Winning HORROR Short Screenplay – RED, by Heath Harris

Watch the winning short screenplay for OCTOBER 2017.

 

It is Christmas Eve. John (40s) drives his wife and son (Michael) up through a snowfilled wilderness. They reach a solitary rental cabin in the woods. Completely alone, Michael worries that Santa Claus will not come, however his father, John, reassures him that Santa knows exactly where he’s going.

Genre: Horror, Thriller

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Laura Kyswaty
Damien: Cameron LeRoy
John: Jim Canale
Natalie: Regan Brown

Get to know the winning writer: 

 What is your screenplay about?

Red is about a family of three that goes to spend Christmas in a secluded cabin, cut off from the world. The husband, John and his wife, Natalie are having marital issues and Christmas Eve goes from bad to worse as tensions rise. Natalie puts their young son, Damien to bed. He is woken up during the night to find that his mother is missing. John tells Damien to go back to sleep so Santa doesn’t find him. John tells Damien to close his eyes immediately if he sees Santa otherwise Santa will be very angry. Damien, after peering out of his window, sees a figure carrying a sack outside, and excitedly runs out to meet Santa Claus. Damien finds the sack to be containing his mother’s dead body. As John approaches, covered in her red blood, Damien instantly shuts his eyes.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Horror, Drama

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

I think this screenplay should be made into a movie because I believe it is scary, haunting and atmospheric and would be a fun themed watch during Christmas time for horror fans. I also think it raises the topic of domestic abuse and violence within households.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Christmas Murder

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

Ex Machina

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

About 6 months.

How many stories have you written?

During the course of my MFA program I’ve written about 8-9 stories.

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

All I Need – Radiohead

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The main problems I was having were logic problems, making sure there were no plotholes and making sure that everything in the story could potentially happen in real life.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I love painting and drawing.

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

I think FilmFreeway is a great site and is very easy to use and helps me find many festivals that I wouldn’t otherwise know existed.

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

I loved the feedback I received, I thought it was so well thought out and well written. I love horror and was excited to find a festival dedicated to horror and horror writing.

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

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

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

 

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August 2017 HORROR Stories, Screenplays, and Short Films

Submit your Horror Screenplay to the Festival Today: https://festivalforhorror.com/

 

ACTORSHORT STORY Reading – GOD’S HANDS
August 2017 Reading
by Michael Coleman

ACTOR1st SCENE CRIME Screenplay – THE BIRTHING FIELD
August 2017 Reading
by Robert Thorpe
ACTOR1st SCENE HORROR Screenplay – SILHOUETTE
August 2017 Reading
by Lukas Hassel
ACTOR1st SCENE ADVENTURE Screenplay – THE GATE
August 2017 Reading
by Della Vance Greenwalt

 

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

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

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

July 2017 HORROR Stories, Screenplays, and Short Films

Submit your Horror Screenplay to the Festival Today: https://festivalforhorror.com/

 

ACTORSHORT STORY Reading – FLATULENT FRED
July 2017 Reading
by Bill Lawrence
ACTORNOVEL Transcript – DREAMDALES DARK HEARTS
July 2017 Reading
by Jeremy Roberts
ACTORFEMALE 1st Scene Screenplay – GOD’S WORK IS NEVER DONE
July 2017 Reading
by Tara C. Hall
ACTORTHRILLER Feature Screenplay – THE TWIN WITHIN
July 2017 Reading
by Gunnar E. Garrett

festival posterHOPE, 4min, Iceland, Experimental
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK

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

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

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

2017 MONSTER Stories, Novels, Films, Screenplays (January-June)

Watch the best of creative works showcased in this genre at the festival in the first half of 2017.

festival posterSNOOT IN THE CITY, 1min, Australia, Animation
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
ACTORBEST Scene – THE LEGEND OF YAKATUTCH
January 2017 Reading
Written by Sean Francis Ellis
ACTORNOVEL Reading – DAWN OF CHRYSALIS
January 2017 Reading
Written by Sam B. Miller II

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

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

Festival Moderators: Amanda Lomonaco, Kierston Drier, Matthew Toffolo

Camera Operators: Mary Cox, Marko Cvijetinovic

2017 HAUNTING Stories, Novels, Films, Screenplays (January-June)

Watch the best of creative works showcased in this genre at the festival in the first half of 2017.

