October 2017 Female Directed & Written Stories, Screenplays, and Short Films

Submit your Female Story, Screenplay, or Short Film to the Festival today: https://femalefilmfestival.com/


festival posterTWO, 1min, USA, Fashion/Experimental
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festival posterD’ARLINE, 22min, USA, Drama/Biography
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festival posterLIZ DRIVES, 8min, Australia, Horror
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ACTORFAN FICTION BEST SCENE Screenplay – BLACK WIDOW: FUGITIVE
October 2017 Reading
by Brooke Elowe
ACTOR1st SCENE Screenplay – DEFYING THE TIDE
October 2017 Reading
by Anna Bamberger

ACTORROMANCE SHORT Screenplay – LULU
October 2017 Reading
by Tracey Lion Cachet
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – THE RECEIPT
October 2017 Reading
by Hazel Allan

ACTORCOMEDY BEST SCENE Screenplay – VAMPIRE ACADEMY
October 2017 Reading
by Melissa Birks
ACTORCOMEDY BEST SCENE Screenplay – BRENDA IN DHARMALAND
October 2017 Reading
by Anne M. Robinson

ACTORTHRILLER BEST SCENE Screenplay – CURIOUS BUDDIES
October 2017 Reading
by Janet Caulfield
ACTORCRIME BEST SCENE Screenplay – VINDICATION
October 2017 Reading
by Louetta Jensen

ACTORNOVEL Reading – KILER CONVERSATIONS
October 2017 Reading
by Stephanie Parker McKean
ACTORNOVEL Reading – PRIESTESS OF THE FOREST: A DRUID JOURNEY
October 2017 Reading
by Ellen Evert Hopman

ACTORNOVEL Reading – SNAYGILL: SLITHERY TEMPTATIONS
October 2017 Reading
by Michelle B. Assor

September 2017 Female Directed & Written Stories, Screenplays, and Short Films

Submit your Female Story, Screenplay, or Short Film to the Festival today: https://femalefilmfestival.com/

ACTORTV SPEC Screenplay – QUANTICO Show
September 2017 Reading
by Leslie Lyshkob

ACTORSTUDENT Short Screenplay – PALACES
September 2017 Reading
by Taryn Procsal

ACTORSTUDENT Short Screenplay – ROSIE
September 2017 Reading
by Amalia Williamson

ACTORCOMEDY Short Screenplay – TWITS
September 2017 Reading
by Alison McGrath

ACTORACTION Best Scene Screenplay – VOLUNTEER
September 2017 Reading
by Janine Cobain & Gary McElkerney

ACTORCRIME Best Scene Screenplay – HICK
September 2017 Reading
by Marianna Moneymaker

ACTORSTAGE PLAY BEST SCENE – VENGEANCE OF THE SHREW
September 2017 Reading
by Bree Katz

ACTORSTAGE PLAY Best Scene –
September 2017 Reading
by Linda Collison

ACTORSHORT STORY Transcript – GIVE ME TRUTH OR GIVE ME SILENCE
September 2017 Reading
by Melissa R. Mendelson

ACTORSHORT STORY Transcript – IN THE CEMETERY
September 2017 Reading
by Mari Tamez

ACTORNOVEL Transcript – COURAGE THE MOUSE
September 2017 Reading
by Cornelia Fick

ACTORNOVEL Transcript – BODIE
September 2017 Reading
by Anne Sweazy Kulja

<festival posterNO WAVE, 11min, Canada, Thriller/Mystery
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<festival posterAMBER, 14min, USA, Thriller/Drama
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<festival posterDOMESTICITY, 4min, UK, Thriller/Drama
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<festival posterPEPITA & MAX, 6min, Family/Animation
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<festival posterUKA, 3min, Spain, Animation/Family
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<festival posterINGENUE-ISH, 10min, USA, Comedy
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<festival posterSUITCASE, 13min, France, Comedy
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<festival posterBAGGAGE, 17min, USA, Comedy
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<festival posterUNICORNLAND, 7min, USA, Comedy/Webseries
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<festival posterDEIGHTIES, 8min, Australia, Documentary/Romance
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<festival posterCOUNTING, 10min, USA, LGBT, Romance
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<festival posterMANEKI-NEKO, 12min, USA, Romance/Comedy
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<festival posterLAST NIGHT WAS A MISTAKE, 15min, USA, Romance/Comedy
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Winning FEMALE TV PILOT Screenplay – JUNKED by Alice Dennard

Genre: Comedy, Family, Sitcom

JUNKED is a story about resilience against life’s messes- a high school where you don’t fit in, a mother who’s not exactly June Cleaver, a father who’s supposed to be dead, and the literal mess of their trailer filled to the brim with stolen, used, and broken junk.

