Interview with Winning Screenwriter Bristol MacDonald (RETURN TO FREEDOM)

 1. What is your screenplay about?

It’s the story of a timid young woman who escapes a violently abusive relationship and with nowhere else to go, returns to her family’s remote horse ranch where she must face her volatile brother and the reason she ran away from home years ago. Prepared to flee once again, an unexpected kinship with an abused wild mustang brought to the ranch for rehabilitation, forces her to confront her past and overcome her deepest fears, giving her the strength and courage to finally stand up to her greatest nemesis.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama – Family Drama

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

This entertaining family drama addresses domestic violence and bullying. It has always been my desire that this story give women, who may feel powerless, hope and encouragement; that they are stronger than they know, braver than they can imagine and that their voice matters.

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

Moving and inspirational.

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

The Shawshank Redemption.

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

About 5 years.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have written 3 Screenplays and a One-Hour Television Pilot

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

Bruised But Not Broken by Joss Stone

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

The biggest obstacle was me. Because this story is personal, and loosely based on my experience, it was often times difficult to open up about my past; to be honest, raw, vulnerable and expose my truth.

I would have to walk away for months at a time and come back to it. But, in the end it was a very cathartic journey and one that I hope will inspire women of all ages.

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

Horses. They saved my life. I hope to share, with women in particular, just how healing these creatures can be. I am also a wild horse advocate using my fine art photography to help shed light on the plight of the American Wild Horse.

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

I love FilmFreeway. I use them for all my projects.

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

A festival focused on women filmmakers and screenwriters was definitely what drew me to your festival. I was extremely excited about the feedback. It was professional and constructive, which has helped tremendously during the rewrite process. Thank you.


Genre: Drama

Emma Wilson, a timid young woman escapes a violently abusive relationship and with nowhere else to go, returns to her family’s remote horse ranch where she must face her brother Frank, a volatile bully and the reason she left home years ago.


Jack: Fabio Abreu
Emma: Vanessa Quaglaira
Narrator: Dan Fox
Rex: James Murray
Odeda: Val Cole
Carmen: Cassandra Sirois

By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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