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Short Script Bringing Tall Accolades for Alexandra Leopold

Alexandra Leopold is a talented Ontario-based writer, and the winner of Season 6 of Filmmatic's Short Script Awards for her dark and witty short “Blue World”. Her script features a frantic weekend between two children and their reckless father, in the aftermath of an acrimonious divorce. Alexandra has been kind enough to explain the origins of Blue World, as well as her plans for the days ahead.

1) How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I dabbled in screenwriting, mostly just for fun. As I got older, it became a part of me. I wrote scripts to direct or even just for myself while juggling other jobs in the film industry. I have been writing seriously for about ten years now, and have made it my intention to turn this into a career within the last three.

2) What screenwriting training have you received?

I started off as a child actor and I realize now that I was unwittingly training as a writer for a good portion of my life—reading, performing and studying scripts for acting classes from an early age. I spent my teens focused on the craft of screenplays, breaking down story and subtext in order to understand the screenwriter’s vision and to dive into my characters. I later studied film at Columbia College Chicago, with a focus on directing and screenwriting. The rest of my training has come from reading books on the craft, reading screenplays, and putting in lots of practice.

3) Do you only write shorts, or do you have features/pilots in your wheelhouse?

I have written plays, shorts and features. I am currently focused on writing feature films and have a few in the works. That being said, I have some ideas for a pilot and mini-series and plan to explore both film and television formats in the future.

4) What writing habits work for you? Do you write in short or long shifts, binge writing or scheduled sessions?

Routine is the name of the game for me. I try to write everyday to keep the muscles sharp. Even if I don’t have a script in mind, I still get up and write early in the morning, before I speak to anyone or even brush my teeth sometimes.

I start by writing down ideas and random scenes by hand as they come to me. In the early stages I usually free-write to loosen up before cracking into a new scene and write in short bursts. Once I have a solid concept, binge writing in long shifts is all I can do, because the story takes over and I have no choice.

5) Our judges loved "Blue World", how would you describe the project to our readers?

Blue World is a dark psychological drama, a character-driven ensemble piece. Someone told me after reading the script that it felt like “a crime was taking place in almost every scene,” and I really liked that analogy. It is intense and at times chaotic, just like the characters and their inner turmoil.

In the story, we watch as a torturous weekend deepens the wounds between two children and their reckless father in the aftermath of a bitter divorce. At its core, Blue World is a portrait of a dysfunctional family, but it also has a glimmer of a coming of age tale as the protagonist, Samantha, 11, is pushed to her limits and is forced to stand up to her abusive brother and father for the first time in her life.

The story delves deep into a complicated family dynamic; one where no one is to blame, yet everyone is at fault. Although divorce is a universal theme and subject matter, this st