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I received 551 submissions in 2021. These were my favorites.

If you're a writer on the list and want anything edited (or spot a mistake) please email me at screenplaymechanic@gmail.com

If you're an interested agent, manager, or producer and I don't already know you, please email me and I'll be happy to connect you with the writer(s).




NEIL by Sean Whitney  (Thriller) 
Fresh out of prison for getting rid of bodies for the mob over several decades, an aging man known for most of his life as "The Butcher" starts working at a hospital only to discover one of his new coworkers is a psychopath who idolizes him and wants to kill together. 

DEATHBED by Gary Rowlands  (Horror)
After suffering a back injury, a young woman recovers at her late mom’s rural cottage and her sister buys her a mechanical recovery bed, unaware that a deranged killer uses it to track victims and hide within until he emerges at night and indulges in his sadistic bloodlust.

SPY OFF by Odin Ozdil  (Buddy Action-Comedy)
A female computer hacker and an aging male Cold War agent that can’t stand each other must team up to recover millions in bitcoins stolen from the U.S. Treasury Department and uncover a vast crypto conspiracy.

BROKENHEARTED MAGIC by Nerris Nevarez-Nassiri  (Period Drama / Thriller)
After her mom passes away, a Mexican-American teenager runs away from her controlling father with a troupe of women who perform magic shows, and they teach her the ways of the world until she’s ready to take to the stage herself.  

TRUNK by Derick Otto & Rebecca Otto  (Thriller)
Two bank robbers murder their hostage in rural Washington and plan to dump the corpse in the Columbia River before disappearing with their $600k haul, but their getaway plan goes awry when they break down in a small town with the body in the trunk.

EXIT FEE by Gunny Troelstrup   (Thriller)
A small time criminal wants to go straight but his "exit fee" is 50k, so he attempts to pull off a robbery with his best friend - a failing novelist - to raise the cash and start a new life with his pregnant girlfriend, but everything changes when he discovers the kingpin he owes money to is trafficking teenage girls.

THE MATTRESS by Ken McCusker  (Black Comedy / Thriller)
After he unwittingly helps an unstable woman kill her abusive boyfriend, a depressed quality control rep for a mattress company is launched into a world of chaos and blackmail when the mattress he hid the body in goes missing.

THE FAKE FIANCE by Brian Pracht and Laura Ault  (Romantic Comedy)
To get her meddling, matchmaking parents off of her back, a Texas realtor enlists the help of her sister and ex-boyfriend to stage a fake proposal and wedding, with a secret plan to get dumped at the altar, but things get complicated when it becomes clear she and her "fake fiance" are still in love. 

I AM NOT MYSELF by Jerry Pyle  (Supernatural Comedy)
A wealthy, handsome, and healthy guy keeps somehow swapping bodies with a middle-aged bald guy until they swap back each night, but now two other bodies get mixed-up with theirs and it leads to a madcap scramble for answers and, more importantly, a solution to restore their lives. 

ENDGAMES by Ian Masters, Jon Smith, Murray Pope  (War / Historical Drama / True Story)
South Vietnam, 1975. The true story of a secret mission to destroy a US-built nuclear reactor in South Vietnam before it falls into Communist hands. An American nuclear scientist, ill-equipped and ill-prepared for war, has five days to outmanoeuvre the US war machine to prevent the world’s first dirty bomb in the chaotic endgame of the Vietnam War.


SPOTLESS by Ronit Gilbert-Aranoff & Kari Pickering  (Black Comedy / Thriller)
Best friends Emmy and Dahlia are crime scene cleaners. Accidentally walking in on a murder in progress, they’re forced to decide between listening to their moral compass or taking on a lucrative contract offered by a serial killer.

NEW TRICKS by Deborah Puette  (Comedy / Drama)
When the demise of her twenty-year marriage upends her life, the owner of a country bed-and-breakfast commits to saving her struggling business and ultimately rebuilding her sense of self by adding sex work to the list of available guest amenities.

EASTERN CONDORS by Mohummad Humza Elahi  (Political Action-Thriller)
After a deadly incident in Afghanistan, two SAS soldiers return to civilian life. But while one finds work protecting an ambitious mayor, his lifelong friend sees his world collapse and he joins a group of insurrectionists planning a civil war.

BEGINNING LOW by Joe Bonito  (Comedy / Thriller)
A sex addicted ESL teacher looking to make up for past mistakes gets sucked into a three-way between a Mexican drug cartel, the FBI, and an international sex trafficking ring and must figure out a way to avoid getting f*cked by all three.  

PAVANA by W.G. Holley  (Thriller)
A lawyer at an energy firm, which builds geo-thermal plants in Central American countries, is struggling to piece together what happened to her on a recent work project in Honduras, when she tried to help a family vacate their land only to get entangled (and hurt) in an armed attack which she suspects her company was responsible for.

ESCORT CONVOY by Tanita Ross-Cady  (Thriller)
A military vet returns to his hometown with plans to restore a late friend’s neglected building into an art gallery, so he takes on a lucrative job driving female escorts to private gigs, but he’s unaware some old enemies are gunning for him.    

SPREE by James Seale & Nick Maiorano  (Thriller)
After escaping a wealthy serial killer who held her captive for years, a young woman secretly sets out to exact revenge on his family’s global empire and kidnaps a washed-up FBI profiler to help her. 

KILLIN' IT by Greg Borzilleri  (Comedy / Mockumentary)
Expecting a big promotion, the dorky, overbearing, and unfunny manager of a commercial gym insists his employees throw him a going away party, but his big day doesn’t quite go as planned. 

THE COMPANIONS by Kenneth A. Payne  (War / Adventure / History)
Alexander the Great leads his army to their greatest military victory in India, but is gravely wounded en route back to Babylon and must try to keep a ruling grip on his ruthless generals as they tire of indulging his desire to conquer yet more kingdoms.

MYTHOS OF MEN by Brian Mulvey & Toby Osborne  (Political Drama / Thriller)
An Illinois senator aims to run for President, but that stirs up memories of the past, back when he impregnated a young mistress who slipped away before his henchman could harm her, and later conspired to murder his own father and pin it on a political rival.


- - - - - - -

I received 578 submissions in 2020. These were my favorites.

If you're a writer on the list and want anything edited (or spot a mistake) please email me at screenplaymechanic@gmail.com

If you're an interested agent, manager, or producer and I don't already know you, email me and I'll connect you with the writers.




AMERICAN INFAMY by Takeo Hori   (Wartime Drama) 
A 19 year-old Japanese-American living in California endures the horrific imprisonment of his family and larger community after the attack on Pearl Harbor then, after considerable time in an internment camp, he enlists in the U.S. Army and sees fierce combat before liberating the Nazi concentration camps.  

FANTASMAS by Gabriel Savodivker   (Supernatural Thriller)
A border patrol agent who lost her daughter a year ago and still suffers from the loss, gets a new assignment at a detention center for kids caught illegally crossing the border and makes a shocking discovery about the ’imaginary friend’ of a young detainee.

NICK by Chris Mosley   (Action)
A decade after a virus wipes out nearly everyone on Earth, a suicidal man named Nick, who lives alone in a castle far in the North, finds a young girl in a crashed plane and protects her from three men who hunt down anyone still carrying the virus.

ONE DAY LONGER by Chris Hill  (Historical Drama)
A Latina housekeeper on the Vegas Strip sacrifices everything to lead one of the longest labor strikes in American history against the casino resort’s corrupt and unscrupulous owner, Margaret Elardi.  

THE ONLY PIANO IN AFGHANISTAN by Ryan Dingus   (Drama / True Story)
In the dangerous world of post-Taliban Afghanistan, an idealistic professor returns to open the first music school for children but struggles to overcome intense social backlash and growing threats of terrorism.

PARIAH by Luis Ferrer   (Drama)
Freed after spending 24 years on Death Row for a double-murder which was actually self-defense, a 40 year-old man tries to rebuild his life and move on, but several locals who were deeply affected by what happened all those years ago aren’t ready to forgive him.

RAT BASTARDS by Keri Lee  (Horror / Black Comedy)
When a rebellious house sitter is forced to lead a group of misfits into battle against a colony of mutant rats, she approaches the job like she approaches life: stoned, armed, and angry.

STELLUM MATUTINUM by Brian Garriques   (Horror / Crime Thriller)
When he finds an escaped mental patient naked and bloodied in the streets, a dogged police detective sets out to investigate the enigmatic Stellum Matutinum Hospital in 1840s London. 

TONKIN by Matthew Scott Weiner  (Political Drama / War / True Story)
Chronicles the events that led to the beginning to the Vietnam War, as Robert McNamara looked to secure LBJ’s re-election by whipping up support in Congress for an all-out assault on North Vietnam by baiting the enemy to attack first.    

THE TROUPE by Jill Hoppe   (Comedy)
Desperate to save a small town theater from going under, the repertory company’s impassioned director teams up with his zany acting troupe to stage a series of crimes to keep the theater afloat, only to uncover a bigger deception in play.


DARK TIMES by Victoria Rau   (Comedy)
When the dysfunctional staff –– actors and servers alike –– of a Medieval-themed restaurant receive a visit from corporate to watch their latest dinner performance, they fear lay-offs only to discover there’s going to be a change in theme.

THE DIENER by Melissa Neiman, M.D., J.D.  (Medical Thriller)
A brilliant morgue technician steals the identity of a deceased forensic pathologist, assumes a position as a county medical examiner in rural Texas, and must solve baffling cases while protecting his masquerade.

ELLA SPARKS by Paul Ashton  (Comedy)
Still reeling from the end of her last relationship, a brilliant Australian chef has recently become determined to find a sperm donor and start her own family, but she receives no support from her recovering-alcoholic mom and the perfect donor she selected turns out to be anything but perfect.

IN-ERSHA by Johnny Pickavance  (Crime Drama / Thriller)
Following the deaths of her husband and daughters and a brutal rape by a suspect still on the loose, a sharp-tongued criminal psychologist works to track killers and criminals in London, while grappling with her own internal demons. 

KING OF LESOTHO by Amadou Diallo  (Period Drama)
After renouncing his inheritance, the son of an African billionaire is forced to leave behind the life he’s built as a New York City school teacher to confront the family legacy of greed and corruption he’s spent years running away from.

LONDON'S CORNER by Karen Trauner   (Drama)
An obedient son, struggling to maintain the family business after the tragic death of his parents, acts against character when in a shocking, split-second decision he allows their legacy to be destroyed, thereby changing the trajectory of his staid life while incurring the wrath of his city’s corrupt government.     

NOBLE ROT by Matthew Bryan  (Drama)
After opening a failed restaurant in NYC and falling deep in debt, a rebellious young woman returns to the family wine business in Oregon to discover her controlling mother is dying and it’s up to her and her two siblings to save the vineyard and their family’s legacy.  

RAFFLES by Kenneth A. Payne  (Action / Drama)
Charming, enigmatic A.J. Raffles navigates contemporary London society, supporting her lavish lifestyle with a series of daring jewel heists. 

SCAVENGERS by Dan O'Donahue   (Time-Travel / Thriller)
Decades after her missing father appeared in her garage then shockingly vanished again, a pawn shop owner discovers he was a scavenger –– a time-traveling thief who hunts priceless artifacts in the past –– and must decide whether to undertake the dangerous scavenger lifestyle herself when her impulsive brother is recruited by a mysterious woman claiming to be their father’s protege.

TEAM PLAYER by Kris Crenwelge  (Comedy)
An overzealous young woman is thrilled to start her new job with the ailing Pittsburgh Demons NBA team as the Assistant VP of Marketing earning $120k a year, but she soon discovers a shitty fax machine means she’s actually agreed to be the Assistant to the VP of Marketing and she’s only going to be making $20k.

As always, here are a few honorable mentions for 2020. I can't list everyone, so please don't be upset if you didn't make either list.

Honorary Mentions:

B*TCH by Rachel Long and Brian Pittman
GUNSHIP by D. Taunton-Fraser
G MONEY by Max Carver
HEATHEN by Sammy Franco
HORROR NIGHT by Derick Otto & Rebecca Arnold
MY VENGEANCE SEE by Oliver Jolliffe
27245 by Steve Fournier
CHOKE by Mohummad Humza Elahi
DEATH DOULA by Gaby Purchase
SENGOKU by Rumi Oyama & Joseph Pham
CHEMISTRY by Michael Wechsler & Terry Keefe
DAKAR by Greta Heinemann (Setup at Amblin Ent.)
WIND FARM by Noelle Roso
CHLOE by Sathish Loganathan
WILDLANDS by Samuel Hunt
WHEN WENDY GREW UP by Jenna St. John

- - - - - - -

I received 522 submissions in 2019. These were my favorites.

If you're a writer on the list and want anything edited (or spot a mistake) please email me at screenplaymechanic@gmail.com

If you're an interested agent, manager, or producer and I don't already know you, email me and I'll connect you with the writers.




BALD EAGLES by Peter Alexander   (Comedy) 
Several Americans vacationing in Colombia stumble onto a plant in the jungle which can cure baldness, so without a hair between them they desperately try to grab some of the magical leaves for themselves, but that puts them in direct conflict with a local drug cartel. 

BEAUTIFUL LIE by Lauren Merage   (Psychological Thriller)
After she's injured in a car accident which kills her father, a young dancer meets the perfect man and a whirlwind romance ensues, but she slowly begins to realize he cannot be trusted and their initial meeting was anything but a chance encounter.

DON'T TELL A SOUL by D.G. Stone   (Supernatural Thriller)
A centuries-old witch possesses the body of a 17 year-old high school student and seduces boys, which renders them catatonic if they "tell," but things get complicated when she befriends a new girl in town, and also discovers she's being pursued by three bounty hunters.

HACKED by Dylan Dockery   (Sci-Fi / Action)
An ex-Marine turned journalist explores a new prison off the California coast where once-violent inmates have received brain implants which make them harmless, but when someone hacks the latest upgrade to protect the for-profit prison industry all hell breaks loose overnight.

LA MAMÁ by Chris Commons & Peter King   (Biopic / Prison Drama)
Chronicles the life of Mary Brenner, a successful businesswoman, wife and mother who shuns an affluent Los Angeles lifestyle to move into a dangerous Mexican prison to care for the forgotten inmates and guards as a nun.  

LIFESAVER by David Beck   (Drama)
Fired from her teaching job at a Catholic School after 22 years, a transgender woman contemplates suicide until she meets a young girl who has two fathers – one of whom recently left with a woman – and they have a profound impact on each other’s life.

MAXWELL by Luke Domet  (Sci-Fi Thriller)
An android “boy,“ who is rigged with an explosive device should he fall into enemy hands, escapes from a military proving ground, and when he meets a 10 year–old robotics whiz with a defective heart they instantly become best friends and try to help each other.

TEN PIN by Gaby Purchase   (Comedy / Drama)
Desperate to raise some money to fund his passion for ten-pin bowling, a chubby 14 year-old kid decides to enter a multi-school cooking competition and soon discovers an all-new passion which transforms his life and brings his family closer together.  

THE DELIVERY by Joe Ferran   (Thriller)
A young piano prodigy desperate for a break is forced to confront his dark side when one "errand" for his music industry idol turns into a night of bloodshed, drugs and betrayal.

WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S III by Pete Johnson & Craig Miller  (Comedy)
Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman set out to kick-start their fading acting careers with a WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S sequel. But their plan faces serious jeopardy when a violent accident puts them in the same position as the characters that once made them famous.    

(The last few years I've started receiving a much higher percentage of TV pilots, so this year I picked 10 favorites instead of 5.)


52 by Ryan K. Scott  (Drama / Thriller)
*Logline Confidential*

A MATTER OF DEGREE by Melissa Neiman, M.D., J.D.  (Legal/Medical Drama)
A successful, determined neurosurgeon, wronged and vilified by her colleagues, switches her career to law, and in her first case faces the arrogant and misogynistic surgeon under whom she trained, wielding her medical expertise in the courtroom as she begins an enduring quest for justice.

BOOM SQUAD: ABDUCTION by Crosby Selander   (Sci-Fi / Action)
An honorable gunslinger from the Old West and his female sidekick are abducted by an alien organization known as Xavier and forced to fight on separate teams in a gladiator-style tournament, but they escape with their teammates and form a “squad“ to take down their former captors. 

BROWNSVILLE by Jesse Knight  (Period Drama)
A U.S. Army battalion of African-American soldiers arrive in a small Texas town to replace the all–white troops who were posted there before them, but the locals are not happy and it’s up to the battalion’s business-savvy unofficial leader to keep the peace. 

KENTUCKY KINGS by Noah Thomas Grossman  (Period Drama)
After the destruction of their distillery, a Kentucky bourbon family struggles to preserve their way of life as Civil War erupts.

PROPHETS AND SHEEP by Jeff Nord   (Drama)
Two brothers are estranged because one of them is gay and left their parent’s cult–like church, but when he discovers his 6 year–old son will die unless he gets a heart transplant, he returns and begs for forgiveness with the aim of destroying the church from within.    

SAR–AK by Sarah F. Sprague  (Action / Drama)
A rookie Rescue Swimmer for a Coast Guard team which operates in the rough seas and storms of Alaska undertakes her first real mission, pulling two SEALs from a sinking fishing vessel. 

THE RESURRECTED by Kim Garland   (Supernatural Thriller)
When a dead body comes back to life and then escapes from a Manhattan funeral home, the determined Funeral Director, Lexi Rivera, must track down the body to clear herself of wrongdoing.

TRIX by Melissa A. Calderone & Brandon Carter   (Period Drama / Aviation)
*Logline Confidential* 

In the fast-paced, cutthroat world of L.A.’s garment industry, an estranged daughter takes over a failing apparel company from her mother – a fashion icon from the 70s (think Cheryl Tiegs) who suffers from early stages of dementia.


I was too busy last January to add this section for 2018, but here's a few honorable mentions for 2019. I can't list everyone, so please don't be upset if you didn't make either list (like the two angry writing partners who emailed me last year).

Honorary Mentions:

KAYFABE by Farouk Chakwa
STARVED by Mary E. Gracen-Farrell
CONTROLLER by Alexis Howell-Jones
SPACE SUCKERS by Derick Otto & Rebecca Arnold
MONSTERS by Matthew Bryan
NO HEROES HERE by Clint Williams
SUNDAY'S TRUST by Mark Allan Anderson
TANK by Travis Seppala
THE LONGEST SLEEP by Benjamin Wong
MURDER IN LONDON by Neeraj Katyal
THE SPEECH WRITER by Kathleen Coggshall

THE SERVICE by Edward Klau
ANGELS OF WAR by Natalie Bergman & Victoria Rau
BURNED by John Covarrubias
THREADS by Peter Bishop
ICE QUEENS by Cara Hedley
FIRST LADY by Mika Frank

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AVA by Joel Irwin   (Sci-Fi Thriller) 
A woman named Ava wakes up in a remote and secluded mansion to find herself a captive to a man who claims to be her husband, but in spite of the evidence she struggles to believe him and eventually makes a shocking discovery hidden in the basement. 

THE SWING BACK by Gaby Purchase   (Comedy)
A middle-aged couple, who are on the brink of divorce after 25 years of marriage, are gifted a 7-day vacation in Mexico by their daughter, but they arrive to discover it’s a resort for Swingers.

BLINDERS by Edward Klau   (Thriller)
When blind femme fatale Della Fremont manipulates her girlfriend into killing her husband, she discovers he’s planning a murder of his own and a perfect plan takes a dangerous detour.

CHRISTMAS DILEMMA by Tiayoka McMillian   (Comedy)
Unable to agree on whose parents to spend the holidays with, a newly-married couple opt to stay in their Atlanta home, but when both families show up unexpectedly, Christmas gets wild.

JUNGLEBALL by Steve Dini  (Vietnam War / True Story)
Chronicles the true story of a rivalry between a unit of American MPs and a detachment of Green Berets which culminates in a televised softball game near the front lines. 

CORA David Michael Milwee   (Sci-Fi Thriller)
When a venture capitalist agrees to fund a tech firm, they loan him a beautiful female robot whom he houses in his city apartment so he can use her for extra-marital sex, but he later learns she was actually designed for espionage and combat, and a malfunction makes her insanely jealous.

MURDERABILIA by Neil Krolicki   (Serial-Killer Thriller / Black Comedy)
The adult son of a dead serial-killer makes a living by communicating with prison inmates and selling macabre memorabilia, but when a detective hires him to help locate the skull of her own father (one of his dad’s victims) and a copy-cat embarks on a killing spree, his life is thrown into turmoil. 

THE JANITOR by Matthew Lee Blackburn  (Thriller)
A mob rib-breaker turned high school janitor seeks to redeem his violent past by preventing a young girl from making the same mistakes he did, but when drugs and gangs overrun her school, he must risk his cover to clean it up.

THE LAST TRIP by Christina Ferguson   (Drama / Comedy)
A successful married woman who works in Silicon Valley has her life turned upside down when Jerry Garcia dies and her estranged parents – two Deadheads – roll into town to pay their respects.

THE ROCK by Craig Knowles  (Drama)
After his son dies in the military, an aging farmer unearths a huge boulder in the middle of the field he wants to sow, but when he tries to remove it he discovers it goes deeper and deeper, which leads to an epic battle of man versus rock.   



