Tag Archives: val cole

Winning DIVERSITY Feature Screenplay: LIKE A BLOODY MONKEY by Maurizio Caduto

Logline: A Malay trans woman is forced into prostitution in jail and fights to survive and regain power over herself.

Synopsis: Malaysia, 1998: KARIM collects his brother Amir from the beach while Amir’s friends make fun of him. Flash forward to 2015 and we met ZEHRA as she leaves boyfriend DAVE in bed and goes to work. At work she talks to her friend Farah, a trans woman who is showing off her surgery. On being asked if Zehra wants breast work done, she says she is happy being as God made her. On the way to a club that night, Dave coerces Zehra into oral sex in his car despite watching police cameras. At the club we see a man (SHAVED HEAD MAN) leave before they enter. Zehra and Dave dance until the club is raided by police. Dave abandons Zehra and the police check her ID – we discover that she was Karim from the first scene. A police officer offers to let her go in exchange for sex and she assaults him. She is arrested for the assault and for “cross-dressing”, sentenced to 1 year in prison.


Narrator: Val Cole
Zehra: Zena Driver
Warden: Nick Baillie
Menni/Jensen: Peter Mark Raphael
Dave/Peter: Russell Batcher
Farah: Valerie Courville
Hafiz: Ryan Singh


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

Festival Moderators: Kierston Drier, Shepsut Wilson
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: Kimberly Villarruel, John Johnson, Kyle Drier

Festival Directors: Mary Cox, Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Hugh Ritchie, Aser Santos Jr., Zack Arch


Winning Feature Screenplay: The Memphis Mafia by Jason B. Williams

A disillusioned member of Elvis Presley’s entourage and an ex-stripper try to smuggle five million dollars in diamonds out of the country, without being caught by Colonel Parker or killed by the mob, on the back of Elvis’s American Eagle jumpsuit.


Elvis: Brandon Knox
Andy: Harry Judge
Narrator: Val Cole
Layla James: Alex Simpson
Judd: Randy Baumer
Vic: Brian Carlton

Submit your Film & Screenplay via FilmFreeway:


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

Festival Moderators: Kierston Drier, Shepsut Wilson
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Festival Directors: Mary Cox, Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Hugh Ritchie, Isabal Cupryn, Aser Santos Jr., Zack Arch

Winning Feature Screenplay Reading – PREY FOR THE DAY, by Richard M. Kjeldgaard

Genre: Thriller/Suspense

An early 30’s couple is flown from California to Florida by a Real Estate Investor with an opportunity that appears too good to be true. Once they arrive the couple soon realizes they have fallen into the hands of a con man and his “Henchmen”. They are robbed, taken hostage and beaten as their journey to financial security soon becomes a fight for survival and terrifying encounters in an abandoned home development out in the middle of nowhere.


Tara: Cassandra Sirois
Billy: James Murray
Kathy: Vanessa Quaglaira
Narrator: Val Cole
John: Dan Fox
Miguel: Nick Wicht
Mendez: Fabio Abreu

Get to know the writer:

1. What is your screenplay about?

John and Kathy Pearson are an early 30’s, financially successful couple living an Los Angeles and are flown out Miami to meet a Real Estate Investor, Miguel, with a Real Estate investment plan that seems too good to be true, rehabbing abandoned neighborhoods from the Real Estate bubble for great returns on investment. After showing them a few of the areas the pair becomes suspicious when Miguel invites some of “Contractors” out to meet them. They are subsequently tied up, beaten and forced to transfer all their money to Miguel. After the deal is done Miguel goes back on his word and orders his men to murder them. John breaks free and turns the tables on Miguel and his henchmen. John and Kathy flee into the swampy, derelict neighborhood they were originally lured. Miguel, having survived the escape hires “Human Hunters” and puts a price on their heads. From there it’s a cat and mouse game of survival in an worn down area far from any civilization

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?


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

It’s an edge of your seat, action thriller which will have an audience thinking “What’s next?. The backstory of the couple makes them characters the audience will cheer for and the bad guys characters the audience will genuinely hate. The isolation of the locale adds to the atmosphere and feeling of helplessness..

4. How would you describe this script in two words?

Page turner.

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

John Carpenter’s Halloween.

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Took close to six months. Rewrote the story several times giving the two main characters more of a backstory and introduced more bad characters in the “Abandoned community”. The ending took a few rewrites as well to make it credible. Had to give the story more of that emotional roller coaster feel to it.

7. How many stories have you written? Scripts (Feature) Three horror, Three suspense/thrillers, Five character driven dramas, three short screenplays (20 pages) and A TV sitcom idea (Pilot and three scripts for the idea) a while back.

8. What is your favorite song?

(Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?) Any song off the original BOSTON album.

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

The pacing of the story was the most difficult part. Keeping the visuals, action scenes and characters all together and at a pace that was believable without taking anything or anyone to a situation that might confuse the reader. Also making the John and Kathy characters that I call “Transitional”

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

Reading biographies (For inspiration) Real Estate investing, Travel and Photography.

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

Great. A combination of guidance and encouragement through the writing process.

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

Feedback has been great. They definitely are thorough in their reading as I can tell from their notes. Again, always encouraging!!


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

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox