Best Scene STAGE PLAY Reading of VENGEANCE OF THE SHREW, by Bree Katz

Genre: History, Comedy

Tired of sixteenth-century gender relations, Kate from The Taming of the Shrew recruits Lady Macbeth, the Wife of Bath, Frankenstein’s Monster, and other canonical characters to drive literature into the 21st century.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Sean Ballantyne
Kate: Carina Cojeen
Petruchio: Peter Nelson
Shylock: Kris Hagen
Dr. Frankenstein: Mike Ruderman
Wife of Bath: Val Cole

Get to know the writer:

What is your play about?

The Vengeance of the Shrew is about classic literary characters – including The Taming of the Shrew’s Kate, The Merchant of Venice’s Shylock, Lady Macbeth, the Wife of Bath, and Frankenstein’s Monster – who are tired of their canonical lot and decide to shake up the established order.

What genres does your play fall under?

Vengeance is a farcical comedy.

Why should this play be made into a show?

In addition to being thigh-slappingly hilarious (in my admittedly biased opinion!), my play tackles the question of how to fit beloved literary figures and the settings they inhabit and make them relevant to the 21st century – and it’s told through their perspective.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Modern Shakespeare!

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

I watched the original Star Wars trilogy so many times, my mother had to re-record them due to fears of me wearing out the VHS tapes they were on.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I started working on this play ten years ago.

How many stories have you written?

I have lost track of how many stories I’ve typed out – I’ve written first drafts of several novels, screenplays, and television pilots, and I’ve polished the ones I kept coming back to re-read (after all, if I want to read it again, someone else will want to read it the first time!).

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

Bruce Springsteen’s “Backstreets.” Born to Run was the first album I remember listening to in full as a child, and that song as well as “Jungleland” amaze me with their composition and the raw power of their lyrics every time.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I was in school for most of the time I was writing it, and I have a very limited ability to multitask. I completed it in fits and starts.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am an avid skier in the winter and a climber of 14,000-foot mountains in the summer. I have summitted 22 fourteeners: 21 in Colorado plus California’s Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the U.S. south of Alaska.

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

I’d gotten a notification that my play’s logline had been selected to receive special attention for the submission. The feedback I received was thoughtful and informative.

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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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Winning THRILLER Feature Screenplay: WORD GAMES, by Joel Stern

Genre: Thriller, Horror, Drama

A commercial airliner flying to Paris explodes off the U.S. East Coast killing sixteen members of a high school French Club and a young pianist destined for greatness; a pair of deranged teens go on a terrifying high school shooting spree ending the life of a young girl devoted to serving God and mankind. If there is a master plan, how could these horrific events be allowed to happen?

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Val Cole
Sal: Kris Hagen
Dave: Peter Nelson
Monica: Shania Belton
Julie: Katelyn Varadi
Tanya/Shannon: Carina Cojeen
Lassen: Mike Ruderman
Bill: Nick Wicht

 Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

“Word Games” is about two strangers in a nursing home who are isolated because of the “Blizzard of the Millennium” . One man – Sal Genesinni – is the janitor. The other is Dave Phillips, an old man, wheelchair bound, who was found abandoned in the storm. While Phillips’ true identity remains a mystery, he and Genesinni play “Scrabble” to kill time. As they spell certain words it takes us back in time to real life events. As they recall these events they actually change what happened. This affects the destiny of the promising young people they speak of. As the story unfolds, we realize their “game” is a battle of wits between good and evil – one they engage in as different people throughout time.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Suspense/Horror

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

“Word Games” would provide moviegoers with a suspenseful, alternative view of destiny and attempt to explain why bad things happen to good people.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Story in two words: Inescapable destiny.

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

The movie I’ve seen the most: “Pineapple Express”

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I wrote the short story two years ago (now on Amazon). I began writing the screenplay in January, 2016.

How many stories have you written?

I’m currently writing my third screenplay. I began my first, “Trickle Down”, a dramatic comedy based on the 2007 mortgage meltdown, in 2012.

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

Favorite song – Rod Stewart’s “Have I Told You Lately…”

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Obstacles to writing screenplay: Trying to think as God

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Other passions: Sports, politics, travel, history

You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

Film Freeway: Easy to work with

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

I entered the festival to gage interest in my work and to get it produced. “Word Games” also won a Finalist Award at the Cannes Film Festival Screenwriting contest in April of this year.

I was thrilled with the feedback I received. I made a few clarifications when asked to.

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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

Best Scene STAGE PLAY Reading of LOOKING FOR REDFEATHER, by Linda Collison

Genre: Coming of Stage, Drama

Three troubled runaways meet up by chance on the road — but it ain’t Jack Kerouac’s road trip!

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Val Cole
Ramie: Nick Wicht
Chas: Mike Ruderman

Get to know the writer:

What is your play about? 

Looking for Redfeather is about coming of age on the road in America in the 21st century.  A boy on a father quest meets up by chance with two other runaway teens on the road to Denver. He has two weeks to find his father, an Apache named Redfeather.

