1st SCENE Reading of THE DEBT, by Michelle Patkowski

Winning Screenplay – THE DEBT
Written by Michelle Patkowski

CAST LIST:

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

SYNOPSIS:

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?

Drama

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

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene 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!

 

1st Scene of PAST PRESENCE by Kevin Mongelli

Winning Screenplay – PAST PRESENCE
Written by Kevin Mongelli

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
EDGAR – John Marcucci
SUZANNE – Amaka Umeh
JULIO – David Straus
JAMES – Mark Sparks

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller

A professor obsessed with the idea of past lives, gets the chance to see his past via an extraordinary device, but his discovery leads to grave consequences.

  Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

A professor obsessed with the idea of past lives, gets the chance to see his past via an extraordinary device, but his discovery leads to grave consequences.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Sci-Fi, Thriller, Drama

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

It is an original and engaging story with unique characters. Also, I don’t know of another film that has a device similar to the one in this script.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Engaging, unique

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

Gattaca

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

It took me about four months to complete it

How many stories have you written?

Past Presence was my first full feature script. Am currently working on my second which will be a crime thriller.

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I find that most films I watch are unsatisfying. I want to introduce a different kind of film that is more engaging to audiences.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Structure is always a challenge. Script readers help but each has a very different opinion so I chose a design that I thought best reflected the story.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am a professional musician. I compose and perform original classical music for piano.

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

​My one page screenplay “Raging Love” was selected for a reading through this festival and I was impressed with the performances. Valuable feedback.

*****

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

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne


TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene 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!

 

1st Scene of SPARKS by Jon Freda

Winning Screenplay – SPARKS
Written by Jon Freda

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
FRANK – Devin Upham
MONICA – Amaka Umeh
NICHOLS – David Straus
GUARD – Mark Sparks

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Thriller, Crime, Mystery

A sheriff hunts a killer targeting both innocents and other criminals alike, but soon finds himself tangled in a conspiracy tied to the gruesome, deliberately botched execution of a former death row inmate as well the mysterious, four-legged witness that seems to connect them all.

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

The marketing calls we all receive over the phone – the cold calls – and which we all hate. Yet the results of this particular one have far reaching effects.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

It is a drama about human relationships – and murder.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Human drama.

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

Same Time Next Year

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

It started as a short story – which has been published – and evolved into the screenplay.

How many stories have you written?

Over 200.

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

Slightly All The Time by Soft Machine

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Time, family commitments.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Family, reading and gardening.

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

*****

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

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Editor: John Johnson

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne


TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene 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!

 

Watch the March 2017 1st Scene Script Winners

Submit your First Scene to the Festival: http://firstscenescreenplay.com

Watch the March 2017 1st Scene Script Winners:

ACTOR1st SCENE Screenplay – EVEN HERE I EXIST
March 2017 Reading
Written by Dylan Stump

ACTOR1st SCENE Screenplay – REARRANGING ROXY
March 2017 Reading
Written by Bridget Bell McMahon

ACTOR1st SCENE Screenplay – WELCOME TO ARCADIA
March 2017 Reading
Written by Jason Lan

ACTOR1st SCENE Screenplay – MONSTER MURDER MYSTERY
March 2017 Reading
Written by Arran McDermott

ACTOR1st SCENE Screenplay – THE COURIER
March 2017 Reading
Written by Michael Dambrosio

 

***

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your TV PIOT 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

Winning 1st Scene Reading – REARRANGING ROXY, by Bridget Bell McMahon

Winning Screenplay – REARRANGING ROXY
Written by Bridget Bell McMahon

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Frances Townend
CAL – Peter Mark Raphael
GENE – Jonah Akler-Silliman
T-BONE – Christopher Huron
ROXY – Vanessa Quagliara
MS. BARNES – Kayla Farris

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Musical

A desperate, talented rocker strikes a deal with someone worse than the devil: her sick father, in a last effort attempt to keep her rock star dreams alive.


Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

A woman desperate to keep her rock-star
dreams alive, and the one person standing in the way, her estranged father.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Dramedy, with a music-themed
subgenre

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Rearranging Roxy is a
story every family can relate to, passionate people following their hearts
while learning about themselves and each other along the way. Low budget
with female leads, a quirky cast that includes rockers and senior citizens,
and set during the run-up to Christmas, this screenplay has something for
everyone.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Unexpected growth

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

Chinatown. No
matter how many times I watch it, I always discover something “new.”

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

About two years with
tons of rewrites.

How many stories have you written?

“McLeary’s
Mulligan,” I have written four feature screenplays.

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

Wow. I grew up in Woodstock, New York, where music is
practically a religion, I played classical piano for a decade, sang in a
rock band and a choir, and my older son is a musician and deejay. I can’t
pick just one!

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

For this
screenplay, time management was tough. In addition to a full-time job, I’m a
married mom to two teens, one with a disability, and I volunteer time to
help women with tax and financial problems. I carve out time every day to
write, read and study the craft, but it’s a challenge.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Live music in
any form, practicing yoga and compassion, and finding the perfect key lime
pie.

