Winning Short Screenplay – Bureaucracy by Sharmini Kumar

BUREAUCRACY
Written by Sharmini Kumar

CAST LIST:

CLERK – Dan Cristofori
NARRATOR – Peter Nelson
YOUNG WOMAN – Kelly Daly

SYNOPSIS:

Comedy, Horror, Fantasy

A screenplay about bureaucracy and unnecessary red tape. And also vampires.

Get to know the winning writer:

What is your screenplay about?

It’s about bureaucracy and unnecessary red tape. And also vampires.

What genres does your screenplay under?

Comedy, horror.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

I think it would be a lot of fun for cast, crew and audience. There’s a lot of potential for both suspense and comedy and playing with the timing to get both of those things.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Terrifyingly relatable.

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

Bend it Like Beckham. It was the first time I had seen an English-language film with a person of colour as the protagonist.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I had had the idea for awhile, but it was only a couple of days once I put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard).

How many stories have you written?

I don’t know – a lot. I’ve been writing since I was about eight. But I think my stories have improved a little since the one about the princess who owned sapphires, rubies and emeralds. (She divorced her husband and ran the country.)

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

We can all relate to dealing with unnecessary bureaucracy. I wanted the situation to be as heightened as possible and to explore the boundary between comedy and horror/suspense.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

One page is a very short screenplay! I often tend to write a lot of dialogue but that wouldn’t work here. I needed to be as efficient as possible with the storytelling.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about film, theatre and books and the intersections between them. I’m passionate about wanting to see a more just world. And I’m passionate about the difference between ‘less’ and ‘fewer’.

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

The only way I know how to write is to put my backside in a seat and write. Then stand up and pace while I’m thinking. Then return to the seat and keep writing. Good luck.

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

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Winning Short Screenplay – Care And Cleaning by Robin Kenny

CARE AND CLEANING
Written by Robin Kenny

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Laura Kyswaty
YOUNGER VOICE – Peter Nelson
OLDER VOICE – Kelly Daly

SYNOPSIS:

Sci-Fi

The off-screen voices are non-human aliens; we hear it as English. The story explores the strange human notion that any living thing can be a pet; after all, people do it with cats, dogs, rats, snakes, reptiles…

Get to know the winning writer:

What is your screenplay about?

The off-screen voices are non-human aliens; we hear it as English. The story explores the strange human notion that any living thing can be a pet; after all, people do it with cats, dogs, rats, snakes, reptiles…

What genres does your screenplay under?

Science fiction allegory.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

It would only work as a movie if there were the hope of escape or if the ‘aliens’ could be rationally convinced to let the human go.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Creepy zoo.

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

Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: a space odyssey. I’m addicted.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Half a day. It was fun.

How many stories have you written?

Any stories? More than forty. Good stories? Less than five.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

Forgotten why – but I was influenced by the visuals in THX-1138.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

This story ‘wrote itself’.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Computers, film making, and family. (really)

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

Always know more about the story’s universe than you tell. If you struggle to find story beats, then set the project aside and try something else. Take care of your health (get outta that chair!) If you need profanity to tell the story, that means you don’t know enough about your characters, their backgrounds or the plot itself. (You are trying to punch it up by using shock tactics. Don’t do that. It isn’t worthy of you nor honest to your audience.)

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

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Winning Short Screenplay – Forgiveness by Michael Adrian Lockett

FORGIVENESS
Written by Michael Adrian Lockett

CAST LIST:

CATHERINE – Laura Kyswaty
FATHER CALLAHAN – Peter Nelson
THE PRESIDENT – Gabriel Darku
NARRATOR – Kelly Daly

SYNOPSIS:

Drama

An elderly Catholic woman takes revenge upon a priest responsible for her son’s suicide.

Get to know the winning writer:

What is your screenplay about?

An elderly Catholic woman takes revenge upon a priest responsible for her son’s suicide.

What genres does your screenplay under?

Drama

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

This story taps into the pain and human tragedy of the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal while providing the cathartic feeling that revenge stories give the viewers.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Sweet Revenge

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

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Six months

How many stories have you written?

30-40

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

Being in a very Catholic area I know of many people personally affected by this

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Balancing the real pain it is based upon with creating a story that the general public could relate to.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

The outdoors, travel, martial arts, art and design.

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

You only get better at anything through practice. Read good writing (scripts and stories) and write as much as you can every minute you can.

