Watch the May 2016 WInning Short Screenplay
FIFTY FIVE SECONDS, by Kwasi Mensah
Genre: Mystery, Drama, Film Noir
A grizzled veteran hitman tries to impart wisdom to his younger colleague but then they’re forced to question their loyalty to each other.
Interview with Kwasi Mensah:
1. What is your screenplay about?
For me, it’s about exploring different definitions of ‘love’ and how the interact with each other. From the camaraderie of Lisa and Frank to the romantic love of Lisa and Sarah, to the fatherly love between Frank and his daughter.
2. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
I think there’s a lot of subtle clues that viewers would pick up on their second watch. And I think it’d be a really good character piece between Lisa and Frank.
3. How would you describe this script in two words?
4. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
It’d have to be The Incredibles. I love most things Pixar.
5. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
On and off about 6 months.
6. How many stories have you written?
I have two pilots and two spec scripts written. I’ve also written a smatter of comedic sketches. But nothing with this much narrative focus in this short a time span.
7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?
The beginnings of this script came out of a class I took about writing dialogue. I really liked building out Lisa’s decision and trying to make it as powerful as possible. And I really wanted to make Frank’s omniscience come from as loving a place as possible.
8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
This is my first time not writing something with a mostly comedic focus. Plus juggling this between a full-time job, stand up and plenty of other projects, I had to make sure I kept focus on this long enough to keep revising it.
9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I’m a standup comedian. I’m primarily based in the Boston Area but have been travelling to New York and Chicago for festivals and competitions.
10. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
I think the feedback from the festival was great. I entered mostly to try and get some motivation to see if my writing is going in the right direction and it’s really helped build confidence.
11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
Make as many writer friends as you can. Make time to read their work and give them thoughtful feedback and they’ll do the same for you.
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson