Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?
Luqman Raymond Whittinger: The Shadow Prince tells the tale of a woman’s struggles in an age when women and children were considered little more than chattels. Her dream is to escape a broken home by seeking secure marital bliss. She rebuilds her relationship with her estranged mother. Ten her dream courtier partner is taken away when she encounters a royal plan to head off an impending republic. She struggles amid her duty towards her betters and the deference they deserve. Having no choice; unable to resist; she falls in a head-spinning journey towards unpredictable outcomes.
The screenplay is based on stories my grandmother told me as a child about my grandfather’s life and his family. As unbelievable as they were they checked out and were enriched through later research and historical court gossip.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
Historical Drama, Biopic
3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
The Shadow Prince is a story needing to be told about the social revolution in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The unimaginable struggles of women like Elizabeth and Adelaide her mother when divorce was illegal for most people. Father’s owned their children and women were exchanged on marriage between men. These events and people have been completely written out of our history books. The bigoted fire and brimstone religion on one side and modern secular Liberalism on the other in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars and the revolutions of 1848. Working-class anti-socialist heroes like Charles Bradlaugh and Annie Besant were part of the ending of the great estates and the birth feminism, universal education, voting reform, birth control, anti-imperialism, universal human rights, in fact, the modern world as we know today.
4. How would you describe this script in two words?
“Deference” and “Misogyny”
5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
I started working on this screenplay about nine years ago after decades of research in a quest for self-identity.
7. How many stories have you written?
I have written more than a dozen stories as novels, TV scripts and screenplays.
8. What is your favourite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the
most times in your life?)
I do not have favourite songs but I find the hymn “All things Bright and Beautiful” very relevant to this story, especially the verse: “The rich man in his castle, The poor man at his gate, He made them, high or lowly, And ordered their estate.”
9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
It was a very emotional journey that moved in starts. Dickensian times are difficult to represent.
10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I love writing fantasy novels, ecology, political history and philosophy.
11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?
It is simply a pleasure to use.
12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings
on the initial feedback you received?
The WILDsound Screenplay Festival gives me an indication when my screenplay is ready.
Watch the Screenplay Reading:
“A girl from a broken home seeks a new beginning in Windsor and falls for an officer in the Royal Court. The couple are forced into a clandestine scheme to save the royal lineage as clamour for a republic builds.”
Narration – STEVEN HOLMBERG
Elizabeth – 10 – KATELYN VARADI
Adelaide – 13 – DELPHINE ROUSSEL