ACTORFAN FICTION TV PILOT Screenplay – THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR
April 2017 Reading
Written by Richard Mueller
festival posterCONFESSION, 5min, USA, Horror/Thriller
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
ACTORHORROR BEST SCENE Screenplay – THE INTERVIEW
March 2017 Reading
Written by Laszlo Tamasfi
ACTORSHORT Story – SHADOWS
January 2017 Reading
Written by Kelly J. Kratz

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

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

Festival Moderators: Amanda Lomonaco, Kierston Drier, Matthew Toffolo

Camera Operators: Mary Cox, Marko Cvijetinovic

June 2017 HORROR Stories, Screenplays, and Short Films

Submit your Horror Screenplay to the Festival Today: https://festivalforhorror.com/

 

ACTORSHORT Story – ALWAYS WATCHING
June 2017 Reading
by Kordale Gibson
ACTORSHORT Story – BEFORE AND AFTER
June 2017 Reading
by S. Pfeiffer

ACTORTHRILLER BEST Scene Screenplay – SQUID JIGGERS
June 2017 Reading
by Judi Blaze

ACTORUnder 5min. SHORT Screenplay – NIGHT SHIFT
June 2017 Reading
by Yanjuan Song
ACTORSCI-FI SHORT Screenplay – SWITCHMAN
June 2017 Reading
by Henry Leeker

ACTORFANTASY SHORT Screenplay – NOTHING IS FREE
June 2017 Reading
by Terry Milner & Rebecca Brillhart

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

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

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

 

 

May 2017 HORROR Stories, Screenplays, and Short Films

Submit your Horror Screenplay to the Festival Today: https://festivalforhorror.com/

ACTORSCI-FI BEST Scene – AMERICAN INDIAN UPRISING
May 2017 Reading
by Allen Cody

ACTORCOMEDY BEST Scene – THROUGH A GLASS CEILING
May 2017 Reading
by Richard Geiwitz
ACTOR1st SCENE Screenplay – AVES
May 2017 Reading
by Daniel L. Burke

ACTORTV SPEC of SUPERNATURAL
May 2017 Reading
by Bonnie Bonaduce
ACTORFAN FICTION FEATURE Screenplay – MARVEL ZOMBIES
May 2017 Reading
by Christopher J. Valin

festival posterKOOKIE, 12min, Canada, Horror
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterFANTOME, 13min, Canada, Horror/Drama
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK
festival posterVOYEUR, 15min, Canada, Thriller/Spy
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

writing CONTEST1st CHAPTER or FULL NOVEL CONTEST
Get full feedback! Winners get their novel made into a video!
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
TV CONTESTSUBMIT your TV PILOT or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
FILM CONTESTSUBMIT your SHORT Film
Get it showcased at the FEEDBACK Festival

Winning HORROR BEST SCENE Screenplay – THE INTERVIEW, by Laszlo Tamasfi

Winning Screenplay – THE INTERVIEW
Written by Laszlo Tamasfi

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Val Cole
AGENT – Dan Cristofori
SARAH – Jane Hailes

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Thriller, Horror

When a mysterious black box haunts a young couple they take it to a supernatural expert. With the help a strange boy they examine each item inside the box, each item having a more haunting story than the last.

 
Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

‘Exiles’ is a feature length horror anthology. It’s about a séance held in an oddities museum, and the strange objects that the medium examines. In the case of ‘The Interview’ –the segment performed- this object is a dog collar.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Horror/Supernatural

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

It would make a really interesting, strange horror movie. I like the idea of turning genre tropes on their head and playing with audience expectations. And it could be made on a low budget!

How would you describe this script in two words?

Strange, weird

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

The Fly (1986)
It was the very first horror movie that I saw as a child (I think I was about nine) and it absolutely blew my mind. When I rediscovered it as an adult it managed to blow my mind all over again: it’s a masterpiece, and I watch it quite frequently.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

The short films that make up the body of the anthology were written out of order, over the course of three years.

How many stories have you written?

Although ‘Exiles’ is only my second feature length movie script, I also write comic books. I’ve been publishing my flash fiction webcomic since 2014 (www.observatorycomics.com), which at this point is a library of about sixty or so short stories. I also have a horror miniseries coming out the end of March from American Gothic Press (the comic publishing imprint of Famous Monsters of Filmland) called ‘Invisible Hands’, which I’m very proud of!

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

I’m a HUGE Nine Inch Nails fan! I couldn’t pick just one song, but I’ve definitely listened to more NIN than any other music in my life…. combined.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Honestly, it was nothing but joy to write. I had no deadlines and I did it on my own terms. It was one of the best writing experiences of my life.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Nine Inch Nails, horror comics, animals, and LGBTQ+ equality.

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

I was really excited to see actors perform a table read of my script! I thought this would be very useful to gauge how well the story works. I also felt that the initial feedback was encouraging and insightful.

