​SCRIPT DEVELOPMENT

SCRIPT READING SERIES

FRIDAY, JUNE 10
11 AM to 7 PM
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Studio D, 370 King St. W., Toronto

Supported by

ACTRA TORONTO.png
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CK LOVE

Director of Script Development.

CK Love is a filmmaker and writer based in Toronto, Canada, with a background in visual art, and screenwriting. Her interest is to express the deeper darker forces of our psyche through the visual medium as well as the written word. Her directorial debut, The Lingering placed in several festivals, and screened at the Worldwide Women Film Festival in February 2022 in Phoenix, the Gold Standard Arts Festival 2022 in NYC, and at the Female Eye Film Festival in Toronto June 2022.

11 AM - 12.30 PM
AND A CHILD WILL LEAD 
written by Jamil Akim O’Quinn (Los Angeles, USA)

Feature Drama

 

When the most powerful man in the march to freedom fails to break segregation codes in 1963 Birmingham, Alabama, the last person anyone would expect to make Dr. King’s dream a reality is a 10-year-old girl known as the “Civil Rights Queen.” Based on a true story.

 

In 1963, America was divided by heinous segregation laws. Martin Luther King’s push for civil rights was failing miserably. Black mothers and fathers had grown tired of fighting a system that perpetually treated them as second class and losing their jobs for speaking out for equality. The bombing of Black citizens’ homes in Birmingham, Alabama, was so common that the city was nicknamed “Bombingham.” In response, the children of Birmingham rose in a unified front to organize a movement that changed the course of Black, American, and global history. “And a Child Will Lead” enters this powerful movement by way of the youngest marcher to be arrested, Audrey Faye Hendricks, also known as the Civil Rights Queen, whose courage influenced the US president to pass a bill that demolished de facto segregation. This young girl embodied wisdom, courage, and faith beyond her years – all driven by her desire to swim in a “whites only” pool. When the adults all sat down, Audrey stood up.

 

Jamil Akim O’Quinn is a queer nerd from Compton, California, living with multiple sclerosis who loves art and academia. He is a writer/director with a BA from UC Berkeley, a master’s of divinity from Princeton, and an MFA from Loyola Marymount University. He is a former Armani Exchange model and past performer in the Broadway National tour of “The Book of Mormon.” Jamil is now part of the support staff for the “NCIS: Los Angeles” writing team. Although living at the intersection of multiple marginalized communities threatened to break him, it turned him into a fighter. And now he fights by telling family narratives that give voice to systemically voiceless people who have been forced to stay in the shadows

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12.30 PM - 1.30 PM
BREAK 

 

2 PM - 3.30 PM
DANCING WITH PLATO
written by Nahyr Galaz Ruiz (Orange County, USA)

Feature Drama

 

An unlikely and forbidden romance blooms between a rigid philosophy professor and a tenacious dance student when they match intellects, making them question everything they thought they knew about love and themselves.

 

Philosophy professor Bryan Clark Finnegan takes a position at Fresno State University in an effort to establish roots with his biological family, with whom he recently reconnected. Upon arriving at FSU, he meets the driven, talented, and brainy dancer Celany. It’s a meeting of the minds for them both when she takes his class, but sparks soon begin to fly as they realize they have more in common than they knew. Ever the moral ethicist, Bryan denies his feelings despite his best friend, James, pointing out the obvious and department chair Dr. Meyers catching on. Meanwhile, inspired by Bryan’s lectures, Celany’s dancing is reinvigorated, and she is offered a spot in a choreography intensive in Paris. Torn between her dream and the feelings she’s developed for Bryan, she confronts him. Bryan rejects her though it breaks him, and, wounded, she leaves for Paris. In Paris, Celany has a tryst with the irresistible Edmund, who decides to follow her back to the States when she’s offered a guest artist position at her alma mater. Once again in each other’s orbits, Celany and Bryan struggle to ignore their feelings, and when Edmund is offered a job in Montreal, Celany breaks it off, knowing he’s not who she wants. She confronts Bryan about their feelings, but Bryan has not yet healed from being abandoned. Celany leaves, possibly changing the course of both their lives forever.

Nahyr Ruiz

 Nahyr Galaz Ruiz, originally from Querétaro, Mexico, now resides in Orange, California. Nahyr is a multi-hyphenate filmmaker who began her career as a choreographer and dancer. She founded JuxtaPosition Dance Theatre, for which she also served as artistic director. Nahyr received her BA in theatre arts and dance, with an emphasis in choreography, from CSU Los Angeles and her MFA in screenwriting and directing from Mount Saint Mary’s. Her debut feature screenplay, “Dancing with Plato,” has achieved recognition at numerous film festivals, including best drama screenplay, best first-time screenwriter, and best screenplay. Nahyr has also received recognition, including best debut director, best first-time director, best student short, best romance short, and best actress for her work on her short film “Everything I Never Said.” Most recently, she received best original story, best director, and best script in short for “El Encuentro.” Nahyr is most passionate about using all art forms in a collaboration to raise Latine voices and elevate Latine representation in every facet of the industry.

 

Keisha Phoenixx-McLeggon is a writer and actor living in Toronto. Her comedy series in development, “We Good,” is a 2022 WeScreenplay Diverse Voices Winner and was a second-rounder for the Black Boy Writes & Black Girl Writes Mentorship Initiative 2022, led by Mike Gauyo (“Insecure,” “Ginny & Georgia”) and Stage32. In addition to acting as a writing consultant on the hit show “Kim’s Convenience,” her pilot scripts and feature projects have also placed in numerous international screenwriting competitions, including ScreenCraft’s Comedy Screenplay Competition, Magee TV Diverse Screenwriters Award, and the Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Competition. Keisha is also a published co-author of “F-You: The Forgiveness Project,” (2014) by Epic Press. She is an alumnus of The Second City, where she studied improv and comedic writing. When she’s not writing, Keisha is a proud full-time source of heat for her hairless sphynx cat, as well as landlord to two disgruntled tenants, otherwise known as her children.

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4 PM - 5.30 PM
WE GOOD
written by Keisha Phoenixx-McLeggon (Toronto, Canada)

Television Pilot, Comedy

 

Influenced by her foul-mouthed, walking-Twitter-feed of an adult daughter, a naive new divorcée strives to redefine herself and single motherhood.

 

As a result of teenage pregnancy (and possibly Toronto’s ridiculous rents), we now have two women evolving under the same roof, where one is The Mommy. They’re a bit cray and definitely NOT typical; an onscreen non-traditional relationship of two Black women sharing a bloodline.

6 PM - 7.30 PM
OPPOSITE SIDES
written by Kim Broderick (Escondido, USA)

Feature Drama

 

A lesbian surgeon battles years of bullying, sexism, and homophobia to come out during the intolerant climate of the AIDS epidemic.

 

Growing up in California’s Napa Valley, Cori Clemons is bullied for being a tomboy. This doesn’t stop her from achieving her goals. Her childhood friend Pippa cheers her on. Cori attends medical school at the University of San Francisco and becomes a physician. It’s the 1970s, so sexism is prevalent. Cori struggles with her sexuality and tells Lauren, her friend and fellow medical resident, she’s gay. They watch the AIDS crisis unfold, taking countless lives. Increased homophobia leads Cori to open an AIDS wing. Cori meets Dana. They begin dating and fall in love. They move to Napa to pursue career opportunities. Dana’s a chef. Cori competes with co-worker Michael for a fellowship, under the tutelage of Dr. Finn Phineas, a renowned cardiologist. After a decade apart, Cori reconnects with Pippa. Dana pressures Cori to live openly gay, but Cori worries it could jeopardize her career. Cori tells her parents she’s gay; it does not go well. Cori befriends David, a dying AIDS patient, who helps her navigate questions regarding her faith and sexuality. David dies, and, in a twist, we learn that his partner is one of the boys that bullied Cori when she was a kid. The tug-of-war between Cori and Dana intensifies. Cori musters the courage to tell Finn, her boss, she’s gay. He threatens to fire her, but Cori’s committed to living her truth. Eventually, Cori and Dana legally and spiritually get married.

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 Kim Broderick took a circuitous route to screenwriting. More than 30 years ago, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in social and public policy from Duquesne University. She subsequently enjoyed a 25-year career in law enforcement and retired as a deputy chief probation officer in San Diego County. Throughout her career, Kim valued helping others prevail, despite unfortunate and sometimes oppressive circumstances.

Over the last five years, Kim has immersed herself in learning the craft of screenwriting. In 2021, she completed her first screenplay, “Opposite Sides.” It has placed in a number of competitions, including official selection of the 2022 Female Eye Film Festival.

Kim is passionate and committed to writing compelling stories that explore the complexities of human relationships. Her goal is to expose audiences to voices that have been traditionally ignored or excluded from the film industry. Kim lives in San Diego, California, with her wife and two dogs, Maggie and Jupiter.

 

INDUSTRY DELEGATES

DANIELA SAIONI (WGC) is a script consultant, punch-up artist, comedy screenwriter, and film and TV screenwriting teacher with a dozen awards for her screenplays, including best screenplay and best fresh voice at FeFF 2019 for “Jiyan.” comedywriting.samcart.com/products/story-editors-studio

 

Allegra Fulton is an award-winning actor and director who works in film, television, theatre, and voice-over. She can be seen as badass Jill Leblanc in “Moonshine” (CBC/GEM/Netflix), as Ann Morgan in Stephen King’s “Chapelwaite” (HBO/Crave), and as Skip, a sheriff gone wrong in the upcoming film “Cascade,” among many others currently streaming. She is delighted to be a part of the Female Eye Film Festival once again. Check her out on IMDB and at allegrafulton.com.

SCRIPT READING SERIES

SATURDAY, JUNE 11
9 AM to 7 PM
Hyatt Regency Hotel,
Studio D, 370 King St. W., Toronto

Supported by

ACTRA TORONTO.png
 

9 AM - 10.30 AM
THE LIFE OF A RAINDROP 
written by Kelly Abbott (Vancouver, Canada)

Animation Family/Comedy Feature

 

A young raindrop goes on an epic adventure to track down their parents when Kyle falls into a storm drain and Lynn is swallowed by a little girl.

 

Drip longs for adventure, but ever since their parent, Lynn, was swallowed by a human girl, their overprotective parent, Kyle, won’t let them have any fun. When Kyle falls down a grid, Drip must tackle exciting new obstacles with best friend, Drop, to reunite their family.

Kelly Abbott is a British writer and screenwriter from Vancouver, Canada. After graduating from Lancaster University with a business and management honours degree, she traded her accounting career to follow her dream and become a writer. Kelly has written two comedy manuscripts in her planned trilogy: “Fake It ’Til You Make It” and “Not Suitable for Children,” about three wonderfully flawed friends. In 2022, she graduated from Vancouver Film School, with the goal to adapt these stories to film. Two of her shorts have been made into movies: “Heartless” (2022) and “Expecting” (2022), and Kelly produced the short “Outplacement” (2022). The animated comedy “The Life of a Raindrop” is her first feature screenplay; it’s dedicated to her husband, Mark, and their two wonderful children.

Kelly Abbott

11 AM - 12.30 PM
MEDIA CIRCUS
written by Paige K Boudreau (Calgary, Canada)

Feature Drama/Thriller

 

In the wake of a disappearance during the Calgary Stampede, a media circus descends on the city. As the investigation progresses, one thing is clear: the line between work and real life is never as blurry as it is with true crime.

 

In the wake of a disappearance during the Calgary Stampede, a media circus descends on the city. Local news anchor Melanie Stark fights for ratings against rival news anchor Kent Svenson, who seems more than willing to bend ethical rules to get ahead. Melanie caves to his way of doing things and reaps both the benefits and negative side effects. Elsewhere, “big city” magazine contributor Ben Steinberg is tasked with conveying the case from a unique, anti-hero angle. A series of complicated conversations with men negatively associated with the case leads him down a rabbit hole of rooting for the “bad guys.” Podcast darlings Kasey and Kaitlin round out the story as they arrive from YEG to cover the case for their fans. Getting front-row seats to the investigation proves equal parts positive and exploitative. As the investigation progresses, one thing is clear: the line between work and real life is never as blurry as it is with true crime.

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Paige K Boudreau is a showrunner and director for documentary and scripted projects. Having begun her career in the editing suite, she has a sharp and thoughtful eye for how to craft vulnerable, compelling stories. Paige’s eccentric directorial voice shines brightest in films that include “Mallory Memphis,” “Up in Smoke,” “Nostomania,” and “The Indigo Undergo” – as well as Reelz’s true-crime docu-drama series “Friends Speak.” Currently in development for her first feature film, Paige continues to seek opportunities to collaborate with interesting people while telling meaningful stories.

 
 

12.30 PM - 1.30 PM
BREAK 

 

Kate Lockwood is an award-winning screenwriter currently living in Los Angeles. Originally from the east coast, Kate started her career as an actor before discovering her love of screenwriting. She got her BA in acting from NYU and her MFA from the East 15 Acting School in Loughton, England. Kate is passionate about female-centric storytelling and wants to use her platform to bring varied, powerful, and fascinating female characters to the screen.

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2 PM - 3.30 PM
AQUA TOFANA
written by Kate Lockwood (Los Angeles, USA)

Feature, Period Drama

 

Life in 17th-century Rome was anything but easy for women. They were owned and degraded by men and not allowed to control their own lives. That is, until one woman decides to take matters into her own hands with deadly consequences. Based on a true story.

 

Giulia Tofana is not sufficiently obedient, according to her husband, who punishes her with years of emotional and physical abuse. After a particularly brutal encounter, Giulia decides she will not tolerate her husband’s abuse any longer. With her self-taught knowledge from his apothecary and the emotional support of her new friend, a prostitute named Girolama de Spara, Giulia devises a scheme to rid them of their abusers forever – a scheme that grows as more and more women across Rome beg them to share their poisonous elixir in hopes of also being freed from the systemic violence of abusive men. Giulia and Girolama’s cadre of newly freed women does not go unnoticed, as they face scrutiny from leering male predators, panicky female compatriots, and an inquisitive detective from the Vatican, Father Dario Benedetto, who has been brought in to investigate the mysterious poisonings in Rome. Giulia must play a delicate game to keep Father Dario from suspecting her, a game that Girolama worries will cost both of them their lives. In the end, Giulia must face a monumental choice: leave Rome and enjoy her freedom with soulmate Girolama or stay and free as many women as she can before the authorities close in on her.

4 PM - 5.30 PM
CHERRIES
written by Matt Sadowski (Toronto, Canada)
and Amelia Wasserman (Sydney, Australia)

YA, Feature

 

When her rambunctious sister unexpectedly brings home a runaway pretty boy on the evening of her 18th birthday, a type-A young woman suddenly finds herself caught up in a dangerous misadventure.

 

In its seamless blend of romance, crime thrills, and dark comedy, “Cherries” feels like the love-child resulting from a threesome between John Hughes, Quentin Tarantino, and the Coen brothers. The script focuses its character study on Gertie, whose evolution from an anxiety-stricken cynical introvert to a confident heroine forms the basis of the story’s emotional thrust, but more broadly tracks all of its flawed characters in their own journeys toward self-improvement. Countless scripts overreach in conveying the idiosyncratic world of low-life criminality, but this one attempts to treat all of its personalities – from Gertie’s hedonist Irish twin sister Violet to the constant screw-up who is trying his best, Jareth, to Barbie and Fucko, a thirsty yet ambitious pair of meth-heads – with the care and sympathy typically only afforded to protagonists.

 
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Matt Sadowski is a 40-year-old former Power Ranger with ADHD and a single parent of two. His recipe for a good story is a cup of absurdity, a spoonful of suspense, a pinch of pathos, and a dash of passion, action, and hope. It should come out tasting both embarrassingly funny and, at times, achingly sad. The award-winning “Pretend We’re Kissing,” with Zoë Kravitz, is his most recently produced flick. 

 

Amelia Wasserman is a writer and producer with experience in both the scripted and unscripted worlds. She's worked as a story editor for internationally recognized reality formats including Survivor, Big Brother, and most recently Amazon's hit show, Luxe Listings. On the scripted side, Cherries, a feature comedy-action script co-written with Matt Sadowski was named a top 3 Finalist in the 2019 Slamdance Screenplay Competition. Her feature script, Adult 1.0, was also a Semi-finalist in the 2020 BlueCat Screenplay Competition.

 

Catharine’s career runs the gamut from director to writer to creative producer in both documentary television and scripted film. She’s worked as a director and writer in documentary television for broadcasters such as Discovery Canada, Smithsonian US, and History Channel Canada. Her personal, award-winning short films have been showcased at internationally renowned film festivals around the world, such as the Uppsala International Short Film Festival (Sweden), the Edmonton International Film Festival (Canada), and the Boston International Kids Film Festival (US).

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6 PM - 7.30 PM
HER GIANT SELF
written by Catharine Parke (Vancouver, Canada)

Feature Drama, Young Adult

 

A teen, faithful to her mother after an acrimonious divorce, faces a crisis of conscience when her deadbeat dad, who abandoned the family years ago, shows up with a desperate request.

 

Carla is a determined 16-year-old who thinks she has it all figured out. Heading into the rest of Grade 11 after the Christmas break, she’s on track to follow her dream: acceptance into a competitive architectural program at university once she graduates. It’s an expensive degree, and with her single mom struggling financially, Carla’s going to need top grades to win the scholarships. But her plans to focus 100% on her dream get derailed when her deadbeat dad, who left the family years ago after an acrimonious divorce, turns up with an unexpected request: his young daughter from his new family needs a bone-marrow donor to treat her leukemia. As siblings have a better chance of matching, Carla’s father expects her and her younger brother, Lindon, to become donors if they’re a match. Caught between resenting her father for abandoning the family and not wanting to betray her struggling mother, Carla must find a way to “do the right thing” without destroying the relationships of those she loves mos.

INDUSTRY GUESTS

MAUREEN DOREY-LUKIE, a freelance story editor whose production credits include “The Space Between,” by Amy Jo Johnson; “Siddharth,” by Richie Mehta; “Blackbird,” by Jason Buxton; “In Darkness,” written by David Shamoon, directed by Agnieszka Holland; and “Amal,” by Richie Mehta. Television work includes “Moccasin Flats” and “Random Passage,” an eight-hour mini-series. Story-editor-in-residence to the Canadian Film Centre’s Writers’ Lab from 2001 to 2020, she now teaches screenwriting at York University and Humber College. 

 

 

ALLEGRA FULTON, an award-winning actor and director who works in film, television, theatre, and voice-over. She can be seen as badass Jill Leblanc in “Moonshine” (CBC/GEM/Netflix), as Ann Morgan in Stephen King’s “Chapelwaite” (HBO/Crave), and as Skip, a sheriff gone wrong in the upcoming film “Cascade,” among many others currently streaming. She is delighted to be a part of the Female Eye Film Festival once again. Check her out on IMDB and at allegrafulton.com.

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Welcome to the 20th Edition of the Female Eye Film Festival! Ontario Creates is proud to be a long-time supporter of Female Eye’s professional program – including expert panels, workshops, master classes and networking sessions that support and elevate the voices of female filmmakers in the world of cinema.

Huge congratulations to everyone whose work contributes to the success of Ontario’s creative industries. From music to publishing and, of course, the screen industry – Ontario is home to an incredible wealth of talent that is thriving on the international stage.

On behalf of the Ontario Creates Board and staff, we congratulate all of the featured FeFF filmmakers as well as the festival team who’ve put together another terrific program line-up that champions and showcases women filmmakers to the world.

Wishing everyone a great festival

Karen Thorne-Stone, President and CEO, Ontario Creates.