2018 FAMILY Short Screenplays (5)

A FilmFreeway preferred festival:

STORYDIVERSITY SHORT Screenplay: NORTH STAR by PJ Palmer
December 2018

ACTOREUROPEAN SHORT Screenplay – THE BIKERS’ WAVE
January 2018 Reading
by Damien Mazza
ACTORSTUDENT SHORT Screenplay – DIMAGGIO
March 2018 Reading
by Taylor Zaccario
ACTORIN THE WOODS – Short Screenplay
April 2018 Reading
by Rachel Greenhoe
ACTORSEEKER – Family Short Screenplay
April 2018 Reading
by Kaitlyn Kowalski
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FAMILY Best Scene Reading of THE SHOW TO DIE FOR, by Martin Cox

 

CAST LIST:

Will – Geoff Mays
NARRATION – Hugh Ritchie
Pammy – Julie C. Sheppard
Frank – Sean Ballantyne

Get to know the writer:

 1. What is your screenplay about?

My screenplay, ‘The Show To Die For’ is primarily about a loving family (Mother, Father and Son) who are being torn apart by the news that the Mom has only 6 months to live. The husband lost his job 2 years ago and with no health insurance, their savings have been completely depleted by Mom’s ongoing medical treatments.
Juxtaposed to this almost perfect relationship, is that of a selfish, egoistical chauvinist TV talk show host, who drinks, frequents strip clubs and has a failing chat show.
When an aging Senator collapses and dies on the show the grab goes viral and the TV company management recognizes the birth of a new genre of shows. Death by suicide on live TV for a cash award, signed over to the choice of person or persons elected by the suicide victim.
When the Mom learns of the offer she applies, is accepted and under the protection of the Physician Assisted Suicide Bill (legal in her state), she tells her doting son and husband that she will die with dignity, without pain and provide much needed money for her family. Needless to say, the two guys are vehemently against the plan but Mom is determined to take this exit strategy, with jaw dropping consequences.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

The main genre is Drama but it does include some humor and tense in many sequences.

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

I lived through a very similar situation as a teenager and still suffer from the terrible sights I saw and how my Father was destroyed by the whole process. So, educating people that it is not only the sick person that suffers but other family members need counseling is paramount. Also, the real and pertinent fact that the family has no health plan. This is a situation that many families have found themselves facing and they will totally relate to the family concerned.
Last, the scoundrel of a TV host is someone you just hate. That is until he performs one redeeming act and the whole ‘hater’ emotion dissipates and something else inexplicably takes it’s place.

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

Powerfully emotional.

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

Raging Bull. That is the story of my family!

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

Emotionally 40 years. Writing, 3 years.

7. How many stories have you written?

That’s hard to say. I have had MOW’s and shorts produced (The Southern Belle (Short), still available on Youtube being my biggest success so far) and have many scripts available for perusal. I just love writing.

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

Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding. A story of despair but the genius of the lyrics and the talent of Redding leads us to believe that the subject has at least found peace. It is fantastic and never grows old.

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

I guess the same that many other people face. Work, family, just day to day responsibilities. But on a personal level I found it very difficult writing about myself (son) and the bravery of the Mom (my Mother).

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

I am passionate about my family, my painting, my poetry, martial arts and work!

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

2017 NOVELS & SHORT STORIES (10)


ACTORAN UNCOMMON FAMILY Novel Transcript Reading
December 2017 Reading
by Christa Polkinhorn
ACTORGETAWAY DAY Novel Transcript Reading
December 2017 Reading
by Ken White
ACTORTIMETRIPPERS Novel Transcript Reading
November 2017 Reading
by Hamish Robertson
ACTORNOVEL Transcript – COURAGE THE MOUSE
September 2017 Reading
by Cornelia Fick

ACTORSHORT STORY Reading – THEY DROVE ON STREETS PAVED WITH KINDNESS
July 2017 Reading
by John Bauer

ACTORNOVEL Transcript: DIGBY’S DIARY
May 2017 Reading
by E.D. Bird
ACTORNOVEL Transcript: THE SCENT OF MY SON: IN GOD WE TRUST
May 2017 Reading
by Adrienne Miranda

ACTORNOVEL Transcript Reading – RYAN GORDON
March 2017 Reading
Written by Art Blum
ACTORNOVEL Transcript Reading – BRIAR EARTH
March 2017 Reading
Written by Paul Tapp

ACTORNOVEL Transcript – MEI MENG: THE LOST PANDA
February 2017 Reading
Written by Andrew Fisk

 

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

FAMILY Feature Screenplay – PIXYLATIONS, by Joe Laudati

Watch the Winning Family Screenplay for February 2017.

Winning Screenplay – PIXYLATIONS
Written by Joe Laudati

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – John Fray
FAELA – Cynthia Crofoot
KATIE – Victoria Urquhart
ELSIE – Andrea Meister
MCBRIDE – Brian Carleton
SCUFF – Peter Mark Raphael
SEAN – Gabriel Cameron

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Fantasy, Family

‘One prank too many. That’s all it takes to get Faela, a mischievous pixy, nearly banished from the Faerie Realm. Whether tantalizing goblins, enchanting flowers, or enraging an entire Irish town with her magical mayhem, Faela can test the mettle of even the most patient fairy. Her friend Scuff warned her not to taunt the ‘big-folk’. But what does a ‘gnome’ know?

Get to know the winning writer:

What is your screenplay about?

One prank too many. That’s all it takes to get Faela, a mischievous pixy, nearly banished from the Faerie Kingdom. Whether tantalizing goblins, enchanting flowers, or enraging an entire Irish town with her magical mayhem, Faela can test the mettle of even the most patient fairy. Her friend Scuff warned her not to taunt the ‘big-folk’. (But what does a gnome know?)

Hauled before the High Court, King Auberon gives Faela a final chance to redeem herself: become a ‘house fairy’ to the home of a widower blacksmith, and restore ‘courage and joy’ to his little daughter Elsie. Of course, no one knows that Elsie has the ‘gifted sight’, the ability to see fairies. Not even Scuff, now sent as the king’s spy, whom Faela magically merges with the family dog!

But Faela longs to experience love as a human. Attracted to the former-beau of Elsie’s stern older sister Katie, she ‘pixylates’ the girl’s body to dance with him at a summer fair. Chaos ensues, as the personalities of girl and pixy collide.

Will Faela’s romantic distractions lead her astray?

And then there’s the Pooka, a sinister shape-shifting goblin who will spare no wickedness to see Faela’s mission fail. For the Pooka has claim over any banished pixy, and he has his heart set on Faela as his bride.

What genres does your screenplay under?

This is a whimsical fantasy-comedy, intended for children aged 8 to 80.

How would you describe this script in two words?

With all due respect to Disney’s ‘Tinkerbell’, it’s time we had a new fairy on the scene. Fairies are iconic creatures, as popular as dragons, vampires, and werewolves. Yet, apart from Tink, there have been almost no movies made about these elemental forces of Nature. I can name maybe two where a fairy served as the main character, and not simply as a
Peter Pan sidekick, or window-dressing for a Willow, or Labyrinth. Where’s the sylph-love? Fairies are everywhere in our culture, in books, artwork, toys, dolls, lingerie, New Age crystal and candle shops, Halloween costumes, greeting cards, even religions and paranormal science. (check out Theosophy and Wiccanism). A lot of poltergeist activity is actually attributed to mischievous nature-spirits. Fairies are like angels, but sexier. They can be perverse, unfettered by codes of ethics, and free as the wind. Faela is that character!

Faela is Taylor Swift, Tina Fey, and a bumblebee, put in a blender and poured over ice. She’s the ‘anti-Tinkerbell’, the ‘bad-girl with a heart of gold’, filled with spunk and an irreverent wit. Outcast, she cradles a lonely heart behind a pirate smile. ‘Pixylations’ is the story of her redemption, where she learns responsibility, and become a hero, while preserving that mischievous-spark that makes her the bane of her peers.

Though originally conceived as a fully animated film, this would work equally well as a live-action / CGI combo. With renewed interest in fairy tale projects, and the popularity of films like Maleficent, and Frozen, I think it’s time ‘Pixylations’ took wing. It has the potential to become a hugely successful family film. The sky’s the limit on this one, and fairies can fly.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Magical romp.

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

The original 1933 King Kong. I was only three years old, the first time I saw the film, and the movie totally captured my imagination. It also sparked an interest in stop-motion animation, the special-effects technique used in the film, that led to a successful career as animator, sculptor, and writer.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

About twenty-five years, give or take, for both the screenplay and the novel. Pixies don’t like to sit on a shelf for very long. They flutter before your thoughts until you give them your full attention.

How many stories have you written?

