Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?
Debasree Banerjee: The script is a Gothic Horror with elements of neo-noir. It focusses on the story of two orphans who’re adopted to Geraldine Hall, a vast labyrinthine manor house, with a dark and mysterious past.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
Horror, Thriller, Gothic Fiction, Noir, Neo-noir
3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
This screenplay, if taken up for cinematic adaptation, would require very little props and outdoor locations, i.e. it can literally be filmed on shoe-string budgets. Moreover, with films like ‘Get Out’ being nominated in Best Movies category, the trend of horror movies catching up with dramas or romantic fictions, is obvious. I feel, this is the right time for launching this script, with the audience taking more interest in a plethora of movies from the Horror genre.
4. How would you describe this script in two words?
Arresting and identifiable
5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
I’ve literally been a cinephile for the most part of my adult life, and have enjoyed watching thousands of films in over a hundred languages (with subtitles, of course). Nonetheless, some of the ones I’ve watched more than ten times are – ‘The Exorcist’, ‘The Bridges of Madison County’, ‘Les Choristes’ (The Chorus, in English), ‘Nove Cento’, ‘Million Dollar Baby’, ‘Chinatown’, ‘The Shining’, ‘Shutter Island’, ‘Sophie’s Choice’, ‘The English Patient’, ‘Ladri di Biciclette’, ‘To kill a Mockingbird’, ‘Million Dollar Baby’ etc…. The list is long.
6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
This was one of the scripts on which I worked comparatively for a much shorter period of time. There are other projects which are period dramas, or historical fictions, and they require years of researching.
7. How many stories have you written?
I’ve written hundreds of stories, many of which have been internationally published.
8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)
My all-time favourite song has been ‘Purano Shei Diner Katha’ by Rabindranath Tagore, a song that speaks of olden times, or lost times that each one of us leaves behind, but that, which always tug at our hearts due to their simplicity. incidentally, the tune is inspired to an extent by ‘Auld Lang Syne’.
9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
None. I remember having picked up the idea and working out everything within only a couple of days. I feel horror and thriller are my genres; they come naturally to me.
10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Singing, films, cooking, travelling, philosophy, spirituality.
11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?
‘Film Freeway’ is a God-send platform for people like me, who’ve a bagful of finished / nearly finished/ unfinished projects at hand, but who don’t have access to agents, or don’t know who to approach with their work, or are geographically located far-away. My experience of having availed your services has been awesome, and I’d like to thank Film Freeway for their kind support and excellent liaison.
12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
Los Angeles, for someone who is living maybe, more than 8K Miles away, is synonymous with Hollywood, which is again another name for the factory of Dreams, that has enthralled and enticed most of us, sometime during our lives. It was therefore my desire to submit my script to the seat of my inspiration, i.e. Los Angeles. Moreover, the additional allure of having a professional feedback, was something the couldn’t be overlooked. But to be frank, I never expected such a thorough feedback, which clearly showed that someone had actually taken the pains of having read and re-read my script! Neither did I expect such a prompt response. I’m very happy to have learnt about your film festival, and look forward to submitting my other scripts as well.
‘Geraldine Hall’ is a Gothic Horror Fiction script, that emphasises on the unease of two orphan children, a brother and sister, as they’re adopted to Geraldine Hall, and the terror into which it quickly changes.
Charlie: Liam Kinahan
Stuart: John Leung
Narrator: Adrian Currie
Miss Bethany: Anjelica Alejandro
Mary Ann: Mandy May Cheetham