SCI-FI BEST SCENE Reading: THE CUT, by Christopher Kerr

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Two young men must find their passage through the canals of post-apocalyptic London, to peace and freedom, in the “promised land” beyond: Bristol.

CAST LIST:

Junior: Allan Michael Brunet
Alex: Salma Dharsee
Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Spencer: Hugh Ritchie
Jessica: Courtney Keir
Toovey: Zazu Oke

Get to know the writer:

 1. What is your screenplay about?

Two young men have to find passage through the canals of post-apocalyptic London, to peace and freedom in the “promised land” beyond – Bristol.

Ostensibly a coming of age tale, in the guise of a zombie, road-trip, buddy-movie, canal tour; a genre much under-represented in mainstream cinema to date.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Sci-fi / black comedy – somewhat akin to A BOY AND HIS DOG (1975) in tone.

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

Though an engaging story on its own merit – balancing hubris and heart as it does – this script was always penned, in part, as a love-letter to the hidden beauty of London. It’s a landscape and pace one has to see on-screen to truly appreciate. To this end, the screenplay has wonderful cinematic potential in the hands of a suitably talented / adventurous crew.

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

Subversive Indie.

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

When I was a kid, my Dad used to get a half-day off work on Wednesdays. This meant that once I’d finished school, and walked the dog, we’d sometimes have time for a movie together before Mum got in. We must have watched OUTLAND (1981) countless times, then; simultaneously enjoying it for everything it does right in its Sci-fi adaptation of the Western, whilst lambasting the science myths it perpetuates, and Sean’s typical post-MARNIE performance. Perhaps having a mouthful of scenery, still, explains away the accent, Sean? Anyway, it is an absolute gem of a film and well worth checking out.

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

I deliberately set out to pen an indie-budget Feature – one I could potentially even self-finance somewhere down the road a bit! – and gave myself a month to achieve it. Researched. Plotted. Written. Edited: 4 weeks.

7. How many stories have you written?

Depends on *your* definition of a story! I like to make every e-mail typed, anecdote told, Tweet sent, or Facebook comment posted, a story in its own right. Well, maybe not Twitter – that forum is, really, more just the local crazy person shouting into the void, isn’t it?

Discounting those particular narratives – as well as some ghost-writing I’ve done, and script-consultation work? – I have something in the order of a dozen stories I consider ‘complete’; with another 3 or 4 on my development slate at the moment. The dozen range from original Feature, to TV pilot (plus series outline), to Short Film, One-Act Play, and even some Spec TV episodes.

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

Checking against Spotify, and that seems to think “Revolution” by The Score. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a splendid track and all, but I fear this statistic may be somewhat skewed. (I wrote a Rick & Morty spec recently which referenced that track in a musical montage… so it’s been looping away on repeat in the background.)

Always query statistics!

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

Portraying the mechanics of canal travel necessary for the final Act to work in an economical way, as well as capturing the essence of specific key geographic locations en-route, for a reader who may (or may not) be familiar with some aspects already – all the while avoiding heavy exposition – was a bit of a challenge. Not so sure I entirely achieved it, in fact!

Written with a practical Indie budget in mind, I was also very conscious of ‘bang-for-the-buck’. This led to a couple of potential sub-plots being dropped (though they remain viable as a tie-in, sequel, or in a higher-budget redraft).

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

I remain fascinated by, and occasionally even active in, aviation; with a particular passion for rotary-wing aircraft in the experimental classes.

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

I’m a big fan of FilmFreeway, and use it – rather than my own website these days – as my primary online folio host. Super-easy to find interesting festivals / competitions through it, and submitting projects into those is as simple as a couple of clicks. I’ve recommended the platform not only to fellow writers, but also some Directors and festival organisers I know.

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

Sci-fi, innit? Though I’m versed working in other genres, sci-fi is where my own original works tend to naturally gravitate. Via FilmFreeway it was easy to find the Fantasy Sci-Fi Festival, and submit my project. Ultimately, I was hoping to rally a bit of PR, some industry recognition, maybe even an extra award under my belt for the CV; it all helps when it comes to selling a spec, landing a commission, or a foot-in-the-door for a staff gig.

With regard to feedback as a service, I feel in general it can be something of a double-edged sword. Primarily, of course, feedback is a subjective thing: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Furthermore, it’s very easy for feedback to deflect unique, experimental, or even subversive projects back into just routine, formulaic, fare. With this in mind, I didn’t order any additional feedback, and only took the default offered. Happily, I can report that what I did receive was fair, professional – even somewhat encouraging. Thanks for that!

 

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

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

 

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SCI-FI BEST SCENE Reading: M – DEMON KILLER, by Mark Hammond

 

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy

A young Asian waitress discovers she is the last in a long line of Demon Killers when a billionaire/sorcerer opens a portal to Hell under City Hall in New York City. Local Native American demons hunt in the tunnels and, even more strangely, powerful Chinese warrior demons are sent to slaughter her before she can stop the invasion from hell. M is a New York City waitress but this may be asking too much.

