Read NEW: Action/Adventure Feature Film Pitches

Read the best of Action/Adventure Feature Film Pitches

Submit your Screenplay to the Writing Festival Today. – Full Feedback. Get script performed by professional actors.

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CHAINED, by Simon Parker

SHOBU SAMURAI: PROJECT ARYOKU, by Shinry

PANIC-ATTACK, by Felipe Herrera

RAMBO ROBINSON, by Purna Rai

CITY WITHOUT HEROES, by Deen Gill

OPERATION COLDFEET, by Clintton C. West

FIGHT FOR LIFE, by Marty Smith

LETHAL TO KILL, by Susan McGregor

ODDS, by Ivan Efremov

ONCE UPON A DRAM (OH), by Prince-Odira Ewuzie-Phandira

THE FOURTH WAY, by Sherry Chow

BATTLE OF THE SHORT AND TALL PEOPLE, by BJ Samuel

THE BASTARD SQUAD, by Sparky McLaughlin

ODDS, by Ivan Efremov

Short Film: QUPID, 10min, Australia, Action/Romance. Playing at Best of Action/Crime Film Festival

Playing at the FEEDBACK Film Festival. Thur. April 28th. Get your FREE Tickets today

QUPID, 10min, Australia, Action/Romance
Directed by JE Flood

Kidnapped victim Roo must escape a wannabe Cupid before she is injected with an untested love syrum.

Director’s Statement:

Human beings are sexual beings and when we repress this side of ourselves there are destructive consequences. But QUPID isn’t a literal exploration of the issue. It functions as a fable, a warning against the detrimental impact of sexual repression.

Quentin (Paul Wilson) represents heteronormative society attempting to control and direct sexuality as a sy- ringe wielding Cupid. His antithesis is Roo (Sally Dulson), the story’s hero, a woman who does not allow society to deny her sexuality, nor her sexuality de ne her.

The backdrop for Quentin’s kidnappings is rural Australia, a setting heavy with ideas of tradition and somehow xed within our national psyche, despite the majority of Australians living in urban areas.

Although Australia is considered progressive on LGBTQI issues, correctional centres still operate in the country. these institutions provide “reparative therapy” for those who are supposedly suffering unwanted same-sex attraction. it is this delusion, equating homosexuality to a curable ailment, which first sparked the idea for a short film.

The consequences of Quentin’s attempt to control and direct sexuality is worn by Dominic. He is no longer a man, just an embodiment of his sex and sexuality. He exists solely to dominate Roo, without an identity. He is a warning against the detrimental impact of sexual repression.

Short Film: FANTASY FOOTBALL: A NERD’S TALE, 2min, USA, Action/Comedy. Playing at Best of Action/Crime Film Festival

Playing at the FEEDBACK Film Festival. Thur. April 28th. Get your FREE Tickets today

  MOVIE POSTERFANTASY FOOTBALL: A NERD’S TALE, 2min, USA, Action/Comedy
Directed by Joe Wesley

Two nerds have the time of their life fighting for gridiron glory against a horde of orcs, barbarians, and ogres.

Director’s Statement:

Fantasy Football, A Nerd’s Tale is what I wish Fantasy Football really was. Instead of crunching numbers and stuffing stat sheets, how much more fun would it be leading your team of Elven warriors to bloody victory on the battlefield, hacking and slashing through a horde of orc and troll linemen for a touchdown?

Film Type: Short

Genres: Fantasy, Action, Comedy, Adventure

Runtime: 2 minutes 29 seconds

Completion Date: November 10, 2015

Production Budget: 5,000 USD

Country of Origin: United States

Country of Filming: United States

Film Language: English

Shooting Format: Digital 2K

Aspect Ratio: 16:9

Film Color:Color

Short Film: KARATE GIRL BRAWL, 10min, Canada, Action/Thriller. Playing at Best of Action/Crime Film Festival

Playing at the FEEDBACK Film Festival. Thur. April 28th. Get your FREE Tickets today

  MOVIE POSTERKARATE GIRL BRAWL, 10min, Canada, Action/Thriller
Directed by Andy Hourahine

The film follows Charli Hackmann, an 18-year-old girl with a talent for finding the fight. Her violent past has helped her realize that the only enemies of worth are her inner demons, personified in this short as the BOSS. Her outer toughness means nothing to Charli, her true character is who she is in the dark and that is yet to be galvanized.

Director’s Statement:

The real battle lies within.

As a writer/director, I am drawn to themes of self-awareness, mental illness, psychology, depression, addiction, self-medication, personal triumph and tragedy. This is why when I had the chance to expand on the first micro-film, Karate Girl STREETFIGHT, I was eager to add more story and depth to the characters.

The film follows Charli Hackmann, an 18-year-old girl with a talent for finding the fight. Her violent past has helped her realize that the only enemies of worth are her inner demons, personified in this short as the BOSS. Her outer toughness means nothing to Charli, her true character is who she is in the dark and that is yet to be galvanized.

Martial arts are a fascinating subject and I have been fortunate to study them in North America, Europe, Japan, and Okinawa. I truly feel they are misunderstood and often misrepresented in the mainstream media. Old masters will tell you that it has nothing to do with fighting and everything to do with living to your fullest. I hope our endeavors here can further that message.

Production brought together the resources of many talented local individuals and I was very pleased to see so many people committed to independent film. Thanks to diligent work in pre-production, principal photography was completed by a skeleton crew in various locations over multiple days. Depsite budget and time constraints, we were still able to make use of some innovative film tools and I was pleased with how everything came together in post-production.

I wish to thank everyone in the pre-screening process for their positive feedback which has shaped the final product for the better. As well, my sincere thanks to a great cast and crew for bringing this short story to life; especially the beautiful and talented Julia Hourahine who showed strength, maturity, and professionalism well beyond her years as she smiled through the punches, kicks, slams, yanks, and long night shoots.

Short Film: ACROPHOBIA, 3min, Switzerland, Action/Documentary. Playing at Best of Action/Crime Film Festival

Playing at the FEEDBACK Film Festival. Thur. April 28th. Get your FREE Tickets today

ACROPHOBIA, 3min, Switzerland, Action/Documentary
Directed by Philippe Woodtli

Acrophobia is about a BASE jumper that is afraid of heights. He has to overcome his deepest fear before every single jump.

Film Type: Experimental, Short

Genres: Extreme Sports, Base Jumping, Parachute, Afraid of heights

Runtime: 2 minutes 52 seconds

Completion Date: December 1, 2015

Production Budget: 8,000 EUR

Country of Origin: Switzerland

Country of Filming: Italy

Film Language: English

Shooting Format: Digital, 1080p, 4k, Slow Motion

Aspect Ratio: 1:2.35

Film Color:Color

Director’s Statement:

Do it or do not… there is no try 😉

Read best of Interviews with Top Hollywood Directors, DPs, Editors, Film Festival Directors

WILDsound Festival

Read the best of Interviews with Top Hollywood Talent and New Film Festivals from around the world:

Go to: https://matthewtoffolo.com/

Interview with High-Rise Director Ben Wheatley:
Interview with Director Ben Wheatley (HIGH-RISE)

Interview with Trent Opaloch: DP of Captain America: Civil War:
Interview with Cinematographer Trent Opaloch (Captain America: Civil War)

Interview with Julio Macat: DP of Home Alone & Wedding Crashers:
Interview with Cinematographer Julio Macat (Home Alone, Wedding Crashers, The Boss)

Interview with Oscar Winner Alan Heim: Editor of All That Jazz & Network:
Interview with Oscar Winning Editor Alan Heim (All That Jazz, Network)

Interview with Cristiano Donzeli: Storyboard Artist Ben-Hur & The Young Messiah:
Interview with Storyboard Artist Cristiano Donzelli (Ben-Hur, The Young Messiah)

Interview with Adam Kirley: Stunt Performer Batman Begins & Casino Royale:
Interview with Stunt Performer Adam Kirley (Batman Begins, Casino Royale, Grimsby)

Interview with Student Cuts Film Festival:
Interview with Festival Director Jaka Polutnik (Student Cuts Film Festival)

Interview…

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April 24th Writing Festival Details

WILDsound Festival

This week’s writing festival is showcasing the best of TV screenplays from around the world. We are showcasing a Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV PILOT, a Sitcom/Comedy TV PILOT, and a spec screenplay from the hit television show “The Mindy Project”.

Here are the details of the scripts we’ll be performing: 

#1 TV PILOT: THE REAPER: REBELLION “AFTERLIFE” by Mark S. MacDonald and Darsey Meredith

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Synopsis: 

Eva, who may or may not be Eve from the Book of Genesis, inadvertently creates Death in the world by inciting her siblings and lover to eat the Divine Apple from the Tree of Life.  It’s an interesting spin on the immortal story about how the humans lost paradise and incurred the wrath of God.

#2 TV PILOT: SMITHEREENS by Hersh Rephun

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Synopsis: 

The story of a man, in pieces: This one-hour episodic dramedy series chronicles the journey of a man fished out…

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Movie Review: THE DEPARTED (2006)

Tribute review as today is Jack Nicholson’s 79th birthday.

thedepartedposter.jpgTHE DEPARTED, 2006
Movie Reviews

Directed by Martin Scorsese

Starring: Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Alec Baldwin, Anthony Anderson
Review by Surinder Singh

SYNOPSIS:

New recruits: Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) join the Boston State Police Department. Costigan is sent undercover to be a mole in the Irish Mafia led by fearsome mob boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). But Costello has a man working in the Police Department… Detective Colin Sullivan! As both Costigan and Sullivan pass information over to the opposite sides both the Mob and the Police start to realize they may have a “rat” in the house! A deadly game of hide and seek ensues with both cops and mobsters trying to flush out their informants. And as the body count raises the line between criminal and cop begins to blur because: “when you’re facing a loaded gun… what’s the difference?”

REVIEW:

After the internationally successful Alan Mak and Wai-keung Lau thriller Infernal Affairs (2002) Hollywood decided to make one of it’s own! Remakes are by definition problematic in popular cinema. The most common problem that arises is that people find the original to be stronger making the remake pretty much obsolete. Gus Van Sant’s Psycho (1998) is a prime example of this problem, it was widely rejected despite having an accomplished director and cast behind the project. Making a movie is hard enough, but making a movie in the shadow of another that already has a strong following makes the job arguably less of a commercial risk for the backers but much more of a risk creatively for the filmmakers.

When you look at the cast sheet for The Departed you have to be impressed! Why has so much talent lined up to be in just one movie? The answer is simple… it’s a Martin Scorsese picture! Leonardo DiCaprio had already been forging a strong creative relationship with the director but The Departed welcomed a host of actors old and new onto their first Martin Scorsese film! Veterans like Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen and Ray Winstone take hold of their roles with a clear sense of relish, they are working with one of the greatest “actor’s directors” in Hollywood. Scorsese has always displayed a passion for screen acting in his process; understanding how important character and performance are to film drama. Scorsese is the director who famously discussed in detail with De Niro how the character Travis Bickle would tie a knot in Taxi Driver (1976) and with The Departed he delivers a master class in how to direct an ensemble cast.

Nicholson’s Costello opens the movie with a reverent voice-over that clearly states his worldview. One can instantly see Costello’s kinship with the Scorsese mobsters of Goodfellas (1990) and Casino (1995). Like many other film fanatics I had been waiting feverishly for Nicholson and Scorsese to get together and Costello is the right character for the collaboration! A father figure to both Costigan and Sullivan, Costello repeatedly reminds both men of his threat: “Don’t disappoint me on this or some other guy will be putting their fat cock up little Miss Freud’s ass.” Nicholson spruces up every line with devilish style that quite literally allows him to get away with murder! Nicholson fits perfectly into a Scorsese movie and let’s face it, it’s hard to go wrong when you cast Jack Nicholson!

As opponents, Damon and DiCaprio are nothing short of remarkable on screen. Taking into account the acting royalty that surrounds them; both actors (the operative word) are always the most compelling characters on screen. DiCaprio really shines in his scenes with police shrink (and mutual love interest) Madolyn (Vera Farmiga). Acting as the emotional go-between of Costigan and Sullivan she is the one person we see the hard-faced Costigan open up to. DiCaprio gradually peals back Costigan’s tough outer layers showing us how vulnerable he really is. He has to play the tough gangster when undercover, but inside Costigan is fragile and very lonely. It’s clear to see why DiCaprio has worked so hard at building a creative partnership with Scorsese as this allows him the best possible working environment to advance further in his career as a screen actor.

Then, there’s Matt Damon’s Sullivan. Perhaps the least glamorous role in the movie: a smug, impotent cop that’s betraying everyone in his life. Sullivan could quite easily be off putting to an audience. It’s a testament to Matt Damon’s ability that he makes Sullivan an entertaining not to mention compelling character to watch. Damon plays Sullivan’s all-important smarts magnificently, he shows us that Sullivan is a person that is well aware of his strengths and gets a real kick out of being able to outsmart those around him: “Just trust me Frank. Hey, it fucking involves lying and I’m pretty fucking good at that. Right?” Damon is an actor who can play opposite any other actor and hold his own. His scenes with heavyweights like Baldwin and Nicholson show what an assured and controlled actor he is.

Martin Sheen plays the honest Captain Queenan with a near saintly good nature. He’s the centre of justice and morality that constantly reminds us what a cop should be like. Baldwin plays up to type as Captain Ellerby, there’s something instantly commanding about Baldwin when he walks onto screen as the boss of the operation. But the real star in the supporting cast is Staff Sergeant Dignam (Mark Wahlberg). The script gives Wahlberg some real gems to work with, his cynical and unconventional approach to his work are brilliant: “If you had an idea of what we do, we would not be good at what we do, now would we? We would be cunts. Are you calling us cunts?” Like Queenan, Dignam is a rare breed that’s incorruptible to the end. You have to admire Wahlberg’s ability with the material although having grown up in Boston he was able to use his real-life background to inform the role and play Dignam with authenticity.

The Departed moves at an exciting pace with plenty of action and suspense to validate its one hundred and fifty one minute running time. While Scorsese is famed for his personal approach to the cinema, he does deliver the goods when making straightforward genre pieces like this. Take the scene where Costigan follows Sullivan out of the cinema to get a visual identification. Scorsese constructs a wonderful chase sequence with added brains as both men use their senses and smarts with equal measure. The scene is pure cinema: a story told in images and not merely dropped into the film to avoid audience boredom. Rather, it’s an integral part of Costigan and Sullivan closing in on each other. Both men are within an inch of making each other that puts us on the edge of our seat!

It’s worth noting that The Departed was the film that finally gave Scorsese the Best Picture and Best Director Oscar. Many still believe that the Oscar should have been given to Goodfellas (a film that single handedly defined nineties Hollywood cinema) and/or for his work in the seventies. But if you look closely at The Departed there are a great many references to his past work. To use music as an analogy, if Scorsese’s earlier works were the “great albums” containing the peak of his talent, then The Departed is like the ‘Greatest Hits’ album of his career that revisits all his best songs. In The Departed we see many references to Scorsese’s past films: the young boy aspiring to be like the neighborhood gangster and then being recruited by him (Goodfellas). The scene in the porno theatre: a clear nod to Taxi Driver. Costigan’s initiation into the gang by way of a fight in the bar: Gangs of New York (2002) and of course the (unspoken) connection Sullivan has to the Catholic Church which brings to mind Mean Streets (1973)… to name just a few.

In the end, the more I watch the movie (and it does demand more than one viewing) the more I appreciate what I love about so much about Scorsese movies: the humor. Tarantino once commented that if you were to listen to the sound of an audience watching Raging Bull (1980) you might think they were watching a comedy! The Departed does contain tragedy and brutal violence all of which is not funny, however around the corner from violence and conflict you can normally find humor. The little comic routines run thick and fast as relief from the more intense parts of the movie. Take the comic routine between Baldwin and Wahlberg:

Ellerby: Go fuck yourself!
Dignam: I’m tired from fucking your wife.
Ellerby: How is your mother?
Dignam: Good, she’s tired from fucking my father.

The Departed is nothing short of a great movie. A piece of work that celebrates some of Hollywood’s best filmmakers (meaning everyone who worked on the film) and is a testament to one of the greatest directors ever to work in Hollywood… see it, see it again and again and again!

thedeparted1.jpg

Movie Review: CHINATOWN (1974)

Crime/Mystery Film & Writing Festival

Tribute review as today is Jack Nicholson’s 79th birthday.


chinatownposter.jpgCHINATOWN, 1974
Movie Reviews

Directed by Roman Polanski
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Diane Ladd
Review by Tom Coatsworth

SYNOPSIS:
A private detective investigating an adultery case stumbles on to a scheme of murder that has something to do with water.

OSCAR WINNER for Best Original Screenplay

Nominated for 10 other OSCARS including Best Picture, Best Director (Polanski), Best Actor (Nicholson) and Best Actress (Dunaway)

REVIEW:
(Spoiler Alert)

Polanski has considered this his greatest film and it’s hard to argue, many see it among the best of the 1970’s — a seminal decade for Hollywood. It’s difficult to say precisely what works with Chinatown except that everything works with Chinatown. It was nominated for 11 Oscars. Cinematography – it’s wonderful to look at – the gold of the California Dream contrasting with blacks and browns in nearly every frame…

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Movie Review: The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016)

Festival Reviews

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

the_huntsman_winters_war.jpgTHE HUNTSMAN – WINTER’S WAR (USA 2016) **
Directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Jessica Chastain, Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt

Review by Gilbert Seah

The prequel to SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN is a film that is written for no reason but as an excuse to milk the box-office for more money in the fairy tale blockbuster special effects genre. The plot involves the sister, Freya (Emily Blunt) of the Evil Queen, Ravenna (Charleze Theron) that was the enemy of Snow White, becoming queen and training kidnapped children to be her army so that she can conquer more lands. Her Kingdom has only one rule – no love is allowed.
Love inevitably blossoms between two children that grow up to become Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain. Eric and Sara marry in their own way. The Ice…

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