Interview with Winning Screenwriter Barry Brennessel (ÁNH SÁNG)

November 2017 Winning Feature Screenplay writer.

What is your screenplay about?

Two teenage boys in 1917 French Indochina discover their feelings for one another transcend mere friendship. But the hardships under French colonial rule, and the effects of the Great War, alter their lives forever.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

LGBTQ historical drama

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

I like movies that carry me away to another time and place, especially when the setting is one rarely visited. I also like characters who overcome unimaginable hardships and prejudice. The characters in this screenplay face many obstacles in a land both enchanting and brutal.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Heartbreaking. Hopeful.

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

Orphée by Jean Cocteau. I first saw this in a college film studies class and I was mesmerized.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

About 8 months

How many stories have you written?

I’ve written 4 novels, 3 short story collections, 3 stage plays, 8 screenplays, and 5 teleplays.

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

“Moon River”

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

This required a ton of research, aspects such as clothing, food, mail delivery, employment statistics, number of and make and model of automobiles, rule of law, weather patterns, etc.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Architecture, gardening, animals, travel, languages, and dessert.

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

So convenient! Once your screenplay is up, it takes just a few clicks to enter any competition or festival.

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

It’s not often you find a festival celebrating and championing LGBTQ stories. And the feedback was detailed and encouraging. Plus, Toronto! I love Canada. Many family vacations there when I was growing up. And I’ve been a fervent Degrassi fan since 1987.

****

Genre: Romance, LGBT, Drama

French Indochina, 1917. Two teenage boys discover their feelings for one another transcend mere friendship. But the hardships under French colonial rule, and the effects of the Great War, alter their lives forever.

CAST LIST:

Narration: Carina Cojeen
Minh: Xavier de Guzman
Thao: Anthony Yu
Laurent: Fabio Abreu
Minh’s Mother: Angelica Alejandro
Sovann: Isai Rivera Blas

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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