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Drama

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WATER SKY
Log line
An Inupiat Eskimo teen escapes the abuse of an adoptive father, but an unwelcome reconciliation attempt by his birth mother leads to a violent drinking binge landing him in Barrow, Alaska, in the custody of his Inupiat great-grandmother. There he learns to forgive and embrace his Inupiat heritage.

SYNOPSIS


Following years of physical abusive from his White adoptive father, eighteen year old Inupiat Eskimo David Stewart escapes and makes a new life for himself on an Indian reservation in Minnesota. His learns to control his alcoholism and tries his hand at writing. An article he writes is published in Indian Times magazine, and leads to a cover photo and an interview in Todayís Writers magazine.

Sarah Preston lives in Barrow, Alaska, and teaches English in the local high school. Picking up her monthly copy of Todayís Writers at the post office, she is stunned to recognize Davidís picture on the cover. Even the postmistress comments that David looks exactly like the father of the son Sarah gave up for adoption 18 years earlier. The interview confirms that David was born in Barrow on her sonís date of birth.

Thrilled at the thought of re-establishing a mother/son relationship, Sarah writes to David. She is confused and hurt by his refusal to have anything to do with her, and horrified when her letters cause David's life to spiral out of control. When a drunken attack on a friend lands David in jail, Sarah convinces the judge to parole David in her custody and the custody of his Inupiat great-grandmother. Faced with parole in Barrow or five years in prison, David reluctantly accompanies his mother to Barrow.

David does not understand his feisty great-grandmother Bessie and her Inupiat philosophy of living, but he responds to her quiet understanding of him. Under her gentle guidance, he struggles to find self-acceptance and the ability to forgive his mother. Bessie insists upon calling him by his birth name, Simon Holt, the name of his father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Her place in the community gives David an acceptance there which he has never known before. With her help, David slowly learns to accept the circumstances of his adoption.

David becomes close friends with Bill Napeak, a thoroughly modern young man with a strong grounding in the Inupiat way of life. He holds down a job, plays basketball in his spare time, and is a member of his fatherís whaling crew.

David learns from Bill that David's father drowned on a whaling expedition saving Billís fatherís life. Through a growing friendship with Bill and his father Nate, David moves slowly into the daily life of Eskimo culture. When Bill's sister Jenny returns from college Outside, she and David begin dating. From her, David begins to understand what love is and what it requires to thrive.
Davidís relationship with Sarah remains rocky. He resents the fact that she is well-liked in the community despite what he considers her inexcusable abandonment of him. Through Bessie's quiet counseling, he begins to understand Sarah, and when Bessie dies, he and Sarah begin to recover together.

Sarah gives David a box of the letters she has been writing to him since his birth, but his flashbacks of his isolated childhood and the pain of his physical abuse drive him to a drinking binge. What could have spelled disaster and a return to jail in Minnesota is accepted as a mistake, and David remains in Barrow.

When the fall whaling season arrives, Nate asks David to join his crew. David is thrilled by this acceptance into the community, but decides not to tell Sarah. Just before they leave on the first day of whaling, Sarah hears from Nateís wife, Hannah, that David is not just helping with the preparations, but is an active member of the crew. She runs to the beach and sees Nateís boat in the distance, heading out for the hunt.

Sarahís fears that David will be killed just as his father was before Davidís birth seem justified when David and Bill are thrown from the whaling boat into the frigid Arctic Ocean. Sarah hears the rescue helicopter leave town and rushes to the beach, fearful of what she will find. The helicopter returns with mechanical problems and without the men, and Sarah commandeers a small boat to head out herself to find David.

When the repaired helicopter returns to Barrow, it carries a grieving David and Billís body. David is stunned to hear that Sarah has gone out to search for him and suffers an agonizing wait until her small boat returns safely to the beach. The shock of being unable to save Bill's life, the guilt and despair it produces in him, and the fear that Sarah would die trying to rescue him helps David to understand and forgive his mother.

Finally, this abrupt collision with life and death in the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean cements Davidís understanding of himself and helps him decide where he finally belongs. Using the name Simon Holt, sober, and embracing his Inupiat heritage, he is ready to take his rightful place in the community of Barrow.

Author: Chris Boone Contact Author


SINS OF THE HEART (Contemporary Noirish detective drama)

Log Line:

When an entertainment icon puts out a hit on his wife that goes horribly wrong, a homicide detective must find the hitman before he strikes again, while struggling to decide whether he should kill his own father.

Synopsis:

While trying to solve a particularly ghastly and seemingly senseless mass murder, homicide detective sergeant NICO DE LEON must also grapple with two overwhelming personal problems -- how to respond to the plea for a mercy killing from his terminally ill father, DR. JULIO DE LEON, and how to restore his own broken marriage to crime scene investigator NORMA CARLOS.

Nico loves his father, but Julio is dying slowly and painfully of lung cancer and begs Nico to kill him. Nico, who's been known to bend the law or manipulate people for what he believes to be a worthy purpose, must decide whether he can bring himself to do what his father asks and, if so, must figure out how to do it in a way that will be painless for his father and won't get him caught.

But Nico can't go it alone. Nico loves and resents his older brother, Jesuit priest FATHER MARCO DE LEON, whose approval he has always craved (and has treasured the few times it was forthcoming). Now, Nico wants his brother to give him the okay to carry out their father''s wish, something the straight-arrow priest can't and won't do.

Though Marco thinks his kid brother is "a smart-ass" and Nico considers his big brother "a goody two-shoes," the brothers De Leon genuinely love one another, though if they hadn't been related by blood, they would never have been friends. As it is, a longstanding sibling rivalry, as well as antithetical moral codes and personalities, usually finds them butting heads. Now, they find themselves on opposite sides of the biggest issue that has ever divided them.

Nico's marriage to Norma Carlos broke up because he was too dedicated to his job -- or, as she puts it, "You were never there" -- and because she disapproved of his reliance on situational ethics. Nevertheless, there's an undeniable chemistry between them and they still carry a torch for each other. They both want to give the relationship a second chance, but Nico is too focused on trying to end his father's suffering and Norma doesn't want to wind up a two-time loser.

Since they work in the same building (Police Department Headquarters in the Hato Rey section of San Juan, Puerto Rico) and the nature of their jobs frequently throws them together, they continue to interact in a friendly, if wary, way, while each cautiously seeks a path that might bring them back together.

At work, Norma becomes friendly with a beautiful newsstand attendant, VICKY RODR?GUEZ. When Norma mentions what Nico's father wants his son to do for him, Vicky lets slip that she served time in prison for giving in to a similar entreaty from her own mother.

Bronx-born drug dealer MANATEE OJEDA is Nico's key underworld informant. Manatee fell in love with his cellmate, CANO EL LOBO, while doing a stretch in local prison for possession of cocaine with intent. Now, Manatee needs to get enough money to pay for the sex-change operation which is Cano's lifelong dream, but his supplier, JOHNNY LA PERLA, catches him skimming and demands the return of double the amount stolen in exchange for sparing his life, which leaves Manatee strapped for cash.

Manatee knows he'd better play straight with Johnny from now on. Though Johnny can be unexpectedly sentimental about love and self-sacrifice, he can be icily ruthless when he thinks he's been crossed -- and he gives only one second chance.

JUAN MANUEL "JUANMA" CARRASQUILLO was an international teen idol as a pop singer in his 20s. Now that he's in his 50s, he's considered one of the Island's musical icons, a "national treasure" who still packs them in for every performance at whatever nightclub he graces. Smooth and sophisticated -- and something of an alcoholic and "recreational" cokehead -- Juanma employs his good looks, talent, and charisma in relentless pursuit of "a little action on the side," all in an attempt to stifle his fear of growing old, unattractive, and unloved.

Juanma and Nico have known each other since the time eight years earlier when Nico was assigned the task of tracking down the trio who kidnapped and murdered Juanma's then ten-year-old daughter, Jessica. Now, Juanma has fallen head over heels for beautiful YADIRA CINTRON, a hotshot criminal lawyer whose client list includes Johnny La Perla.

As a teenager, Yadira idolized then-international pop sensation Juanma Carrasquillo. Now that she's actually met him and gotten the chance to live out a fan's secret fantasies, she finds herself swept off her feet. Once the initial excitement wears off, though, Yadira tells Juanma she canít go on sleeping with a married man and lays down the law: no more sex until he divorces his wife, LULY DUARTE, owner of one of the Island''s top advertising agencies -- no ifs, ands, buts, or pleases.

