Interview with Poet Franco D’Alessandro (LEOPARD CLUB LOVE)

1) What is the theme of your poem?

That transformative power of -what the Greeks called- Storge/Philia love, especially when found in an unlikely place and between unlikely people.

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

My relationship with a student who has become a son to me. A rather tricky thing as I am a gay man and many people would find the relationship, which, of course, says so much more about their prejudice and homophobia than my capacity to love another human being as my own child.

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

Since age 17; 35 years

4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would
that be?

Tennessee Williams

5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a
professional actor?

I work with actors all the time; I am a playwright. I love actors!
It is always nice to see how someone else reads a poem.

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

I am a professional playwright for 26 years; I also, occasionally, write screenplays.

7) What is your passion in life?

Writing and teaching and traveling; in my world -all three happen together!

Watch the Poetry Reading: 

 

Interview with Poet Janelle Barker (9/11 ATTACKS)

1) What is the theme of your poem?

the theme of my poem is finding your strength to stay strong

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

this event changed the world and affected all of us deep into our heart, whether we were there or not.

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

I have been writing for several years but really got into it more in the last 2 years, its my biggest passion.

4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would
that be?

Dinner. Haha. WOW! Oprah Winfrey, I have a poem that I dedicated to her. I would love for her to read it.

5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a
professional actor?

I did not know this could be done. It was nice to hear some else read what I wrote. I would love to know if the reader connected to my writing?

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

Yes! Thriller Novels, pitch it to become a Movie, Ghost Stories Novel , Biographies, 4 poetry books, the hits just keep on coming. LOL.

7) What is your passion in life?

My passion is obviously writing, and being with my family & friends in the great outdoors.

Watch the Poetry Reading: 

Performed by Allison Kampf

9/11 Attacks, by Janelle Barker

The day began like any other r
The sun rose, scattering to work,
Settling into their day, with a smirk.
8.46am thousands of lives, would change,
North Twin Tower was hit by a plane,
People thought, NO, that’s insane.
News came to those, yes it was true,
Some knew and others didn’t have a clue.
Terror attacks was announced
Disbelief from civilians, on the ground.
9.03am, no, not again
The South Tower was hit, oh Amen.
Survivors running for their lives,
Passing the dead, that, they did dread.
Parts of bodies everywhere,
We had no time, to stop to care.
We had to get out, as fast as we could,
Everyone knew, that was understood.

People jumping from the towers,
Things happened in minutes,
Which seem liked hours.
Flights hijacked, 93,77 and 175
All the passengers, tried their best
To stay alive.
Life that day, was out of control,
When the buildings were demolished
It left, a great big hole.
90 countries, lost loved ones,
Firefighters, military
And police,
are many of the rescue Workers,
that now rest in peace.
Estimated up to 19,000
In the towers upon attack,
So hard to believe
That this maybe fact.
Years later, people still dying,
To the families, related this
Is terrifying.
Exposed toxins from ground zero,
Pregnancy losses, cancers
No one can find answers.
A memorial was made
For all to see,
A reminder of life,
No one would disagree.
Pay your respect, for those we lost,
And say a prayer,
For no extra cost.
This moment in history,
the world will remember,
Let’s come together,
United we stand,
Hand in hand,
Let’s show the world what we can withstand

Interview with Poet James Morgan-Jones (Demoiselle)

Matthew Toffolo: What is the theme of your poem?

James Morgan-Jones: The beauty of the natural world, of difference and of the individual.

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

A visitation by the demoiselle as I sat in the garden on a beautiful spring day.

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

15 years.

4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would
that be?

D H Lawrence.

5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a
professional actor?

It’s great to have one’s work showcased on such a platform.

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

Yes, I write novels (The Glasswater Quintet) and short stories and have recently written a one-act play.

Home

7) What is your passion in life?

The power of language. The many beautiful things that we imperil each day.
 

Watch the Poetry Reading: 

Performed by Allison Kampf

Demoiselle, by James Morgan-Jones

Let’s be direct: Beautiful Demoiselle.
What naming could be apter? In noon-light
a sliver of midnight blue comes spinning
from Hades’ palette, frailly fluttering,
a butterfly blue from the underworld.
Yet not quite: no sheer lepidopteran
makes this skittery, whirligig descent,
achieves in repose such sleek elegance.

