THE GOLD LIST | BIFF 2020
Screenplays of Outstanding Achievement
A Kind of Marriage
E.M. Forster, the great British novelist and champion of individual liberty and responsibility lives a homosexual life concealed from public awareness. By the summer of 1931, at the age of 52, Forster has taken as his male lover a young bisexual London policeman, Bob Buckingham. Into Forster’s love affair with Bob, enters a young nurse May Hockey. May and Bob begin a passionate love and sexual relationship. Forster, along with his own hidden homosexuality, must face the bisexual preferences of his new lover.
A Kind of Victory
Alec Guinness is born fatherless to an alcoholic mother. Struggling in early life, he lands a small part in Hamlet at the Old Vic Theater. The play is marred by an aggressive Laurence Olivier and they cannot finish a rehearsal. The Company travels to Denmark for a performance at Elsinore Castle, Shakespeare’s setting for the play. The weather, workers and nature are against them. A funny, thoughtful and true story of a gentle and shy man overcoming impossible odds to become one of the worlds most successful actors.
Anatomy of a Crime Scene
Mother Earth is personified in this tone poem, depicting the human species as the destructive force in perpetuating the vast devastation of our planet and Her most precious resources.
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A young monk of alchemy must take her brother across the country in order to restore balance to a war ravaged land of myth.
At Least one of Us
Set in 2009 two men, Chris Jenkins and Lee Jones are childhood friends who grew up in the care system together, in modern day London's bright city lights. At a young age to stay out of trouble, they took up and excelled at MMA in the heart of the bone-crunching, testosterone filled cage-fighting scene.
Lee is now 30 and is Middleweight champion of the world, while Chris is the number 1 contender to the title in the same weight class.
Over a 9 month period pressure mounts for Lee and Chris from fighting promoters, the cage fighting public willing them to fight for each other, along with adding crushing burdens from society and relationships. This inadvertently drives Lee and Chris to unexpectedly forge a deeper connection leading to romance, jeopardising everything they have fought and bled for, with disastrous results and life-changing conclusions in a ego filled industry.
Sterile for nearly two decades, the humans have turned to the refugee alien race that’s been living on Earth for help. Elena, excited to be drafted into the Arc Project, quickly meets and falls for Sgt. Nick Chandler. When she's the only one to become pregnant, the first in 20 years, the rose glasses come off and Elena sees there are secrets at the military base they’re at. And dangers. Fearful for their unborn child’s safety, Nick works to get her as far away from from the base as possible and out of the grasp of those involved in the project, human and alien alike
Bonnie & Clive
In Brexit era London, painfully average office worker Clive has his monotonous life changed forever when he meets the free-spirited Bonnie and together they learn the thrills of living outside the law.
Sebastian has just 24hrs to recover his cargo or a contract will go out on his life. Trapped between his sinister employer and a dangerous unknown enemy, most men in his position would run.
But Sebastian suffers from acute asthma. How does he run when he can't breathe?
(Dedra L. Stevenson)
Japath finds himself in a dystopian world that no longer subscribes to the ancient mating rituals of "dating" and "falling in love". Challenging the idea that his ideal mate has been genetically designed for him, he sets himself on a rebellious path that will have catastrophic consequences for not only him, but his closest companions.
‘Dear Lola’ is a feature length, comedy/drama film, from British actress and screenwriter Emily Fairweather. It focuses on the relationship between two strangers, Lola Montgomery and Freddy Carver, both from very different backgrounds (and opposite sides of the Atlantic), who meet unexpectedly over Fourth of July weekend in Boston.
Forced together, their personalities both clash and connect in that instant, love/hate way we have all experienced at least once in our lives. The combination of banter, intrigue, differing interests, shared personal experiences and potential sexual chemistry that happens so rarely, but when it does, you know that you are either in for a wild ride, or have found a friend for life.
A thriller that takes us to foreign land. Jealous, Vanessa, plans a hit on her ex-boyfriend Erik, but nothing goes as planned. She is raped, wakes up naked on a desert island and falls in love with Erik’s lover while Erik desperately tries to find them. They will not all survive.
When three teachers learn about a local paedophile ring, a righteous blackmail crusade goes horribly wrong and greed tears them apart.
Fear the Dark
In 1969, former child psychologist NIA ALLEN is partnered with the charming Police Officer OWEN MURPHY to investigate a family's claims of a ghostly haunting. However, nothing is what it seems as the two find the very fabric of their realities, torn apart.
Over the course of an interview with a young music journalist, a broken and reclusive rock star reveals the secret behind his mysterious disappearance twelve years earlier, finding surprising inspiration for a possible comeback along the way.
A disgruntled inadvertently becomes embroiled in a fight for his life after an ill-advised practical joke backfires.
A horror comedy inspired by the Hit British TV show "Most Haunted"
(Paul G. Andrews)
An expert safe-cracker, TROY GLOVER, tries to keep his son, SPIDER, a promising boxer, from the clutches of Troy’s own criminal past and vengeful associate, JIMMY THE FIX.
Jimmy offers Troy what seems to be a simple deal: to chaperone Jimmy’s predatory son, LENNY, on his first heist. However, this heist goes terribly wrong, and Troy must kill Lenny to save himself and two innocent lives. Killing Lenny was the right thing to do, but of course Jimmy sees things differently, and vows violent retribution against Troy’s family.
(Nate Calloway &
An animated, coming of age, adventure story with adolescent hummingbirds.
Lawman must infiltrate a gang in order to track his brother's killer across the galaxy.
Just One More Day
Unable to face the death of his wife, it gets increasingly difficult for an elderly man to hide her body from the residents of their tight-knit village. Jim's wife Jan died last night. In a state of grief and denial, rather than call for help he has decided to try to carry on as normal. This quickly becomes challenging as the residence of his village ask questions and decomposition sets in but Jim is determined to at least keep Jan by his side until their 50th Wedding Anniversary. When he makes the tough decision to reveal the truth he is initially arrested but later released. Then begins the real struggle of how to live life without Jan.
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Paige has always wanted to be an investigative journalist, but she never thought her own struggles with female health and sexuality would become the center of her stories.
Let's Misbehave (Memoirs of a Rebellious Princess)
An Indian princess in the 20th century finds that fame, money, and power are nothing without Love. Based on the Memoirs of Indian royalty.
(Mark A. C. Brown)
The North Yorkshire fishing town of Whitby comes under threat when an unconscious drug dealer with a suspicious rash is discovered below the sea wall the night before the town's biggest event of the year: THE WHITBY GOTH WEEKEND!!
The dealer regains consciousness the next day to discover that the rash is in fact a parasite that has latched onto his bones and is feeding off him and growing under his flesh into something resembling your common Mussel. He escapes in a panic and so Detective Louise Bloom must give chase sparking a series of horrific events as the parasite threatens to spread throughout the town.
With the help of out of town marine biologist Cockburn Lou must try and stop these tiny monsters as 20,000 goths descend on the place.'
Little Things Mean a Lot
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The truly unique story of pretty Kitty Kallen, including her rise from humble origins to most popular U.S. singer, is revealed amid news of her untimely death.
Charlie has a part-time job driving a milk float and cares for her invalid mother, Maureen, after work. When Charlie scolds a teenager from a local gang, Smithski, for messing about with her milk float, his friend attacks Charlie and they burn her milk float. Charlie loses her job and is unable to get a new part-time job, frustration sets in.
One night, a drunken Charlie spots the two gang members, she follows them, intending to teach them a lesson. The rest of the gang appear, they beat Charlie up and throw her into a river. Days pass, Charlie wakes up in a hospital with temporary amnesia. On returning home, she finds her mother dead. Charlie succumbs to alcohol until a counsellor gives her renewed purpose.
Mirrors at Night
After a haunted man meets a person who resembles his missing brother, he lures that man into a dangerous game to discover the truth about his brother's disappearance.
(Peter Alan Lloyd)
Penrith Law is an eight-part 30-minute TV drama-comedy series following the fortunes of two university friends and formerly high-flying City lawyers: impetuous Scouser SEAN PATRICK and the more thoughtful WILLIAM “WILL” STRICKLAND. Through a combination of serious personal issues, they decide now is the time to pursue a dream they’ve had since college: to set up their own law practice - but in the legal backwater of Penrith.
Both in their early thirties, they’re seeking fresh starts and considerably less complicated lives, until problems from their past - including Sean’s formidable ex-wife - come back to haunt them. They’re also beset by local issues and hostility encountered in the unfamiliar legal landscape of Penrith.
(Yvonne Potter &
Seduced by the false gods of fame and fortune, Pola makes her bid for world stardom the moment she steps off the cruise liner in New York. But a talented exotic foreigner is what America loves to hate - and Hollywood’s nest of vipers is ready to spit out its venom. Nobody welcomes a sassy woman with ideas of her own and the press are about to have a field day.
Her Paramount boss, Adolph Zukor, tries to control her but she’s a loose cannon. He’s not used to women who stand up to him. Her meteoric rise earns her resentment from reigning queen Gloria Swanson, a rivalry stirred up by a fickle press. In time, she and Gloria see that they have been manipulated and resolve never to surrender to the men who are their puppet-masters.
Two strangers are brought together by having the same dream of a murder. However due to the subjective nature of life (AKA qualia) what once brought them together, now threatens to tear their lives apart.
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JACK has more money than Mr. Monopoly. Despite his inherited wealth, he is determined not to allow riches to turn him into a jackass, and he disdains those who label him because of his money.
ELEANOR, a beautiful 6th-grade English teacher with Occupy Wall Street on her resume, is sick and tired of men judging her for her looks.
With Eleanor performing in a singing troupe at a Renaissance Faire recently purchased by Jack for his amusement, he endears himself to her with a once-in-a-lifetime pun he calls out from the audience. The performers at the Faire invite him to become a fool and join them. When she finds out he’s a master swordsman, Eleanor suggests that at the joust he could play the court jester who comes to save the day.
Reimagining of the events leading up to and including the American Revolution, where women and people of color force the nation's founders to confront slavery and deliver life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to all, Revolution changes everything.
Roll With It
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When a pandemic prevents their cruise to ‘the end of the world’, Flat Earthers and on-and-off couple Andy and Sharon sense a conspiracy and are vindicated when they accidentally expose the profiteering scheme of a toilet-roll company.
In 1853, Rosa Bonheur is everything conservative France does not want her to be—a struggling career woman, a poor artist and a lesbian. But that doesn’t stop her from pursuing the most important artistic award in Paris, which has never been granted to a woman—because she knows that if judgement is based on talent alone, she'll surely win. Just one occupational hazard stands in her way; it’s illegal for women to wear pants. After a dangerous encounter with her most famous subject, Rosa is forced to embark on a journey to fight the law and the very society that perpetuates it—risking her dreams, her safety and the love of her life. At its core, Rosa’s message is that change can only be achieved through dedication and perseverance in the face of hardships; though the fight for equality comes with risks, it is a worthy and necessary cause that will pay off.
A married, closeted-gay mayoral candidate who is outed in a very public manner must contend with its effects on his campaign and family.
A coming of age Dark Comedy about a lonely 19-year-old farmer who ends up on a rather lifeless date with a young Woman who has overdosed. With an awkward hour to wait for an Ambulance to arrive, he decides to take it upon himself to get her to the hospital except the journey doesn’t quite go to plan. Along the way he faces many things that confront his insecurities and tests his unrealistic expectations of the dating world and how he faces the challenge between making a real connection with a Woman he meets along the way, or one shaped by his imagination.
Sapphire Rise is a very black, philosophical comedy/drama about the life of Paul Bourton, a depressed man in his 40s. The narrative is presented through the assembling of various parts of Paul’s life from the recollections and insights of several characters present at his funeral.
At the funeral wake, Ralph Morceli, a man in his late 60s, of North African origin, is wandering, carrying a Robinson Crusoe book, and looking for conversation. His identity, and relationship with Paul, are not revealed. Ralph has a unique connection to Paul’s experiences, providing a fuller account of Paul’s life than purely through the recall of others.
Something Less Than Human
Think Children of Men meets The Girl with all The Gifts. After mandatory government injections to suppress human sex drives, the female hormones reject the suppressant resulting in a hideous and violent mutation in women. Humanity is wiped out save for the female mutations and a handful of male survivors who fled the initial injection; but when the survivors encounter a woman who seemingly displays immunity to the mutation, they may have found the salvation to humankind.
April 17, 1759
A chaise carriage thunders through the night. The Earl of Bute is racing to stop a marriage. The intended groom is the Earl’s personal charge, the Prince of Wales. The young Royal is first in line to the British throne. The intended bride is an attractive young woman named Hannah Lightfoot. She is a Quaker, and a former draper’s assistant. In other words . . . Hannah is a commoner.
The Earl’s carriage arrives too late.
September 6, 1997
Bayonne, New Jersey
Across the world, billions of people sit glued to the broadcast of Princess Diana’s funeral. Surgical resident Dr. Emma Parks watches the somber proceedings over her morning coffee, then hurries to get ready for work. She expects today’s shift in the ER to be no different from any other . . . fixing broken bodies, one emergency at a time.
The International Sweethearts of Rhythm
In 1936, in order to save their school from the Great Depression, sixteen girls formed a Swing Band and hit the road. Four years later, when the boys went away to war, The International Sweethearts of Rhythm became the number one touring orchestra in the United States; outselling Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, and Ella Fitzgerald. But today, we don’t know their names because the International Sweethearts of Rhythm were sixteen black girls from Mississippi. It’s time that changed.
In 1940, Adolf Hitler sent a team of German spies to the United States with instructions to sabotage vital structures and landmarks. What would have happened if they succeeded?
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When friendly aliens arrive on Earth, Randy and Kimberly are hostile while their hated liberal neighbours happily host one of them. Yet as the aliens start to “steal” people’s jobs, the two families suddenly bond over their shared Earthling heritage just as Randy’s and Kimberly’s daughter falls for one of “Those Guys.”
(Thomas L. Ferguson)
A woman living in denial of her deep connection to the spirit world is forced to embrace her power and confront her fears to save her dying father.
An American Iraq War veteran turned author struggling with PTSD retreats deep into the English countryside and manages to heal his wounds in the small village where his grandfather recovered after WWII.
You Must be Mistaken
A torturer with a moral compass faces a dilemma when an unlikely coincidence made him torture an innocent man.
A small-town security guard - trying to reconcile with his ex-girlfriend and struggling with the loss of both parents - is caught up in a horror of apocalyptic proportions when the fish farm he works at launches its lab-grown ‘Super Tuna’.