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

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

HIGHLIGHTS & VIDEOS: Toronto March 2018 Film Festival

AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS:

BEST FILM: The Girl at the Door
BEST PERFORMANCES: The Girl at the Door
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Dinner for Two
BEST MUSIC: Through the Supermarket in Five Easy Steps

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Videos:


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 posterDYING FOR A LIVING, 13min., UK, Documentary
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK

The 2nd Female Film Festival event of 2018 was a great success. A SOLD OUT crowd with a few people sitting in the aisles (Don’t tell the Fire Marshall!).

The theme of the event was “Unheard Voices”.

Every film had a situation where voices were coming from a distant.

The Female Feedback Film Festival has been the great achievement of the last two years for this organization. Admittingly, I have zero to do with that success.

The MVP of this festival event and the Female Festival overall is Kierston Drier. She is truly becoming an exceptional curator for selecting the films and moderator for the Audience Feedback videos. You can see her brilliant work by watching the videos of this and all the past Feedback Festival events held in Toronto.

Kierston is young, smart, and definitely a go-getter. She has a bright future ahead of her working as a story developer or perhaps staying in the festival world and taking over full reins of this company one day.

This festival was a special one because it was the first festival on a long, long time where there was not a film from North American playing. We showcased films from Poland, Taiwan, South Korea, Finland, Iran, and the UK. If that’s not a diversity of films from around the world, then I do not know what is.

I am SO proud of this festival. We will do 8 Female Festival events in 2018, and in 2019 we are set do to one every single month.

See you at the festivals!

– Matthew Toffolo, CEO, FEEDBACK Film Festival (Toronto & Los Angeles)

DYING FOR A LIVING Short Film – Audience Feedback from March 2018 Female Film Festival

DYING FOR A LIVING, 13min., UK, Documentary 
Directed by Adriana Falcinelli

A sensitive, contrasting portrait of Shaun Morris, a 57 year old extroverted undertaker living hand-to-mouth in Southampton. Surviving on a zero hours contract, the opportunity of a permanent job appears which could change his life dramatically.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

GIRL AT THE DOOR Short Film – Audience Feedback from March 2018 Female Film Festival

GIRL AT THE DOOR, 12min, South Korea, Drama 
Directed by Song Joo-Sung

Hye-ri lives with her father, who turns into a violent person when he is inebriated. Unlike her submissive mother and little brother, Hye-ri learns the armbar maneuver from her boxing coach to get the upper hand.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

I SEEK ASYLUM Short Film – Audience Feedback from March 2018 Female Film Festival

I SEEK ASYLUM, 10min., UK, Crime/Drama
Directed by Anna Southgate

Based on actual asylum interviews, the film shows what faces survivors of trafficking and torture when they come to the UK.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

IMITATION Short Film – Audience Feedback from March 2018 Female Film Festival

IMITATION, 16min., Poland, Drama 
Directed by Maria Magdalena Jeziorowska

“Imitation” presents a world of deepening madness, which turns out to be the cause of the loneliness and sense of mental alienation. The madness of the main character, which is eccentric seamstress, pulls the viewer into a dark reality. Man is objectified in a symbolic mannequin, thus creating an imitation of what’s human.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!