1st SCENE Reading of THE DEBT, by Michelle Patkowski

Winning Screenplay – THE DEBT
Written by Michelle Patkowski


NARRATOR – Elizabeth Morriss
SARAFINA – Georgia Grant
ANIELA – Cora Matheson


Genre: Romance, Drama

One soul, two life times, do we reincarnate into similar circumstances until we deal with the life we are born into and the choices we make, which determine our karmic debts.

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

My script, “The Debt” is based on my own history with sexual abuse and my parent’s past in Poland. Its core premise is based on a Tibetan Buddhism philosophy called Lenchak, which is translated as Karmic debt.

My story spans two generations so that I can illustrate the importance of solving our “issues” now – in our current life – so that we can avoid similar circumstances in our next life.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?


Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

It has a powerful message about the challenges that people with mental illness face and how you can choose to handle what circumstances you have been dealt in life, and ultimately a mental illness does not need to define you or the future quality of life you have, it can be managed with hard work.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Powerful, confronting.

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

Sixteen Candles and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

Since 2015.

How many stories have you written?

Eight screenplays, but I have only sent two out into the world to competitions and agents/producers.

What motivated you to write this screenplay

The catalyst was an emotional break down I went through.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

None, it poured out of me, when I was in recovery, it was a cathartic experience, that helped me heal.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Horses, I have studied and worked with and healed them for over twenty years now.

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

Getting an actual table read of the first scene is an honour, but also gives life to written words. I’m always open to all kinds of feedback, when you finish a script you have to let it go to some extent and other people’s perspectives and feedback can make your re-writes more productive making the script better, my initial feelings were very positive.


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

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

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