CAST LIST:

Liana: Marissa Otto
Louise Ricci: Courtney Keir
Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Det. DeAngelo: Allan Michael Brunet
Emma: Salma Dharsee

Get to know the writer:

 1. What is your screenplay about?

A young waitress discovers that she is the last in an ancient line of Demon Killers and Hell Gate Closers, as a portal to hell opens under City Hall. Worse, legend holds that this warrior of the Light always dies. M is a New York City waitress, but this may be asking too much.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Urban Fantasy, Horror, Supernatural Action, Female Hero, Asian Martial Arts

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

M’s journey of blood and loss to become a demon killer and fulfill her destiny mirrors every person’s battle to overcome their own fears to fully become everything they can be in the world. Also this story has big international appeal with an Asian heroine and her loyal hell hound, Native American demons and classical Chinese demons, plus settings in New York City and China. The next two stories are completed: M in the Empire of the Dead – set in NYC, China, Paris and its catacombs; M and the Last Hell gate – set in NYC, China and the High Plateau of Tibet.

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

International Franchise

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

Ghost in the Shell, Dir. Mamoru Oshii, writer Shirow Masamune

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

4yrs+ for the script and the 3 ‘M’ books

7. How many stories have you written?

Many. M – Demon Killer is based on the first book of the completed M in the Demon Realm Trilogy avail. Amazon/Kindle. Assorted shorts, pitches, screenplays and stories.

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

RISE by Origa from the Ghost in the Shell series theme. Japanese composer, lyrics in Russian and English, sung by a Russian soprano.

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

Other than life, the city, and my job, it was me. I was afraid about not doing justice to these great characters, particularly M, who showed up to have their amazing story told. I had to overcome my harsh inner critic, let the characters show me and just write it anyway.

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

Family, friends, mythology, religion, the supernatural, action movies like Deadpool, Underworld; early films like Nosferatu, Vampyr and Metropolis; classic Japanese horror movies like Ringu and Ju-on. Korean films such as Old Boy and Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance; noir detective fiction, cyber-punk fiction, urban fantasy; working out and classical dance. Currently, I’m crazy about Lawrence Kasdan’s script for Raiders of the Lost Ark. Caffeine, sugar and carbs are an abiding passion.

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

FilmFreeway makes submissions effortless.

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

That it’s specifically a Fantasy festival and international in scope. The feedback I received was incredibly thoughtful and clear.
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Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

SCI-FI Best Scene Screenplay – WILD MIND, by Fujio Torikai

Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller

In the year 20XX, a town regarded as a so-called “paradise for the disabled” is realized through the use of a cell-phone application. However the origins of that town lay in the misappropriation of a large-scale scientific experiment.

CAST LIST:

Man: Dan Fox
Kate: Cassandra Sirois
Narrator: Val Cole
Patrick: Fabio Abreu
Watson: James Murray

Get to know the writer:

 1. What is your screenplay about?

1In the year 20XX,a town regarded as a so-called”paradise for the disabled” is realized through the use of a cell-phone application.However,the origins of that town,planed in 2017,lay in the misappropriation of a large-scale scientific experiment

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Drama

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

There is no especially deep meaning.

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

Near-future,cell-phone

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

Taxi driver

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

One hour.

7. How many stories have you written?

Three

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

Everybody Wants To Rule The World

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

Languages

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

Music.

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

High evaluation.I was very instructive.

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

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

FANTASY/SCI-FI Festival Best Scene Reading of HYPNOS, by Alexandra Dyranis-Maounis & Athanasia Michopoulou

Genre: Fantasy/Sci-Fi

Year 2056. A quantum machine named “Phobetor” controls society. Above other measures, dreaming is forbidden and there is absolute control of the allowed limit of sleep to 3-hours per day. Those who rebel by entering REM or a self-induced dream state, most are arrested and punished as traitors. Their penalty, essentially entering their own mind prisons where each individual’s Nightmare is personalized.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Hypnos: Katelyn Varadi
Daniel: Charles Gordon

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Get to know the writers:

1. What is your screenplay about?

In the world of 2056, in which dreaming is outlawed by an authoritarian state and sleep strictly controlled by the machine “Phobetor”,
a scientist enlists the help of an ancient Greek goddess to destroy it.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Sc-Fi, Fantasy

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

Athanasia: The intention of the film is to be an exciting story with various references and interpretations of elements deriving from Greek mythology,
using pioneering scientific theories that will be entwined together and presented under a new and original prism. I want to try at a very symbolic level to make a statement about the world today but make a film that has a feel good factor, bringing hope and making light of some of the darker worries that are brewing in this time of socioeconomic crisis and uncertainty.

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

A dystopian nightmare with a happy end.

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

Athanasia: The English Patient

Alexandra: Lord of the Rings

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

Two years.

7. How many stories have you written?

Athanasia: This is the first script Alexandra and myself have written together,
but we plan on writing more female-led fantasy stories!

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

Athanasia: The National – Start a war & Empire line.

Alexandra: Faith No More – Epic

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

Alexandra: Well… we built a huge world that simply didn’t fit in the short screenplay formatbut it would be more difficult for us to make a fantasy feature film in Greece(due to budget reasons), so we had to edit and adapt a few times
trying to find the right balance between world-building and character development.

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

Athanasia: Watching films, listening to music & dancing

Alexandra: Watching films, listening to music, going to live Jazz and Blues concerts

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

So far so good! It’s been super helpful.

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

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

FANTASY/SCI-FI Festival Best Scene Reading of ESCAPE TO PLANET B346, by Tom Thorpe

 

Genre: Fantasy/Sci-Fi

A virus-infected spaceship transports a farmer to a surreal and frightening world, where he sets out on a perilous journey to rescue his wife from reptilian aliens.

CAST LIST:

Charles: Gabriel Darku
Narrator: Angelica Alejandro
William: Brandon Knox
Elizabeth: Katelyn Varadi
Remy: Charles Gordon

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

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

FANTASY/SCI-FI Festival Best Scene Reading of S.F.O., by Lawrence Whitener

 

Genre: Fantasy/Sci-Fi

Special Forces Order: Over-the-hill futuristic-SEALS recruit and train thrown-away Teens to save an entire planet from slavery. Only way to fight these savages is with Savage-24s through a Black Powder Challenge. One Bad Riot; One Bad-Ass Ranger.

CAST LIST:

Sam: Angelica Alejandro
White: Gabriel Darku
Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Biker Boss: Brandon Knox
Chao: Charles Gordon

Get to know the writer: 

 1. What is your screenplay about?

Top-ranking SFO soldier is asked to find their Leader’s kidnapped daughter. A former SFO soldier is suspected. To do this, our hero must resign his commission and go undercover. He recruits two former disavowed SFO veterans then Six Teens who began training at the SFO Monastery, but would not follow orders and were sentenced to a juvenile-delinquent prison-planet. To find the missing girl, these nine must save an entire planet from slavery using only vintage black-powder Savage-24’s against the planet’s savages.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Action/Adventure with a moral underpinning.

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

No other film has ever re-created the three-day ZULU battle-scene let alone in a futuristic setting.

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

Kick-Ass.

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

ZULU.

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

Since 1995.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have been studying under Yale Screenwriting Professor Marc Lapadula for four years. I have 12 Final Draft Full Feature stories of every genre and another 10 Rough Drafts along with 2 TV-Pilot Sit-Coms. I have two award-winning Short Scripts, one of which is now earning laurels as a SAG black-and-white film and the other is filming later this year.

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

I have seen the original Star Wars so many times, I hum its soundtrack in my sleep.

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

It was always envisioned as a two-part story, so the key became to find a way to merge them.

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

Acting, I have been in over 100 TV and film productions.

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

Hands down, FilmFreeway is the writer’s friend. I now use no other platform for submittals.

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

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

FANTASY/SCI-FI Festival Best Scene Reading of THE PARADOX MAN, by Larry Thomas

Genre: Fantasy/Sci-Fi

During an electrical mishap, a father becomes entrapped in a dense cylindrical mass, which sends him into the timeline of a presidential assassination attempt.

CAST LIST:

Mei: Katelyn Varadi
Fuller: Charles Gordon
Narrator: Angelica Alejandro
Brad: Brandon Knox
Joey: Gabriel Darku

Get to know the writer: 

 1. What is your screenplay about?

During an electrical mishap, a father becomes entrapped in a dense cylindrical mass,

which sends him into the timeline of a presidential assassination attempt.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Fantasy/Sci-Fi

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

If you had the ability to change the future, would you? How would you react if you acquired a supernatural power?

With the popularity of the superhero genre, this would make an ideal movie.

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

Nail biter!

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

I cannot resist watching the Gladiator when I come across it on television. But,

I refuse to watch the ending. I want my protagonists to persevere and triumph over evil.

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

The screenplay took about two weeks to write. Another few weeks to edit/proofread, then

constantly updating over the year because you are always learning new ideas about screenwriting.

7. How many stories have you written?

I have written seven features and two television pilots

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

A Day In the Life – Beatles

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

Since I had to trace a real life presidential assassination, I had to research the facts (and conspiracies) to make it feel authentic.

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

Protecting the environment and saving the elephants from extinction.

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

FilmFreeway is my favorite platform. I only had one problem with a less than stellar contest and F.F. was quick to apologize and refund my entry fee.

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

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox