Interview with Winning Screenwriter Katie L. Marshall (FALLING STAR)

1. What is your screenplay about?

‘Falling Star’ is about a young pop star who is driven to a mental breakdown by those profiting from her fame. Alexa King is forced to keep her sexuality a secret in the limelight, for fear of losing fans and the profits that come with them. The pressure sees her face a deadly choice until a chance encounter with a hotel chef transforms both of their lives.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
LGBT/Drama/Romance.

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

Falling Star would help to raise awareness on the prolonged oppression, conventional expectation, and prejudice experienced by queer woman all over the world. For the members of the LGBT community that are still being advised not come out, this screenplay really delivers the message on how important it is to be yourself and happy endings are a possibility. There’s a big gap in the market for LBT movies and TV shows, especially with a positive spin. A movie addressing critical issues within the community will let the audience know they’re not alone, and it’s important to accept who they are and not blend into the ideology of others.

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

Powerful and Romantic.

5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
‘But, I’m a Cheerleader’, because it was the only LGBT movie out there at the time!

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

1 year and 7 months.

7. How many stories have you written?

3.

8. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

Knowing that there were no stories like ‘Falling Star’ out there and I wanted to encourage people to be themselves and also create my very own lesbian ‘Romeo and Juliet’ with a happy ending.

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

It was hard for me to put myself into the position of my protagonist, Alexa, and how difficult it is to cope with homophobia in the music industry as I have never personally experienced it. I watched interviews and read a lot of literature featuring the likes of Ellen Page, Elton John, etc, and it really helped with the research side of the screenplay.

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

I’m a full-time traveller and currently backpacking around the world. Experiencing new cultures allows me to open up my creativity, showering me with new ideas. I maintain my own travel/LGBT blog ‘Round the World Magazine’ when I’m not writing fiction.

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

What I love about the LGBT Toronto Film Festival is that they accept screenplays that only focus on LGBT oriented plots. It is critical for potential audiences all over the world that LGBT media is widely available. Growing up, I used to hunt for lesbian movies and TV shows and the lack of availability made me feel very alone at a young and vulnerable time of my life.

The power of film festivals like LGBT Toronto brings stories and ideas to life and their global showcase is where it all begins for new media. The feedback from the festival was impeccable, so honest and so useful for me to develop my screenplay into something beautiful. 

12. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?
I find the interface of FilmFreeway so easy to use and navigation is quick and easy. I regularly receive email updates on similar festivals to my niche which is super useful  and it allows me to remember upcoming deadlines. I’d recommend the site to anyone who wishes to get their work out there. There’s nothing quite like an ‘award winning’ script.

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

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