I am a published author of four books, including the horror novels ‘Ten Thousand Demons’, and ‘In Darkness It Dwells’, as well as the novelization of ‘Pixylations’, which is available now on Amazon. I have also written five screenplays, numerous short stories, magazine articles, and a chronicle of my sculpting work in ‘Pushing Clay: 22 Years of Garage Kit Sculpture’.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

To be ‘pixy-led’, according to the old definition, is to be enchanted and led astray by a fairy. There is no better way to describe my experience with ‘Pixylations’. When the idea first came to me, I was well involved with writing a demon novel, and a screenplay about dragons. Then suddenly, whoosh, my imagination was swept away by this impish little siren with insect wings. I come from a background of animation, and realized there had never been a decent fairy movie. It became a pet project. Despite suffering numerous attempts at production and publication, I kept returning to it, tweaking it with new details, and deepening the character values. It seems Faela will not let me rest until her story is told. When will this ‘spell’ be broken? Perhaps when the Blu-Ray comes out, and my shelf is filled with Faela novels.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I find there is a certain discrimination against the subject of fairies. Finding someone to read your work is always a challenge, especially if you’re a guy writing about a pixy. People turn their noses up at any fairy that isn’t Tinkerbell. It seems Neverland is the sole proprietor of fairy stories, but that’s like saying you can’t tell a good vampire tale unless it involves Dracula.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

My first love is for dinosaurs, and fantasy creatures. King Kong, and the films of Ray Harryhausen, helped launch my career as a stop-motion animator, and writer. For decades, I have made my living as a sculptor for the toy and model kit industries, creating the master patterns for many statues, action figures, and collectibles. I also have a strong interest in mythology, comparative religions, paranormal phenomenon, and metaphysics. You can check out my sculpting work and other projects at http://www.joelaudati.com.

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

They say ‘if at first you don’t succeed, enter a screenplay contest’. I have labored for years to see my screenplays achieve some level of success. Winning the ‘Festival for Family’ competition has not only validated my faith in my writing ability, it has improved it. I am very grateful for the insightful critique I received from the staff. They provided the best evaluation I ever received, and the suggestions were enormously useful in refining both the screenplay, and the novel. Plus, to finally hear my dialogue spoken aloud by seasoned professionals is a thrill. I highly recommend it.


TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
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Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Winning FAMILY Feature Screenplay – CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES by Cate Carson

Watch the October 2016 Winning Family Feature Screenplay.

CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES
Written by Cate Carson

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Family, Drama, Fantasy

After losing her mother, a vexed 9 y.o. girl discovers a dream machine hidden in her deaf father’s workshop, but an unexpected friendship with a quirky boy becomes the real cure to her loneliness.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Michelle Alexander
CHARLOTTE – Katelyn Varadi
OLIVER – Gabriel Darku
MS. GRAY – Sandy Kellerman
OLDER CHARLOTTE – Julie C. Sheppard
OLDER OLIVER – Rikki Wright

Get to know the winning writer:

What is your screenplay about?

After losing her mother, a vexed 8 y.o. girl discovers a dream machine hidden in her deaf father’s workshop, but an unexpected friendship with a quirky boy becomes the real cure to her loneliness.

What genres does your screenplay under?

Family/Holiday/Dramedy

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Everyone experiences grief and everyone needs love to heal. This film is one that can speak to all ages and will bring audiences on an adventure while making them laugh and cry, but most importantly – feel.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Quirky and endearing

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

Liar Liar, Forrest Gump and either the Die Hard series or Lethal Weapon series. This is a very tough question.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Two years

How many stories have you written?

Probably around 10

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I heard of someone named Charlotte Sometimes, fell in love with it and built a character and story around it.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Making sure the whimsical fantasy elements aligned well with the real world. Making sure everything had a purpose. I was grateful for the extensive feedback from this festival because it helped me more critically analyze and fix this portion of my screenplay.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am also a director, actor and producer. I own a company called Sensorium Pictures. Besides film I love creating other types of art, photography, the outdoors and am passionate about finding my place as a humanitarian. I have always wanted to help people and telling their stories is only one avenue for doing that.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Write and keep writing. Try to show your work to people who are better than you. There will always be someone with value to add. Submitting to a few festivals with script feedback can be a tremendous help – especially after you have exhausted your inner circle and want fresh eyes. Your friends and family count only if they know what they’re talking about.

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Casting: Sean Ballantyne

Editing: John Johnson

Watch April 2016 Family Short Story Reading

Submit your Family Film or Screenplay to the Festival:http://festivalforfamily.com

Count William, Short Story Reading by Tegon Maus

Watch the Winning 1pg. Short Story. Performed by Danielle Nicole

Watch COUNT WILLIAM:

Get to know writer Tegon Maus:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your 1pg Short Story about? 

Tegon Maus: Perceptions…. People already have their minds made up about almost everything. You can give them 3 words and they will jump ahead because they think they know where the story is going… I like to make sure they don’t !!

MT: What genres would you say this short story is in? 