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

I want to see more movies made with
amazing leads who happen to be women. This festival is perfect for me. The
feedback I received was thorough, thoughtful and definitely enriched the
script’s depth without trying to “change” it.

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene 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!

 

 

 

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

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Casting: Sean Ballantyne

Winning 1st Scene Reading – MONSTER MURDER MYSTERY, by Arran McDermott

Winning Screenplay – MONSTER MURDER MYSTERY
Written by Arran McDermott

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Frances Townend
DRACULA – Peter Mark Raphael
ERNIE – Jonah Akler-Silliman
VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN – Christopher Huron
THE BUTLER – Charles Gordon
LADY MACBETH – Vanessa Quagliara
COUNTESS DRACULA – Kayla Farris

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Horror, Comedy, Mystery

A collection of famous fictional villains (and one lawyer) find themselves trapped in a mysterious house with a killer on the loose.


Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

Monster Murder Mystery is (surprise, surprise) a murder mystery featuring public domain characters such as Dracula, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Frankenstein (the guy, not the monster). These infamous villains are trapped one night in a mysterious house, along with a seemingly average guy who serves as the audience surrogate. They quickly learn there is a killer among them and only those who survive until the morning have a chance to learn the truth about the house and how to escape.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Horror, mystery, and comedy.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Aside from being a fun mystery featuring popular characters, this screenplay also serves as a commentary on Hollywood’s obsession with reworking existing stories and refusing to let characters stay dead. I also think the interplay between Ernie (a modern day guy) and the other guests who come from various times in history will make for a very amusing short film.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Clue: Monster Edition. Wait, that’s three words. How about Monster Whodunnit?

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

Probably Star Wars. Not sure which episode, though. I grew up with the original trilogy but I’ll watch any of them whenever they come on.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

About two years, and an obsessive number of drafts.

How many stories have you written?

46 short stories, 22 screenplays, 2 novels, and a partridge in a pear tree. I’ve had one short screenplay produced and I’m working on getting more to the screen.

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

Smells Like Teen Spirit.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The main challenge was finding the right mix of characters that were both familiar to the audience and fit the story. Originally I had more obscure characters like Princess Langwidere from The Wizard of Oz and Herbert West:Reanimator, but early feedback convinced me to change them to more famous villains.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Travel, cats, my family, collecting movies, and telling bad jokes.

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

My main interest in entering the festival was to have my script read by professional actors, since it will give me a much better idea whether the dialogue is working and if the jokes land. The feedback I received was very useful, especially in tightening up my script. I have a tendency to include every detail possible when I write a story, so it’s always good to hear from a reader if I’m overdoing it.

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene 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!

 

 

 

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

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Casting: Sean Ballantyne

Winning 1st Scene Reading – EVEN HERE I EXIST, by Dylan Stump

Winning Screenplay – EVEN HERE I EXIST
Written by Dylan Stump

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Frances Townend
ANDRE – Peter Mark Raphael
WILLIAM – Jonah Akler-Silliman
HARRY – Christopher Huron
FRANK – Charles Gordon

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Thriller, Crime, Horror

Five unstable gangsters descend upon a decaying coastal town with a mission to find a missing woman and kill her abductors. They instead become embroiled in strange and otherworldly occurrences.


Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

It’s a story dealing with a group of violent men taken out of their element and forced to consider their place in a broader world. I also see it as being about the conflict between the natural and the modern world.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

A combination of mobster crime story and folk horror.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

I feel that this script offers a unique approach to an underutilized genre. Films in the folk horror category, especially American folk horror, aren’t exactly common despite the success of films like “THE WITCH”. So I believe my script offers something of at least some interest.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Ethereal / Violent

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

David Cronenberg’s 1986 tragic, romantic, and horrific remake of THE FLY. It takes the basic idea from the original film and creates something entirely new. I’m also a big fan of Steve de Jarnatt’s MIRACLE MILE and Ken Russel’s THE DEVILS. THE FLY wins because I once did a presentation on it and, in order to prepare, I watched the film once a night for a week.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

A little under a year. Though the idea for it has been with me for well over that.

How many stories have you written?

I have two other “finished” feature scripts that are in desperate need of rewrites, one finished short, and several unfinished scripts of varying lengths.

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

Probably “As I Sat Sadly By Her Side” by Nick Cave. Though the story of EVEN HERE I EXIST was partly inspired by the songs “King Henry” and “Long Lankin” by Steeleye Span.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The same obstacle I’m facing answering these questions, my overwhelming fear of writing something bad. While writing I had to continuously remind myself that it’s alright if the first draft was terrible because I could always make it less terrible in the next draft.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Literature, mostly horror and Gothic but I try to keep an open mind when looking for something to read. I also enjoy reading up on folklore from all over the world.

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

I was referred to this festival after submitting to a different festival. I was mostly intrigued by the opportunity to hear someone read my work out loud. I knew that this would help me to get a new perspective on this script but also on my overall writing style.

TV CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene Screenplay or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
Screenplay CONTESTSUBMIT your Best Scene 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!

 

 

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

Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Kierston Drier

Casting: Sean Ballantyne