Interview with Winning Screenwriter Waide Riddle (Dear Tom Hardy: I love you)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Waide Riddle: A gay 10-year-old writes his favorite movie star, Tom Hardy, every week for two years. What happens when Mr. Hardy finally replies?

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Comedy/Drama Musical

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

LGBT youth in a new positive perspective; with a happy ending.

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

Music Dance

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

“What’s Up, Doc” (1972) with Barbara Streisand & Ryan O’Neal

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

2 years

7. How many stories have you written?

50

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

“Don’t Worry, Baby” by the Beach Boys

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

To make a clear & clean happy finish & ending.

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

Classic Oldies, Dance & Hair Design

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

FilmFreeway is a much easier and user friendly platform than withoutabox.

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

The submission fee, history, reputation & the fair feedback & coverage.
 

Nine year old Shawn Williams is gay. He has been writing his favorite movie star every week for nearly two years. What happens when Mr. Hardy actually replies?

CAST LIST:

Narration – Allen Michael Brunet
Lee – Kevin Gabel
Tom – Hartley O. Gyamfi

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Interview with Winning Screenwriters Nicholas Downs, Susan Mac Nicol (SIGHT UNSEEN)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Nicholas Downs, Susan Mac Nico: It’s about one man whose changes in circumstances force him to reconsider what his future looks like. And who he wants to be in it. It’s about coming to grips with a major adversity and making something good out of it.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Sight Unseen is primarily a love story, but it’s also one about relationships that are forced to be re-evaluated when life turns darker. It’s a drama too.

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

We believe that the market is ripe in films about LGBT characters living in normal worlds and doing normal things and then being challenged to change things. We believe the time is right for people to see that LGBT films can have happen endings 😊 This one does that and more. It’s ultimately a feel happy movie with a message and those are sometimes the best ones.

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

Feel.Good.

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

Susan – this would be Oliver. My dad was a huge Dickens fan and he took me to see every film and stage version he could. My kids grew up on this film too. It has the right mix of angst, drama and the final happy ending.

Nicholas – It’s shifted at different times in my life. I grew up on The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth and The NeverEnding Story. But once I saw Jaws, that rocked my world. I love the film. It’s filled with so many genres, one would question how it could ever work, but it does. Thank goodness the mechanical shark kept breaking down. I think that actually helped make the movie what it is. Then later in life, In America came out. I love that film!

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

The collaboration started early 2016 when we decided to work together to adapt a screenplay already written by Nicholas into a novel. Once the novel was written, we then took that and worked it back into a screenplay again. So it’s been three years in the making with everything in between.

7. How many stories have you written?

Together, only this one.

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

Susan – I’m a real fan of classical music and the piece I listen to most often is Shostakovich’s Jazz Suites. It’s my pacifier when I’m stressed.

Nicholas – Don’t really have one, my taste shifts based off what I’m doing. But to satisfy the question I will pick, Ravel’s Boléro, which I know is not a song, it’s a movement.

(Susan- oh, look at us being all cultural 😊)

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

The fact we are both on opposite sides of the world could have been a hindrance but wasn’t. We worked very well together over Skype and got the chance to catch up in LA face to face in 2017.

Obstacles for both of us were devoting our time to the screenplay, with Nicholas working on other film and script projects, and auditioning, and me writing books and running a magazine, as well as holding down a day job. Negotiation on time was key as we were eight hours apart.

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

Susan – I’m an advocate for anything regarding the freedom to be yourself and am a board trustee with a London Charity called Being Me. I’m pretty outspoken about people being given the right to be whoever they want to be. I also love to garden at my home in the English countryside if that counts?

Nicholas – Being with family and friends. Fishing. And I too like to garden like Susan.

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

We’ve found it incredibly easy, very supportive and a wonderful platform to get our script out to various festivals and competitions.

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

The festival is well recognized and while fairly new, from past submissions it appeared what we had to submit would be well received. The feedback we had was very welcomed and in fact, we had a Skype call and tackled each one of the points raised. The script was then adapted as per those points and we feel now we have an even better version than before.
 

Tragedy brings together a reserved but brilliant sculptor and an outgoing gallery owner, friends whose love was sidetracked—but was always meant to be deeper.

CAST LIST: 

Jon:  Russell Batcher
Narrator: Kat Smiley
Cody: Bryan Kling
Nathan: Jolly Amoako

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Interview with Winning Screenwriter S.W. Andersen (SOMEWHERE BETWEEN LOVE AND JUSTICE)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

S.W. Andersen: A hardened cowgirl seeks revenge against the gang leader who killed her parents and forced her into his service while she learns to open her heart to the woman she loves.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

western, lesbian romance

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

One of the things people loved about the novel it was adapted from, and it’s sequel, was how the women were unapologetic about their sexuality and their non-conformity to old west ideas of femininity. It’s also a great story about embracing ones inner strength in the face of adversity and having to make the choice between love and revenge- two very powerful, life changing, motivators.

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

Unwavering conviction

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

“Raiders of The Lost Ark.” “Pretty Woman” is a close second.

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

Over a year since I started the adaptation from my novel.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have five published novels in lesbian romance. There’s a few more ideas in the works, including another screenplay or two.

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

Boy, I don’t know that I really have a favorite. There’s several I’ve heard hundreds of times and still light up when they play…tons of 80’s songs, but I do have a deep fondness for George Michael’s “Freedom 90” and The Black Crows “She Talks to Angels.”

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

Converting the story from a first person POV novel. Also, learning to stick to only what can be seen on screen.

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

The mountains, travel, health, and my family.

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

FilmFreeway has been great. It is easy to use and allows me find many opportunities in one site. Like your festival.

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

I wanted to dip my toe in the water and see how it would be received. Feedback was a driving source since it’s my first screenplay. The feedback received was excellent and has given me a clue as to what I need to tighten up.

 

Sarah Sawyer has spent the last ten years reliving a nightmare. Stripped of her innocence at the tender age of thirteen, she’s grown into a woman with nothing to lose and one thing on her mind.

Justice.

Project Links

CAST LIST: 

Narration –  Ariel Brooker
Jo –  Georgia Grant
Sarah –  Regan Brown

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Robert David Simpson (THE HUNT FOR CHUCK BERRY)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Robert David Simpson: It’s about Aliens finding a satellite from Earth, a record, and music and then going to Earth to seek out the musician- Chuck Berry and bring him back.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

SCI-FI COMEDY

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

We all need a good laugh and kids may like it also and…it promotes outer space discoveries.

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

Funny, strange

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

Probably – ‘ 2001 Space Oddessy’

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

Several days while in the hospital

7. How many stories have you written?

One book and eight scripts in the last year.

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

‘ ‘It’s a Beautiful World’ by ‘ Louise Armstrong

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

None, really.

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

Making films

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

So far, so good.

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

Influence? I am now 69 yrs of age and at that age, one wonders how much time one has left, so I did my best to write eight different genres in one year and entered them into eight different Festivals earlier this year.

 

In 1970,a NASA satellite,’Voyager 1′,was shot into space and in 2017 lands on planet X68 in Andromeda star system. Small humanoids,living there, go ecstatic apon hearing a recorded version of Chuck Berry music, found on a record within the satellite. They decide to head out to find this human and bring him home to teach them more! The hunt starts!

CAST LIST:

Taro: Kevin Gabel

Supreme Leader: Allen Michael Brunet

Narrator: Regan Brown

Nori: Ariel Brooker

Yoo: Georgia Grant

Uzu: Hartley O. Gyamfi

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Interview with Winning Screenwriter Fritz Mueller (ANAHNA)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Fritz Mueller: An idealistic young Inuk and his strong-willed Gwich’in
girlfriend get caught in the crossfire of rival drug factions.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Action. Adventure. Drama.

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

– An inviting adventure tale that transcends familiar
stereotypes of the north.
– A positive portrait of indigenous people.
– A contemporary look at a remote landscape usually thought
to be hostile and barren, that is in reality both bountiful
and beautiful.
– Its protagonist chooses a path of forgiveness rather than
the much-more-commonly-filmed path of revenge.

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

Love. Greed.

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

A toss up: The Fugitive, Witness, The Next Three Days, all
watched many times while trying to relate their screenplays
to the completed films. A favorite recent movie is I, Tonya,
a powerful character study.

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

Two years, plus a bit.

7. How many stories have you written?

Many stories and poems, and part of a novel (abandoned long
ago). ANAHNA is a first screenplay. I have two more
screenplays underway, COWBOY WALTZ and MY RUSSIAN UNCLE.

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

My current favorite is “Evangeline”, which I am learning to
play on guitar. What song have I listened to most? Probably
Rodrigo’s “Concerto de Aranjuez” for classical guitar and
orchestra.

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

Shortage of time. Inexperience with screenplay format. Not
understanding from the beginning how powerful and
transformative revision can be.

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

Mountain wilderness. Guitar-building.

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

All positive. The FilmFreeway site is clear, easy to work
with, seems to be very inclusive. I found the
Action/Adventure Festival on the FilmFreeway site.

12. What influenced you to enter the festival?

The promised feedback. The Canadian address.

What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

The notes were thorough, although brief. They appeared to
derive from a reading of the entire script, not just the
opening few pages, which I appreciate. Suggestions for
improvements were well thought out. I was pleased to be
invited to re-submit the screenplay

 

 

Maddie returns to her home in Dogtown, Northwest Territories, after a long absence. She reconnects with her brother, Louie. With childhood friend, Danny. And with Danny’s grandmother, Anahna, the spiritual head of the family.

