2014 Angel Film Awards - Monaco International Film Festival angel awards

THE ANGEL FILM AWARDS HONORING SCREENPLAY WRITERS




IN OFFICIAL SELECTION ‘I.E.’ WRITTEN BY NEIL O’NEIL - SHORTLISTED FOR THE AFA

BIO:

My life in entertainment and visual media started in 1975 when I bought a bass guitar and formed a rock band called Ricochet. Our first concert was 02 September 1977 and in 1980 we released a single, followed by a tour of Germany. I ended up staying in Germany for 10 years and formed a new band (Damien) for which we got a record deal, with our first Album reaching 19 in the German Rock charts. These early experiences put me on the road and world of adventure, which is now firmly rooted in the film industry.

Whilst working in Warsaw, Poland (1999) I wrote the treatment for my first film idea (The Shooting Gallery), quickly followed by The Queen Mother. As a song writer with Ricochet and Damien I had many creative ideas but no formal writing skills or experience, so in 2001 I signed up to the University of East Anglia to officially start my writing career. I also started to appear in a number TV productions, including a prime time documentary for Granada TV's South Bank Show.

Over the years I have written a number of scripts/treatments, many are registered with the Writers Guild of America (West and East). I have also extended my education to now include film making as a Producer, Director and more recently an Editor; winning a distinction at the Digital Film School at the Open University.

Last year I was commissioned by Jillian Haslam to write a script for her memoirs (Indian English), a harrowing story of how she, as a white girl, survived the slums and abject poverty of the backstreets of Calcutta to be nominated in 2012 as Asian Woman of the year in the humanitarian category. This script has been finished and a film Production Company has been set-up (Midas Light Films Limited – Reg. 8776717) to make this movie. Renowned UK TV Director Jeff Naylor is also working on the project.

In the last few years I have made a number of short films, to learn my trade, some of which have won parochial film competitions. Things have now turned full circle as last month Ricochet was back in the studio recording a new song for the film (Wake Up), which has the working title of I.E. The film has already been picked up by the press,
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1130720/jsp/calcutta/story_17137169.jsp

The I.E. Script has been reviewed by industry experts and comments are as follows;

‘This script stands out with a lot of appeal...... plenty of drama, conflict, antagonist, obstacles, objective, and so on – great!’ - Danny Stack

‘...this is clearly a fantastic script. The story is exceptionally interesting with a wonderful protagonist in Jillian - Mark Rogers

‘The understanding that Mrs. Cleofas really suffered from schizophrenia and was as lonely as the girls is actually incredibly moving.’- Bluecat script panel

‘There are some touching and affecting moments in the story – particularly during Jillian’s speech at the country club....... This is a powerful ending to the film.’ - Phil Shelley – Script doctor, London

‘...the writing is poetic and the scene descriptions are rich and vivid.’ – Blacklist Panel

‘...a brilliant story and one I hope to one day see in a cinema!’ - Script vault

Awards:

Maid in his image – A rockumentary (short) – Winner ‘Bournemouth Film Competition’ 2013

Lonely People (short) – Winner ‘Music to my video’ competition 2013

5 minute Rockstar (short) – Second ‘Bristol Film Competition’ 2012

Affiliations:

Member of Raindance, London

Member of ‘The Writers Guild of Great Britain’

Member of ‘The Film and Video Institute’ of Great Britain’

Member of Bristol Video and Film Club

Member of Bournemouth Video and Film Club

Films in Production:

I.E. (feature) – Writer, Co-producer – Pre-production (casting and funding)

Just Another Love Story? (short) – Writer, Producer – Post-production

The Magpie (short) – Writer, Producer – Post Production

Wake up, or sleep forever (short) – Writer, Producer – Production

Meal-ticket (short) – Writer, Director – Post-production

Epilogue:

After 13 years of learning the trade of a script writer and the mechanics of the film industry, it is now time to step into the big league.

‘I.E.’ WRITTEN BY NEIL O’NEIL

Log Line:

An emotional gritty true-life story of survival as a young English girl born in the slums of Calcutta survives death and starvation to become an International Icon.

Synopsis:

In 1970 Jillian Haslam was a white girl born to British parents in the rat-ridden backstreets of Calcutta. She became part of a persecuted nationality called the ‘Indian English’, a rare instance where the English were racially abused. After 32,154 days of British rule many of the Indian population were resentful and turned on the British families that remained, often calling them ‘white rats’. One of 12 children, Jillian survived by living and begging on filthy streets; while four of her siblings died of malnutrition. Through an unimaginable childhood, Jillian has survived to become an unsung hero.

Her memoirs ‘Indian.English.’ capture her very dark times in Calcutta and the extraordinary journey of survival she has made through life. Today Jillian is an acclaimed motivational speaker and was nominated for Asian woman of the year in 2012 in the Humanitarian category. Her memoirs are the inspiration for the new film ‘I.E.’ due to be filmed in 2015.

In I.E., Jillian, as she is today, embarks on a journey to a lavish country club in California to give an inspirational speech in order to raise awareness of the starving children of Calcutta and to raise money for the charity she has set up. Like her life, this is not an ordinary journey and through bumps and flashbacks along the way we experience some very emotive memories of her childhood.

She believes her speech to be at a normal country club, a bit of golf and tennis here and there, with afternoon lunches for the ladies. In fact it is the most affluent country club in California. With previous after dinner speakers being Steven Spielberg and Henry Kissinger, it is the hottest ticket in town. Senators are pulling rank to get one of the $500 seats and as Jillian has been billed only as an ‘International female Icon from England’, everybody has assumed she must be from Royalty.

In the final act, Jillian, as a small unassuming woman dressed in a simple muslin dress, with no make-up or regalia, finally realises what she has let herself in for; they realised she is not royalty and believed they have been duped.

By the end of the speech there isn’t a dry eye in the house. She has totally humbled them. Spielberg and Kissinger didn’t come close!

Hope is rarer than gold! Wake Up, Wake Up – or sleep forever.