2019 Feature Film Screenplay Finalists

Welcome to the 2019 Lonely Seal Film, Screenplay and Music Festival Screenplay Finalists, which are proudly sponsored by Final Draft, 5A StudiosLonely Seal Releasing, The Regent TheatreHourglass24  and PageCraft. On behalf of our sponsors, we are honored to call the following writers our finalists.

Jimmy and the Star Angel by Jerry Robbins and Jeffrey Gage
A brother and sister are transported into the magical, perilous world of their Christmas tree, and must reach the top where the Star Angel can restore them to normal size.

The Venusian Chronicles by Lynn Vincentnathan
The story is about Dr. Ishi Banesa, a mild-mannered linguist passing as a human, whose ancestors came from Venus. His life’s mission is to help save Earth from the same fate that destroyed Venus.

My Father’s Murders by Michael Salomon
Raised in an isolated, ultra-orthodox community in Transylvania, Alex is unprepared when a fascist, pro-Nazi, nationalistic cult rises to absolute power in Hungary during World War Two. After his family and friends are murdered, Alex becomes obsessed with wreaking vengeance on their killers. But even as the cycle of violence continues, he forges new emotional bonds and rediscovers spirituality lost. 

Melody of the Sea by Valerie Schwartfigure
A psychiatrist who desperately wants to be a mother finds a baby mermaid and takes her home, only to discover the baby has a special power. Unfortunately, the little mermaid cannot survive without the touch of its own kind, who are being picked off by marine scientists who hope to exploit their powers.

She’s Unexpecting by Angela Vaut
When a career driven thirty-something New Yorker reconnects with her ex boyfriend to escort her to an abortion, affection for him resurfaces.

Yuanfen by Stan Olsen
An MD volunteering in Africa is killed by a rampaging warlord in a raid at clinic. His wife, a retired British bureaucrat and MI-5 and his daughter, a defense and human lawyer band together with MI-5’s help, face threatening personal, political and potentially violent complications as they attempt to find and finally capture the warlord.

Peace by Piece (22;1) by Monib Abhat
A Marine suffering from PSTD fights to keep his family together during the financial crisis of 2008.

Deepa By Design by Laura Jaques 
A teenage math superstar and first-gen Indian American, Deepa has been set on a clear path by her formidable father: excel at math, study engineering at Cal Tech, then marry a nice Indian boy. But when the mysterious Chandy, the grandfather she never knew existed, shows up unannounced, he inspires her to pursue her true passions: art, and the super cute (and white) Micah. Soon, Deepa is sneaking about with Micah and entering a prestigious art show. All good, until her controversial painting convinces some she may be a terrorist…Oops.

Perry by RJ Watson
A mother and daughter of privilege from Connecticut and a victim of sex trafficking from Haiti are drawn into a dangerous web of exploitation on the streets of San Francisco. Echoing the Persephone-Demeter myth, it is the tragic story of love and innocence destroyed by dark societal forces.

Execution Day by Mike Reid
When the red phone rings during an execution, the voice on the other end is not the governor’s, but a kidnapper demanding the governor pardon the convict by midnight or the warden’s spouse will be killed.

Jackie Ray by Kip Pearson
JR, a fierce rebellious young lesbian, defying family and convention, comes of age in San Francisco during the LGBT civil rights era of the 70s/80s. She evolves from being a scrappy activist cab driver to civil rights lawyer only to realize she can’t really change the world. 

The Wonderful by Demitra Papadinis 
After acquiring the power to atone for the sins of others, a misfit young woman runs afoul of conventional society, orthodox Church leaders, and the law as she strives to redeem the transgressions of a world which has no faith in her.

Dream Babies by Mathieu Alepin
Two programmers must stop the worldwide rampage of robot babies, the next personal computers, after a bad update causes them to develop dangerous temper tantrums.

Coupla Kooks by Tierney Acott
Aoife finally does something for herself and enrolls in an art class. There she meets Martin, a man decades her senior. Despite their age difference, they become fast and unlikely friends. Aoife sees in Martin a friend who understands. Understands what, though, she isn’t sure. Aoife finds herself confessing things to Martin, despite barely knowing him Aoife tries to maintain some normalcy in her life, while remaining vulnerable for honest friendship. Aoife struggles to face the loss that addiction brings, until she learns to accept and embrace her new friendship and its support.

Green YoYo by Kelsey Wilkins
When the dark trauma of her childhood manifests into a malevolent being that hurts those around her, one girl must discover the truth or risk losing everything she loves forever.

Pike County by Cody Joel
A young father tries to protect his daughter from the pitfalls of Appalachia, the epicenter of America’s opiate crisis and collapsing coal industry.

May A Girl Sit Here by Stuart Schulz
When his wife receives a contaminated spinal injection and is miraculously saved from dying by beautiful guardian angel, a loyal husband becomes obsessed with tracking down those responsible.

Rainbows and Silver Buckles : The Adventures of Joe And Muz by Stuart Schulz
A framed story based on true events in which an indefatigable pioneer couple chase life’s adventures with the help of a mysterious clan of little people while living on an enchanted island in Alaska and enduring the harshness of the early 20th century.

Blue Cadillac. White Girl. by Lamarr Gray
Junior, 18, grows up in a middle-class household with an abusive father, Randall, and loving mother, Caroline. He works hard to not only get good grades but also to excel in football ass he hopes to follow his good friend Herschel to college. That’s when everything falls apart.

Lights by Brandon Chuang
Based on a true story, the main character Brandon battles schizophrenia and transforms himself completely.

The JoJo Mama and the Voodoo Queen by R. Kitchen 
The JoJo Mama and the Voodoo Queen is a humorous but moralistic story about strong women who overcome the barriers of greed and prejudice, so they can share their unconventional art. It is based loosely on two deceased outsider artists who were alive forty years ago. The screenplay champions women of color and all artists who are often at the mercy self-serving benefactors. 

Supposed to Be by Dr. Beth-Anne Blue
In purgatory after an attempt to take her own life, a young woman must decide if her life is worth fighting for with the help of an unlikely healer.

Sideshow Bandit by Marie Wilson
This is a true story. In 1976 a mannequin hanging in a funhouse ride is discovered to be a real human body. At the LA Coroners Department an autopsy on the mysterious mummy slowly reveals clues that send us back to 1880 when a child is born out of wedlock: Elmer McCurdy grows up to be a wanna-be cowboy and failed train robber. Dead by age thirty, fame finally arrives when Elmer’s cadaver, billed as the Oklahoma Outlaw, plays the carnival circuit for sixty years.

The Joppa Flat by Rachel Thomas-Medwid
Rowan McGinn’s life off the coast of Plum Island, Massachusetts, is as full of isolation and secrets as the haunted Joppa Flats the McGinn family lives on. When the family rents the “Joppa Flat” to boarders, the mysteries that linger within the house intensify. As Rowan becomes intimately involved with the boarders, old secrets come to light as new ones are created. As the past converges with the present, events conspire to ultimately change the future of all involved.

Skewed Blue by Andrea Gibson
Alex Tucker faces abuse when she is attached to an infantry unit as a combat medic.

Rebel Tides by Andrea Gibson
In this post-apocalyptic tale, modern warfare meets medieval. A friend turned enemy rules the land through fear and famine. One man will have the courage to lead a rebellion as they fight to take back their country. Graham Mitchell believes the only way to protect his family is to be by their side. This belief causes him to leave the SAS. He will soon find out that protecting his country and his family go hand in hand. He cannot do one without doing the other. Though each person may have a troubled past, it is the choices they make in the present that will define them as hero or villain.

True Destiny by Joseph Leone 
Aided by a mysterious shadow organization, a dynamic woman, predestined to make an impact on the world is mere days away from an upset victory in the 2024 US Presidential General Election. However, all is not well, as this same organization is conspiring with the VP candidate to take her out, and overthrow the country.

CRICKETS by Jennifer Steets
Crickets is a coming-of-age story about five sisters, set in the 1970’s, that follows an unexpected and dark path where the risks they take, the secrets they keep and the alliances they form while their parents vacation abroad, brings the story to a heart wrenching climax. 

Welcome to the Hotel Chateau Cheveux by Michael Snow
After inheriting a once glamorous hotel from a distant relative he never knew, a down-on-his-luck puppet accidentally summons a horde of ravenous monsters intent on eating his famous and fashionable guests.

Sara by Jack Steeley 
An unhappily divorced man meets a mysterious woman wandering in the woods who he thinks is the ghost of a murdered woman and attempts to solve her murder, even as he falls in love with the woman.

Julia la Maupin by Jack Steeley 
A swords-woman pursues her father’s murderer through 17th century France.

Godless Skies by Joshua David Harris
In the post-United States, a father exiles himself from a walled city to seek revenge against the savage Outsider who killed his family.

Desert Quarry by James Palmer 
Raoul and Detective Mattei meet late in the evening in front of Raoul’s Manhattan jewelry shop.The two men enter and find four of Raoul’s employees shot dead. Days earlier Gu and Bob reunite nearby for the first time since a roadside bomb separated them in Iraq two years earlier….

Ube Bublog, vol. one, #School of Hard Knocks by Sway Stagall
Ding Bangus, a skateboarding Filipino college dropout is mistakenly marked for death by motorcycle riding vigilante assassins and must rely on Clutch ‘Cobra’ Carsten – a crazy American UFC fighter wannabe – to save his life!

The Cube by Cyril Simonnot and Nicolas Di Francesco
Daniel Rutherford’s life is about to take a turn to the strangest when is prompted to keep a package delivered by mistake on his front porch.

Indian Billy Ice by Jerry Stephen Ice
This epic story of Indian Billy Ice begins with his unexpected kidnapping as an eight-year-old boy. For the next 9 years he survives abuse as a prisoner of the Blood River Mohawk tribe until he escapes with his first love, North Star.  Years later, fighting side by side with historic figures and fellow enemies of the Blood River Mohawk, now known as “Indian Billy” he gets his chance for revenge.

Characterization by John Bourke
Characterization portrays the ordeals of Ross Bennett, an author who interacts with his main character to a point where he believes him to be real. The main character stifles every attempt that Ross has in mind for the main character by killing off any other characters that Ross brings into the story. Ross, in the end, is also killed, in many different ways, by the main character.

Overgrown by John Bourke
‘Overgrown’ chronicles the life of twin sisters, Rose and Iris, from birth through to their death at age 82. Unlike most twins, their personalities are very different. Throughout their life together they are forced to cope with challenges that include their brother’s battle with alcohol addiction, the suicide of their mother and the murder of their father. The sisters rely on each other for support and empathy as each traumatic event occurs.

Unsightly by John Bourke
Shelley is a 14-year-old girl with a unique ability that allows her to see visions of things that she has not actually witnessed. When Detective Curnow learns that she is able to identify the murderer in past cases, she is coerced into helping him with their inquiries. The detective uses dishonest tactics to arrest her father in order to persuade him to allow Shelley to co-operate with them. When his scheme is exposed, and his career is in jeopardy, the detective seeks revenge against Shelley.

Dancing in the Underworld by Audrey Buchter
Dance Drama in the vein of “Ghost”; “What Dreams May Come.” New York City, 1980’s, the “downtown” dance scene. A young, aspiring dancer loses her teacher, and beloved of many lifetimes almost immediately upon finding him again in this one. Her need to find the reason, if not the very strength to keep living drives her, among other things, to haunt mediums. After a second devastating loss, that of her friend and spiritual mentor, she travels to Peru, and with the help of plant medicines, far beyond. Humor and tragedy remain intertwined throughout, as she grapples with love and loss.

Man Running Blind by John T. Frederick
A Romantic Dramedy about a multi-talented man who persistently screws up romance and his family life by not seeing the one obvious correction he needs to make to have shot at actual happiness and joy.

Western Dragons by John T. Frederick
As shape-shifted dragons covertly rise to power via Big Business, a young dragon with old grievances finally steps up to battle his ruthless CEO dad… to free himself and, maybe, save the world.

Barack Obama Remembers a Young LA Poet by James Fitzmaurice
Late at night in the White House during summer of 2016, Barack Obama remembers writing poetry while an undergraduate and reminisces about four quite different women, his ghosts. He spars about writing autobiography with a spectral Charles Bukowski, and ends up talking parent talk with the actual Michelle.

Paradise, My Ass by August Darnell and Mustapha Matura
Mothe Peeps, a famous pop singer, leaves New York City in search of his girlfriend, Aurelija, who has mysteriously disappeared. He is eventually shipwrecked on the Caribbean island of Zylla. This unfortunate event begets fortuitous results, because Aurelija now resides in this tropical paradise. However, Mothe’s mission to reunite with the love of his life is fraught with obstacles. The biggest problem is that Zylla is run by a mad dictator who rules the island with an iron fist. Inadvertently, Mothe Peeps becomes a hero for the disenfranchised people on the island. This angers the dictator and makes Mothe Peeps – public enemy number one! 

Epsilon Echo by Richard P.  Alvarez
When a house-bound Astronomer discovers the echoes of past transmissions, she believes she has tapped into a rich vein of lost nostalgia. She hadn’t counted on recovering a secret government code concerning a plot to assassinate a president or just how desperate the deep state would be, to prevent their recovery.

World’s Sexiest Man by Robert Cox
Derek Colins is an arrogant, womanizing actor, adored by his fans and honored with the title of ‘World’s Sexiest Man’ five years in a row. However, ‘Gay’ rumors plague him in the media fairly often. The latest blog infuriates him and even his assistant BRIAN and his agent HANNA have a hard time convincing him that it will blow over

The Door by Robert Cox 
Carl is an eleven year old with serious health problems. He has a brain tumor that he is being treated for, but the loss of hair and the fear the other children in his class have of him has made his life even more miserable. At his chemo treatment, he meets Evan, a boy about his age who has leukemia and is also undergoing chemo. They begin a friendship that make their illnesses easier to bear. 

At the Mercy of Faith by Samuel Taylor 
A preacher who gave up on his faith has to face the ghosts of his past to save his family – and his soul.

Flying Bird’s Diary by Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel
The diary of a determined 19th c. Native American woman propels her people’s dying language and ancient beliefs a century into the future. (This script is based on a true story.) 

Urban Renewal by R.S. Thomas
A 12 y/o multiracial boy’s identity seeking odyssey through the racially changing climate of 1961 Boston.

Cahoots by Elan Carlson
In late 1890’s CA the mining and railroading jobs gone, a Chinese grandmother, her daughter and her granddaughter slip into the night and flee from attack on their fishing village. Disguised as men, they spot an old caboose on a remote railroad spur and creep in. They encounter and terrify two Celtic immigrant rail-hands — who terrify them. When the Chinese plead for help back to China, the Celtics see they are female and Scottish is smitten to the core by the beautiful daughter — and they agree. Now together, they go underground and start their secret journey.

Free Yourself  by Kelly LaCombe
A drama, based on a true story, about a young woman from a broken foundation who is on a Hero’s Journey to transform herself between 1970-1990; a transformation she was told she would not be able to make.