Watch the Screenplay Reading:
In 1930s El Paso, Texas, when a timid Swedish maid and a strong-willed Mexican American maid develop an unexpected friendship, tension arises between them as the Swedish maid finds a mentor in her household but the Mexican-American maid is fired by her bosses for her assertiveness and fighting off sexual advances. The Mexican American maid becomes active in a fledgling Maids Union until she faces deportation and despairs. Her Swedish friend finds strength she never knew she had and takes steps to save her friend from deportation.
Narrator: Sean Ballantyne
Mrs. Clark: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Hilde: Kyana Teresa
Get to know the screenwriter:
1. What is your screenplay about?
Set in 1930s El Paso, Texas, this screenplay is about the value of an unexpected friendship between a Mexican American maid, assertive and proud, and a timid Swedish maid and how they both grow intellectually and emotionally based on their friendship.
As maids working in rich households, Hilde finds a mentor while Nita is fired for standing up for herself and for fighting off sexual advances.
Nita becomes a union activist in a fledgling Maids Union. Hilde joins the union eventually but reluctantly and filled with fear that she’ll be fired.
Nita is jailed and faces deportation for her activism and Hilde disappears from her life. Hilde, though, realizes the value of this friendship and draws from her hidden strengths to save her friend from deportaion and, equally important, restore their bond.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
Historical – based-on-true-events.
3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
As America moves close to a diverse and rich society in which the Hispanic culture becomes the largest demographic – while at the same time workers are realizing the importance of union organizing to gain decent job conditions and wages – AMIGAS is a timely story that is relevant in America of today.
4. How would you describe this script in two words?
5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
Many – Midnight in Paris, As Good as it Gets, Lawrence of Arabia, Dr. Zhivago, Usual Suspects, Velvet Goldmine, A Good Year, Hereafter, Moulin Rouge, The Sixth Sense, anything with Jack Nicholson pretty much — or Toni Collette — or Nicole Kidman…. Many more – hard to choose.
6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
One year – many drafts. Plus I have studied Spanish and for a number of years.
7. How many stories have you written?
Seven screenplays so far, a number of short stories, essays in Medium.com, film reviews for Examiner (1990s) , book reviews for The Daily Record (1970s) .
8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?).
Again, too many to count. I can’t pick out one because it depends on mood. Just saw Willie Nelson, so, “Angels Falling Too Close to the Ground.” Same genre : “Luchenbach, Texas.” (Jennings). “Youngstown” (Springsteen). “Round Midnight” (Herbie Hancock), “Me and Bobby McGee” (Joplin), “The End” (The Doors), anything by Miles Davis in the 1950s, “Burger Queen” (Placebo), David Bowie generally but especially early tunes “We are the dead,” “Life on Mars.” And pretty much anything by Queen.
9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
Always a lot of research to make sure voices and settings are authentic. No real obstacles since I work writing and research into my weekly schedule.
10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about? Family, music, being outdoors (bicycling, walking, hikiing), nature, swimming, roadtrips, photography.
11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?
I think it’s a great platform – easy to make choices on relevant screenplay film festivals.
12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
I respect the Latino / Hispanic cultures and hoped that AMIGAS would resonate. I am honored that is was selected for the festival and also that a scene was recorded in a professional and authentic manner.