Best Scene Reading of Moving On by Sheila Warren

It’s 1970, when feminism and civil action confront traditional, conservative values. When tragedy strikes Anne’s family, she finds the times are not as progressive as she believed.


Anne: Mandy May Cheetham
Narrator: Sean Ballantyne
Mitch: Adrian Currie
Alan: Liam Kinahan

Submit via FilmFreeway:


Producer: Matthew Toffolo

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

Camera Operator: Mary Cox


FAMILY Festival Testimonial – September 23 2018

Audrey Arkins
Audrey Arkins

This was BY FAR our best Festival experience. The US venue is Regal Cinemas in DTLA at LA Live/Staples center. Great seats, great screens, great food with beer/wine. Accepted films get at least 20!!! comped tix and additional guests may reserve for free or by donation. Our short, American Boy, won Best Film for this event but all films got an edited compilation of audience feedback (here’s ours: ). We got excellent web coverage from the festival before and after. This is truly an outstanding Festival. I haven’t reviewed others because I try not to be negative, but they were useless in comparison. This festival made up for all of that. I originally applied because of the term “family” in the title. My film is about kids, but gang murder, so not exactly family fare either. But I hadn’t been able to bring the cast and their friends to other festivals because of R-rated content which concerned their parents. This festival split the program so the kids could leave at the intermission.

5 Star Review

A FilmFreeway preferred festival:

WATCH Winning Family Screenplay and Story Readings:

WATCH Audience FEEDBACK Film Festival Videos:



BEST FILM: The Legend of Rasputin



BEST MUSIC: High Calorie

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Videos:

festival posterHIGH CALORIE, 17min., Turkey, Family/Drama

festival posterSWEETER, 13min., USA, Family/Drama

festival posterPRIEST TO PRIEST, 9min., USA, Family/Drama

festival posterTHE LEGEND OF RASPUTIN, 13min., Canada, Family/Animation

festival posterJOYA MIA, 5min., USA, Family/Drama

festival posterSWEET YOYO, 18min., Canada, Family/Drama

The theme of the July 2018 FAMILY FEEDBACK Film Festival in Toronto was “Heath is Wealth”. Every single film was about how being healthy is the beginning and the end for any life.

There was a terrorist threat called in to the Toronto Police department the day of this festival event. Someone said that “For sure a bomb will be going off near the CN Tower.” So that story caught fire and there was basically a police office stationed at every corner of the city at night.

Selfishly, I was worried about our attendance. People did email the festival during the day that they will not attend, plus one of our volunteers declind to come as well. Nevertheless we still had a solid attendance filled with a great crowd.

My point to the Festival Directors Mary Cox & Kierston Drier was that because this “threat” was now in the consciousness of the city, there will 100% not be a threat because the element of surprise isn’t there. So onwards we went to another successful night. And of course no bomb went off. The police officers earned some much deserved overtime, while many businesses like bars, restaurants, and cinemas simply had a bad financial night.

What a great lineup of Family Films we showcased. Truly proud of this festival night. Can’t wait to showcase more family films.

See you at the festivals.

– Matthew Toffolo

Short Film: THE LEGEND OF RAPUTIN, 13min., USA, Family/Animation

Aa84316802 poster

Mystic, prophet, healer, love-god – Grigori Rasputin’s unique talents bring him to St. Petersburg’s luxurious Winter Palace to heal the dying Prince Alexei, heir to the throne, in the waning days of Tsarist rule. When Rasputin succeeds, he becomes spiritual aid to the royal family, and infamous national celebrity to a public that is becoming increasingly critical of its rulers. Rasputin’s hedonistic desires, and the negative attention he draws to the ruling order, is upsetting to a certain faction of the nobility, who plot to kill him in an effort to restore the clean image of the Russian royalty, and to maintain their power in a time of revolutionary crisis. Rasputin’s prophesy that his murder by Royalty proves true, leading to the destruction of the Tsar and his dynasty. This is a dark historical comedy about the first tabloid star Grigori Rasputin … told with puppets.

Project Links
  • Film Type:
  • Genres:
    Comedy, Historical
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 40 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 20, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:

MAY 2018 FAMILY Stories, Screenplays, and Short Films

Submit your Family Film or Screenplay to the Festival:



ACTORFOR A GOOD LIFE – Feature Screenplay
May 2018 Reading
by Natalia Maslin

festival posterSAM THE HAM, 1min., USA, Animation/Comedy

festival posterWHEN COMES THE RAIN, 2min., USA, Animation/Comedy

festival posterROSIE, OH, 8min, USA, Experimental/Family

May 2018 Reading
by Stephanie Barnes

May 2018 Reading
by Stevie Turner

May 2018 Reading
by Mary Barr

May 2018 Reading
by Rita Cragwall



Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo

Festival Moderators: Kierston Drier, Shepsut Wilson
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Festival Directors: Mary Cox, Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: John Johnson, Isabal Cupryn, Aser Santos Jr., Zack Arch

FAMILY Winning Short Screenplay – SEEKER, by Kaitlyn Kowalski

Genre: Family, Drama

A young girl struggles between helping her family, and doing the right thing.


Harry: Fabio Abreu
Jasmine: Vanessa Quaglaira
Narrator: Dan Fox
Maria:Val Cole
Gretchen: Cassandra Sirois
Dale: James Murray

Get to know the writer:

 1. What is your screenplay about?

The Seeker is a story about a young girl who struggles to find the balance between helping her family and actually doing the right thing.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

I would consider The Seeker to be a drama.

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

Personally, I think this story is just flat out entertaining. I love a story with a smart twist and The Seeker definitely has one. It is filled with tender visuals and I think it would be a fun movie to direct. It would be challenging, but rewarding.

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

Terrifyingly relatable

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

Hmm… wow that’s a tough one. It’s probably a toss up between The Never Ending Story and No Country For Old Men… don’t judge!!

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

Funny enough, I’ve been working on this script since I was a sophomore in college, 2011. I’d forgotten that I’d written it, but found an old PDF and fell in love with the idea again. It was cool to see how I’ve progressed as a writer from one of the first screenplays I’d ever written.

7. How many stories have you written?

I’ve written probably 50 short films & sketches since 2011 when I started and I’ve gotten to 1/2 of a feature!

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

I used to have a big crush on a guy who was seriously into Gerry Raferty so I’ve probably listened to “Right Down The Line” over 1,000 times. Ha!

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

I had a certain story in my head and when I thought it was finished, I got critiques from a couple of people wanting more. I still get them. It’s hard to get suggestions from other people and still stay true to the story you want to tell. Overall, I think the changes I made based on their suggestions made for a stronger story. It’s always good to get a fresh set of eyes.

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

I love working with children. They are so unafraid to express how they feel, but may not always know how to articulate it. They taught me how to be a better instructor and a better director.

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

Working via Film Freeway makes submitting to festivals extremely easy!! There are so many festivals to submit to right at your fingertips.

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

I read the title of the festival and knew I needed feedback on The Seeker and thought, could this get anymore perfect? The Seeker is a troubling story about a family, and it’s so hard to get friends to read anything so it just seemed like fate was saying “Enter this one Kaitlyn!”. It was an entry fee well spent!
I felt like the feedback was incredibly insightful. I really felt like the feedback giver was invested in the success of my story and did what they could to have made it stronger. I thank you for that!


Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox