Short Screenplay – MATCHSTICK by Mike Fardy

Watch the August 2016 Winning HORROR Screenplay.

MATCHSTICK  by Mike Fardy


Genre: Horror, Thriller

Caitlyn’s therapist convinces her to try a new form of hypnosis that allows her to communicate with her anxiety but when her thoughts appear as a violent, ghostly woman Caitlyn discovers her therapist has held back crucial information about the procedure.


NARRATOR – Holly Sarchfield
CAITLYN – Dorian Kolinas
GUY – Kris Hagen
BRANDEAU – Geoff Mays
MODEL – Elizabeth Griffin

Get to know the winning writer: 

What is your screenplay about?

Matchstick is about Caitlyn and her struggle against a dark part of her mind which turns violent after a botched therapy session. It touches on trust of authority figures and how it can sometimes feel to live with anxiety.

Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

I think it might spur important conversations or at the very least scare the pants off some people.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Pretty Spoopy.

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

Jurassic Park. Followed pretty closely by Fast Five. (No judgment please.)

How many stories have you written?

I’ve been working on this for about a year and half with my friend and fellow filmmaker Ross Moore. We’re applying for funding this year to make it so fingers crossed!

What motivated you to write this screenplay?

A lot but this is my first pure horror script. I’m mostly a comedy writer and when I was younger I focused on fantasy writing. I’m pretty sure there’s still an X-page out there somewhere of the fan-fiction Redwall spin-off novel I wrote when I was 13. I get nauseous just thinking about it..

I suffer from ‘The Old Hag’ or Sleep Paralysis and a few of the scenes are based on real hallucinations I’ve had while in this state.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

It’s always length for me. There are so many things I want to say and show but even getting it to 13 pages was a big struggle. I’m always so happy when I can cut something and tighten the script up but unless someone is forcing me to make it shorter I have a difficult time finding those scenes that can go.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I love the outdoors. Camping, kayaking, hiking but even though I think about it all the time I rarely make time for it any more, especially since moving to Toronto.

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

I’m still quite an amateur writer so I love any opportunities for feedback and I was not disappointed. The feedback I got from this festival actually helped me shave off a couple of pages and gave me some tips I’ll be able to carry into all my future scripts.

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

Get strangers to read your scripts! Sometimes you can find a brutally honest friend who will give the hard feedback you need but you’ll learn things about your scripts you never dreamed were there when you listen to a room full of strangers analyse them. Find a writer’s circle in your town or start one yourself!


Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

Horror Screenplay Reading of the Day: SOMBRA by Claire Wasmund

Submit your Horror Screenplay to the Festival Today:

Written by Claire Wasmund
Read 10 Questions with the writers


A young woman in deep financial crisis takes a job at a nursing home, only to discover her estranged grandmother is a patient, and something evil lurks within the facility.


NARRATOR – Jason J. Thomas
Reagan – Maya Woloszyn
Whisper – Brett J. Kelly
Mira – Holly Sarchfield
Mrs. Solis – Danielle Nicole


Horror Short Script Reading of THE NEW NEIGHBORS by Filippo Santaniello

The New Neighbors is the January 2016 Winning Short Screenplay.

Written by L. Filippo Santaniello


Genres: Horror, Thriller

Three friends are screening and selecting short films for a low budget horror film festival when the babysitter from the floor below rings the bell. Something bad has happened and she needs help.


NARRATOR – Peter Nelson
VIVIAN – Katelyn Vanier
ZACH – Dan Cristofori
ASHLEY – Holly Sarchfield
ALEX – Geoff Mays
ASIAN BOY – Lorne Hiro

Get to know writer Filippo Santaniello:

  1. What is your screenplay about? 

“The New Neighbors” is a story about three friends that work as short film selectors for a Horror Film Festival. Disappointed by the overall quality of the films they wonder why no one is creating something original.  Right then the bell rings. The babysitter from downstairs appears at the threshold of the door. Does she need help or is she just hungry?

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

I believe that the screenplay is well-structured and it can also be enjoyed by those that are not just horror film fans. And there is lots of blood!

  1. This story has a lot going for it. How would you describe this script in two words?

Appetizing, impactful.

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

I would say Daro Argento’s Profondo Rosso because I’m a huge lover of the horror movies produced in Italy between the ‘60s and ‘70s. There are no words to describe the works of authors such as Mario Bava, Lucio Fulci, Joe D’Amato. As an Italian writer I feel very close to these authors but I’m also enthusiastic about international directors like David Lynch, David  Cronemberg and John Carpenter.

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

One Week.

  1. How many stories have you written? 

Quite a lot. Not only screenplays but also short stories and two novels.

  1. What motivated you to write this screenplay? 

The fun for the macabre.

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

I didn’t face any serious obstacles in writing this screenplay. It all went smoothly.

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

Music. I listen to rock music all the time. And now that Lemmy and Bowie are out of the scene we are left without myths.

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

I wanted to compete with other good international authors in order to expose my writing to markets outside of Italy.

I think feedback is important, it helps you grow. If everything went well we would remain the same without the possibility to improve.

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

Keep on writing. Always. First and foremost for yourself. And have fun while doing it!


Watch THE BABYSITTER Horror Short Story Reading by Sean Hood

Deadline November 15th for HORROR Screenplay Festival (Feature, Short, TV Pilot)


by Sean Hood

STORY Read By – Holly Sarchfield


The Babysitter” tells the story of Annette, a teenage girl who is possessed by a spirit who is forcing her to commit violent acts against animals, and eventually the children that she is charged with taking care of.

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Deadline: SHORT STORY Festival. Get your story performed at the Writing Festival. FULL FEEDBACK on all entries.

WATCH the Recent Winning Short Story/1st Chapter Readings: