Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?
M. V. Montgomery: Two young women with different backgrounds and talents. Ginny is a gifted singer; Selah is a spiritual leader in-the-making. Both have struggles to overcome: Ginny is a victim of domestic abuse, Selah the victim of a public hate crime. Fortunately, both are there to support each other.
What genres does your screenplay fall under?
Drama, LGBTQ, musical, spiritual.
Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
It speaks directly to a generation just coming of age in Trump’s America, a protest generation that can directly connect to Ginny’s music and be inspired by Selah’s example.
How would you describe this script in two words?
Punker & Prophet. Peace & Resistance. In three words: Peace, Love, & Anarchy.
What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
How long have you been working on this screenplay?
About a year. It started off as two scripts, a feature and a short, which I eventually merged.
How many stories have you written?
About a dozen screenplays in the past three years.
What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)
The songs I was listening to while writing this screenplay included a lot of punk tunes, particularly Gits tunes like “Social Love I,” “Absinthe,” “Whirlwind,” “Bob (Cousin O),” “Second Skin,” and “Seaweed.” The voice I was hearing in my head for Ginny was a blend of Mia Zapata’s (of the Gits) and Amy Ray’s (of the Indigo Girls).
What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
I grow attached to my characters. So I suffered along with Ginny when she was suddenly homeless and on her own. And I knew that going into the final part of the screenplay, Selah was going to have to endure an attack by a white supremacist. That was the hardest scene to write.
You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experience working with the submission platform site?
I have been with the site from the beginning. Andrew and the staff have been very prompt in responding to my queries and suggestions for improving the platform.
What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
I liked the idea of having my work read and produced. The initial feedback pointed out the need to introduce Selah’s character earlier in the script put me to work on some formatting issues.
Watch the Winning 1st Scene Screenplay:
Two young LGBTQ women from very different backgrounds form a close bond and help to fight each other’s battles.