The following screenplays are the Top 20 Short Screenplay Finalists for the 2018 FilmQuest Best Unproduced Screenplay Competition. Featured here are some fo the best unproduced screenplays on the circuit today:
AN INCIDENT IN SMITH MORGUE
Written By: Perry Ruhland
Synopsis: A young forensic pathologist makes an otherworldly discovery while examining a mysterious corpse.
Screenwriter’s Bio: Perry Ruhland is a queer independent filmmaker with a passion for genre films of all sorts, and an insatiable hunger for boundary pushing cinema.
BOYS LIKE DEAD THINGS
Written By: R. Michael McWhorter
Synopsis: Four boys set off into the woods to find a dead body, but discover much more than they bargained for.
Screenwriter’s Bio: N/A
Written By: Lisanne Sartor
Synopsis: Murielle loves her daughter. Perhaps too much.
Screenwriter’s Bio: Sartor was destined for a life of activism and politics. In fact, she spent a year working as a legislative aide for a state senator (not bad prep for Hollywood). The things she wasn’t allowed to write about said senator were way more colorful than anything she could make up. But, in what proved to be a lifetime habit of defying expectations, Sartor gave up politics and moved to Los Angeles to become a writer/director.
Instead (remember that defying expectations thing?), she promptly became an assistant production coordinator on a low budget feature (a girl’s gotta eat), which led her to become a Directors Guild assistant director via the DGA Training Program (knowing full well that ADing does NOT lead to writing or directing).
Written By: Will Berry
Synopsis: A lonely, young woman finds friendship in a paper napkin.
Screenwriter’s Bio: Will Berry is a writer/director/cinematographer living in Providence, Rhode Island. When he’s not exploring cinematic narrative, he directs freelance documentary and music video projects. As a senior at Brown University, he is double-concentrating in Modern Culture & Media and Literary Arts. Outside of class, he is an active member of Brown Motion Pictures, Brown University Film Forum, and the Ivy Film Festival.
IN THE WOODS
Written By: Rae Greenhoe
Synopsis: Two little girls go searching for fairies with there strange, older cousin.
Screenwriter’s Bio: Rachel Greenhoe is a screenwriter and producer based in NYC and Chicago. She works with ISA, Legacy Pictures, and her web series, Symbiotic, recently preon OTV-Open Television.
Written By: Nathan Ludwig & Chad Farmer
Synopsis: A contract killer finds himself embroiled in an underground ring of necrophiliacs that may or may not be connected to the tragic fate of his wife.
Screenwriter’s Bio: Nathan & Chad met in film school and since then have collaborated on three shorts films that have all done well on the festival circuit – LATE SUBMISSION, PMS: PRE-TEEN MONSTER SYNDROME, and WHAT’S FOR DINNER?
They’ve also co-written the award-winning feature screenplay LOVE POTION #666 and are currently working on several new scripts and short films together.
Written By: Kenny J. Wright
Synopsis: Growing tired of performing, world famous magician Corson Blaze, announces that he’s retiring. However, his biggest fan Johnny, manages to convince Corson to teach him the secrets behind his magic. But, what starts as a test of character, soon turns into a horrifying revelation of dark secrets.
Screenwriter’s Bio: A lifelong story teller, who naturally gravitates to more dramatic, and often gruesome stories.
ME & CINDERELLA
Written By: Jason Boaden
Synopsis: Cinderella is living a post-fairytale life in the present day, when she is discovered by her evil stepmother and drawn into battle for the throne.
Screenwriter’s Bio: N/A
NIGHT OF THE REDGO
Written By: JB MInerva
Synopsis: It all begins when Red, a racist, red neck gringo acquires an isolated property in a forest of the Mexican territory so that, together with his granddaughter Lena, can both live in peace far from the conflicts from which they had to flee from the United States.
Their problem is that “Santa Bonita”, belonged to the Carreño, a family of “bad hombres” who lived there and they will do everything to claim what they think its theirs. Red is willing to face the Carreño, but what he and Lena don´t know is that the Carreño are rotten mexican corpse ghouls.
