Interview with Screenwriter Jeffrey Swerdan (Confined Hatred)

1. What is your screenplay about?

Confined Hatred follows Sgt. Robin Sole as she wakes to find herself trapped with six other strangers in a dangerous game of racism and torment. A mysterious Voice pushes the seven strangers to put aside their personal prejudices and work together in order to find a way to escape.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I feel that Confined Hatred falls best into the dramatic thriller genre.

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

On the surface it may look like Confined Hatred is just another “trapped” style horror film, however once the story gets rolling it evolves into an emotional thriller where racism and prejudice are tackled head on. These are topics that are so relevant in today’s society. I feel like if we can show a story of different races coming together to achieve a common goal that it may help others to do the same.

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

Racial Tension

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

The Back to the Future Trilogy.

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

From initial concept to completion has been about 3 years.

7. How many stories have you written?

That’s a hard question to answer. I have been writing stories in one form or another since I was in high school. I have written screenplays, short stories, and poetry. If I had to put a number to it, I would have to say somewhere around forty to fifty.

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

My two favorite songs right now are “Homegrown” by Zac Brown Band and “Be Somebody” by Thousand Foot Krutch

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

The most important thing to me was to treat each race with respect and to honor their history. While the core of this movie is about racism, I wanted to make sure that each character could be relatable to the different audience members watching the movie. So the biggest obstacle was just making sure that each character had their own voice.

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

I love my family and over the past year I have gotten married to my wife Breanna and we had our first child; a little daughter named Thea. Apart from family, film and writing, I am also passionate about maintaining a positive mind set and utilizing the law of attraction. It’s amazing to know that we have the power to create the life we dream of.

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

I like FilmFreeway a lot. I think the way they have their website set up is very easy to navigate and they make it simple to submit for projects. They are my first stop whenever I am looking to submit films or screenplays to festivals.

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

The Political Film Festival seemed like it was a great fit for Confined Hatred. The topics of race, prejudice and equality are common platforms for any political campaign and they are topics that create such an emotional divide within our country. News outlets are continuously running stories about police brutality, riots, and protests and I feel like these stories are such a small snapshot of what’s really going on.

I was very pleased with the feedback I received from your festival. I feel like my script was treated with respect and I was given valuable criticism. We can only get better as artists if we allow our work to be critiqued by our peers. Everyone has a unique background which allows them to view your work in a way that is different from your own viewpoint. Knowing that at least part of what you write resonates with the reader or viewer gives you confidence that you are on the right path, and the critiques are there to show you how a different set of eyes views your story.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

Sgt. Robin Sole wakes up to find herself trapped with six strangers in a deadly game of racism and torment. Can the seven strangers overcome their personal differences to come together and escape or will they take their personal prejudice to an early grave?


Narration: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Robin: Kyana Teresa
Nijah: Hannah Ehman

By matthewtoffolo

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

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