Winning THRILLER Short Screenplay: STATESIDE by Matthew Bernal

All you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun…


Driver: Harry Judge
Prop Guy: Brandon Knox
Narrator: Val Cole
Paco: Randy Baumer
Passenger: Brian Carlton

A FilmFreeway preferred festival:


Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo

Festival Moderators: Kierston Drier, Shepsut Wilson
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Festival Directors: Mary Cox, Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: John Johnson, Isabal Cupryn, Aser Santos Jr., Zack Arch


NOVEMBER 2018 THRILLER Stories, Screenplays, and Short Film

A FilmFreeway preferred festival:


STORYTHRILLER 1st Scene Reading: THE GIRL IN THE WELL by Richard Webb
November 2018

festival posterINCALL, 10min., USA, Thriller

festival posterHOODYMAN, 6min., United Arab Emirates, Thriller

festival posterBOONDOGGLE, 11min, UK, Thriller

festival posterLIVING WITH A MONSTER, 4min, Canada, Horror/Comedy

festival posterGOLDBLOODED, 9min., USA, Action/Crime

festival posterTHE ROSE GARDEN, 3min., USA, Thriller/Animation

festival posterTHE DOOR, 5min., USA, Thriller

festival posterTHE HOBBYIST, 8min., USA, Thriller

festival poster2.5 MILLION, 22min., USA, Action/Documentary




Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo

Festival Moderators: Kierston Drier, Shepsut Wilson
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Festival Directors: Mary Cox, Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Hugh Ritchie, Isabal Cupryn, Aser Santos Jr., Zack Arch

Short Film: THE DOOR, 5min., USA, Thriller/Suspense

3b03231016 poster

A man’s past takes over his mind when he steps into an unexpected encounter.

Project Links
  • Film Type:
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 47 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 1, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    3,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Film Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:

Director Bio: Lola Rùi (THE DOOR)

Director Biography – Lola Rùi

157b5a7551 headshot

Lola Rùi studied Acting at Jorge Eines Art Studio in Madrid, and the Susan Batson Studio in New York City. She has been creating Art in every form since the age of 5. She trained in ballet at the Margot Fontaine Royal Academy in Madrid, and performed Alice in Wonderland in The Alcalá Palace Theater at the age of 7. She moved her Artistic Spirit to painting. Her work as a painter continues which has inspired her to extend her Artistic Expression to creating stories. She wrote her first play “De mente” which won the Prize to be represented at Microteatro in Spain. Her One Woman Show that she wrote and starred in “ Mary Magdalene” opened  at The Historical 13th Street Theater in New York City. She recently finished two films in New York “ El Barrio”  and  “ Judgment before Judgment”, directed by James Augustus Lee. She is very excited to present the short film “The Door” her first work as Director.

Watch Award Winning Short Film: SHELTERED

SHELTERED was awarded “BEST MUSIC” at the April 2017 Horror/Thriller FEEDBACK Film Festival

Watch Film:

Read Interview with the Director Jake Gutwillig


Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:


  MOVIE POSTERSHELTERED, 9min, USA, Thriller/Mystery
Directed by Jake Gutwillig

A boy stuck in a storm shelter with his parents must question their reality, and find a way to leave to find the truth of the world outside.

Director’s Statement:

‘Sheltered’ is about trust, and the honesty shared from one generation to another. There’s a lot more as well going on, but the core I wanted to explore was finding the balance of truths in what we see compare to what we hear, and the importance of self discovery.

Film Type:Short, Student

Genres:Thriller, Mystery, Drama

Runtime:9 minutes

Completion Date:June 25, 2016

Production Budget:1,450 USD

Country of Origin:United States

Country of Filming:United States

Film Language:English

Shooting Format:Digital

Film Color:Color

Thriller Festival Testimonial – September 19 2018

Matthew Steggles

It’s rare to get a group of strangers talk openly about your film, what a valuable experience! This really is worth the entry fee!

The team’s communication is fantastic and they are very supportive of the filmmakers. They have also created some great marketing material for my film which is always a bonus, this has boosted my film on social media.

A FilmFreeway preferred festival:

WATCH Winning Thriller Screenplay and Story Readings:

THRILLER Best Scene Reading of THE PLAYLISTS, by by Michael Kotsiros

Genre: Thriller, Drama

A married couple are separately lured to a remote location by a gifted but troubled composer, who uses music to reveal his hidden agenda.


Joel: Russell Batcher
Lewis: Peter Nelson
Narrator: Carina Cojeen
Rachel: Elizabeth Owens Skidmore
Archibald: David Straus
Chiara: Ariel Booker

Get to know the writer:

 1. What is your screenplay about?

THE PLAYLISTS is about a married couple who are separately lured to remote cottage by Lewis, a troubled but gifted musician. Lewis has links to the couple from his past and wants closure for wrongs that occurred. Lewis has serious psychological problems and has befriended three imaginary muses, two of which help him compose music. The dark muse, Archibald, has influenced Lewis to devise the sinister plan, whist Clara, the good muse, tries to dissuade him to surrender his disturbing plan.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

THE PLAYLISTS is primarily a psychological thriller but can also be defined as a mystery drama.

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

THE PLAYLISTS is unique in nature and though it doesn’t have the typical twist found in most thrillers, it is raw and unnerving. From a production point of view, it wouldn’t be very expensive to make and I can definitely see it generating some great profits at the box office.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?

Musically insane.

5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?


6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I’ve had the idea in my mind for over ten years. I outlined the plot about three years ago and finished the script last year.

7. How many stories have you written?

Three and currently working on a fourth.

8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Return to Innocence by Enigma but probably listened to You Spin Me Round (Like a record) by Dead or Alive, the most.

9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The dilemma of deciding on the type of ending; I have three alternatives. I feel that most viewers are waiting for a twist and that this is wearing a little bit thin, so I went with a somewhat predictable ending, but also isn’t. It’s type of ending you’d expect would happen but will catch viewers off guard by waiting for a twist. The prospecting of catching the audience of guard appeals to me.

Time was also another obstacle. I have a demanding corporate role, so finding the time and headspace to write was definitely challenging.

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Health and fitness, travelling and music.

11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

My experience with the FilmFreeway platform has been positive. Everything is detailed and clear to follow. I also really like that you can conveniently see the history and outcome of festivals entered.

12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

I entered my screenplay to about five screenwriting festivals. THE PLAYLISTS was shortlisted in three of the five competitions and made the quarter finals for each. I was pleased with this result as this has been my first submission of a screenplay.

The tone of the feedback is quite constructive and confirmed some of the doubts I had in my plot, so I revised accordingly.




Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Director: Kierston Drier

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox