June 27, 28, 29, and 30




The Script Development Program at FeFF is a creative incubator for screenwriters with completed feature screenplays that are ready to be kicked up to the next level. It is an intensely creative, collaborative, and career-enhancing experience. The program centres on script readings, individual mentoring, and the Good-to-Go networking session, where writers are paired with industry experts from a wide range of fields so that they may get a better sense of the landscape, and where they may best position themselves as tomorrow’s filmmakers and storytellers.



Script Development officer, Lindsey Connell

Script Development assistant, Vanessa Trenton

Script Development advisors and story editors: Maureen Dorey, Allegra Fulton, 

Alison Brooks, Cia Mellegers, Don Truckey and A. J. Edmonds


This year’s FeFF Script Development participants and their projects are listed below, followed by the dates and times of their script readings. 


Wednesday, June 27, 10AM 

SIX LETTER WORD, written by Lisanne Sartor

Country/city of origin: USA, Los Angeles

Genre: Drama


Synopsis: Waitress Zoe is a socially inept numbers whiz struggling to understand her autistic son, Jax. Her fraught relationships with her own estranged mother, Marilyn, and with a troubled neuropsychologist, Pete, force Zoe to come to terms with Jax’s autism as well as with her own undiagnosed autism.


Thursday, June 28, 10AM 

LABOUR DAY, written by Jeanie Calleja

Country/city of origin: Canada, Toronto

Genre: Comedy


Synopsis: A woman in labour becomes convinced that she needs to get her emotional house in order to ensure a smooth birth. With her cynical best friend and a novice doula in tow, she goes on a wild journey of self-discovery between contractions.



Thursday, June 28, 12PM 

AWAKENING, written by Karen Bardach 

Country/city of origin: Canada, Vancouver

Genre: Drama


Synopsis: A young Indigenous woman has a spiritual awakening during a dream, in which she meets the spirit of an ancient ancestor who follows her into her waking life to show her how to prevent unnecessary tragic accidents from happening.


Friday, June 29, 9AM 

STILL LIFE, written by Gabrielle Lansner 

Country/city of origin: USA, New York City

Genre: Drama


Synopsis: Reeling after the death of a long-ago French lover, Helen, a widowed artist from New York, returns to the south of France to make peace with her past. Befriending Alexandra, an American expat dancer who is grappling with her own life choices, Helen navigates difficult truths about betrayal, loss, and regret while trying to rekindle her long-dormant creative spirit.


Friday, June 29, 10:45AM 

DAVID CRONENBERG LIVES NEXT DOOR, written by Heather Baillie-Brown

Country/city of origin: Canada, Barrie (Ontario)


Synopsis: Premila Kapoor, a young Hindi filmmaker working as a hotel janitor in LA to put herself through film school, finds a discarded screenplay in the hotel’s parking lot one evening. The script was written by a cantankerous hotel guest: once-famous foreign director Donald Wintersong, who is unable to secure studio backing and is an insurance risk due to his advanced age. Dejected, Wintersong returns home to Canada, where he takes up miscellaneous jobs, including pushing a broom, to pay the bills, while Premila and her friends produce his $50M project for a frugal $500.


Saturday, June 30, 9:30AM 

SMALL STEPS IN BLACK BIRKENSTOCKS, co-written by Alexia Kosmider & Marianne Messina

Country/city of origin: USA, Providence/Nashville

Genre: Romantic comedy


Synopsis: Going online to find love has its complications for Lori, a lesbian who finds herself alone after losing her life partner. With an unlikely group of friends and a vindictive ex egging her on, Lori backs into the surprisingly hilarious complications of modern-day courtship.


Saturday, June 30, 11:30AM

BARNABAS IS DEAD, written by Amanda Burdine

Country/city of origin: USA, Kennewick (Washington)

Genre: Dark romantic comedy


Synopsis: When her boss dies suddenly under mysterious circumstances, Alice is tasked with the peculiar opportunity to keep Barnabas’s hotel open for one more week, to honour a longstanding reservation made by a cult. This grace period grants Alice’s co-workers time to plan life after the hotel and Alice the opportunity to come to terms with Barnabas’s death and to fulfill his last request from beyond the grave: to find his lucky quarter.