CAST LIST:
Narration: Sean Ballantyne
Petey: Andrea Meister
Mark: Jordy Kieto
Jennifer: Konstantina Mantelos
Zane: Jack Comerford
Tex: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Coach Moe: Anthony Botelho

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

JUNKED is the story of PETEY DURAND, an aspiring fashion maven who’s trapped in a trailer park with her zoned-out brother and hoarding mother. When Petey starts at a fancy new gifted and talented high school, she’s forced to hide her mother’s illness and keep her trailer park life a secret. All in hopes of keeping her Chanel covered dreams on track.

Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?

I think stories about complicated women and their relationships with one another are severely lacking in the television landscape today. What I hope to do with JUNKED is to give viewers a look into an unusual world, with unique characters, but keep Petey’s relationship with her mother grounded so it’s relatable to women all over.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Swamp. Glamour

What TV show do you watch over and over again?

Too many to count! Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Wire, The Good Place, and Park and Recreation.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Since spring of 2016.

How many stories have you written?

Well, my background is in experimental film and video art. Early on I started writing and performing my own character based video pieces in high school. So there’s a pile of shorts and monologues! After that I wrote my first TV pilot in 2012 while I was applying for grad school at UCLA. Since then I’ve written two feature films, four original half-hours, two original hour long pilots, and one fifteen minute pilot about a cat brothel.

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

It would be a tie between It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels by Kitty Wells and Dumb Blonde by my hero Dolly Parton.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

This script was the script of no end. Because of its particular tone and sensitive subject matter, I tweaked it over and over again. I had to dig into my mind and revisit what it was like to be a teenage girl and remember that feeling of simultaneously being at the brink of greatness and total humiliation.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m very passionate about fashion. It’s in my blood- my mom was a clothing buyer for a department store before I was born. I used to love hearing her stories about running around the fashion district in the 1970’s. When I was a little girl, I made my mom play “store” with me and I would put together outfits to sell to her. By seven years old I knew how to add sales tax to a garment and deduct a coupon. Clothing has always served as both armor and expression for me. I constantly pull inspiration from clothing for my characters and my scripts. Hunting for unusual pieces or just a unique take on something classic is so exciting to me.

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

I am always so thrilled to see festivals and competitions directed towards female creators. I think fostering new female voices is a crucial part of creating more representation. So I applied in hopes of being part of that.

I was so pleased to see such thoughtful and thorough feedback from the festival.

Again the tone of the script is very particular so I loved the reader’s suggestions on expanding it to an hour-long pilot.

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

Write as much as you can. Every script is going to be better than the last!

*****

January 2017 Female Directed & Written Stories, Screenplays, and Short Films

Submit your Female Story, Screenplay, or Short Film to the Festival today: https://femalefilmfestival.com/


festival posterIM PERFEKT, 7min, Hungray, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
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BEST Scene – KIDICIDE
January 2017 Reading
Written by Kelly Karam
ACTORBEST Scene – NO MORE GOODYBES
January 2017 Reading
Written by Rebekah R. Ganiere

ACTORBEST Scene – SANDWICH
January 2017 Reading
Written by Deborah Klika
ACTOR1st SCENE Script – FAN SITE
January 2017 Reading
Written by Elisha Barnes

ACTOR1st SCENE Script – OCD
January 2017 Reading
Written by Quyen Tran
ACTORSHORT Screenplay – MODERN LOVE
January 2017 Reading
Written by Hannah Dillon

ACTORSHORT Story – MURDER IS A BREEZE
January 2017 Reading
Written by M Maureen Skahan
ACTORSHORT Story – MARIONETTE
January 2017 Reading
Written by Melissa R. Mendelson

ACTORSHORT Story – SHADOWS
January 2017 Reading
Written by Kelly J. Kratz

Watching Winning Short Screenplay: TURN ON DESIRE by Lauren Hoekstra

TURN ON DESIRE is the February 2016 Short Screenplay Winner.

Watch TURN ON DESIRE by Lauren Hoekstra

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Susan Wilson
LUKE – Mark Sparks
PIMP – Neil Kulin
BOY – Gabriel Darku
LOUDSPEAKER – Elizabeth Rose Morriss

Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller

Get to know writer Lauren Hoekstra:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your short screenplay about? 

It’s set in a not-too-distant future where the proliferation of virtual sex has killed meaningful relationships and created a society in search of ever-more extreme forms of gratification. Luke, the protagonist, is caught in this vicious circle of gratification and craving. Until he discovers he’s yearning for something long since forgotten.

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

Everyone wonders where we’re headed in the future and this story takes a trajectory of something we’re experimenting with today and shows a potential consequence.

Matthew: This story has a lot going for it. How would you describe this script in two words?    

A surreal romance

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

 Cinema Paradiso

Matthew: This is  a very tight, emotionally engaging and fun screenplay. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

 I wrote it very quickly as a short story a couple of years ago, then tried, and failed to turn it into a short screenplay. After that, I abandoned it for a few years, until recently. This time, the screenplay flew.

Matthew: How many stories have you written? 

 Not that many. I’m a director first, writer second.

Matthew: What motivated you to write this screenplay? 

I was about fifteen when internet became a standard household item. Over the next decade, I personally felt the effect it had on relationships and it made me want to capture what I think we might be losing.

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

The main obstacle was the fact that the protagonist and antagonist never meet, so I had to create secondary characters to explain the story.

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

 I love directing and producing.

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

I’ve had another work featured and it’s amazing to hear your screenplay performed. I’ve found the feedback to be very helpful and I’ve incorporated nearly all the recommendations.

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

Contests that give feedback, like WILDsound, are invaluable.

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Best Scene from MY LIFE WITH STELLA KANE Screenplay by Linda Morganstein

Watch the Best Scene Reading from February 2016.

“My Life with Stella”  by Linda Morganstein

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Elizabeth Rose Morriss
STELLA – Amanda Pereira
MURRAY – Mark Sparks
KUBICEK – Gabriel Darku

Genre: Drama, Comedy

Get to know writer Linda Morganstein:

Matthew Toffolo: What is your TV Pilot screenplay about?

Linda Morganstein: “My Life with Stella Kane” is the story of a lesbian actress in forties and fifties Hollywood, her sham marriage to a gay male star, and her secret love relationship with the female publicist who arranged the marriage. An ensemble of characters, including the actress’s deaf sister and a black-balled iconic actress, struggle with the repressive times.

Matthew: Why should this screenplay be made into a TV show?

Linda: Like “Mad Men,” “My Life with Stella Kane” portrays a fascinating segment of the recent past and its cultural influence on us, as well as provoking questions about our current attitudes, especially about diversity in the entertainment industry.

Matthew: This story has a lot going for it. How would you describe this script in two words?

Linda: Bewitching. Sexy.

Matthew: What TV show do you keep watching over and over again?

Linda: “The Good Wife,” for its strong female characters and its willingness to explore the not always so pleasant complexities of human nature. And its humor, which is essential for me.

Matthew: This is a very tight, emotionally engaging and fun screenplay. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Linda: Approximately a year and a number of drafts.

Matthew: How many stories have you written?

Linda: I have five published novels, numerous published poems and short stories, and a number of produced medical video scripts.

Matthew: What motivated you to write this screenplay?

Linda: I wanted to adapt my novel, “My Life with Stella Kane.” My original motivation for the novel was wondering what it would be like for a trio of gay characters to “beat the Hollywood system” from within and what sacrifices they’d need to make.

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

Linda: The struggle to adapt a novel–especially my own–to the visual medium of film.

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

Linda: My family and friends, gardening, sourdough bread baking and golf.

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

Linda: I was thrilled with the possibility of hearing my script read by professional actors. The initial feedback from WILDsound helped me to make my scenes tighter, shorter and more visual. I also turned my actress (Stella) into a point of view character, which she was not in the novel.

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

Linda: All writers develop their scripts in different ways, but in the end, really know your characters and their story. I have many characters from my projects that I think of as real people.

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

Watch Winning TV SPEC Reading: UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT by Jen Turriff

UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT is the January 2016 winning TV Spec. Watch the table reading performed by professional actors.

TV SPEC: UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
by Jen Turriff

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Christopher Huron
KIMMY – Mandy May Cheetham
TITUS – Kaleb Alexander
JACQUELINE – Elizabeth Owens Skidmore
BUCKLEY – Jovan Kocic
SALES WOMAN – Maya Woloszyn

 

Get to know writer Jen Turriff:

1. What is your screenplay on the Netflix show “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” about?

Believe it or not, the idea of the spec of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” that I wrote, came from my experience with addiction to Peanut Butter M&Ms. It was a brief, but intense time in my life that caused me much anguish and inevitable weight gain. I always like to write from real life, after all, it’s what I know. So that’s why I chose to write about that particular experience; it was an innocent enough premise on the surface for Kimmy, with the ability to go much deeper.

The next step was figuring out how to translate my story into Kimmy’s. It took awhile, but I eventually found a way to make it work for a 30-something with the mindset of a preteen. In “Kimmy Gets Addicted!” Buckley shows Kimmy a gaming app on his iPad and she quickly becomes addicted. Unfortunately, she doesn’t realize she’s spending loads of money on in-app purchases – worse, it’s linked to Jacqueline’s account. Kimmy has to figure out a way to make the money and pay her back. That’s where Titus comes in, who is in the meantime on a quest to purchase the fur coat of his dreams at a consignment shop. The duo have to work together to achieve their goals.

2. Why does this screenplay fit into the context of the show?

I think I found that the key to writing for “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is finding that balance between Kimmy as a naive, sort of unaware of how the world works, and Kimmy as the brave, independent woman that would take on a city like New York. There are two sides to her, I think you have to kind of balance the story in the same way. I like to think that I did that with the surface story of Kimmy becoming addicted to an iPad app and racking up a big bill of those in-app purchases, but beyond that, if you look a little deeper, there’s a bigger story about addiction and how easy it is for someone to fall into a bad habit. Again, there’s that balance.

Also, I wrote it to fit into the first half of the first season sort of generically. It’s sort of got an ambiguous timeline, and at the same time uses all of the main characters in the show at that time.

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

(TWO WORDS? That’s impossible! It’s not going to be good…)

Kimmy’s addiction?

4. What TV show(s) do you keep watching over and over again?

Seinfeld; never gets old.

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

This particular script took about two months to plan, write, rewrite, etc. It’s been a few months since I’ve “finished” it (i.e. the version you’re seeing read aloud), and I’m looking forward to feedback.

6. How many stories have you written?
Initially when I started writing comedy, I only wanted to be a late night show writer. I’ve written countless late night packets. It wasn’t until a fairly recent (within the year) chat with a manager in LA, that spurred me to try a spec script. That’s when this “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” came along. Since then I’ve also written a pilot.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

It was definitely a discussion I had with a manager in LA. I had initially just wanted to write for late night, but she encouraged me to try writing a spec, and then a pilot, to sort of round out my writing portfolio. I’m really glad she did. I enjoyed the spec script process so much.

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

I actually pitched this idea first, then withdrew it, pitched two others, and chose one of those. I pursued that one for a good couple of weeks and just really… struggled. I think when you’re struggling you have to ask yourself if it’s because you’re not inspired by the story. I knew wholeheartedly that it was the first pitch that I really wanted to do, so I went back. It took me a few steps backwards in the process, but I caught up. It was worth it, obviously. It was way more personal, it clearly resonated with others, and it fit within the scope of the show well. Sometimes you have to go with your initial instinct.

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

Lots of things! Family – my brother and future sister-in-law just asked me to officiate their wedding; I’m now ordained. You can call me Reverend. I have a tiny dog who’s almost eight-years-old. He’s like my son. He can also be a little jerk. Speaking of animals, fun fact: I live in an artists’ community and paint pet portraits as a side business.

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

I was looking for a festival or competition that accepted spec scripts and this is one of the few that does. My feedback was great. It was specific and totally understandable. I actually used to write feedback for a company called Bluecat Screenplay Competition. Very similar.

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

I would only suggest that if you’re having trouble starting or aren’t sure how to go about writing a spec script or a pilot, what’s always ALWAYS helped me is making two outlines. First, a page-by-page outline. Just start with page one, #1, and write just one sentence describing what happens. Next #2, one sentence description, etc. It’s kinda tough to limit it to just one sentence, but try to keep it simple. Second, a classic outline. This is more descriptive. You can add in your scene headings, then a paragraph describing what takes place.

Hopefully that makes sense! Seriously from there it’s SO easy to write, write, write!

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

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