See how our featured writers' involvement with the ISA has propelled their careers.
featured SCREENWRITERSSearch Success Stories
KILLING WINSTON JONES starring Richard Dreyfuss, Danny Glover, and Danny Glover is coming to a theater near you!
KT Parker's epic action-drama "Africa As You Like It" was named a quarter-finalist in Final Draft's 2014 Big Break Contest, her screen story for feature film "Annapurna" came second in the John Yorke's (Comany Pictures) "Into The Woods" competition and her evocative period ghost story "Dowl's Mill" won Best Horror Script in Julie Gray's "Just Effing Entertain Me" competition - announced September 2014.
Kenneth Kemp's International crime drama, ATTACHÉ, won BEST PILOT in the 2014 Scriptapalooza TV writing competition. As part of the prize, Scriptapalooza will be sending Ken's pilot script out to 25 well-known television producers.
FEATURED PODCASTS (show more)
In this day and age where virtually anyone can shoot a movie on their iPhone, edit it on their iMac and self-distribute it through platforms such as "Distribber" and "Reelhouse," it would be a gross understatement to say that the independent feature film market has experienced a seismic paradigm shift over the past decade.
Although there once was a time when a writer/producer/director could and would pitch a script or story idea to potential funding source and get a check, those days are essentially over. In this new age, investors are savvier than ever and expect filmmakers to understand the financing and distribution models. Contrary to popular belief, for the most part, investors do not exist in order to help you get your project off the ground or launch your career; they exist to make money!
Therefore, it is your responsibility to present them with a logical, well thought out strategy for not only recouping their investment but to also make a significant profit. I know this sounds like common sense. However, the truth is, most first and second time filmmakers spend 100% of their time and energy trying to figure out how much they need, how they are going to spend it and where they are going to get it and 0% time trying to figure out how to get it back!
The key to successful film financing is to spend the appropriate amount of time, money and resources properly developing your project into an "investable" property - not just a great story.
After a decade of successful filmmaking, over 25 film credits and after making a zillion mistakes of his own, Executive Producer Franco Sama will share his wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise with you and will help to put you in the driver's seat of your own destiny as a filmmaker.
Franco Sama Bio:
Independent feature film producer Franco Sama boasts a remarkable and extensive history in public speaking, public relations and a decade of independent film development, production and financing.
Sama has Executive Produced an impressive array of over twenty (20) independent feature films including most recently, Guns, Girls and Gambling starring Gary Oldman, Christian Slater and Dane Cook which is quickly becoming a cult favorite; this film was released into theatres on December of 2012 and, in January 2013, acquired a worldwide distribution deal from Universal Pictures Home Video.
Other films Sama has produced include; Black Limousine starring David Arquette, Vivica Fox and Bijou Phillips, Tooth and Nail starring Michael Madsen and Vinnie Jones, The Penitent Man, starring Lance Henriksen and Andrew Keegan and Paid, starring Corbin Bernsen and Tom Conti.
Sama also serves as Executive Producer on the recent film festival darling Petunia starring Thora Birch, Brittany Snow and Academy Award winner Christine Lahti.
Samaco Films released two films in 2015, the first, The Livingston Gardner stars James Kyson the beloved Ando from the NBC television hit series Heroes and the second, 3 Days in Havana starring Ally McBeal alum, Gil Bellows; both films have been released through Samaco Films' sister company, Synergetic Distribution and have been released via all digital and Video on Demand (VOD) platforms worldwide.
Open Road Films
Open Road Films, founded in 2011, is a leading, independent, theatrical motion picture company, releasing a diverse slate of star-driven films which has included multiple #1 releases.
ISA Spotlight: Fast Track Fellow & Contest Winner, Hennah Sekandary
In a 2017 edition of the ISA Spotlight, the ISA Development Program is highlighting six of our star writers in conversation with the co-head of the Development Program, and writing coach, Max Timm. Get To Know Hennah: Hennah Sekandary was raised in Southern California. Her parents emigrated to the U.S. from Kabul, Afghanistan during the Soviet Invasion. Upon entering the country, her family moved to Virginia before putting down roots in California. Hennah started writing at a young age, selling hand drawn comic strips to her classmates for five dollars a pop. She was later awarded a full scholarship to attend New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Upon graduating she received the Michael Collyer Memorial Fellowship in Screenwriting for her proposed script about the L.A. Riots. The finished product would later win first place in The American Zoetrope screenwriting contest as well as the ISA Fast Track Fellowship.
His shingle Samaco Films is currently producing a slate of several independent feature films, including Bless Me Father starring John Turturro, Michael Rapaport and Christopher Walken.
