Category Archives: Press Release

EXCLUSIVE: Shirley Napoleon – Best Script of FFA’17 (Interview)

After two live readings of Caught In The Web, at both LA and Pasadena Libraries, we were honored with an interview with the Screenwriters, Shirley Napoleon – winner for Best Script at FanFilm Awards 2017:

1) How does it feel to win Best Script at the age of fifteen?

I cannot begin to describe the feeling I’ve had since I heard that I won. I’m a fangirl, writing a fanscript, and usually fanfiction doesn’t get that much recognition. So to be able to have people see who I am through an established fandom and with established characters, but still say my writing is good enough to be on the screen, insites this intense amount of excitement within me, so much so that I feel like I will explode.

2) Why did you choose to write a Spiderman script?

Spider-Man and Peter Parker have long been one of my favorite Marvel characters, not only because I lived his story growing up not exactly popular (save the radioactive spider and powers, but I can wait a little longer for those), but because Peter has this sense of humility, and this sense of just wanting to take one the world and protect everyone he can. And I can really relate to that. So after seeing Toby Maguire’s Spider-Man, and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man, and not quite feeling like those renditions were the Peter I knew, and then seeing Captain America: Civil War and finally seeing the new Peter and feeling like this was the Peter I was waiting for, the fangirl inside me started to squeal, and an idea began forming. I had just finished reading the Spider-Verse event in the comics, and I noticed that while there were a few spider-women, I hadn’t seen one exactly Peter’s age, going through exactly what Peter was going through, at the same time, all while wanting to protect everyone. SO that’s how Alex/Arachnid was born, from that want of a young spider-girl who can hold her own, but still needs freinds and family to deal with teenager problems. And I wanted the script to be more focused on the human side of the characters, and not wanting to have to do this, but needing to, because no one else can.

3) How long did it take you finish your script?

I started the first draft of the script in June of last year, and was constantly working on it and revising it and typing it up until last year’s late deadline of Oct. 25th.

4) Your full script was read live twice in LA Libraries. How was the experience?

There’s this place ou go when you’re writing and creating the characters, the story, the plot, and it’s a place where you know exactly how they sound, how they act, everything. But hearing my script read aloud, by different people, and seeing my characters come alive in different ways that I couldn’t have seen before is so gratifying. It’s like a feeling of “I did this. This is my work.” And it’s so amazing. And it helps with future revisions as well.

5) As an awarded female teen screenwriter, what encouragement can you give?

Don’t give up. Yes, it’s cheesy, and it’s been said before, but before this acception, I had been rejected 16 times from various magazines, and 7 times after I got that acception email from FanFilm Awards. Out of the 32 different journals and magazines I have submitted to, I have only been accepted to 2 of them, and haven’t even heard back from some of them. Which is a little disappointing, because it makes you think that you’re not good enough. But you have to keep trying. You can’t get inside you’re head like that, or you’re going to hinder yourself from doing something amazing. So you can’t give up, you have to keep pushing, keep moving past your limits or what you think you can do. I submitted to FanFilms because I thought it would be fun. It’s a fanfiction festival, and I never thought I would be where I am right now. Yes, you’re going to get rejections, but after a while, you don’t even notice it any more, and that makes being accepted that much more great. Don’t give up.

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FFA’18 Submission Deadline Extended!

Due to popular demand, we are extending the deadline to FanFilm Awards 2018!

“…only a limited time!”

Each year,  we make it a point to give our filmmakers enough time to submit early, so that submissions would be viewed on time, before  nominations are announced. Although, because the word spreading to a larger audience, through networks and friends, and friends of previous FanFilm Awards winners and nominees, we are making an effort to give more submissions more time. But be ready, Extended Deadline is here for only a limited time!


Extended Deadline: Nov. 30, 2017
Type Code: FFA2018EXT


Please share this code with everyone, and we look forward to your film and script submissions. Catch us for more at: filmfreeway.com/festival/FanFilmAwards

EXCLUSIVE: Arvin Bautista – Best Film of FFA’17 (Interview)

In February 2017, Arvin Bautista won the award for Best Film, in this year’s FanFilm Awards. Hosted in the city of Pasadena, Bautista’s fanfilm, Lila Cheney: I Will Steal Your Heart, was showcased at the Pasadena Central Library – and being absent at the award ceremony, the Azure Lorica Foundation had the pleasure of giving the trophy to him locally, after the celebrations. Lila Cheney: I Will Steal Your Heart was nominated for both Best Film and Best Cinematographer, and was gracious enough to give us an exclusive interview, to publish for your enjoyment:
1) Of all the X-Men characters, why Lila Cheney?
Well, Dazzler was the first character we tackled, because I had more of an affinity for her and I had a good grasp of her character by the time I started conceiving the video. From the popularity of the Dazzler video, I had the opportunity to make a sequel, and I didn’t want to just rehash the same idea at the time. Lila Cheney is the other musician in the X-Men universe, she’s a rock star, and she was even more obscure than Dazzler, which was all really exciting.
2) As we understand, this is a sequel to your first X-Men FanFilm, correct? 
Yes, as mentioned above. I love Dazzler as a character and what she stands for in the greater X-Men, Marvel, and superhero world (a gifted person that doesn’t let anyone define who she is), yet she wasn’t particularly popular at the time, which made me love her more. It wasn’t until I made the video did I realize this side of fandom, and their response prompted me to make another video.
3) In an industry dominated by male roles. Why do you always have female leads in your FanFilm? 
Well, Dazzler is a woman, and so is Lila. The characters came first. But I think it does add a unique angle to my videos to have them be female-centric, in the same way that having them be music videos were also unique.
4) What challenges did you find in producing this fanfilm?
The same challenges as everyone else, probably: money. Both films were entirely self-funded, so I was extremely aware of our budgetary limitations, though luckily as producer/director/writer/editor/vfx artist, I was able to plan accordingly. Beyond that, getting the costumes made and writing and producing two original songs were new and exciting challenges for me. I am grateful for the work my crew did in making that happen.
5) Where did you find the songs for these music videos? Are they originals?
They are both original songs, which was pretty daunting since I’m not a musician. I was lucky to have a producer partner named Taiwo Heard who wrote the music, produced the songs, and played guitar, and then also found our two lead actresses (Gentry Roth as Dazzler and Sage Montclair as Lila), who not only embodied their characters perfectly, they were also fantastic singers.
6) Are we to expect more FanFilms in the near future?
I have an idea for a third film which would be even more different than my previous two, but I have to recharge my bank account 🙂