TM: Humor

MT: How would you describe this story in two words?  

TM: Pleasantly unexpected

MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life? 

TM: It would be a toss-up between ID4 / Twister or 5th Element I have seen them all at least 9 times !

MT: How long have you been working on this story?  

TM: A weekend

MT: Do you have an all-time favorite novel? 

TM: Any of the Lensmen Series by E.E. Doc Smith

MT: What motivated you to write this story? 

TM: It was a Vampire story contest

MT: What artist would you love to have dinner with? 

TM: Jackson Pollock… I had read that in 1952 Jackson drank a six-pack of Coors beer and then filled the cans with different color paint… he then hung them with string over a blank canvas… poked a hole in the bottom of each with an ice pick and beat them wildly with a stick while listening to rock and roll ! The result is his now famous painting called Convergence that he sold to the Chicago Museum of Art for $68,000. Now that is a dinner conversation I would like to have !!

MT: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about? 

TM: I write, paint, sculpt, garden, wood work, and love to take naps !

MT: What influenced you to enter the 1pg. Short Story contest?

Always looking for new readers.

MT: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers? 

Only one ! Write whatever you want… not what’s popular. Just what YOU want to read… let everyone else follow you. Not the other way around.

FOUR FOR THE BORDER – Feature Screenplay Reading by Toby Roberts

Four for the Border is the February 2016 Feature Screenplay Winner. It is considered the top spec screenplay in the world today!

Watch Four for the Border by Toby Roberts:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Victoria Urquhart
SKYE – Amaka Umeh
TRAPPER – Hugh Ritchie
POLLY – Mohogany Brown
ARTURO – Isaac Alfie
RUDDOCK/GELARDI – Julian Ford
HODDER – Sean Ballantyne

Get to know writer Toby Roberts:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your feature film screenplay about? 

Toby Roberts: The story is about three teenagers from completely different backgrounds on the run in rural New Mexico with a thoroughbred racehorse. But the underlying theme is the triumph of hope over experience and whether you should grow up doing exactly what your parents tell you or sometimes trust your spirit , abandon convention and go live your dream.

Matthew: Why should this screenplay be made into a movie? 

Toby: It’s a fun, life affirming story that touches the heart, adults and kids alike. But it’s also got a profound message. I’ll leave it to you to watch the reading to discover that message.

Matthew: How would you describe this script in two words?    

Toby: Adventurous fun

Matthew: What movie have you seen the most in your life? 

Toby: Midnight Run

Matthew: How long have you been working on this screenplay?  

Toby: On and off for years. Quite a few of them!

Matthew: How many stories have you written? 

Toby: Stories? Too many to count…I’m always jotting things down. Screenplays? Three.

Matthew: What motivated you to write this screenplay? 

Toby: Ultimately, the desire to tell a good, entertaining story. My parents had a lot to do with it in that my upbringing was a little unconventional and I thank them for that. I like to think I share those parental choices in the script.

Matthew: What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay? 

Toby: Many. One of the hardest was avoiding procrastination and actually sitting down and writing. Then came the rewriting. In a sense this was more fun but the page count was always increasing as new ideas poured in and deciding what to rip out was extremely tough because once you undo one thread, the whole thing has the ability to fall apart. Then there’s a lot of patch work required. (I’ve no idea why I’ve come up with a sewing analogy as there’s no particular link to finely made clothing but it seems to serve the purpose!)

Matthew: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about? 

Toby: Directing. Soccer. And playing squash. On a broader level, taking life by the balls and giving it a damned good squeeze.

Matthew: What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

Toby: As soon as I saw what the festival was about I knew FFTB was the perfect match, there was no hesitation to submit. The feedback was excellent, really opened my eyes to a number of issues I hadn’t considered before.

Matthew: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers? 

Toby: Woody Allen said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up,” by which he meant, completing the script. (There are a lot more writers who talk about their ideas rather than get them down into completed script form.) So, bottom line is, write the damned thing! And to those who have achieved this, the next tip is keep rewriting. I too thought my first draft was it, that’s all I had to do…other than write my thank you speech at the Oscars. People told me it doesn’t happen that way…and I ignored them. Now I know. And I bet you most writers reading this will ignore it too. But here’s an indication of what it takes…I’ve done over 50 rewrites of FFTB. It’s won a couple of prizes, there’s been some professional interest, and yet I still dip into it and see ways of improving it. You might think it’s because I’m not good enough. But Woody Allen, one of the industry’s most prolific writers, still rewrites his scripts even during filming.

 


Director/Producer – Matthew Toffolo
Editor – John Johnson
Casting Director – Sean Ballantyne