Screenwriter’s Bio: My name is JB Minerva, I am a young Filmmaker, I studied film and arts in Florence, New York and London. I currently live in Mexico City where most of my time I dedicate working on feature films and series as a Director of Photography. This is the field in which I have managed to understand the importance of working an atmosphere through light. Though a Professional DP, I have always felt the need to write and tell stories of my own. In these recent years I have wrote more than 20 short stories (mostly Fantasy and Horror)
Written By: Travis Darkow
Synopsis: Ella, the average working stiff, finally snaps after too many years of working in retail.
Screenwriter’s Bio: My name is Travis Darkow, I am 25 years old from Bremerton Washington where I live with my wife and our dog Jax, though we are planning on relocating to Los Angeles within the next year or so. I have had a passion for writing since I was very young. I was always writing stories, usually about aliens or monsters, or making my own little comic books.
As I got older I never stopped writing, all through school I took as many writing courses as I could and my passion only grew over the years. I enjoy all aspects of writing. I write poetry, I love writing and playing music, and have written around 100 songs. I have about a dozen or so children’s books that I have written as well. My greatest passion though is film. I absolutely fell in love with movies when I was a kid, and am currently working on an ever expanding list of script ideas that I have been hard at work on.
Written By: Michael James Dean
Synopsis: They crashed the wrong Christmas party.
During an annual Christmas office party, Office workers Stan, Peggy & Richard; three unlikely heroes, find themselves fighting for their lives when their building becomes overrun by a horde of sharped toothed Creatures hungry for human flesh . . . But these Creatures just picked the wrong party to crash. Armed with only office supplies, the trio must work together if they’re going to survive. Who said those team-building weekends wouldn’t come in handy?
Paying homage to 1980s creature features, SHREDDERS is a blend of action, horror and hilarious comedy dripping in neon and synth.
Screenwriter’s Bio: Michael is an award-winning Writer and Producer working in Film, TV and Online content.
In 2015 Michael original comedy web series CUPID was an official selection at ten international festivals picking up four nominations including Best Comedic Writing (Miami Web Fest 2015) and Winning Best Web Series (Digitalmation Awards May 2015).
In 2016 Michael’s short film ALREADY DEAD (2016) a short mockumentary about a group of recovering zombies. The film explores the social prejudices towards migrants, refugees, race and religion using a well-known and loved genre. The film was awarded the Silver Award at the London Worldwide Comedy Film Festival alongside a nomination for Best Comedy Short at the FilmQuest Fest and Best Horror at the Glasgow Horror Film Festival.
Written By: George Deihl
Synopsis: Designated to save her home planet, a woman must make a choice between devotion to her humanity and the glorification of The Algorithm.
Screenwriter’s Bio: Based in New York City, George is an actor and voice over artist. He is discovering new levels of storytelling by writing screenplays and comic books. As a huge Star Wars fan he was excited to find his script “FALLEN: a Star Wars Story” was an Official Selection of the Fan Fiction Screenplay Festival. He moonlights as illustrator Bixel Boon(e)
Written By: Allie Hanley & Daryl Kuxhouse
Synopsis: Two young girls are sent to live with their grandparents under mysterious circumstances on a Texas farm where everything is not what it seems.
Screenwriter’s Bio: Allie Hanley is a film critic who as covered film, TV, and pop culture for a number of websites culminating in more than 1800 published articles.
Daryl Kuxhouse is a screen writer based in LA who formerly worked on the comic Vampire Hunter D and other titles.
Written By: Jeffrey Stackhouse & Renfield Rasputin
Synopsis: A young priest takes an exciting opportunity at a Convent dating back to the birth of New Orleans and discovers a secret that shakes his sanity as much as his faith.
Screenwriter’s Bio: Renfield Rasputin‘s first screenplay went to the finals of Shriekfest 2014; since then he has won a platinum Remi in Houston’s Worldfest Film Festival for a western screenplay and he has found underground success with several short horror stories on Kindle. “Butchers Bluff” (coauthored and design/fabrication of the villain’s mask), a full length feature film tribute to the great Slasher films of the 80s, will start filming in the fall. Rasputin has a soft spot for neglected animals as well as children with disabilities; portions of his Kindle sales are allocated to charities for these causes.
Jeffrey Stackhouse has completed 7 Horror Feature scripts, won The PAGE with his first, then added Shriekfest, Las Vegas Screenplay and Festival For Horror on a total of 4 different scripts, has another 17 Finalists. He’s wrapped Scottish production of a fully-authorized Stephen King Short film with an Oscar Nominated DP and multi-award-winning crew, and has one Feature option. Proud father of two terrific children, one Transgender.
THE LEGEND OF GASLIGHT GIL
Written By: Eric Borden
Synopsis: An aging human bareknuckle champion puts it all on the line for his family.
Screenwriter’s Bio: Eric Borden is a screenwriter whose preferred genres are drama, horror, and anything that will hold an edge. He has an A.S in film and video production from Full Sail University and a Certificate in Feature Film Writing from UCLA. Eric is the author of many shorts, a couple features, and one book. His feature film script, Fever is currently in development with Blanc-Biehn Productions.
Written By: Harry Greenberger
Synopsis: A Russian Jewish soldier, having lost his entire village and family to the German army, chooses for himself a mission of unspeakable revenge.
Screenwriter’s Bio: Writer/Director of several music videos and two feature films, Staring at the Sun and Faraway Eyes (Featuring Christina Ricci and three time Tony nominee Andy Karl, plus Oscar nominee Jeannie Berlin and Tony winner Nikki James)
THIS DARK THOUGHT
Written By: Nik Theorin
Synopsis: A young astronomer becomes possessed of a dark thought against her baby sister as she looks into the sky one night.
Screenwriter’s Bio: Nik Theorin is a screenwriter and playwright presently studying at Sarah Lawrence College. He currently writes for Something’s Awry Productions.
Written By: Dimi Nakov & Jean Marcello
Synopsis: Using what they thought is a Tactical Survival Simulation Device a group of mischievous teens Noah, Ivy, Levi and Tara accidentally find themselves 500 light years away from home on a hostile post-apocalyptic planet called Earth Prime. They race against the clock trying to get back home before they die from radiation poisoning or are hunted down like animals by the natives.
Screenwriter’s Bio: Dimi is an aspiring award winning Director, Producer and Writer with a diverse body of work. Since 2009 he has produced a number of award winning music videos, short films, and corporate videos for Coca Cola Amatil NZ. All of Dimi’s short films have acquired a non-exclusive world-wide distribution deals from numerous VOD distributors.
Written By: Stuart Creque
Synopsis: Kit wonders why Dad is spending so much time in the basement, cleaning up the mildew growing there….
Screenwriter’s Bio: Stuart is a native of the San Francisco East Bay and attended UC Berkeley. Growing up with The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits shaped his love of horror and science fiction, and raising three children gave him an appreciation of fantasy. Stuart’s award-winning short scripts Autonomy, He Knows and Over Coffee have been produced, and he wrote and directed the short Memento Mori (which screened at the San Antonio Film Festival). He adapted the short story The Last Earth Girl into a feature screenplay and it has been produced by independent filmmaker Jim Weter.
Written By: Montgomery Burt
Synopsis: A keen new employee brings his girlfriend to an office party where all of his co-workers are zombies! He wants her to join the company too, but she’s not so sure about working for the undead.
Screenwriter’s Bio: In addition to writing “The United Guys Network,” I’ve completed four feature scripts and written for radio and TV. My teleplay “Career Move” was produced for Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and my Twilight Zone script “Borrowed Time” won second prize in a national competition. CKNW Radio also produced my black comedy radioplay, “Leonard McTivey’s Last Day at Work.”
I received two Praxis screenwriting fellowships through Simon Fraser University, and for several years I’ve run Upwords, an ongoing screenwriters workshop that develops new talent. (Graeme Manson, co-creator of BBC’s “Orphan Black,” was one of our more high-profile members.)
I’m first and foremost a visual storyteller. I was making short films with my dad’s super 8 movie gear when I was fourteen and I’ve been hooked ever since. I try to pitch in, using my experience and writing skills to contribute to the local film scene.