Luly, who has put up with Juanma's cheating for twenty-six years, refuses to grant him the divorce he wants more than anything, because being the wife of a beloved celebrity means more to her self-esteem than any damage his infidelities could ever inflict. This despite the fact that she's an attractive, elegant, and successful businesswoman who pulls down considerably more money than he does.
Smitten with his mistress and pissed off at his wife, Juanma approaches his drug dealer, Manatee Ojeda, about recommending a hitman to whack Luly -- something Yadira knows nothing about.

Trapped between a rock and a hard place by Johnny La Perla's demand for double restitution, Manatee takes on the job himself for a quick $30,000 -- half in advance, half on completion -- even though he's never killed anyone before. Manatee promises Cano -- whom we discover is the person we know as Vicky, the beautiful newsstand attendant from police headquarters -- that he'll soon have the money for her long desired sex-change operation, although he doesn''t reveal how he intends to get it.

Juanma's plan calls for Manatee to visit Luly''s advertising agency during lunch hour, when the place should be deserted, except for Luly, who usually brown-bags it in her office suite. Manatee decides to take along some extra muscle in the form of PAPOTE GAZTAMBIDE, a young junkie who''s into him for a lot of money.

The grandson of respected and well-to-do JUDGE CARMEN GAZTAMBIDE, Papote has known from his earliest years that his father died from drug abuse and that there's a good chance he inherited his dad's addictive personality. Choosing to ignore these warnings, Papote has developed an expensive coke habit that has turned him into the most desperate of junkies, an addict who will do almost anything for his next line, including agreeing to help Manatee carry out the hit on Luly.

The day of the hit, though, Papote and Manatee get impatient, enter Luly's ad agency earlier than planned, and wind up gunning down not just one woman, but four. When Manatee tries to collect the remainder of his fee, Juanma won't pay because none of the women was Luly, who hadn't yet returned from a meeting with a client outside the agency. Worse, one of the murdered women is Juanma's mistress, Yadira Cintron, who, without telling Juanma, had chosen that particular day to show up unannounced at Luly's agency, planning to confront her with the news of Juanma''s infidelity in hopes of forcing her to grant him the divorce.

When Juanma won't budge on paying the second installment and threatens to go to the cops instead, Manatee comes up with a new angle and backs down. At a meeting with Luly, he reveals Juanma's murder plot and, in exchange for $30,000 upfront, offers to whack Juanma before Juanma can hire someone else to finish the job on her.

Though she won't grant Juanma his freedom, neither will Luly forgive him for leaving their daughter alone the day the child was kidnapped while waiting in Juanma''s car outside the apartment of one of his many girlfriends, which he'd ducked into for a quickie on the way home from Jessica's grade school. Frightened and angry, Luly coughs up Manatee''s fee.

Soon, though, Luly regrets her decision. She contacts Nico, who has been investigating what the media have taken to calling "the Agency Massacre," and pleads with him to stop Manatee from carrying out the contract on Juanma. Nico warns Juanma, but the singer pays no heed, walks into an ambush, and gets himself executed, gang-style, by Manatee.

Though she doesn't know where the money came from, Vicky is ecstatic when, during a surprise romantic dinner that night, Manatee presents her with the cash for her operation in Santo Domingo.

Papote's girlfriend, SELENA MORAN, is a good-hearted working-class girl whose once-beautiful face and body have been ravaged by drugs. Now that she's discovered that she's pregnant, she's determined to get clean for their baby's sake and threatens to leave Papote if he doesn't get clean, too.

Despite the harsh hand life has dealt him, at his core Papote Gaztambide remains a sweet kid who is desperate to escape the dead-end his life has turned into. When he finds out Selena is carrying his child, he agrees to get straight so they can marry and raise the boy as part of a normal family, and turns to his grandmother for help.

Though single grandmother Judge Carmen Gaztambide failed to keep her grandson off drugs, she's still determined to do anything she can to save him. When Papote confesses to her he's been involved in a mass murder, she turns to old friend Nico De Leon, who agrees to help. But before Nico can speak with Papote, Manatee silences the boy (thus also disposing of the only witness to the massacre) by injecting him with a lethal speedball and making it look like the kid overdosed while shooting up alone.

Overwhelmed with love and gratitude for Manatee, Vicky breaks the happy news to Norma (who still thinks that Vicky is a woman) that she's going to Santo Domingo to "have some work done." When Norma confides that she can''t decide whether or not to take Nico back, Vicky convinces her that love is worth fighting for and that she owes it to herself to give Nico a second chance.

Convinced Manatee is behind Papote's death and the Agency Massacre but lacking evidence to prove it in court, Nico sets him up by tricking Johnny La Perla into believing Manatee tried to frame Johnny for the agency murders. Distressed -- and not a little pissed off -- by this apparent betrayal, Johnny La Perla sends two of his men to execute Manatee.

At the same time, Nico finally fulfills his father's wish by injecting him with a lethal overdose of insulin, while forcing Marco to give the act his indirect blessing by guilting the priest into giving Julio the Last Rites before Nico performs the mercy killing.


RECOGNITIONS: "Sins of the Heart" made the quarterfinal round of the 2002
Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition, putting it in the top 5% of
a record-breaking 6,044 scripts submitted from around the world. "Sins of the
Heart" also advanced to the second round of the 2002 Austin Film Festival
Screenwriting Competition, putting it in the top 10% out of more than 4,000
entries submitted to that contest, and was a semifinalist in the 2002 Screen
Arts Foundation Prize for Screenwriting Contest, putting it in the top 5% in
that competition.

Written By: James Stevens-Arce    Contact Author


THE BICOASTALS (Dramatic Comedy)

John, chief-of-staff for a US Rep, is in lust with Afton, a sexy New York socialite. The downside is Afton's married to his best friend. The upside is his best friend lives in California. Then John falls in love with Sally, an environmentally-conscious gal who causes John to reexamine his morals. But is love alone enough for a man in politics, especially if Afton has powerful connections in the political arena?

Written By: Kirby Wright     Contact Author

JOHN BROWN

A true account of the famous martyr whose efforts to overthrow slavery sparked the launch of the Civil War.

Written By: William R Slusser   Contact Author

COMMANDER PEARY

An epic historical drama documenting the lives of Robert Peary and Matthew Henson (his black manservant) and their twenty-year quest to discover the North Pole.

Written By: William R Slusser     Contact Author


GORGEOUS GEORGE

The comic and bittersweet true story of the outrageous and controversial wrestler who became a national sensation during the late 40ís - mid 50ís. A classic sports story.

Written By: William R Slusser     Contact Author

THE OUTLAW KOOLAU

Log Line :

A 19th Century Hawaiian cowboy, after being diagnosed with leprosy, fights the local authorities and the National Guard in a heroic attempt to keep his family together, safe and free.

SYNOPSIS:

In the latter part of the 1800s, a Hawaiian cowboy named KOOLAU leads an idyllic life on Kauai with his wife PIILANI and his young son, KALEI.  Renowned as a sharpshooter and for his leatherworking abilities, the paniolo's life is shattered when DR. WELDON, the local physician, diagnoses him with leprosy.  Faced with exile to Molokai, Koolau gets even worse news.  SHERIFF WILHOLZ, who harbors a secret desire for Piilani, informs Koolau that new rules prevent his family from joining him.  When the Sheriff and his deputies try to enforce this cruel law, a brawl ensues, leaving Koolau unconscious and in chains and his pregnant wife with a miscarriage.  

Later, with the help of his leprous UNCLE, Koolau makes a daring escape from Molokai, fighting his way past armed soldiers and swimming through shark-infested waters back to his home.  After preventing a drunken Wilholz from raping Piilani, Koolau gathers his family and flees to the rugged mountains of the Na Pali coast.  They join up with JUDGE KAUAI and his small band of outcasts, lepers who want to live in freedom refuse to go to Molokai.  Although they pose no threat to anyone and the ruggedness of the Na Pali coast is as much of an exile as Molokai, the leaders of the Hawaiian Territories deem them a threat.  


The death of Father Damien has caused unrest among the lepers and there is talk of revolution in the islands and restoring authority to the Hawaiian King.  The GOVERNOR can't allow any flouting of laws and orders Wilholz and his deputies to capture Koolau and the fugitive lepers.  When the posse is decisively defeated by Koolau's sharpshooting skills, the Governor then sends a ship filled with National Guard soldiers and cannon.   The artillery barrage decimates the colony and leads to the capture of the survivors.  With nothing but body parts left to identify, the Governor declares Koolau dead and calls off the campaign against him.  

Yet somehow Koolau and his family miraculously survive.  They recover from their wounds and could live out their life in peace if it weren't for Wilholz.  Humiliated by Koolau, obsessed with Piilani, the Sheriff learns from the morphine-addicted Weldon that the outlaw is still alive and there is a secret passage to his hideout.  The Sheriff offers a group of convicts their freedom if they can capture Piilani and kill Koolau.  Now disfigured, crippled and weakened by his disease, Koolau still finds the will and courage to fight off the mercenaries and defend his family and home.  Although this final, climactic battle ultimately weakens the outlaw and hastens his demise from leprosy, Koolau dies a free man.  He becomes a heroic symbol to the native people of Hawaii and his legend endures.

Written By: Robert Bielak     Contact Author

THE KING OF NOTHING

Log Line:

In this Nicholl Fellowship semifinalist script, an upstate New York teenager runs away to NYC to search for his biological father -- a radio evangelist / con artist who performs exorcisms on the air.

SYNOPSIS:

The King of Nothing is the story of Toby King, an upstate New York farm boy who blames himself for his brother's death in a car accident. Toby runs away to NYC to search for his estranged father, a radio evangelist / con artist who performs exorcisms on the air.

The King of Nothing is an intimate portrait of Toby. He's a brilliant, nineteen year-old boy -- an eccentric writer who doesn't fit in to his family's simple life on the farm or a school system that focuses more on the next hockey game than on academics.

Toby struggles to make sense of his world: his community college classes, his friend Becky's acceptance to Harvard, his stepfather's no-nonsense approach to life, his mother's journey into alcoholism, and his tumultuous relationship with his younger brother, Joshua.

Joshua is everything that Toby isn't -- in the eyes of Tobyís mother and stepfather, and in the eyes of the community. Joshua is a star hockey player and baseball pitcher despite the fact that he lost an arm in a snow plow accident when he was a little boy. When Joshua dies in a drunk driving accident on an icy winter road, after a high school drinking party, the loss and self-blame is more than Toby can stand.

Toby runs away from the nightmare of Joshua's death, on a journey of survival and personal redemption. He travels first to Boston, where he doesn't get the welcome he expects from his best friend Becky (at Harvard), and then on to New York City.

Slipping deeper and deeper into despair, Toby trades in his own identity, attempting to step into his brother's shoes to claim Joshua's scholarship at Columbia University. When Toby's deception is revealed at Columbia, he runs away again, this time into the waiting arms of his father, Eddie, the radio evangelist / con artist.

Toby finds his father, but he also finds Kristin, a fascinating homeless girl who lives in the cavernous subway tunnels under the city and makes a living by picking pockets in Times Square. While Eddie threatens to take Toby further into the darkness, Kristin becomes Toby's only hope for redemption and the happiness he so desires. Toby must find a way to forgive himself for Joshua's death, and to find his own identity.

Toby's journey from the stark upstate winter landscape, to the NYC street life and subway underworld, is a dark and moving coming of age story.

Written By: Lisa Ford      Contact Author

SILENT PARTNERS (drama-suspense-thriller)

Undercover FBI agent is compromised by a mob wise guy in New York. Both men's careers flourish in their deadly criminal relationship, wherein they exchange information as one makes his way toward Mafia "Don" and the other in FBI hierarchy.

Written By: Mike D. Burns       Contact Author

DOUBLE BETRAYAL (based on a true story)

Circa 1970. Innocent young lady becomes involved with older attorney in multi-state crime spree. He avoids prosecution via insanity plea. She's convicted of murder, yet escapes prison in 1970. She's captured in 2002. [Honorable Mention, LA Writer's Network 2000; QuarterFinalist, Scriptapalooza 2001.]

Written By: Mike D. Burns    Contact Author

BEYOND THE GOAL LINE (based on a true story)

Life of famous African-American NFL Hall of Fame player, Dick 'Night Train' Lane. Chronicles his abandonment as a child, living in a racial society, and struggles in adulthood. [Quarterfinalist, Fade In: Magazine Competition 2000.]

Written By: Mike D. Burns     Contact Author

TOWARD THE UNKNOWN (Based on a true story)

Life of one of the original, top secret, U-2 spy-plane pilots, who flew missions world-wide and received the Distinguished Flying Cross from President Kennedy. His plane now hangs in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.[Quarterfinalist, LA Writer's Network 2001.]

Written By. Mike D. Burns    Contact Author

MADALYN (Based on a true story)

Infamous American Atheist leader, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, and her family are kidnapped and murdered for a ransom in gold coins. This national case was in the spotlight for six years, 1995-2001.

Written By: Mike D. Burns    Contact Author