FEMALE Festival Best Scene Screenplay – RETURN TO FREEDOM, by Bristol Mac Donald

Genre: Drama

Emma Wilson, a timid young woman escapes a violently abusive relationship and with nowhere else to go, returns to her family’s remote horse ranch where she must face her brother Frank, a volatile bully and the reason she left home years ago.

CAST LIST:

Jack: Fabio Abreu
Emma: Vanessa Quaglaira
Narrator: Dan Fox
Rex: James Murray
Odeda: Val Cole
Carmen: Cassandra Sirois

Get to know the writer: 

 1. What is your screenplay about?

It’s the story of a timid young woman who escapes a violently abusive relationship and with nowhere else to go, returns to her family’s remote horse ranch where she must face her volatile brother and the reason she ran away from home years ago. Prepared to flee once again, an unexpected kinship with an abused wild mustang brought to the ranch for rehabilitation, forces her to confront her past and overcome her deepest fears, giving her the strength and courage to finally stand up to her greatest nemesis.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama – Family Drama

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

This entertaining family drama addresses domestic violence and bullying. It has always been my desire that this story give women, who may feel powerless, hope and encouragement; that they are stronger than they know, braver than they can imagine and that their voice matters.

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

Moving and inspirational.

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

The Shawshank Redemption.

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

About 5 years.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have written 3 Screenplays and a One-Hour Television Pilot

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

Bruised But Not Broken by Joss Stone

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

The biggest obstacle was me. Because this story is personal, and loosely based on my experience, it was often times difficult to open up about my past; to be honest, raw, vulnerable and expose my truth.

I would have to walk away for months at a time and come back to it. But, in the end it was a very cathartic journey and one that I hope will inspire women of all ages.

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

Horses. They saved my life. I hope to share, with women in particular, just how healing these creatures can be. I am also a wild horse advocate using my fine art photography to help shed light on the plight of the American Wild Horse.

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

I love FilmFreeway. I use them for all my projects.

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

A festival focused on women filmmakers and screenwriters was definitely what drew me to your festival. I was extremely excited about the feedback. It was professional and constructive, which has helped tremendously during the rewrite process. Thank you.

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

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

FEMALE Festival Best Scene Reading of THE EGG AND I, by Nicole Stuart

Genre: Drama

Natalie Monroe’s a neurotic 40-year-old, who hopes she hasn’t missed her window of time to have a baby, but her odds don’t look good. She put her personal life aside to follow her dreams but she’s unable to catch a break. Natalie’s younger boyfriend isn’t supportive of her having a baby; in fact, he’s one of the many people who tells her she’s too old. Along with her fertility doctor who tells her, “you have the same chance of winning the lottery as having a baby but if you find sperm in a week you might have a 1% shot to try IVF.” Natalie begins her uncanny search for sperm, finding an unexpectant donor. Meanwhile, his ex-girlfriend stops at nothing to block Natalie from getting his sperm, finding true love and freezing one good egg.

CAST LIST:

Roger: Charles Gordon
Annette: Katelyn Varadi
Narrator: Brandon Knox
Natalie: Carina Cojeen
Katherine: Angelica Alejandro
Steve: Gabriel Darku

Get to know the writer:

1. What is your screenplay about?

This is a journey that takes you inside Natalie Monroe’s life. She’s a neurotic 40-year-old, who hopes she hasn’t missed her window of time to have a baby, but her odds don’t look good. She put her personal life aside to follow her dreams but she can’t catch a break and fears her life and time-clock have passed her by. Even Natalie’s younger boyfriend isn’t supportive of her having a baby; in fact, he’s one of the many people who tells her she’s too old. Along with her fertility doctor who says, “you have the same chance of winning the lottery as having a baby. But you may have a 1% shot if you can find sperm in the next week.” Natalie begins her uncanny search for sperm, finding an unexpectant donor and a little more than she bargained for. Meanwhile, her sperm donors ex-girlfriend stops at nothing to block Natalie from getting his sperm, finding true love and freezing one good egg.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Romantic Comedy

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

I think rom-com’s need to make a come back. That being said more romantic comedy’s like WHEN HARRY MET SALLY or ANNIE HALL. These films were great and the subject of my film needs to be seen because so many women and men are going through IVF AND INFERTITLY and I feel we’ve yet to have a great story about it. It’s light-hearted comedy nothing more and nothing less. It’s not trying to be something it’s not.

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

Sweet comedy

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

Annie Hall but so many from the 70’s and 80’s. Films in my humble opinion were so much better then.

