Tony Tranero is a Disco dancer at the end of an era, competing in a contest that could change the trajectory of his life. While preparing for this moment, he meets other dancers that are fighting their own battles that force him to confront the real politics of dancing - who gets to stand in the spotlight. Tony uses his privilege to even the playing field and invites all the dancers to a Battle Royale for a winner-take-all dance off that sets Queens ablaze.
Narrator: Hannah Ehman
DJ 12 Inches: Allan Michael
I wrote '79 to honor the last year before the world went to shit. Everything that happened after 1979 was a lie and it's time to correct the history books once and for all. Dancing is not a white thing, or a straight thing, or a CIS thing. It never has been. It never was. '79 sets the record straight by making it really, really queer.
Get to know the writer:
1. What is your screenplay about?
My screenplay is about dance films from the 70s and 80s that distorted Hollywood into thinking that white, CIS, straight people were the best dancers on the dancefloor despite our collective lived experience that this is rarely true.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
This screenplay tells the truth about dancing, and specifically, dance films. Hollywood has saturated and whitewashed this genre since the beginning of movies, and '79 is the truth we all know and experience but have never seen on the silver screen. This is a chance to correct the historical record, and have a damn good time while doing it.
4. How would you describe this script in two words?
5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
It's honestly a three way tie: Staying Alive, Dirty Dancing, and Silence of the Lambs
6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
About 3 months, from conception to execution
7. How many stories have you written?
Stories? At least 100. Screenplays, shorts, plays, poems, etc.
8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)
Louie Armstrong's version of La Vie En Rose
9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
Confronting my own fear of writing myself as the main character.
10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Acting, directing, and dancing
11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?
Sometimes I don't get script recognition when my entry has been selected. For example, my entry for this contest still reads "undecided."
12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
I wanted this to go to an LGBTQ film festival. The initial feedback was wonderful. Unfortunately, the LA version was horrific. I won yours, but '79 wasn't selected for theirs. So odd.