CHICAGO — This fall, Pride Films and Plays’ developmental work with writers from around the country continues with Gay Film Weekend for new screenplay development. Five finalists have been named in PFP’s 2016 Great Gay Screenplay Contest, an international contest for screenplays with LGBT characters and themes.
The five screenplays will be performed as enhanced staged readings from November 11 to 13, 2016 during Gay Film Weekend at Center on Halsted’s Hoover-Leppen Theatre. Tickets for the readings are pay-what-you-can at the door, and each reading is followed by a discussion with the director and the actors in the reading, and the screenwriter.
Gay Film Weekend concludes with Queer Bits Fall Film Fest III on Sunday, November 13 at 7pm at Public House Theater.
Friday, November 11, 7pm (Sideways Down the Sky by Barry Brennessel, directed by Christopher Young)
Saturday, November 12, 2pm (Baby Steps by Rebecca Semik, directed by Julia Rufo)
Saturday, November 12, 7pm (J’ai Fait by Edward Jordon, directed by David Mor)
Sunday, November 13, 11am (Happy Anniversary by Simon Graves, directed by Matt Dominguez)
Sunday, November 13, 330pm (Paradise at Main and Elm by Barry Brennessel, directed by Dan Pal)
Below are synopses of the screenplays and bios of the screenwriters.
“Baby Steps” by Rebecca Semik
Rebecca Semik’s a Boston University Screenwriting MFA candidate and an alum of TCU. She writes in the “dramedy” genre, believing life shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
Kat tries to prove everyone—including herself—that she’s no longer in love with her best friend Emma. An ensemble cast of young adults takes baby steps to move forward.
“Paradise at Main and Elm” by Barry Brennessel
Barry’s novels Tinseltown and The Celestial were both Lambda Literary Awards finalists. His novel Sideways Down the Sky was a Ferro-Grumley Award finalist. He has won 1st Place in the Rhode Island International Screenplay Competition and 3rd Place in the Scriptapalooza TV Writing Competition.
Adrian Stockwell’s childhood was left void by apathy; Ezra Cherevin’s upended by violence. A shared passion for literature brings them together. But their journey is filled with personal potholes. Can these young men learn to navigate a sea of challenges? And can the people in their lives do the same?
“Happy Anniversary” by Simon Graves
Simon Graves is an author of horror and science fiction prose breaking into screenwriting. Best known for his short story collection FIND’M, he currently haunts Norfolk, Virginia.
Ignored, neglected, and convinced his partner is being unfaithful, Bo follows Elliot one night to find the truth. But what happens when he gets the answers he’s been searching for?
“Sideways Down the Sky” by Barry Brennessel
A teenager suffers through a cataclysmic event. Special bonds are borne. A rent boy’s hardened heart melts when he meets a sexy, buoyant stranger. In the land of snow monsters and steam baths, complex characters as diverse as the Japanese terrain experience lust, loss, and love. And hope springs anew when the moon slips sideways down the sky.
“J’ai Fait” by Edward Jordon
Edward Jordon wrote BOLLYWOOD AND VINE (the film) and the book for its stage musical adaptation. As screenwriter, he has worked for Sally Field and Renee Missel.
The romantic dramedy, J’AI FAIT, takes marriage equality to a whole new level as an NYU professor travels to Paris for a ground-breaking wedding.
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