1. What is your screenplay about?
10 Rounds Deep follows a closeted young boxer who tries to advance his way through the Golden Glove Invitational while he struggles to fight between his faith and feelings for a fellow boxer, the son of the local pastor.
It’s a modern coming of age story that examines identity and faith in the traditional boxing genre. Zaire, our protagonist, is a faith believing Christian, but he is torn with what he believes and the sexuality he has. As he develops a relationship with the local pastor’s son, Devin, the two are pitted against one another in the Golden Glove Invitational. Both unwillingly thrusted into the spotlight of the LGBTQ+ movement and Christian Conservative movement respectively.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
I would put 10 Rounds Deep in the drama, coming of age, and sports genres. Imagine Rocky meets Moonlight.
3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
I think it’s important for this film to be made into a movie because these conversations need to be had. There is a wedge in our culture and while this film examines the division between the Conservative Christian Church and the LGTBQ+ Community one could say that it doesn’t matter what the platforms are. People are divided and all they want to believe is their side is right no matter what. This film examines that very idea – you don’t have to be all in or all out.
In addition, 10 Rounds Deep is a very human story. As I wrote this I wanted every character to be relatable to some extent. I personally believe there are so many ways one can relate to the facets of this film – trying to figure out identity, having faith and convictions, the drama of a forbidden love, the underdogs journey. We can relate to these characters and invest in this story because we see pieces of who we are in them. We see ourselves.
4. How would you describe this script in two words?
Into Light…. A lot of this story is about the willingness to bring repressed feelings and emotions into the forefront of your life and to know there is power in that.
5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
I can’t say for certain, but if you haven’t picked up on it yet the Rocky franchise is one of my favorite film franchises. So Rocky very well may be my most watched movie.
6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
10 Rounds Deep is the first feature I’ve written. I started writing this script right after I graduated college in June of 2019 and completed the first draft at the end of August of 2019, however I worked and developed the script for another year before I started submitting it places publicly. Personally I still think there’s room for improvements!
7. How many stories have you written?
I’ve written a handful of features now along with a pilot script and some short films. I don’t have the exact number, but I know there’s a lot more ideas I have written down that I want to get on the page at some point!
8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)
This is tough because my taste in music and my favorite song changes all the time. I’ll have to get back to you on that one.
9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
The biggest obstacle was the fact that this was the first feature I completed. I had no idea what I was in store for and maybe that’s a good thing, but just forcing myself to make sure I completed this script was a big challenge.
10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I love film. I want to become a writer/director down the road and of course I’d love to personally turn this script into a feature film. Besides that I’m a people person I’m passionate about spending time with others and investing in the people around me.
11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?
It’s a great platform to find just about any legitimate competition out there. Finding the big competitions isn’t the issue, I personally like that I can find smaller/quality competitions that I can trust.
12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
So for those wondering I am a straight, white, male with a strong background in the Christian church. Submitting to this competition was really important to me because I wanted to get genuine honest feedback about this story. The characters I wrote, on the outside, are nothing like me and my background so I wanted to bring this story to a community that it represents and make sure that I was telling this story in a true and honest way. I think the feedback I got was overall positive and very constructive which I greatly appreciated!
Watch the Screenplay Reading:
When a promising young boxer is outed before a life changing fight, he must overcome his lack of support outside of the ring, as he battled against the man he loves in it.
Narrator: Julie Sheppard
Zaire: Steve Rizzo
Fighter: Allan Michael Brunet
Russ: Bill Poulin