BREAKING AND ENTERING… INTO THE INDUSTRY
We’re Roja Gashtili & Julia Lerman, NY-based writing partners about to attend the 2010 Independent Film Week with our screenplay, Pretty To Think So. The script follows awkward 8th-grader, Mina Lehsani, as she uncovers the secrets of her mother’s revolutionary past in Iran… but as we like to say, it’s a lot funnier than you think it is!
We wanted to tackle the tragic ramifications of modern-day Iran’s tumultuous history, and the subsequent mass immigration it sparked, in a way not seen on screen before. Enter… the Lehsanis, a quirkily accessible Persian family whose hopes, dreams, flaws will resonate with audiences from all backgrounds. We can’t wait to introduce them to everyone at IFW.
One of the ways we’ve been gearing up for IFW is practicing the art of pitching. A quick thank you to all our friends who’ve patiently listened to them this last week :)
After receiving our roster of meetings we’re excited to venture into an important part of screenwriting people don’t tell you about when you first start out: the art of selling. Writing is such a solitary pursuit (or in our case a solitary + 1) but a huge part of being a screenwriter is sitting across from investors/producers/agents & managers and convincing them they just gotta have what you’re selling. Deep. Breaths.
That’s where Independent Film Week will be invaluable. It gives us the opportunity to meet & share our project with various industry people in a short, intense time span who will hopefully help enable us to make our first feature film!
While we’ve both worked in production and are lifelong writers, neither of us went to film school so we like to think of this past year as our own guerilla film school. We’re talking starting from the fundamentals… just learning how to use Final Draft to plotting out a three-story act to creating compelling characters… we’re sort of amazed to be standing here, about to attend IFW, with several scripts in our back pocket & ready to enter phase two of guerilla MFA program: getting our movie made.
Year one taught us a lot about three indispensable ingredients for success in this industry: talent, hard work & putting yourself out there. We’re humbled that our material & hard work has been recognized by IFP – so now we say, let the networking begin: we’ll be the two petite ladies probably getting carded at the bar…
See you at film week!
Julia & Roja