THE 2018 CANADIAN FILM FEST
The Canadian Film Fest and The Harold Greenberg Fund proudly partnered on this unique opportunity for screenwriters. Open to Canadian screenwriters who've written a feature-length screenplay, the CFF’s Screenwriting competition received over 200 submissions. Here is the complete CFF 2018 “It List”, which is a list of the best unproduced scripts in Canada - a great resource for producers:
GRAND PRIZE WINNER
Honor Thy Mother - written by Kathleen Hepburn, story by Charlie Hidalgo
In addition to winning $10,000 in development funding, a Harold Greenberg executive will be involved in the selection of the winning script, and will provide feedback on the script as well as guidance throughout one development round.
The winner also receives a pass to the Toronto Screenwriting Conference taking place June 23-24, 2018 (valued at $419).
Honor Thy Mother by Kathleen Hepburn and Story by Charlie Hidalgo is a slow burn, wonderfully realized, against-all-odds love story surrounded by tragedy and shame, especially relevant in the political climate of 2018. Rich, fully realized characters support and carry the weighty drama of the piece. A very sophisticated exploration of the realities of abuse and a fearless inspection of attraction and intimacy.
Hard Promises by Christopher Smets
The runner up receives a pass to the Toronto Screenwriting Conference taking place June 23-24, 2018 (valued at $419).
Hard Promises by Christopher Smets is a refreshingly contemporary, cynical, film-noir adventure with dialogue that really sings. Buoyant back and forth between the film’s principals makes for a quick read through the twists and turns expected from the genre with a satisfyingly dark payoff.
The Forgery by Daniel Whidden is an exquisitely written, sweeping WWII drama based loosely on the true story of Wladyslaw Dutliewicz, a hero for the Polish resistance who saved hundreds of lives using his skills as an artist. The writing is vivid, honest and visceral with a take that is a gratifyingly new in a genre with a long film tradition.
Lady Electric by Mirella Christou Great characters bring real vitality to this well structured tale of a musician who has lost her hearing and subsequently her career. We find her faced with the arduous task of trying to piece her life back together with the help of a new mentor. A super-fun read from page one-- this is a straight up excellent film about coping with poor life choices and finding your way out again.
Aphelion by Karl van Allen & Sean Grady is a cool sci-fi thriller with a great premise with some mind (and time) bending twists and turns along the way. After the tragic death of his son, a prof and his quirky research partner start on a mathematical quest to get a second chance, but instead unleash a malicious force they could never have anticipated. A genuinely surprising script.
OTHER FINALISTS (in no particular order)
Hide and Seek by Drew Carnwath is an absorbing tale of three estranged women revisiting an old wound, which was torn open by a fateful night of seemingly innocent childhood witchcraft. By jumping back and forth through time between the critical evening and the present, the writer lets us in on three unique perspectives of how a tragedy manifests in these former friends and the lingering effects of a still looming mystery.
The Rescuer by Lina Roessler is a truly inventive children’s odyssey that follows our pint-sized protagonist into a self-created world of wonder and adventure as she copes with the tragic loss of her father and sister. 9-year-old Meredith’s journey is both a little dark and a little light (with some genuine laughs) as she navigates a world of grown-ups “who just don’t understand”.
Blue Sky by Hayley Gray is a highly original and relevant story that dresses up a dystopian future in a utopian one’s clothing. In a world where history is systematically being erased for the seemingly greater good, many thought provoking questions about censorship and the value of knowledge arise. Good diversity of characters makes for a heck of a read.
A Better Place by Katterina Powers is an action packed script with great commercial potential. Horse chases, gunslinging, vengeance, love story-- it has it all! This fun, ambitious twist on the Western and re-imagining of the Butch and Sundance story was a pleasure to read. A real studio picture.
The Plantation by Luke Donnelly is a dark tale of love in the time of slavery. Skillfully written, this is an elegantly told story of a plantation owner struggling with the grief of his deceased wife and son as he journeys to separate himself from the encroaching white supremacists that want to destroy his land. Excellent use of the page, not a word is wasted, evoking a detailed world with masterful description.