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

4-5 years
Over 9 drafts

7. How many stories have you written?

This is my second script that I’ve written. But in total I’ve told 4 stories now. Two features, a short film and the first story I told was a memoir about my life growing up in Las Vegas which I turned into my first feature. Then this The Egg and I was my second feature. 40ish is my short.

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

So hard to narrow it down to just one song I’m a big fan of music from the 70s and 80s and I like everything from the Beastie Boys to Tupac and I love this guy I discovered Greg Laswell and think he’d have a perfect tone for this film.

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

Where do I begin? I started this at the beginning of my journey with IVF but while going through that, it was such a painful journey, mentally, physically and financially it took everything out of me so I stopped. Then started again throughout the course of the three years I was trying IVF. Then I began again once I found out I was pregnant and stopped again hitting walls with what type of story I was telling. Then once I had the baby, I knew I needed to finish my story and share it with the world. I initially set-out to write a very dramatic , truthful story that shows how hard IVF can be…. emotionally, financially and physically. And what I discovered while writing, was this was deeply and painfully funny. Scene after scene it took its own turn.

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

LIFE being a mom, wife, acting, exercise & fitness…

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

It’s been pretty cool. The way it works and they are very on top of things!!!

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

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

FEMALE Festival Best Scene Reading of IN BAD COMPANY, by Ke De Sol

 

Genre: Drama

Inside the male dominated world of the Outlaw Motorcycle Club, families do exist.

CAST LIST:

Josh: Gabriel Darku
Narrator: Katelyn Varadi
Max: Angelica Alejandro
Seth: Charles Gordon

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

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

FEMALE Festival Best Scene Reading of SADIE SASQUASH, by Frank Vespe

 

Genre: Drama

Fearing they’ll be exposed and exploited, Sammy. Sasquash abandons his mate and twin babies deep in the Pacific Northwest. Shunned by the animal kingdom as freaks, Sadie Sasquash grapples with her infants in an unwelcoming world until she stumbles upon a woman lost in the woods. Slowly, they forge a friendship, and despite their differences, struggle to survive…together.

CAST LIST:

Benny: Brandon Knox
Alfie: Gabriel Darku
Narrator: Angelica Alejandro
Sammy: Charles Gordon
Sadie: Carina Cojeen
Animal Voice: Katelyn Varadi

Get to know the writer:

 1. What is your screenplay about?

Whenever I saw or read reports about Sasquatch/Big Foot sightings, it was referred as “There HE is; let’s get HIM,” Never did I hear, “There SHE is; let’s get HER,” but I always thought Sasquatch was a vulnerable, frightened female, abandoned by her mate, struggling to survive, an outcast in the animal kingdom as a “freak,” not human, not animal.
Soon, I imagined a human female under similar circumstances, being abandoned by her mate, and what would happen if these two females crossed paths, leading to friendship or adversity?

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Genre is Drama, Family, Sci-Fi/Fantasy.

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

The story of Sadie Sasquash and Mackenzie Price, not Sasquatch as she has trouble saying tch, transcends our differences, whether racial, religion and gender, to show every living thing can coexist and needs to be loved. Especially today, where so much bigotry continues.

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

Unconditional Love

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

The movies I’ve seen the most: Wizard of Oz, Officer and a Gentleman, Somewhere in Time. (I’m still frightened of those flying monkeys.)

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

I started writing Sadie Sasquash a year ago as a comedic TV pilot, having Sadie brought to NYC’s Lower East Side and live peacefully among the artist community, but after having FFFF review it a few times, with wonderful insight, the story took on its own direction, and is now a 76 page, dramatic screenplay.

7. How many stories have you written?

I’ve written and published over 100 stories in Long Island newspapers and fumble between seven screenplays and three TV pilots, and rewrite/tweak every day.

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

My most played song is Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell. As a camera operator mostly, my first gig was MTV’s New Year’s Eve party in NYC with Billy Idol, Van Halen and Stray Cats, but Rebel Yell, especially when you’re ten feet from him, took hold of me, and when I need a jolt of adrenaline, blast it.

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

My biggest obstacle was transitioning from a 30 minute TV pilot to a screenplay and finding a satisfying ending. (I get very emotional and teary, more than teary, reading my last few pages.)

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

My biggest passion is shooting and editing video projects all over the New York area, meeting so many awesome people, discovering new cultures. (I shot a five-day Punjabe wedding in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic last year, but don’t drink or brush your teeth with the water, I was sick for seven days and lost ten pounds.)

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

Filmfreeway is a pleasure to work with; always current festivals, well defined, well explained, and their customer person Ana is nice.)