What genres does your play fall under?

Drama/coming-of-age/humor/musical

Why should this play be made into a show? 

 

Looking for Redfeather is about growing up in America in the 21st century. It encompasses contemporary issues such as functionally dysfunctional families, friendship, American myths and legends, substance use and abuse, learning disabilities, the fictionalized past and present of Native Americans – specifically Apaches.

How would you describe this script in two words?  

Vibrant, adaptable

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

 

Tombstone (Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer)

How long have you been working on this screenplay?  

About three years. Adapted from the novel, written in 2007, and published in 2013.

How many stories have you written? 

Impossible to say! I’ve been writing stories all my life.  I have seven published novels and numerous published stories, articles and essays.  I have only written a few plays, though I love theater.

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

The one I’m singing along with at the moment. Seriously, it’s impossible to name one.  Music is the most powerful art form there is, and a universal language. OK, I’ll pick one that leaps to mind: As a writer, I admire Mark Knopfler’s Sailing to Philadelphia, as much for the lyrics as for his fine guitar playing.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay? 

I found it challenging to adapt my own novel to the stage.  The dialogue is strong and the heart of the story is there but I knew the plot was episodic, rambling, and in need of condensing. But I felt the story is malleable enough to be interpreted and re-interpreted by directors and young actors, following characters’ lead. This story is character driven, yet open to interpretation.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about? 

Music, travel, art, adventure, road trips, environmental theater, reading, learning… Writing is how I connect with myself and with others; it’s how I make sense of life.

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

I have always been positively challenged by writing contests; I’ve entered many and won a few. I’ve learned from them all.  Contests give me a deadline – and a purpose – to finish the project in a timely manner. A contest compels me to do my best work, and quickly. It keeps me from over-editing because a story is never perfect, it’s never finished to my satisfaction. Each time I rewrite it, it’s a slightly different story. It has grown and changed, a living thing.

That being said, my work requires many rounds of editing! I wanted professional feedback on this script to discover its strengths and weaknesses, its possibilities for production. I was very pleased with the detailed initial feedback I received and am incorporating some of the suggestions on the next iteration.  Thank you for the critique and the suggestions – and for the impetus to finish the script and send it in!  

 

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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

Winning Feature Screenplay – THE LAST PRISON by Richard Geiwitz

Watch the Winning AUGUST 2017 Screenplay. 

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy,

Judith, known as the “Mother Creator” by her robots, faces a takeover when the robots feel they are not being treated fairly.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Val Cole
Judith: Mandy May Cheetham
R-14: Angelica Alejandro
Reeve: Ryan Yusep
Alain: Peter Mark Raphael
Joshua: Allan Michael Brunet

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

The story follows Judith, a robotics genius who designed and programmed robots to mine a moon of Saturn, which is uninhabitable to man. The bots are designed to think independently and problem-solve. There are three series: administrative, worker and repair. The workers begin to resent their assigned role. They want more input into running the colony. The administrators disagree, citing their assigned programs. There’s a worker’s strike, exports stop and Judith is sent to face her creations, wondering if they are now smarter than she.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

The main genre is Sci-Fi, but social and political as well.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

 This screenplay should be made into a movie because it will be an entertaining drama set in another world, while also being thought-provoking. It looks into the future of man versus machine, creator versus creation, but also takes a look at society today.

How would you describe this script in two words?

 Frighteningly possible.

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

 “Network,” the most visionary film of all time.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

 It was written in the mid-eighties. If I recall correctly, it took about 6-8 months. My inability to land an agent put it on the shelf for a long time. I converted it into a novella, but didn’t sell it. I recently turned it back into a screenplay, updating certain technical aspects and reworking dialogue. Maybe the third time is the charm.

How many stories have you written?

I’ve written ten feature screenplays, three short scripts and two treatments. So, far, they’ve won or placed in 71 contests. There are a few other scripts from the past I might update along with new projects in the works.

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

 “Pride” – U2

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

 Technical issues. Computers, programs and robotics were different in the 1980s when this was first written. Researching the recent rewrite was fascinating. Also, creating the future as envisioned today. Of course, this is a more social issue story than scientific. So putting the Bible and Plato’s Republic into outer space was interesting.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I love Asian culture, philosophy and architecture. I’m fascinated by the Feng Shui design of ancient cities in China and Japan. I love watching movies and TV series from around the world, stories you can’t find in Hollywood.

You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

It’s easy to use and actually fun, like shopping on Amazon. There are a lot of festivals to choose from. It’s easy to search for festivals and the many filters save a lot of time.

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

I’ve always liked the feedback. It really points out what needs another look. Other scripts I’ve entered haven’t won, so I was completely shocked when this one did. I had to read the email a couple extra times before I believed it.

