Winning SHORT Screenplay Reading: Love By Default, by Maria Zalloum

She’s the dream of any young passionate screenwriter. A dream that’s taken away too fast.


Salwa (F): Miriam Capper
Jeanne (F): Cassandra Guthrie
Jury Member #1/Old Man #1/Guard #1 (M): Allan Michael Brunet
Jury Member #2/Old Man #2/Guard #2(M): Bill Poulin
Jury Member #3/The Bartender/Raphael/Creepy Neighbor (M): Steve Rizzo
The Woman/Yasmine (F): Julie Sheppard

Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo

Festival Moderators: Matthew Toffolo, Rachel Elder

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editors: Kimberly Villarruel, Ryan Haines, John Johnson

Festival Directors: Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Ryan Haines, Temitope Akinterinwa, Efren Zapata, Zack Arch


Best Scene Reading: CHRISTMAS PAST AND PRESENT by Michael Zielinski

The primary couple for the romantic screenplay CHRISTMAS PAST AND PRESENT are CHAD MORGAN and WHITNEY PAXTON. They see each other at the ski lodge at Christmastime for the first time since high school 15 years ago. He was the star quarterback, she was overweight and had a hopeless crush on him. He body shamed her at a Christmas dance their senior year, an incident that transformed both their lives.


Narrator:  Allen Michael Brunet

Chad:  Kevin Gabel
Whitney: Ariel Brooker


Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Director: Kierston Drier

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

BEST Scene Reading of The Illuminati Belladonna by Caitlin Carter


Narrator: Hartley O. Gyamfi

Dr. Rothschild: Allen Michael Brunet

Cat: Ariel Brooker

Writer Biography


Caity is an emerging artist, graphic designer, and creative entrepreneur.

Caity received her first Daft Punk album, Discovery, during Christmas around the age of 12, is drawn to the biblical city of Ephesus, and wanted to be Ester, but relates to ‘The Book of Job’. She also claims to have defeated a dragon. The most important day of her life was in September of 2013.

According to Caity, creationism is the truth, magic is real, Charles Darwin was blind, time travel is frowned upon, together we all inhabit a spaceship called Earth, Heaven is a diverse place, and the secret to life is Jesus.

Over the past summer, Caity was an Artist in Residence at Chulitna Lodge on Lake Clark in Alaska. The residency is located on the remote Mount George, near a cloud portal, and unlabeled by maps.

Caity recently completed a 2017 Artist Residency/Gallery Exhibition at ARC GALLERY & EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION in Chicago. She has also displayed at Morpho Gallery in Chicago.

She currently lives in Evanston IL, and graduated from Purdue University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Communications Design.

She has worked in the entertainment and advertising industry as a graphic designer at Trailer Park Inc., Discovery Communications, The Indianapolis Star, and completed an internship with MTV Networks.

She worked on professional projects for corporate clients such as, Disney, Showtime, Sony, TLC, Discovery, Animal Planet, and MTV.

Caity’s artwork has been on display in multiple places including, Morpho Gallery in Chicago, Art Bank in Indianapolis, IN, The Sub in San Francisco, and Westwood in West Lafayette, IN.

Over the past couple of years, Caity has gone through serious medical adversities that have had a profound impact on her life and work. She seeks strength in The Lord, and often expresses her spiritual progression in her art.


Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Director: Kierston Drier

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

Winning Short Screenplay – SID by Auriga Ifill

Genre: Sci-Fi, Drama

An artificial intelligence is tasked with the reintroduction of human life after a bacteria wiped out the entire race.


Narrator: Val Cole
Reporter: Mandy May Cheetham
Hideo Kojima: Peter Mark Raphael
Dr. Melvin Hess: Allan Michael Brunet
Dr. Amy Kojima: Angelica Alejandro

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

SID – Prologue is about an artificial intelligence tasked with reintroducing human life, after the human race is eradicated by a virus.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?


Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

From one perspective I believe there is a basic message of peace and respect within the story that, given the current political & racial, hate mongering climates, needs to be heard, understood, and learned from. From another perspective, people need to be made more aware of repercussions of their actions & in-actions.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Potentially influential.

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

Tough question, maybe Die Hard, 1988, or possibly Apocalypse Now, 1979, but the answer could be any one of a plethora of other movies. Maybe American Beauty, 1999.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Maybe six months at this point.

How many stories have you written?


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

Possibly, Sweetness Dream Of Me by Anton Barbeau.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Who said I’ve finished? Biggest obstacle though? Probably insomnia, or a lack of Stroopwafels.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Passion is a mighty strong word, I’m passionate about watching movies also. I live for the next scene to play on repeat for days without end.

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

Quick & painless.

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

The influence to enter your festival was your location. My feelings on the initial feedback were, that I felt a sense of relief. It finally seemed possible that I may have had an idea worth investigating.


Producer: Matthew Toffolo

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

Camera Operator: Mary Cox