The Road to #YFF11 (Yorkton Film Festival) 18-Days-to-Go: SUNDAE JAHANT-OSBORN

We asked each of our finalists to take some time out of their busy schedules to answer a few questions we have about their Top 13 placing script, their career and inspiration(s) and life in general. We heard back from a few of them. Okay.. all of them.

Today, we speak with Top 13 screenwriter Sundae Jahant-Osborn.

DC: Which script amongst the Top 13 this year is yours?
SJ: 13.

DC: Tell me a little bit more about 13. Or is it Thirteen? Just kidding..
SJ: Some things are better left alone… Whacky comedy thriller about an obsessive nerd who’s sure he hears voices calling out to him – and him only, from the other side of a forbidding fence.

DC: Whacky. That’s a good word for it. What was it like writing this? I imagine it was a fun one to put together. I’m assuming you don’t hear these same voices our leading nerd does, so what spawned the idea for this script? There’s got to be an inciting incident somewhere, or this really ominous fence in your life.
SJ: A friend made a crack to me about this beat up fence…and it instantly became a funny joke! The story evolved from there, and from my nerdy friend who actually wore a Simpson’s watch – to work! I wrote it pretty quickly actually for a short film contest with a looming deadline, The British Short Screenplay Competition sponsored by BAFTA and Kaos Films – in which it became a finalist!

DC: Ah yes, the BSSC. Do you remember how you first heard about the CSSC and why you decided to enter after placing in the British comp?
SJ: It recently got into top 10 of Soggy Mops along with 2 other projects. Another project of mine won which I was really stoked about! But I’ve always loved this one, and it’s almost been made 3 times, so I wanted to enter it into something with serious credibility and try again, as would really like to see it get made well! It could be hilarious if done right, despite how short it is. And the CSSC would do it right! They only make quality projects!!

DC: Alright. No pressure, at all here. Just kidding. But we’re glad you agree. Have you had much success with your script(s) elsewhere?
SJ: I’ve won over 25 awards for features and shorts, including 5 First Place awards in Film Festivals – like the Academy Award recognized Rhode Island Film Festival which is one my proudest achievements so far!

DC: Have you ever had any of your works produced or were all those placements with scripts only?
SJ: I have 4 shorts shooting as we speak, two in the UK (one just wrapped this week!), one in the U.S. with Soggy Mops (they are great!), and one in France. I’ve also had another 2 produced that turned out crap after editing unfortunately. But this business is all about dogged determination, and to keep marketing yourself!!! I try to put myself out there and get my stuff in front of the right people as much as possible, as you never know who will see what at the right time! I was so stoked CSSC saw 13 when they did, and really thrilled I entered… as I did it all on holiday and my husband thought I was nuts!

DC: Maybe he’s hearing the voices now. I jest. But seriously, you’re doing something right. Wow. 4 films in production. Way to go! So, with all this experience in the short world, what is your favourite short film of all time?
SJ: There are so many amazing Oscar winners that are mind blowing, wouldn’t even know where to start. And I think the love story in UP is basically a short story montage that was sheer brilliance! But I also loved the film Sign Language by Oscar Sharp that won last year’s Virgin media shorts. A great little film if you haven’t seen it!

DC: Do you have a favourite author or screenwriter?
SJ: Lawrence Kasdan – that man can write anything!!! From Indiana Jones to Star Wars to The Big Chill. Love him! AND he can direct! I also am a HUGE Billy Wilder fan! Genius..

DC: What is your favourite word in the English language?
SJ: Can’t be printed!

DC: Ha. Are you sure? You should see what some of the other finalists have answered to that. But fair enough. Let’s continue with asking your favourite word in any language?
SJ: Same. (I have a foul mouth for a nice girl!) But I also love the word “Stoked” (if you haven’t guessed already hah!) – what can I say I grew up in a surf town in LA!

DC: Any words of wisdom for anyone else considering putting their work forward into the CSSC?
SW: Just do it! There are no excuses.

DC: Thanks Suleiman. Best of luck at the Golden Sheafs (May 28th).

About David Cormican

DAVID CORMICAN is an award winning blogger (2010 Canadian Weblog Award winner – best literature & writing category), father, performer, producer and founder of the prestigious Canadian Short Screenplay Competition (CSSC), an organization he formed to showcase and promote emerging screenwriters through recognition and the production of their winning work. In 2010 Cormican was a nominee for the Regina Mayor’s Arts & Business Award for Innovation in the Arts and a recipient of the National Screen Institute’s Drama Prize. In addition to establishing the CSSC's Short Film Fund, he is also a partner with Minds Eye Entertainment where he is in charge of development for the production company’s feature film, television and branded content. Recent producing credits include THE TALL MAN (Jessica Biel) and FACES IN THE CROWD (Milla Jovavich, Julian McMahon) for Minds Eye and RUSTED PYRE (Brooke Palsson, Samantha Somer Wilson) and MINUS LARA (a Bravo!FACT funded short starring Romina D’Ugo) for the CSSC. He is a board member for Regina Downtown Business Improvement District, a counselor for ACTRA Saskatchewan and board member representing the arts portfolio for SaskCulture. He also sits on various committees for SaskFilm, SMPIA and the Canadian Media Producers Association.
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