Interview with Screenwriter Pann MuruJaiyan (THE DISTANCE)

1. What is your screenplay about?

The story revolves around Jackie Beeman, a young African American girl. She set her sights to go the distance as a professional boxer. Her pursuit is brought to a violent halt when Jackie finds herself sidelined by a concussion and temporarily unable to train. Further complicating matters, Jackie discovers that her old flame, Rose Risdale, has returned home to marry one of the men who tormented her in high school. And her ultimate journey as a boxer

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

It falls under drama / sports.

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

“The Distance” is a love letter to boxing films. This script speaks for itself – the journey of a hu-man being a fe-male and her challenges becoming a boxer. As she fights her journey in her true self, shuffling the judgment and criticism, believing herself, and ascending elevation in her journey. The story is not about winning, it’s about embracing the journey itself. And Maryse Alberti would be an ideal DOP, she would greatly increase the magnitude of the film and Screenplay.

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

Determination and strength

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

“The Equalizer” and “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”

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

Five years, even more.

7. How many stories have you written?

Three feature film and many short films

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

“Con Calma” by Daddy Yankee and Snow and John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Road”.

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

Time, when you are juggling life with passion. It can be difficult not to lose the feeling of the story when there is so much going on in your life.

Defining the characters. The screenplay takes a lot of imagination. I have to create a world, that the characters residing are believable and convincing.

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

I am a film director; my skill is in directing and very much into creating stories and make them into a visual journey. I love the dance between the camera movement and the stories.

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

It was pretty straightforward and it is a trusted platform. Their customer service is second to none and the film festivals are amazing. I recommend this site to anyone who is looking for a way to submit their projects.

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

To be successful in filmmaking, submitting to film festivals is critical.
LQBT LA film festival is an exceptional way to receive professional feedback.

The reviews are insightful, this specific dialogue between Jackie and her dad plays an important role for the audience to understand the emotion attached to that scene. At the point of submission, I felt something was not right in the dialogue and coincidently it was suggested by the reader. I appreciate it so much. Overall feedback was professional. I am grateful for the feedback.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

Jackie Beeman, a young under privileged African American girl eyes for the boxing championship. The only obstacle is not the opponent but a Pastor who hates her guts. Coincidentally, Jackie soon gets a title shot, but at the same time she meets her college crush back in town. Whether she has the true heart of a fighter pr lover remains to be seen.


Narrator: Val Cole


By matthewtoffolo

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

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