matter how tenuous they may be they can never be broken.

3. How long have you been working on this story?

I’ve been writing Broken Frame for the past two years, but the inspiration for it came to me in 1998 when my sister give me a mixed cassette tape for my birthday. On it was the song ‘COMING HOME’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd and upon hearing it the opening scene of ‘BROKEN FRAME’ immediately flashed in my brain. After listening to the song several times I had the general outline of the story. However I put the story aside for a number of years (long story on that one) until two years ago when I driving to the store one day and the song was played on the radio. It wouldn’t leave me and I felt that I had to write it.

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

I can’t really say that I have only one favorite movie above all others. My father and my childhood of growing up on a farm gave me my love of westerns. I rank ‘UNFORGIVEN’, ‘TRUE GRIT’ ‘DANCES WITH WOLVES’ ‘THE WILD BUNCH’ ‘THE OUTLAW JOISE WALES’ and ‘LONESOME DOVE’ as the best. I’m also a great lover of classic movies, among them ‘GONE WITH THE WIND’, ‘CASABLANCA’, ‘THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES’ and ‘BUCK PRIVATES’ are among my favorites. I think Quinten Terintino and the Coehn Brothers are not only great directors but also the best writers. Recently I saw ‘ROOM’ and I was blown away by Brie Larson’s performance.

Submit your Logline to the Festival. Get it made into a video pitch:

Narrated by Becky Shrimpton