Winning Screenplay – LITTLE SISTA “GET SHORTY”
Written by Charmaine Bingwa


NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
CHARMAINE – Cassandra Guthrie
SHAUN – Dan Cristofori
TALIA – Jane Hailes
LUCY – Val Cole


Genre: Comedy, Romance, LGBT

Commitment-phobe, Charmaine must learn to grow up when she is paired with an at-risk youth in a Big Brother, Big Sister programme.

Get to know the writer:

What is your screenplay about?

It is about a responsibility-averse, lesbian lothario who is forced to grow up when she is given community service and paired with an at-risk youth in the Big Brother Big Sister program.

What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Comedy, Romance

Why should this screenplay be made into a TV Show?

Because underneath all the comedy it has heart and universal appeal. It also provides an answer to many issues raised about television today including LGBT inclusion, gender equality, ethnic diversity – but it does this by focusing on story, not by being didactic in approach. It also looks at other important societal issues such as foster care, bullying, what to do when you get punched in the butt and many more.

How would you describe this script in two words?

Bad Ass

What TV show have you seen the most times in your life?

30 Rock.

How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I wrote it in a week, but have been revising it for the better part of a year.

How many stories have you written?

Five I take seriously. They are all so diverse; some comedic, some intensely dramatic – two features, two TV shows, a web series and a play.

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Bohemian Rhapsody, by Queen. It’s a beautiful, timeless, cacophonic mashup.

What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Not many with the screenplay, as writing is a solo pursuit for me, so as long as I have the time I have the story. The issues obstacles came fast and furiously when approaching the production stage.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m OBSESSED with the craft of acting. Basically, I love the process of creating. Anything I can create, I love – be it characters, stories, series, concepts etc. I also sing and write music. And I’m also a massive fan of freeform down time.

What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

It was the title of the festival, I thought how fantastic is it that there is a festival devoted to supporting people telling stories from the community. I believe the is a thirst for this kind of content on mainstream TV and festivals like this go a long way in ensuring this happens in the future.

It was so great to receive the feedback. In truth I had forgotten I had entered the festival, so was very pleasantly surprised to receive an email with feedback. It was wonderfully affirming to read the feedback that was generally super-positive. There was also valuable suggested changes, that were so helpful to hear before entering production.



Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

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By lgbttorontofilmfestival

Festival occurring twice a year. In Toronto in June. And in Los Angeles in September. Showcasing the best of LGBT Short Films and Screenplays from around the world.

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