Interview with Winning Screenwriter Sean Chandler (RUNNING)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Sean Chandler: “Running” is the story of a discordant political family caught in the middle of a gay sex scandal who are faced with the choice of banding together or falling apart.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Political Family Drama

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

The idea of “Running” was conceived following a spate of married, yet closeted, politicians being caught in gay sex scandals. The televised image we usually see in this situation is a press conference where the fallen politician either comes out as gay or commits to some sort of conversion therapy. As a writer, the more interesting element is what is happening to the family standing behind the politician. We never really get the whole story of how they struggle to recover, pick up the pieces, and put them back together in a way that makes sense to form a new family dynamic. The public has a definite fascination with such political adversities and “Running” would allow them to experience an examination of that aftermath.

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

Finding truth.

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

“Meet Me In St. Louis”. Gorgeously shot, a deeply loving narrative through-line and charm to spare!

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

Eight years.

7. How many stories have you written?


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

“Going The Distance” from the original “Rocky” soundtrack. A composition masterpiece.

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

There were two: 1.) Figuring out the sweet spot of how much of the politics to include for a full understanding of that element while keeping the family front and center in the story. 2.) Developing the female characters to be real, inspiring, three-dimensional people who own their own choices without shame.

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

Theater and podcasting. I am the creator/producer/host of a theater-based podcast called “Your Program Is Your Ticket”.

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

FilmFreeway is AMAZING! It makes the process of finding and entering film festivals and writing competitions so much easier by consolidating the submission process and payment system.

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

Chicago is a writers city. It is willing to take risks in incubating new work and supporting up and coming artists.

Excellent feedback from the team! It was specific in observation and gave suggestions as to the future of the piece. Very, very well done!

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

A married, closeted-gay mayoral candidate who is outed in a very public manner must contend with its effects on his campaign and family.


Leslie: Esther Thibault
Ed: Steven Holmberg
Narrator: Kat Smiley
Justin: Brandon Knox
Camile: Patrice Henry
Cassidy: Amiee Poulin


By matthewtoffolo

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

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