Currently a star in the ISA's Development Program, Hennah is working on a feature-length sci-fi thriller and a one-hour pilot centering around the always-controversial death penalty.The Black List The Black List is where filmmakers find great material to make films and great material finds filmmakers to make them. Over 225 Black List screenplays have been made as feature films. Byte Media Productions LLC Byte Media Productions LLC produces comedic entertainment including our most recent pilot, "Byte Me". We all have "bite me" moments and we decided to find the humor in ours. Independent Film Talk with SPOTLIGHT Producer, Blye Faust
I recently had the pleasure of talking to producer, Blye Faust - it was a great way to kick off the new year with not only an informative and inspiring interview, but to focus on a producer who found a story about writers and felt the need to tell it. Because at the heart of her movie, Spotlight, is a story about investigative journalists following their instincts, believing in the story they were telling, and the "why' such a story needed to be told. The obvious moral implications of Spotlight are numerous, but I love that the film is more focused on the now rare art of investigative journalism. Her film could have very easily swung toward the shocking and the extreme (and in case you don't know yet, Spotlight focuses on the devastating news story about the rampant child abuse issues inside the Catholic church), but Spotlight didn't go that route. In this interview we discuss her journey of bringing Spotlight to life, and get her invaluable advice for aspiring producers and filmmakers even beyond her Spotlight journey.
It's a new year, and with the calendar flipping over, the ISA is motivated and determined to bring you the most helpful and supportive content in the industry - not just through our podcast series, but by way of individually supporting writers. There are so many exciting things happening with the ISA, and I myself am thrilled to be a part of it. We're very thankful that Blye was able to take some time out of her busy award season schedule, and we're all cheering her on as 2016 begins. Stay tuned to all things ISA through our website, or via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook - there are plenty of ways to stay in touch, so we urge you to do so. You can find me on the same social media channels as well as I look forward to my novel's release in April - and yes, that is a little plug of self-promotion.
Crystal Palace Int'l Film Festival
Promoting independent filmmakers and talent from around the world. Organized by Harlequin Productions in London.
Unofficial Google+ Film Festival
We are a live, online, interactive, global, short film festival that extends and broadens viewers outside the common film festival experience and allows a much larger audience to enjoy.
Interview with Director / Writer Afonso Poyart, Two Rabbits
Thanks for listening, everyone, and we're excited to get 2016 started. Enjoy the interview and happy new year.
SYS Podcast Episode 114:
Director / Screenwriter Afonso Poyart talks about his film Two Rabbits.ISA Reviews: HBO's Westworld
Westworld is an enigmatic mystery that keeps us guessing.
The new HBO series does more than just re-imagine Michael Crichton's 1973 cult movie Westworld as a deeper and more philosophical examination of modern technology. It also confounds most of the rules of narrative in a television series. Almost every character at work and at play in the westernized adult theme park remains enigmatic eight hours into the 10-episode season. Multiple timelines may be at play, though they've yet to be clearly stated. And just what the maze at the center of the show means is anybody's guess. Maybe because so much is left to the viewer to decide and decipher, it's become the ‘water cooler' show of the fall season. Is it about robots becoming human, or God complexes or something else? Hard to say, but no matter where it's all going, it is utterly enthralling television. And we anxiously await its answers.A Night of Horror Film Festival The festival remains dedicated to screening and promoting the work of independent filmmakers working in the horror genre in both Australia and abroad. Big Bear Lake Int'l Film Festival Presenting the emerging talents of independent filmmakers and screenwriters. Rhode Island Film and TV Office To promote Rhode Island as the ideal site for film and television projects, and to help our state's film and video artists, and others, benefit from their filmmaking experience in t Glass Page Books Small Press Breaking In & Creating Longevity with Veteran, Matthew Penn & Max Timm
Being first in line of a bunch of new interviews focused around the world of television, I recently brought on long-time TV director and producer, Matthew Penn. From NYPD Blue, Law & Order, House and so many more, Matthew has recently directed episodes of Orange is the New Black, Damages, and he is the Co-Executive Producer of the upcoming USA Drama, Queen of the South, which from the sounds of it, will be an intricate character-driven story and likely a hit among audiences.
We pulled back the curtain on so many topics in this interview, but his advice for young writers, and what he's learned from working with legends like Glenn Close, and his multiple Oscar nominee father, (Arthur Penn of Bonnie & Clyde, and The Miracle Worker), the knowledge that can be gleaned from this Podcast is, dare I say, priceless.American Film Institute (AFI) AFI is a national institute providing leadership in screen education and the recognition and celebration of excellence in the art of film, television and digital media. Summit Talent & Literary Agency 9454 Wilshire Blvd Ste 203 Beverly Hills, CA 90212 (310) 205-9730. The agency represents actors, singers and writers. It will prepare all contracts between the producers and the tale JUMPTHECUT JUMPTHECUT is the cinephile equivalent of Pandora Radio. A free, automated short film recommendation playlist sent directly to our subscribers' inboxes every month. Los Angeles Film Review Independent Film Awards The Los Angeles Film Review is an entertainment news, review and technology website, devoted to the film industry. We wanted to bring an industry level view of the broader film industry