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.

******

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

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

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


festival posterMARTINA, OH MARTINA, 12min., Spain, Romance/Drama
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festival posterSTUPID SMARTPHONE THERAPY, 4min., Germany, Experimental
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festival posterHONEYMOON, 3min., Switzerland, Romance
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


festival posterTOO SOON?, 3min., UK, Comedy
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


festival posterEGGS AND SOLDIERS, 20min., USA, Drama/Family
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK


festival posterCONVERSATIONS, 8min., Ireland, Crime/Mystery
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK

ACTORFAN FICTION FEATURE Screenplay – BLACK WIDOW: FUGITIVE
January 2018 Reading
by Brooke Elowe
ACTORDRAMA 1st Scene Screenplay – SCUPPERNONGS
January 2018 Reading
by Lynne Ashe
ACTORCOMEDY 1st Scene Screenplay – THE WRECKERS
January 2018 Reading
by Kristy Leigh Lussier
ACTORLGBT 1st Scene Screenplay – FALLING STAR
January 2018 Reading
by Katie L. Marshall
ACTORMYSTERY Best Scene Screenplay – BELLY UP
January 2018 Reading
by Tita AnnTares
ACTORDRAMA Best Scene Screenplay – PRODIGAL
January 2018 Reading
by Chris Courtney Martin
ACTORCOMEDY Best Scene Screenplay – MODEL U.N.
January 2018 Reading
by KC
ACTORWAR Best Scene Screenplay – THE BOUHLER HAUS
January 2018 Reading
by BetteLou Tobin
ACTORWAR Best Scene Screenplay – HOW TO HOLD IT ALL IN
January 2018 Reading
by Gwen Goodkin
ACTORFANTASY Best Scene Screenplay – MEDUSA
January 2018 Reading
by Lisette R. Norton
ACTORHORROR Best Scene Screenplay – MESSAGE FROM BEYOND
January 2018 Reading
by Paige Brien
ACTORTHRILLER Best Scene Screenplay – CURIOUS BUDDIES
January 2018 Reading
by Janet Caulfield
ACTORTHRILLER Best Scene Screenplay – CONTINENTALIS
January 2018 Reading
by Aurele Ndja
ACTOR NOVEL Transcript Reading – CURLY AND TUBS AND THE GALLOPING ROT
January 2018 Reading
by Kim Montgomery
ACTOR NOVEL Transcript Reading – TO DANCE WITH UGLY PEOPLE
January 2018 Reading
by Lorene Stunson Hill
ACTOR NOVEL Transcript Reading – THE KA
January 2018 Reading
by Mary Deal
ACTOR NOVEL Transcript Reading – CACHE A PREDATOR
January 2018 Reading
by Michelle Weidenbenner
ACTOR NOVEL Transcript Reading – SHARLEYS LESSONS
January 2018 Reading
by RK Vetter
ACTOR SHORT STORY Reading – UNREQUITED LOVE
January 2018 Reading
by Heidi Rhonehouse

Feature Screenplay Reading of EYES OF DAWN, by Sheri Davenport

Mata Hari — a spy who betrayed her country or a woman ahead of her time? This is the back story of Mata Hari.

CAST LIST: 

NARRATION: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Mata Hari: Marisa King
Bouchardson: Dan Cristofori
Vadime: Yehuda Fisher
Macleod: Michael Sabet
Clunt: Scott McCulloch
Sister Leonide: Elizabeth Skidmore

Get to know the writer:

1. What is your screenplay about?

Eyes of Dawn is new look at the life of Mata Hari. It tells the story of a woman far ahead of her time, a woman in touch with the strength, beauty and power of her femininity and her sexuality. A woman who loved with passion, danced with abandon, never gave up on finding the child who was taken from her. And in the end, she was a woman betrayed by men who were threatened by her free spirit — men in power who forced her into the world of espionage and ultimately took her life.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Historical Fiction

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

Because it’s time for more films about strong women overcoming obstacles to become their whole, complete, best selves. And the subject of men who feel threatened or insecure using their power to diminish, harass and limit women has never been more relevant than it is today.

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

Powerful. Relevant

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

All About Eve

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

Two years

7. How many stories have you written?

Dozens.

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

Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

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

Still facing some obstacles as I rework it into a three part series: To make each character arc interesting and believable and to reveal what truly drives Mata Hari, what’s in her heart.

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

Theater

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

I’ve had no problems. It’s efficient.

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

I loved that the festival focuses on women’s work. Also the chance for a reading was motivating and that feedback was included. I thought my feedback was terrific. I’m impressed by the effort the reader took and how truly helpful it was. I couldn’t be happier to be a winner and have a very professional read of my script. Thank you!

****

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

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

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

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
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK

<festival posterUKA, 3min, Spain, Animation/Family
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
<festival posterINGENUE-ISH, 10min, USA, Comedy
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<festival posterSUITCASE, 13min, France, Comedy
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
<festival posterBAGGAGE, 17min, USA, Comedy
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<festival posterUNICORNLAND, 7min, USA, Comedy/Webseries
WATCH Audience
<festival posterDEIGHTIES, 8min, Australia, Documentary/Romance
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<festival posterCOUNTING, 10min, USA, LGBT, Romance
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
<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
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK

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