Two families from different eras, one White and one Black, are inextricably linked by a violent family legacy and a historic home that holds a haunting secret. The story unfolds across two timelines, intricately weaving their lives together through violence, love, acceptance, and the discovery of a shared past.
Narrator: Sean Ballantyne
Amy: Hannah Ehman
Brad: Steve Rizzo
Get to know the writer:
1. What is your screenplay about? Begin The Beguine is about... LOVE. That all-consuming, can't live without you love that transcends time. It's also about redemption and forgiveness.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under? Romance/Supernatural
3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie? Begin the Beguine should be made into a movie because the time for it is right. It's not just a story for the LGBTQ+ community, it's a universal story that reflects our history as a nation coming to grips with its racist and homophobic past, and learning to move beyond it. As an artist, I wholeheartedly believe that film and television possess the transformative power to inform, challenge, and reshape society. They can serve as conduits to ignite empathy, compassion, and personal creativity. Through the mediums of film and TV, we can embark on journeys that transport us to different times, cultures, and places, broadening our perspective and offering us the opportunity to grow and learn. Begin the Beguine is a love story, but it's also a story about us as a nation and how we treat People of Color and People in the LGBTQ+ Community.
4. How would you describe this script in two words? Transcendent Love
5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life? Oh... that's a hard one. I have a lot of favorites. If I had to choose just one... SWEET CHARITY
6. How long have you been working on this screenplay? I've had this story idea in my head for more than 30 years. But I only just sat down to write it about 6 months ago (LOL) I guess I had to let the story marinate for a while.
7. How many stories have you written? 10 that I can say are completed, Dozens that are in varying development stages. I'm a writer with ADD... "oh squirrel!"
8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?) California Dreamin' (I'm a 60s baby, what can I say).
9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay? My own personal demons as a gay man, that programming we were all given, at least in my generation, that we don't talk about such things. Don't be controversial, the same things Albert and Patrick face as a mixed-race gay couple. Exploring these characters taught me the importance of just being myself, and allowing my youth trauma of being a gay kid growing up in an Appalachian Milltown, being tormented endlessly to inform and inspire my art rather than limit me.
10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about? Cooking... I like to feed people. I'm also passionate about travel. I've been blessed to have lived in many places around the world. Exploring new countries and cultures is very inspirational to me as a writer.
11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What have been your experiences working with the submission platform site? The platform has been great. I use it for all of my screenplays and I have used it as a judge for film festivals. It's easy to navigate and it is a great resource for writers to host their work and be seen by industry pros.
12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received? I entered the festival because I know its reputation and felt Begin the Beguine might find a home with the exposure the festival offers. I was blown away by the initial feedback. The reviewer got the message of the story completely. They also offered some helpful advice.