Interview with Winning Screenwriter Mark Renshaw (THE BROKEN KINGDOM)

 1. What is your screenplay about?

Influence by Brexit and V for Vendetta, ‘The Broken Kingdom’ is set in an alternate timeline in which Guy Fawkes was successful in blowing up the houses of parliament and overthrowing the English monarchy in 1605. However, the script is set in 2018 and the story follows a French-American on a business trip in London. Here he is made to feel a stranger in a very strange land. The English landscape is a familiar one but bleak with an intolerant, isolated population. It isn’t long before our ‘hero’ finds himself in deep trouble as he accidentally commits heresy; becoming republic enemy number one. His only hope is a couple of eccentric, Scottish freedom fighters, but will Scotland prove to be any better?

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Dark comedy.

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

The story is entertaining and full of subtext, while the budget is quite reasonable. I believe people would be entertained by an adaptation of this while also recognising the comparisons with how the world is shifting in today’s weird political and social climate.

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

Political satire.

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

Probably Star Wars: A New Hope.

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

The first draft was written in two weeks as part of a challenge I took part in on a writer’s forum. Since then I tweak it as and when I get feedback.

7. How many stories have you written?

I’m a storyteller, so I’m always tinkering with stories either in my mind or on the page. I started off writing spoof stories in the 1990’s at work starring the people I work with and I haven’t stopped since.

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

I don’t really have any particular favourite, or one that has been listened to more times than others. I listen to a whole range of music, but when writing I tend to listen to orchestral soundtrack music to inspire my mews. In particular, anything by Two Steps From Hell.

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

Creating the alternate timeline. I had two weeks, one week for the backstory creation and a week for writing the script. Creating alternate history from 1605 to the present, then trying to apply that as subtly as possible to the script was incredibly difficult but such a rewarding and creative exercise.

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

I love films and TV, and not just watching them. I’ve produced several of my own scripts and I’m developing a TV series called The Nearscape.

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

Filmfreeway is a very easy to use portal to the film and screenplay competition world. They are constantly updating it to make it easier to use, more functionality etc. I think it is great. It isn’t perfect of course. Their automated process makes it a bit impersonal at times and easier for scam festivals to operate.

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

I’ve entered this festival before with a Doctor Who TV script and a short story. I was extremely pleased the subsequent table reads. The feedback is honest and constructive, which is exactly how I prefer it.



Genre: Comedy, Fantasy

In an alternate timeline in which Guy Fawkes blew up parliament and overthrew the English monarchy, on its anniversary half a century later, a French-American businessman finds himself on the run with Scottish Freedom Fighters after he inadvertently commits an act of heresy.


Female Reporter: Alicia Payne
Tramp/Angus: Scott McCulloch
Emilia: Lara Amersey
Narrator: Hugh Ritchie
Felix: Tim Paul McCarthy
Renee: Jane Smythe
Soldier: Rais Moui


By matthewtoffolo

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


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