Interview with Screenwriter Eliza Frakes (REMEMBRANCE DAY)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Eliza Frakes: REMEMBRANCE DAY takes place in a near-future, radicalized America wherein Roe V. Wade has been overturned. It follows two female friends, Maggie and Bix, on their escape to seek out an illegal abortion from a doomsday prepper in Joshua Tree.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I would classify REMEMBRANCE DAY as a dramedy or dark comedy, with elements of sci-fi.

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

I believe in this work because it is timely and poignant. I have tried to engage in a conversation about women’s rights and the direction we’re headed currently in this country through the lens of two very human characters, in the hope that their nuanced relationship provides a viewpoint into the deeper issues our nation faces.

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

War cry.

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

Silence of the Lambs

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

I have been working on this pilot for a year.

7. How many stories have you written?

Far too many, and never enough.

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

Oof, really hard to say. I will say I’m teaching myself how to play the banjo at the moment, so I’ve been on a big Kingston Trio kick.

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

As a writer, I find it much easier to start than to finish. The beginning of a story is captivating, full of opportunity and exploration. The end of the story takes craft, confidence, and commitment- elements I find harder to pin down. I struggled with finding an ending that was also a launch pad into the rest of the season. I also struggled with world building and specification of place. The pilot’s been through rounds of edits, and I’m sure there are many more it will see. It’s exciting to learn something in the process each time. I’m not sure it is finished yet, really, or if I’ll ever feel like it is.

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

In addition to writing, I love acting and theatre making, in particular, devising or collaborating in the performing arts. I also try to romp around outside as much as possible, hiking, swimming, getting lost.

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

FilmFreeway has been a great way for me to hear about competitions and fellowships to apply to. I’m grateful I found it so early in my career.

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

I was inspired to enter the festival because I saw that it was targeted towards students, which was perfect for where I am in my experience. The feedback I received was helpful and very thoughtful in content.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

It’s the day before Remembrance Day, the day when – in a radicalized America that has overturned Roe v. Wade – society commemorates the millions of unborn children lost to abortion. It’s also the day that Maggie (23) finds out she’s pregnant. Not sure what to do, she impulse-buys a gerbil, and calls her best friend.

CAST LIST:

Chris: Matthew Payne
Holace: Yaw Attuah
Trevor: Hadi Kubba
Maggie: Rosalie Vagalatis
Bix: Diana Franz
AT&T Employee: Ron Boyd

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