 

 

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

writing CONTEST1st CHAPTER or FULL NOVEL CONTEST
Get full feedback! Winners get their novel made into a video!
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
TV CONTESTSUBMIT your TV PILOT or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
FILM CONTESTSUBMIT your SHORT Film
Get it showcased at the FEEDBACK Festival

February 2017 HORROR Stories, Screenplays, and Short Films

Submit your Horror Screenplay to the Festival Today: https://festivalforhorror.com/

ACTORSHORT STORY – POST MORTEM REBELLION
February 2017 Reading
Written by Jax Lemon
ACTORBEST SCENE Screenplay – OBEDIENCE
February 2017 Reading
Written by Michael Potts
ACTORBEST SCENE Screenplay – HEIDI
February 2017 Reading
Written by Keith Makenas

ACTORSHORT Screenplay – BREW MASTER
February 2017 Reading
Written by Kelly Jean Karam

ACTORTV PILOT Screenplay – ECHOES OF BONNIEVILLE
February 2017 Reading
Written by Simon Schneider

 

 

 

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Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

writing CONTEST1st CHAPTER or FULL NOVEL CONTEST
Get full feedback! Winners get their novel made into a video!
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your FEATURE Script
FULL FEEDBACK on all entries. Get your script performed
TV CONTESTSUBMIT your TV PILOT or TV SPEC Script
Voted #1 TV Contest in North America.
FILM CONTESTSUBMIT your SHORT Film
Get it showcased at the FEEDBACK Festival

Winning Feature Screenplay Reading – INCURABLE, by Jeff York

Winning HORROR Feature Screenplay for January 2017.

INCURABLE
Written by Jeff York
CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Hugh Ritchie
JIM – Robert Notman
CATHERINE – Victoria Kucher
SARAH – Olivia Jon
DR. NEUBER – Julie Sheppard
GABRIEL – David Occhipinti

SYNOPSIS:

Genre: Horror, Thriller, Romance

Jim has ALS. Feeling he has no hope, he wants to end it all. Then he meets Catherine – who is a Vampire!

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

INCURABLE is about Jim Reed, a man in his early 30’s, with his whole life ahead of him, who is stricken with ALS. He contemplates suicide to avoid the painful death sentence that the disease usually is, but then he meets Catherine Adler, a woman whom he will soon discover is a vampire. They fall for each other and then Jim decides to let Catherine bite him to give eternal life and thwart his ALS forever. Of course, becoming a vampire is not that easy and that’s where the drama ensues. Jim discovers that there’s a whole helluva lot more to his new lease on life, as well as his relationship with Catherine.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Because it deals with vampires it readily falls into the horror category, but it is also a romantic drama as it really examines the relationship that develops between Jim and Catherine. I’d also argue that it has an indie character study feel to it as it is far from the typical violence and gore found in the horror genre. INCURABLE is more head and heart than than blood and guts.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

INCURABLE is a more unique horror tale for the reasons I listed previously, but also because of the unique proposition that enables Jim to accept Catherine’s offer to turn him. Because she’s rich and gets her blood supply from the black market, Jim will not have to kill anyone to sustain his vampirism. I’ve never encountered the idea of murder taken off the table in a vampire tale.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Character-driven horror.

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

“Jaws” is my favorite film of all time, and truly set the template for INCURABLE in that it too was a character-driven piece that had thrills and chills, yes, but it never lost sight of the complex humans in battle with the shark.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

It took three months to write originally, with a few months of rewrites after that incorporating reader’s notes, friends’ opinions, contest feedback, etc. From there, it did very well in contests, but I’ve always tweaked it along the way. As the saying goes, you’re never really done rewriting until the film is in the can!

How many stories have you written?

I’ve written nine movie screenplays, two TV series pilots and pitches, and a theatrical play. (I also write a movie blog and am a film critic, but those are different stories!)

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

I love horror but often found myself cheering for the monster to defeat the stupid characters being pursued. It occurred to me that the genre needed more complex storytelling as well as characters. I’ve always been a fan of vampire lore as well, and wondered if one could be a vampire without killing. The idea of a rich vampire who didn’t have to kill for blood, who could buy it on the black market instead, came to me shortly after that.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Editing. Writing isn’t difficult for me, but honing, polishing, editing, really examining every word – that is a lot of work. And it’s a challenging and incredibly detailed kind of intricate surgery as well.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am passionate about movies, the arts, cats, animal rights, and politics, those less so these days with Trump’s victory. I worry we’re going into some very dark days ahead.

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

I loved that such an organization felt a similar passion for horror. And that winning entries would be read by actors and filmed for all to see! I’ve always loved table reads. Also, the feedback I received from the festival was terrific. And I rewrote INCURABLE to reflect the terrific suggestions.

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

Be patient. Writing takes time. Connecting with people who can help you with your scripts takes time. Waiting for someone to find the money to greenlight your script will likely take a lot of time. Thus, enjoy being a writer no matter what the outcome, and if you’re lucky to get your work on the big screen remember that’s the icing on the cake, not the whole cake.

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

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editing: John Johnson


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