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
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SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
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Winning Short Screenplay – Hanging Out In Malaysia by Wolfgang Schuler

HANGING OUT IN MALAYSIA
Written by Wolfgang Schuler

CAST LIST:

GATE ATTENDANT – Laura Kyswaty
PASSENGER – Peter Nelson
NARRATOR – Gabriel Darku

SYNOPSIS:

Drama/Thriller

a naive Aussie business man arrives in Malaysia in 1986 during the week when the first westerners, an Australian and a British man, were sentenced to death and hanged under Malaysia’s tough drug trafficking laws.

Get to know the winning writer:

What is your screenplay about?

It’s about a naive Aussie business man arriving in Malaysia in 1986 during the week when the first westerners, an Australian and a British man, were sentenced to death and hanged under Malaysia’s tough drug trafficking laws.

What genres does your screenplay under?

Drama/Thriller

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

It’s not everyday that you visit a country, unbeknownst of what is about to occur, and feel that everyone is looking at you for all the wrong reasons.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Unnerving, suspenseful.

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

Polar Express

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Couple of months

How many stories have you written?

4 feature length (Spy Harmony, The Ghosts in Me, Hanging Out in Malaysia, Faminoids)

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

Seemed like a good idea at the time.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Finding enough time to write without being distracted by the need to run my businesses and earn a living.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Commodity Futures Trading, Motor Sports, Acting

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

It’s never too late to start, in fact the later you start the more life experience you can recount and share.

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
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Winning Short Screenplay – Last Minute by Ray Salazar

LAST MINUTE
Written by Ray Salazar

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Laura Kyswaty
JANE – Kelly Daly
JESSE – Gabriel Darku

SYNOPSIS:

Drama

A guy buys an ingredient for his girlfriend’s cupcake recipe that is going to be entered into a contest.

Get to know the winning writer:

What is your screenplay about?

My screenplay is about a guy who buys an ingredient for his girlfriend’s cupcake recipe that is going to be entered into a contest.

What genres does your screenplay under?

I think the genre would best fit into drama.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

It should be made into a film because it’s simple and make people get a reaction.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Surprisingly intriguing.

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

That is hard question because I would binge watch movies when I was a kid but as far as I can remember, “Edward Scissorhands” would be it.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

It took me about a good four days to make this screenplay ready to submit. I’m currently shooting it and prepping is taking about a month. Shooting time is about four hours or less.

How many stories have you written?

I’ve written about a dozen stories so far.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

The email to submit a screenplay was enough for me to submit it.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The main obstacle to writing this was trying to make it stay under one page.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Film is my passion. I want to make films.

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

I don’t think I have enough experience to give any credible advice but the advice I have given is to never stop writing. You’ll only get better the more write.

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
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SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
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Winning Short Screenplay – Last Rites by Martin Keady

LAST RITES
Written by Martin Keady

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Peter Nelson
WOMAN/NUN – Laura Kyswaty
CHRIS – Gabriel Darku

SYNOPSIS:

Comedy

‘Last Rites’ is based on the true story of my own mad dash, from Ireland to London, to see my grandmother when I was told that she was dying. And it is a reminder that love, by definition, is always about the unexpected.

Get to know the winning writer:

What is your screenplay about?

‘Last Rites’ is based on the true story of my own mad dash, from Ireland to London, to see my grandmother when I was told that she was dying. And it is a reminder that love, by definition, is always about the unexpected.

What genres does your screenplay under?

Comedy. More specifically it is what I like to call a “feel alive movie”. Forget “feelgood movies” – the finest films make you feel ALIVE, and not just good. And I hope that ‘Last Rites’ achieves that even to a small degree.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Because I genuinely believe that it depicts one of the truly universal, but relatively under-explored (especially in cinema), relationships, which is that between grandparent and child. I studied anthropology for a year at university and consequently I know that the relationship between grandparent and child is one of the few truly universal human relationships, found in every culture, in every country, indeed in almost every conceivable human setting. As the saying goes, “Grandchildren are the reward for having children”, and I hope that in a small, one-minute way, ‘Last Rites’ shows that.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Grandmotherly love.

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

‘Withnail and I’, the finest screenplay ever written and the only screenplay where EVERY SINGLE LINE is truly quotable. Read it again and you’ll see.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I had had the idea for a long time and initially it was the opening of a feature that I wrote a very long time ago. The feature script lies at the bottom of my very big bottom drawer, but the opening – i.e. the story of ‘Last Rites’ – has always been there somewhere at the front of my subconscious. And when I saw your competition, I was intrigued by the idea of trying to tell a story in one minute. Coincidentally, I was inspired to write it (or rather rewrite it) almost immediately after seeing my own mother become a grandmother for the fourth time (to my sister’s first child). After returning from seeing my first ever nephew, and despite being absolutely shattered (partly from trying to stop my own three children from loving him to death!), I was determined to rewrite ‘Last Rites’. And thankfully now it has all been worthwhile.