He rests like a svelte blue pin, superbly
singular, wings deep-dipped in indigo:
pure concept lodged brilliant in spinel.
Such exquisite difference brings profound
gratification, a joy extinguished
in the homogenised world we fashion.

When I dream I’ll drink some of his lustre,
bask in the resplendence of my colours –
what flagrant beauty then in dynamism,
such glory mirrored in heaven’s dark glass.

Interview with Poet Paul O’Donnell (PASSING)

Matthew Toffolo: What is the theme of your poem?

Paul O’Donnell: Despair, frustration, poor decisions and their consequences, hope

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

All my poetry is prompted by what I feel or see. It’s my way of thinking about social change and doing something about it with the power of poetry.

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

50 years

4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would
that be?

The poet Rainer Maria Rilke

5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a
professional actor?

To really enjoy poetry it has to be heard. It can’t just be in your head.

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

Short stories and I’m currently collaborating on a book on Entrepreneurship called “Humble Crumbles”

7) What is your passion in life?

Making my imagination happen.

Watch the Poetry Reading: 

Performed by Allison Kampf

Passing, by Paul O’Donnell

So much is broken
I despair
he says passing out from lack of air
It was no more than a passing dream to think
the passing of a law could mean passing through the past
The inciting incident, the protagonist’s resolve to repair
ignorance fear and anger living side by side in liminal space stretched.
Searching for the prophylactic fountain to wash away despair
Farfetched
But passing laws passed through the fragile membrane made of the
dreams of gilded fossils giving
no more than a passing glance
with few words passing between them.
How could it not be broken?
Only the words Black Lives Matter, matter
No forgiveness can be asked. Forgiving is an act of power bestowed
granted by the weak with feelings of remorse
Atone is at and one
there the difference lies.

Interview with Poet Kirsten Warner (GRITTY, DANGEROUS DOLL)

 1) What is the theme of your poem?

The theme of this poem is how to turn disappointment into something useful for myself, how to transform that deadly blow into art.

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

I was not long-listed for the New Zealand book awards which I expected, although I later won best first novel. It seemed that all my work and hopes and dreams were for nothing.

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

I have seriously been writing poetry for about 15 years.

4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would
that be?

Michael Ondaatje. He’s such a wonderful writer, he comforts and inspires me.

5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a
professional actor?

I want to take my poetry out into the world beyond the confines of my small country, New Zealand. I perform my poetry, I can always hear it. This seemed a wonderful opportunity.

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

My novel called “The Sound of Breaking Glass” won best first book at the New Zealand book awards in 2019, and the Hubert Church Prize for Fiction. I am working on getting an e-book up and a book trailer. I have written short stories and television programmes.

http://www.nzbookawards.nz/new-zealand-book-awards/2019-awards/winners/

7) What is your passion in life?

Writing was my passion but only poetry remains a passion now. Music is my other passion. I play and sing in a folk-blues band called Bernie Griffen and The Thin Men.

https://www.google.com/search?q=bernie+griffen+and+the+thin+men&oq=bernie+griffen+and+the+thin+men&aqs=chrome..69i57j0j69i64.3991j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

 

Watch the Poetry Reading: 

Performed by Allison Kampf

DOLL, by Kirsten Warner

I forage for her, the doll of my disappointment

a spray of brittle twigs
a faggot of fallen fronds
crusty sticks with lesions of lichen

crouched over, calling up my ancient sister.

Then it is only a matter of seeing and she takes shape.

A forked branch and spindly legs start running,
over-wide arm-span
shock of invisible fingers
guts hanging out
circulation unspooled
half a skirt of flax flowers,
all bundled together
leaving a strong stick where her head will go.

Overnight she stands sentinel,
my doll of disappointment,
through my sleepless 4 AM and discarded novels.
My insides agitate like giant kelp in a blowhole.
Somewhere a strange crying
but each time I get up the whimpering stops.

In the morning the pillow is wet.
I’m flimsy yet my ache weighs heavy on the bathroom scales.
I count my losses in the vanity’s distorting mirror.
It feels like something died. Like I never had a chance.

I craft her head from crumpled cellophane
and glinting, spooky transparency,
attach a savage halo
consider lengths of yarn the violent red of secobarbital
but she’s done. I nurse the day

while she fossicks in the underneaths
grubbing out contagion,
cursing humbug and sideshow
drowning out the comfort of friends
muttering spells to turn my gaze away
daubing herself with horse manure
full of grass seed that will eventually sprout green.

Interview with Screenwriter J. L. Paxxiel (BTW I’m An Alien)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

J. L. Paxxiel: It’s the parallel life of Trevor Noah within our multiverse and creatively weave things Trevor Noah has said in his podcast, TV show, book, and comedy tours. It touches on diversity and shows the power of a family working together. They are a quirky and dysfunctional family that doesn’t always get along but it takes a village to raise a child -an alien child at that- so they pull together.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Sci-fi. Comedy.

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

The entire series is 462 pages and 14 episodes, so I’m not sure it could be a short movie. The first four episodes could work as a movie.

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

Trevor Noah or Alien and Earthlings

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

Huckleberry Finn with Elijah Wood

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

Since October of 2019.

7. How many stories have you written?

25

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

Don’t listen to music.

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

Structure and giving Travis a proper story arc in season 2.

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

Being of service to the spiritual community.

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

I LOVE Coverfly. It’s easy.

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

I went to your website and watched the actors reading scripts. I thought it would be a fun way to improve. I was and am happy with the feedback.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

A famous political commentator discovers his loving wife has a secret that will turn his life upside down.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Allison Kampf
Ron Stewie/Male Voice (M): Allan Michael Brunet
Travis Noory (M): Geoff Mays
Don/Someone (M): Shawn Devlin

Interview with Screenwriter Kevin Mongelli (NAILS)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Kevin Mongelli: Jonathan has had a troubled life but has attempted to turn things around. One final decision could change everything.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama

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

Unique story on how a singular decision could make all the difference in one’s life

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

Wrong choice

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

Gattaca

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

Two months

7. How many stories have you written?

About a dozen

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

The Firebird Suite by Stravinsky

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

Struggled over the right content to tell this story

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

I am professional musician and a member of The Recording Academy (Grammys)

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

User friendly

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

It’s a challenge to write an entire story in one page and I like a challenge. Nice feedback

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Allison Kampf
MOTHER/EX-WIFE/WOMAN (F): Val Cole – 5
MALE FRIEND/THERAPIST (M): Allan Michael Brunet – 8
JONATHAN (M): Geoff Mays – 8

Interview with Screenwriter Eileen Wilson (WATCHING)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Eileen Wilson: It’s about free speech and using your voice while you have one.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I wrote it initially, tongue in cheek, so it’s a comedy-drama monologue. It was initially performed that way at a theatre scratch night and it’s interesting to see how different actors perform it. You can get a lot of laughs from being ‘revolting’!

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

It’s more relevant now than when I wrote it, especially with some of the current people in positions of power and their abuse of that power.

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

Current… and relevant!


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

I think it’s a combination of ‘Anchors Away’ and ‘Die Hard’. I appreciate characters with tenacity.

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

I wrote this one in about twenty minutes, it was heartfelt.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have about sixty scripts, a combination of; micro-shorts, shorts, web-episode, sitcom and feature. I’m currently over the moon as my sitcom ‘No.47 Ate my Uber!’ just made QF for Page Awards.

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

This one changes all the time. Maybe ‘Trouble’ by Elvis.

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

This one just wrote itself, I was completely honest and it fell out on the page.

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

I like equality and fairness. I’ve lived in other countries and suffered discrimination and had friends of other nationalities experience it too, so I appreciate how it feels.

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

I’ve used both Coverfly and FilmFreeway and have never had issue with either.

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

I love writing and decided that there’s no point putting something on paper if nobody reads it. It’s super if other people see an emotion in a script you’ve written and it makes them think, or feel because of it.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Timid Hope watches atrocities but has to speak out when her friend disappears.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Allison Kampf
HOPE (F): Elizabeth Rose Morriss

Interview with Screenwriter Johnny Cruz (REPAIR THE CARROWS)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Johnny Cruz: It’s about a father who has to re-enter the world and round up his
estranged children, so they can see their mother before she passes.
But what it’s really “about” is the different arguments and perspectives
around keeping families together. Some families are worth keeping
together and some are better off disbanded, and I tried to give
both kinds of families an argument in each of the characters in
the script. The protagonist, Walker, is the one who has to take these
arguments into account and, in the end, make the final verdict
as to whether his family is better off disbanded or together. Obviously,
that verdict can only be reached as a consequence of whether he can
change or not. Ultimately, he decides they are fortunate enough to
have a family worth keeping together.