CAST LIST:

Nikita (m) – Justin Hay
Waitress – Katelyn Varadi
Narration – Norma Dawn Dunphy
Danny – Omar Aufi
Maddie – Salma Dharsee

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Interview with Winning Screenwriter Christianne Charles (CAKE)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Christianne Charles: Cake is about forbidden young love and the lessons life teaches you. Fate reunites the two leading ladies in an unexpected reunion years later. This unexpected reunion proves once you’ve loved someone you never truly forget that person.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

LGBT, Romance, Women, Drama

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

I believe it should be made into a movie as it is family friendly and tugs on the heartstrings.

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

Modern , family

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

There are plenty. It’s hard to name just one.

It’s funny if I turn on the TV, there’s usually just the right one to represent my mood. When it’s been bad, Scarface or White Heat ends up being on. Crazy coincidence.

Otherwise, I’d say pre-code films with Barbara Stainwyck or Bette Davis.

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

On and off for a year

7. How many stories have you written?

Many, many stories

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

I love 90’s R&B. I’d say anything early Mary J Blige. I really enjoy her My Life Album.

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

Maintaining my self confidence, writer’s block, facing the learning process as a new screenwriter.

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

I enjoy foreign films, old black and white movies, and yoga.

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

Very positive, easy to use, accessible, excellent feedback, reasonable fees for contest submissions.

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

I was looking for the right festival to possibly showcase my work and or gain feedback. There are many excellent festivals. I wanted to find one which was conducive to my growth as a writer that I could build a relationship/network.
I thought the feedback was extremely thorough and also presented in a positive light. Encouraging.

Christina Cole and Lauren Simon Willis were roommates and best friends. They have a love affair and the depth of Lauren’s feelings for Christina terrify her. In denial and afraid, Lauren decides to deny her heart and has a relationship with a man. She marries Peter Willis once she discovers she is pregnant. Feeling rejected and heartbroken, Christina drops out of college and switches to another university. Over ten years later, the ladies come face to face.

CAST LIST:

Narration –  Georgia Grant
Lauren (40s) – 9 –  Regan Brown
Tabby (20s) – 10 –  Ariel Brooker

Interview with Winning Screenwriter Leah Pollack (MARKED)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Leah Pollack: It is about a naive and ambitious young man named David Kessler who is traveling to the new West in search of supernatural things, in Texas he meets a mysterious and extraordinary girl named Winnona Argento and end up working together to foil a train station heist. They then come face to face with Federal Marshal Travis Crabtree who knows more about Winnona then he lets on. Crabtree forces them to come back to headquarters via train where secrets are revealed and a bad situation suddenly gets worse.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I would say it is a supernatural western, or perhaps it is a horror-adventure series in the same vain of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Xfiles but set in the old West.

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

I think that this kind of story has familiar enough story beats and tropes to not alienate mainstream audiences, but has enough of a unique edge and spin that it will also feel fresh. I think once it has gone through a bit more polishing it could be a fun yet endearing project.

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

I don’t really have an answer for this one haha….

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

That’s a hard one…. I’d say it’s either Jurassic Park, Homeward Bound The Incredible Journey, The Little Mermaid, and The King and I.

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

4 or so years.

7. How many stories have you written?

I’ve been making and writing stories for as long as I can remember, but I’ve had published writings as far back as 2010.

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

It’s a 3 way tie between “Helena” by My Chemical Romance, “A Little Less 16 Candles, A Little More Touch Me” by Fallout Boy, and “Could Have Been Me” by the Struts

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

Finding a good stopping point, making sure continuity was sound, trying to balance visuals and dialogue, or even thinking of dialogue in general.

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

Dancing, especially Argentine Tango

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

It’s been super easy and convenient. It’s the only platform I have ever used to submit to festivals and I have never had any problems so far.

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

I wanted to enter my script into festivals that offered a feedback option because I felt I was in a good place, but I felt it still needed polishing. I certainly didn’t expect to not only be selected but be a winning Screenplay either! The feedback I received was very helpful and I am applying the notes I was given to my newer drafts. I am very happy I submitted to this festival and I will do so again with any new scripts/screenplays in the future. 

Watch Screenplay Reading: 

A mysterious outlaw called the “Wolf of the West” has been wreaking havoc upon settlers in the budding frontier. David Kessler, an aspiring paranormal scientist believes the Wolf is supernatural and journeys out West to prove it and to document any other strange phenomena he sees. Along the way he joins forces with Winnona Argento, a young woman who is more than she seems and Federal Marshal Travis Crabtree, a hardened but honorable lawman. Together they travel the West and face against myths, legends, and monsters as well as outlaws and bandits while at the same time learning to find the balance between pacifism and survival in this harsh terrain and time period.

CAST LIST:

Ticket Man:  Geoff Mays
Father: 
 Russell Batcher
Narrator: 
Kat Smiley
Sybil: 
Tiffany Davidson
Tobias: 
Bryan Kling
Mother: 
Katelyn Vanier