How many stories have you written?

A lot: approximately 10 full-length screenplays, including ‘The Shakespeare Plays’, the first ever feature-length biopic of Shakespeare (available to read at http://theshakespeareplays.com/); about 20 to thirty short films (including ‘The Final’, a short film about the famous ending to the 1979 FA Cup Final, which was broadcast on Britain’s Channel Four television network); a couple of full-length stage plays and several one-act (or shorter) plays, including ‘Moon the Loon’, a play about the legendary Who drummer Keith Moon, which premiered at The Edinburgh Festival a few years ago; and finally about three or four short radio plays.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

The challenge of trying to tell a complete story (as Philip Larkin said, with “A beginning, a muddle and an end”) in just one minute. That was irresistible to me.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The practical one alluded to above, of trying to submit it by the deadline while also welcoming my lovely little nephew to the world. Both were equally important and I’m glad I managed to do both.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

As is probably apparent from the stories I mention above: Shakespeare; sport (especially football/soccer and tennis, which I also write about for the LastWordOnSports website); and above all (especially as I get older) injustice – as in the battling and (hopefully) eventual eradication of it. Tragically, injustice is the one truly great inexhaustible subject for any writer or indeed any other artist. Write about injustice and, sadly, you will NEVER run out of subject matter.

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

Yes. At nearly fifty (and boy it’s weird, but necessary, to write that), I genuinely feel like I’ve discovered “the secret of success”. It is, of course, hard work – but the trick is to do something that doesn’t FEEL like hard work. Something that you would want to do anyway. Find THAT (and it’s taken me nearly half a century to do so, but better late than never) and you will, at the very least, achieve the most important form of success, which is to do what you want with your life. That, for me, as for all writers, is writing.

Thank you very much for asking me so many truly thought-provoking questions. If you require any further information about the story or about myself, please do ask.

Once again, very best wishes to you all and sincere, humble thanks.

Martin Keady (8 December 2016)

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
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SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
SCREENPLAY CONTESTFIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) SCREENPLAY CONTEST
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Winning Short Screenplay – Little Girl Bride by Kris Pajarito

LITTLE GIRL BRIDE
Written by Kris Pajarito

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Dan Cristofori
BEULAH – Kelly Daly
MICAH – Gabriel Darku

SYNOPSIS:

Drama, Sci-Fi

The plight of a young, orphaned Jewish girl in the middle of the 1930s dust bowl who harnesses her hidden supernatural powers to avenge her parents. It’s like “The Professional” meets Jean Grey of X-men. There’s definitely a Little Red Riding Hood thread as well, and the twist is heartbreaking.

Get to know the winning writer:

What is your screenplay about?

The plight of a young, orphaned Jewish girl in the middle of the 1930s dust bowl who harnesses her hidden supernatural powers to avenge her parents. It’s like “The Professional” meets Jean Grey of X-men. There’s definitely a Little Red Riding Hood thread as well, and the twist is heartbreaking.

What genres does your screenplay under?

Period, drama, sci-fi

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Even though it has simple settings, it has big heart, and lots of spectacle. Most of all, it’s an amalgamation of my childhood and there’s definitely a big demand for precocious characters right now, namely “Eleven” of Stranger Things.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Super emotional.

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

Back to the Future.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Four years, on and off.

How many stories have you written?

Three full screenplays, with more on the back burner. Lots of little sketches, too. Sketch comedy is as relevant as ever. Just look at Trump + SNL.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

It’s actually inspired by this famous photo of a concerned mother and her two children with shaggy bobs. You know the one: Destitute Pea Pickers in California. Mother of Seven Children.by Dorothea Lange

So much raw emotion and desperation. I wanted to know their story. I wanted to jump right in.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I’d say the supernatural elements. Those were tough. People like to have plausible explanations of course, which takes a lot of research. I also wanted the names, language and historical bits to be as accurate as possible.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Drawing. I’m a former DreamWorks Animation story production assistant and picked up some sketching from the artists I worked for. I’m trying to kickstart a graphic novel as we speak.

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

Be open to feedback, but also trust your gut. This is such a subjective world. You have to write what you believe in. Otherwise, you’re just another cog in the wheel. Also, don’t give up. I’ve wanted to jump ship many times but I love storytelling too much to quit. I’ll die trying.

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your Short Screenplay or FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
SCREENPLAY CONTESTFIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) SCREENPLAY CONTEST
Submit the first stages of your film and get full feedback!