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

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

Female Festival Best Scene Reading of Rearranging Roxy, by Bridget Bell

 

Genre: Drama, Musical

A self-centered rocker must revive her estranged father’s holiday musical to fund her band’s last chance for a tour and to save her hometown from developers, finding love and redemption along the way

CAST LIST:

Ruby: Carina Cojeen
Ms. Barnes: Angelica Alejandro
Narrator: Brandon Knox
Roxy: Katelyn Varadi
Grayson: Charles Gordon
Gene: Gabriel Darku

Get to know the writer:

 1. What is your screenplay about?

In a last ditch effort to keep her rock star dreams alive, a self-sabotaging rocker returns home to make a deal with the devil, her estranged father. During the painful reconciliation process, she uncovers the missing creative spark she needs to personally and professionally succeed.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Family drama, dramedy

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

The current climate of divisiveness inspired me to write a story where people at opposite ends of the spectrum learn to respect and accept each other’s unique qualities and work together for the greater good. Age, sex, orientation, musical bent, talent level, economic status, none of these need to be barriers to collaboration.

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

Unpretentiously unifying

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

The Sound of Music

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

About three years.

7. How many stories have you written?

Four feature scripts, loads of short stories

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

Black Cow by Steely Dan

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

Finding the right ending took many, many rewrites!

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

Family, music, food, live theater and movies!

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

FilmFreeway makes it easy to stop procrastinating and get your work out in the world.

 

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

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

FEMALE Festival Best Scene Reading of Fauk My Life, by Stephanie Neroes

 

Genre: Drama, Romance

A skilled basketball player must try and settle into college while juggling a complicated love life with her boyfriend back home and the other college-bound girl he caught her with.
Synopsis:

CAST LIST:

Jax: Angelica Alejandro
Harley: Carina Cojeen
Narrator: Charles Gordon
Coach Mendez: Brandon Knox
Jaymee: Katelyn Varadi
Spyder: Gabriel Darku

Get to know the writer:

1. What is your screenplay about?

A high school basketball phenom whose ultimate dream is to play in the WNBA ditches the simplicity of her small midwestern town for a west coast urban college where life isn’t so straightforward.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

coming of age drama young adult sports lgbtq

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

It’s actually intended to be a tv series

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

life happens

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

Grease

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

10 years

7. How many stories have you written?

5

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

Tracy Chapman’s Give Me One Reason

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

Funding

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

providing a voice to people who otherwise don’t have one is the passion behind my writing

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

it’s simplicity

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

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

March 2018 Female Directed & Written Stories, Screenplays, and Short Films

A Film Freeway Preferred Festival:

 

festival posterFOR THE LOVE OF THE CHILD, 38min., USA, Documentary

festival posterFACE BLIND, 4min., CAN, Documentary

festival posterSUNUNU: THE REVOLUTION OF LOVE, 24min., UK, Documentary


festival posterIMITATION, 16min., Poland, Drama
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


festival posterDINNER FOR TWO, 15min, Taiwan, Drama/Relationship
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


festival posterGIRL AT THE DOOR, 12min, South Korea, Drama
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


festival posterTHROUGH THE SUPERMARKET IN FIVE EASY STEPS, 9min, Finland, Dance
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


festival posterMWAH, 12min., Iran, Drama
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


festival posterI SEEK ASYLUM, 10min., UK, Crime/Drama
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK

festival posterI NEED YOU, 5min., USA, Thriller/Romance
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK

festival posterTHE CASSETTE, 5min., USA, Drama
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK

ACTORTV SPEC Screenplay of the show TRANSPARENT
March 2018 Reading
by Marisaa Lessman
ACTORTV Best Scene Screenplay – WHAT THE HELL
March 2018 Reading
by Melissa Willis

ACTORSCI-FI SHORT Screenplay
March 2018 Reading
by Jade S. Bokhari
ACTORCRIME SHORT Screenplay
March 2018 Reading
by Christine Sherwood

ACTORFANTASY 1st SCENE Screenplay – ENTANGLED
March 2018 Reading
by Sharon Powers
ACTORTHRILLER 1st SCENE Screenplay – THE BLUE ROOM
March 2018 Reading
by Victoria Mitchell

ACTORFEMALE BEST SCENE Screenplay – FIRST TIME FOR PENNY
March 2018 Reading
by Janice Walker
ACTORFEMALE BEST SCENE Screenplay – REBEKAH’S CLOSET
March 2018 Reading
by Amy Jackson

ACTORBEST SCENE Screenplay – THE DEN
March 2018 Reading
by Kelsey Ann Wacker and Nathan Simpson
ACTORSHORT STORY Reading – NOOKMIS
March 2018 Reading
by Athena Wisenrich

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

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