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

Interview with Screenwriter Monika Naidoo (Proof Positive)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Monika Naidoo: PROOF POSITIVE is about friendship, the belief in basic human kindness, and the power of the human connection.

For high school senior Grady Haynes, life doesn’t get much better. A local baseball star with a full scholarship to UCLA, the center of the popular crowd with a gorgeous girlfriend, and plans to head out on a month-long backpacking trip the day after graduation – Grady is living his dream… a dream that is crushed with the push of a send button and killed the second the message was ‘successfully sent’. Now he is stuck in an 18″ x18″ nightmare – the size of his wheelchair cushion. As he is sucked into a self-destructive tailspin, his best friend and only other accident survivor must act fast to prove that there is still a big and beautiful world out there full of places to see and people that care. All while time is running out.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I call it an Inspirational Family Drama

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

Not too many movies deal with disability. Stories like Grady’s are historically underrepresented and deserve to be shared. Also, more than ever, we need narratives that show what can be achieved when people come together. It is the little, not-so-random acts of kindness that can make the biggest difference.

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

Heartwarmingly inspirational

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

I have seen countless movies multiple times for different reasons, be it the dialogue, visuals, soundtrack, acting, story, or any combination thereof. Impossible to say which one raked up the most views.

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

I finished the first draft in about two months, put it aside for a few weeks, then went back for a rewrite and countless edits over another two months or so.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have been scribbling stories whenever and wherever they’d come into my head ever since I was a kid, never even started counting. I do have two novels in print, five finished screenplays, two in progress, and several ideas floating around.

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

I have been playing the guitar since I was little, and music has always been a big part of my life. As a result, I don’t have just one favorite song. It always depends on the mood of the moment.

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

Time – there’s never enough of it. Like many writers, I have a full-time day job and a family.

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

I love to create, if not with words, then with paint, pencils, wood, leather, and pretty much anything that’s available.

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

Love the platform! Easy to use with great features you won’t find anywhere else.

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

I really wanted to have my screenplay professionally read and a link to the recording that I can use to promote it. It is a great tool to get exposure. The festival did a fantastic job! The initial feedback was very helpful. I’d wholeheartedly recommend entering this festival!

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

When a tragic accident sends his best friend into a wheelchair and a dangerous, self-destructive tailspin, a desperate high school senior must act fast to prove that there is still a big and beautiful world out there full of places to see and people that care. PROOF POSITIVE is an inspirational drama that proves how much healing power not-so-random acts of kindness can have.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Allison Kampf
JASON (M): Sean Ballantyne
GRADY (M): Bill Poulin
NICK/ALEX (M): Steve Rizzo

Interview with Screenwriter M.W. Hogan (DEADWEIGHT)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

M.W. Hogan: Technically, it’s about a narcolepsy specialist doctor finding herself in an awkward position while having an intimate affair with a patient.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Comedy

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

It’s a one-page script; ideal for a micro-short comedy. Single location; small cast; low-to-no budget. Like a great, short, variety show skit.

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

Highbrow humor

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

The Wizard of Oz

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

One hour.

7. How many stories have you written?

Well over 100; short stories and screenplays combined.

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

Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd

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

To tell a story in one page/one minute, you essentially have to skip the first act and open with the inciting incident that launches the second act. I like it because it teaches parsimonious word selection.

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

Related: reading and watching films. Unrelated: island life adventures.

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

I’d rather not answer because I don’t want to piss off the Coverfly folks.

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

I like short-form film and, therefore, short-form screenwriting, as well. I like that there’s a competition and opportunity to get feedback. To be honest, though, I can’t find any email/record of receiving feedback for “Deadweight”. Nor can I find any competition results (finalists, winners, etc.)

The director of a narcolepsy and sleep disorder clinic finds herself in more than an ethical dilemma when a patient falls asleep atop her during an in-office tryst.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Allison Kampf
EILENE: Val Cole –

—-

Interview with Filmmaker Alana de Freitas (NANCY)

NANCY played to rave reviews at the July 2020 LGBT Feedback Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Alana de Freitas: A festival deadline motivated me, but what made me want to tell this story was that the relationship between a father and son. Some men struggle with the concept that homosexuality and masculinity are not mutually exclusive. The father finds this very confusing and is forced to go on his own emotional journey where he examines his own ingrained thoughts and behaviors. I wanted to hold a mirror up to the audience. If you can recognize yourself in a character and see room for growth, that would be my hope.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

The film was turned around pretty quickly. Probably within a month. It was a last minute submission for a festival that my acting school (at the time) was holding. I did make some tweaks to the edit after that, which didn’t take long. The longest part of the process was liaising with record companies about getting the rights to the closing track. That took a few months more, but the film was ready and waiting aside from that.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Honest & eye-opening. Is that cheating?

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Financing. Finding money for short films is always difficult because recoupment opportunities are limited. Everything else was pretty seamless. I already had pre-existing relationships with the cast, so there was a familiarity that made things easy on set. We had a very small crew, so we all worked very closely together. It was a great team!

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I love seeing people have enjoyed the film, or been emotionally affected by it. I can tell when someone really connects with it, because this is a very personal experience that many people have encountered in their life.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

It’s not a new idea. We have seen a kid coming out to his parents before. But we rarely see it from the parent’s perspective. That was what I found interesting. What’s the emotional journey that a parent goes through when they are completely blindsided by something. Especially the type of person who is not entirely woke.

7. What films have you seen the most in your life?

I’m generally drawn to drama. I like to be affected by a story or a performance. I’m there for the art of it.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

It’s very user friendly, but the best thing about it is that I can manage all my festival submissions on the one dashboard. I have all the notification dates in one place, all the festival dates. Makes it very easy to keep track of everything.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

I have no idea. I don’t know that there would be any one song. And I listen to such a variety of music. I love music from the seventies though.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

So many things! Unfortunately, due to COVID19, everything is on hold at the moment. But I have a horror feature screenplay I wrote that I’m ready to start pitching. I have a #metoo themed documentary in development. I have some other exciting projects that I can’t talk about just yet because I’m still finalizing contracts, but I should be able to announce very soon. Watch this space!

nancy_movie_poster

Interview with Filmmaker Takeshi Yashiro (GON, THE LITTLE FOX)

GON, THE LITTLE FOX was the winner of BEST SOUND & MUSIC at the June 2020 ANIMATION Feedback Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Takeshi Yashiro: I love the original story written by Niimi Nankichi but when I was a kid, I couldn’t realize how good it was.

Since the original story is a classical children’s literature, I thought most people hadn’t been able to realize the true goodness or beauty of the story like me. So I wanted to make this short film so that audiences can discover how good and beautiful the story is.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

It took about 2 years to complete.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Treasured Book (I am delighted if this film would be like a treasured book of the audience.)

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

To balance the artistic aspect and the entertainment side. I wanted to include the artistic aspect that can be objectively enjoyed and also the entertainment side that makes audiences to immerse themselves in the story as well.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I was glad that the audience had paid close attention to the details and felt what I wanted to express.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

Many ideas were coming out and piling up little by little. The most brilliant ideas were popped up in my mind right after I woke up so I tried to sleep a lot.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

“Take Me Out To the Snowland”

This is a popular movie which represents a certain times in Japan. I watched it when I was in high school and I remembered I felt jealousy for how incredibly the movie excited the audience.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0264171/

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

It’s so helpful to submit a movie to many fabulous film festivals easily.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?
I can’t think of anything.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

I haven’t decided anything for the next one but it would be a short film. I am always thinking to challenge a feature film someday though.

gon_the_little_fox_2