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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

BEST SCENE Screenplay – ESCAPE TO PLANET B346, by Thomas Thorpe

Winning Screenplay – ESCAPE TO PLANET B346
Written by Thomas Thorpe

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
WILLIAM – Dan Cristofori
SIMONE – Jane Hailes
COE – Sean Ballantynea>

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Romance, Drama, LGBT

Attempting the precise flyby of a black hole, untrained survivors of a lethal virus arrive in an uncharted region of our galaxy searching for refuge, but encounter an ancient race intent on eliminating outsiders.

What is your screenplay about?

A transport ship carrying settlers to a distant planet heads towards a black hole. A virus contracted in the Centauri System has wiped out the crew and most of the passengers. Two survivors attempt to navigate the ship, but miss the planned flyby trajectory and end up in an uncharted part of the galaxy. Finally arriving at a habitable planet, William and Elizabeth land in separate escape pods far apart.

William tracks his missing wife, but discovers glucose processing plant run by Coel, one of a few remaining overseers left by an ancient race.William is drugged and wakes up next to the owner’s dead body. Accused of the killing, William is held hostage by the notorious overseer, Afon and learns that his wife may have been taken to the capital city Ronna to participate in a blood transfusion purported to save Domed, young leader of the planet’s native race and who has contracted a similar virus.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Sci fy, adventure, thriller, suspense

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Truely unique story, with the subtext of finding one’s place in the universe and making the choice between health, wealth or happiness.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Life prevails

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

Jaws, Star Wars, Jurassic Park

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Two years, adapting from my novel which was written ten years ago.

How many stories have you written?

Eight published novels, four feature screenplays

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

Star Wars theme

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Adapting novel to the visual medium.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Astronomy, space exploration, golf, movies

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

Hearing the reading, receiving excellent feedback.


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

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Casting: Sean Ballantyne

Winning SHORT Screenplay – MILKSHAKE, by Max Thackara

Winning Screenplay – MILKSHAKE
Written by Max Thackara

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
TEDDY – Dan Cristofori
WAITRESS – Cassandra Guthrie
ALICE – Jane Hailes

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Romance, Drama

A young couple have an awkward meet in a 50s diner.

 
Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

It is a short script about a relationship between two young lovers, very much a cliché!

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Romance

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

This short script I believe would make an excellent and very emphatic short film for its use of music and soft tone.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Bitter sweet.

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

Probably ‘Step Brothers’

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I wrote this short script over a few days after having the idea/setting in mind for a while.

How many stories have you written?

As I haven’t been writing for long I am working on a number of scripts ideas at the moment, but have also written probably 3 or 4 short stories I’m proud of.

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

Starman (David Bowie)

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I was unsure of the ending and how I wanted the story to unfold, but I have since changed it rather a lot with an ending I now feel is much more appropriate.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I was unsure of the ending and how I wanted the story to unfold, but I have since changed it rather a lot with an ending I now feel is much more appropriate.

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

I entered the festival as I believed this was one of my best short scripts. The feedback was brilliant and influenced me in the rewrite I completed recently. I was thrilled to be selected as obviously a lot of this is subjective, also it hopefully confirmed that my writing isn’t as awful as it was 6 months ago!

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

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SHORT SCREENPLAY – PROTEST SEEN by Donald J. Bingle

Watch the Winning January 2017 Short Screenplay.

Best Scene from the screenplay PROTEST SEEN Screenplay
Written by Donald J Bingle

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
PROTESTER – David Straus
YOUNG MAN – Gabriel Darku
FLAME BOY – Nick Wicht
GIVER – Charles Gordon
BUSINESS WOMAN – Shannon McNally

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Drama

What if they held a protest and nobody paid attention?


Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

It’s about how America reacts to protest.

What genres does your screenplay under?

Dark humor; drama.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

In just a few pages, it touches on the commitment of protesters, the importance of protest movements, the futility of protest movements, and the apathy of the American public.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Protesting apathy.

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

Hard to say. No VCRs or DVRs when I was a kid. Probably something like the original Journey to the Center of the Earth (with Pat Boone) or Harvey (Jimmy Stewart) or Princess Bride.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I wrote it many years ago, but the process of actually writing it wasn’t that extended. It’s only a few pages.

How many stories have you written?

I have five books and fifty or so shorter stories published in the thriller, mystery, science fiction, horror, steampunk, comedy, romance, and memoir genres, along with a couple screenplays and a dozen or so adventures for role-playing game systems. More about me and my writing at http://www.donaldjbingle.com.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

It was a creativity exercise triggered by a prompt.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Screenplay formatting is a challenge for those who primarily write short stories.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Causation. People don’t think about both the intended and unintended consequences of their actions and they don’t seem to care about the reasons why people may disagree with them about all sorts of important subjects.

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

The feedback was specific, helpful, and good. I entered because I believe Protest Seen would make a good, limited budget, limit cast, limited location project for a film student to tackle and submit to film festivals, but I don’t have ready access to people who might be looking for that kind of project.

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

Understand not only your strengths, but your weaknesses, and challenge yourself to write things you never would have imagined yourself writing to develop your craft and expand your skill sets.

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

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
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Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
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