2.) What genres does your screenplay fall under?

In its simplest description, it’s a Drama. But I think it could also fall under
Dramedy and Adventure.

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

I’d argue it should be made into a movie because there are themes that
I think it would resonate with a lot of people, and help them figure out
what to do with their own family if they’re in a complicated situation.
At least in my experience, some of the things said in this script are
things that have gone unspoken between family members, and I think
they’d be helpful if spoken. The script also highlights the generational divide
between parents and children. Ever since the second half of the 19th Century,
every generation has left the world in a better state than it was when they found it, not without creating some new problems along the way, of course.
Yet, put simply, the Young always think that the Old have screwed everything up,
and it’s up to the Young to fix it. And the Old think they’ve done a lot to make the world better, but the Young are going to screw it all up. Both the Young and the Old are right and wrong. And I think this script shines some light on that, which would help soothe generational conflict among families.

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

Bittersweet. I know that’s one word but it’s basically two, haha.

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

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

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

I’ve been writing it on and off with three other scripts since August 2019, so
almost a year. This is the second feature script I’ve written.

7.) How many stories have you written?

I started writing in January 2019, and I’ve written 5 Feature Scripts, 3 of which are still in early drafts, I’ve written 7 Short scripts, 4 of which I’ve filmed and put up on Youtube. My channel is JohnnyCruz1998. (Am I allowed to plug my shorts?) Anyway, so I guess 12 different stories in total.

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

Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are-A Changin” and “Mr. Tambourine Man”
Most songs I listen to are ones I hear in movies. “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a favorite too.

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

How to make the script feel urgent because of the ticking clock surrounding Colleen, but also have it take it’s time and not feel rushed.

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

Besides writing, I also read books and watch a movie a day. I made a list of
the most notable Movie Directors in history, and I go down the list and watch all of a Director’s movies in order, and then I move onto the next Director and do the same. Eventually, I’ll return to a Director and rewatch some of their movies, I have a big binder where I write mini-reviews for each of the Director’s movies and write essays on certain observations I make or things I’ve learned from the Directors. Other than reading, I don’t do much that doesn’t involve movies.

Also, most of the movies I watch, I get for free from the Library. Everyone should use the Library.

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

It’s been really easy and helpful to track a scripts progress, submissions,
announcements, etc. It’s set up great, and I’ve had no problems with it.

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

I saw that selected scripts got a scene from their script read on camera which sounded cool, which I can confirm is cool after watching it, and I wanted to get a sense as to the quality of the script, see what other people thought of it. And the feedback I received was definitely very helpful and encouraging.

 

 

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

After his wife falls ill, an aging man living in the Alaskan Wilderness has to re-enter the world to round up his estranged children so they can see their mother before she passes.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Allison Kampf
FREIGHTHOPPER (M): Shawn Devlin
WALKER (M) Sean Ballantyne

Interview with Screenwriter Alexander Etseyatse (OTIS N THE DOUGH BOYS)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Alexander Etseyatse: A full year after COVID – 19 “Coronavirus” hits New York City, a recently fired young mentally unstable Black Chef attempt to reclaim his glory days by starting a catering company with his old friends and winning back his ex-fiancee and daughter after a force stays at a psychiatric clinic.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama, with some comedy.

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

Because it’s very timely and needed, a lot of mentally ill people suffer because of a lack of knowledge on how to deal with it.

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

World Bidding

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

Do The Right Thing

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

About 2 years

7. How many stories have you written?

Over 20 stories in the last 20 years.

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

Human Nature by Michael Jackson, it’s a song that takes me back to my youth

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

It’s not finished, it’s 85% done but should be able to finish it up this year.

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

Filmmaking, I love the whole process.

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

It’s pretty good, it’s streamlined everything to make it’s easy as possible.

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

I really wanted to get a live read without me casting it and putting a read together. I wanted to see it in someone else hands. The reception has been very positive.

 

 

 

 

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

A full year after COVID – 19 “Coronavirus” hits New York City, a recently fired young mentally unstable Black Chef attempt to reclaim his glory days by starting a catering company with his old friends and winning back his ex-fiancee and daughter after a force stays at a psychiatric clinic.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Allison Kampf
LUIS/TELLER (M): Allan Michael Brunet
OTIS/DERRICK (M): Geoff Mays
NURSE BELLS(F): Elizabeth Rose Morriss