Interview with Screenwriters Kate Holland, Marlowe Mitchell (OFFSIDERS)

1. What is your screenplay about?

Playing with the old-as-time concept of the genderbending sports romcom (She’s The Man, Ladybugs), Offsiders sees Max dressing up as a boy in order to take her gay best friend’s place on the boys’ soccer team. The story then takes a distinctly trans route, as it explores the feelings of dysphoria that made Max previously quit the girls’ soccer team, as well as different kinds of masculinity and belonging.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Romcom, sports-drama, coming-of-age, LGBT+ cinema

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

This story challenges genre conventions and societal conventions. It’s the kind of film that hasn’t been made before, playing with and upending expectations – and it’s a joyful story centering on trans kids in a world without enough stories like this. In the face of burgeoning anti-trans legislation, especially centering around trans kids in sports, we felt it was vital to show what acceptance and inclusion can look like, and how important it is to take kids at their word about who they are.

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

Funny, joyful

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

The Lord of the Rings trilogy (Marlowe)

Strictly Ballroom (Kate)

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

Since May of 2021

7. How many stories have you written?

We’ve both written stories since we were able to read and write. Too many to count at this point.

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

Currently keep listening to “Listen to Your Heart – Roxette” (Marlowe)

Often caught listening to “Katie Cruel – Karen Dalton” (Kate)

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

Mainly geographical and timezone constraints + our general responsibilities (work, school, parenthood). When we actually could work together it was practically effortless most of the time.

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

Marlowe: Generally: composing music, writing poetry and other stories, spending time with my chosen families – currently: watching a lot of MASH and Cobra Kai

Kate: New York. Internationalism. Being a parent. Politics.

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

Pretty good. It was mostly easy to use once we knew the format, however many submission requests didn’t set up their expectations in line with how the site works, and so we had to guess a little on what was required or unnecessary with each submission.

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

We wanted to have responses from the LGBT+ film community especially, as this is an intracommunity project written as a love letter, so we were over the moon that it was popular. The response felt like a warm hug. We felt incredibly seen and honored that the intentions of the story were received warmly, and that the various characters left lasting impressions, as the main story is supported by an ensemble of powerful personalities. We were also very happy that the romantic arc was praised. It was also especially useful to have feedback around screenplay structure that we could align ourselves with, as information about basic formatting can often be very conflicting.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

Synopsis:

When “tomboy” Max takes her friend’s place on the boys’ soccer team to win over her crush, Max learns a lot about soccer, but more about HIMself… including that he’s not just pretending to play for the boys’ team.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Kyana Teresa
Liam: Steve Rizzo
Max: Allison Kampf

By matthewtoffolo

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

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