SANCTUARY by Victoria Rau  (Drama / Thriller)
An Irish priest takes a job in a broken-down parish in a troubled Chicago neighborhood and he seems harboring a secret agreement with a Colombian drug cartel. 

BURN by David Gittins  (Crime Drama / Thriller)
While a drug-addicted San Bernadino County fire chief battles flames and tries to thwart a merger with the state’s fire department, a fire investigator with the county sheriff’s office longs for an arson investigation and gets precisely what he wanted. 

HOOKED by Alexandra Adornetto   (Thriller / Fantasy)
A young man who lives on the streets of Los Angeles has been searching for his friend Belle for over a decade, but she’s fallen into the hands of a sociopath who intends to harvest a drug named “Dust” from her blood because she’s not actually human – she’s a fairy.    

THE FIGHT GAME by Derek Finney  (Boxing Drama)
While a veteran white boxer defies his coach and looks to compete in bigger fights, a young black fighter who moved from NY to LA aims to build a career but must deal with institutionalized racism, and mobster Mickey Cohen prepares for his own fight with the authorities and his business rivals. 

LOW CIRCULATION by Patrick Dorsey  (Comedy)
Fired from the Tampa Bay Times on the day her team wins a Pulitzer, a dedicated investigative journalist is forced to take a job at a small-town newspaper that runs nothing but fluff stories ... for now.





THE RISING HAWK by Yaroslav Voitseshek  (Historical Adventure / War)
When a Mongolian Kahn orders his army into the Carpathian Mountains to destroy a community of Ruthenians, a brave young warrior and his brothers lead a counter-attack which pits a handful of them against thousands of Mongols. Based on the novel by Ivan Franko.

1066 by Victoria Rau  (Historical Drama / War )
Chronicles the rise to the throne of King Harold and the two subsequent wars he is forced to fight – against the Vikings and William The Bastard – in order to retain his rule over England. 

LONG HAUL by Jesse Chatham  (Action Thriller)
Desperate to pay for his young daughter’s leukemia treatment, a long-haul truck driver steals a large amount of money from his employers – who smuggle arms and drugs – and heads for a Colorado hospital with his family, but the men he robbed pick up his scent and they want their money back.

UNPLUGGED by Bobby Finnegan & Bob Flathers  (Comedy)
A successful technology critic who is addicted to gadgets has a mishap with her self-driving car prompting a court judge to sentence her to a 30-day rehab program, during which time she is forbidden to use any form of technology.

MICHELANGELO MACHINE by Michael McGee  (Sci-Fi / Action / Adventure)
In the future, when the Los Angeles Museum of Modern Art is filled with holograms and robotic artwork, a teenager becomes trapped inside and must do battle with a deadly military drone to save the curator’s daughter.

THE PAYOUT by Samuel J. Winokur  (Thriller)
A tough street gang member picks the winning numbers in a $240m lottery, but his remarkable good fortune makes him a target and he’s hunted all night by his own gang members, a rival gang, and a crooked cop, all of whom want the ticket for themselves.

TRIBAL by Erik Candiani  (Horror-Thriller)
When a group of friends on a desperate road trip to Mexico takes a detour through a Native American Indian reservation, things go south fast as they become the unexpected prey in a ruthless annual hunt.

ZERO DAY by Paul Erskine  (Action)
When a devastating large-scale attack is launched on Washington D.C. and the U.S. President is murdered, a Secret Service agent fights with all she’s got to protect the VP and his teenage daughter.

POST-PARTUM by Brie Mitchell  (Comedy)
Four women with diverse backgrounds, lives, and careers, experience childbirth then form their own unofficial support group as they navigate the first 6 weeks of parenthood.

A THOUSAND MILES TO FREEDOM by Suzanne Allain  (Biopic / Drama / True Story)
A young slave woman who can pass for Caucasian runs away from a Georgia plantation with her black slave husband and disguises herself as a white male so she can pose as his “Master” and help them complete the treacherous journey to the Northeast.

(Last year, I only selected three pilots to make the list. These days, however, the percentage of submissions which are TV pilots as opposed to features has risen dramatically, hence I seletected five.)


THE MAGDELENE RANCH by Charlotte Winters  (Drama / Comedy)
Tricked into attending her brothel madam mother’s wedding, a pastor’s timid wife and her rebellious teenaged daughter consider staying to help run the family business. 

LAW OF THE RIVER by Meagan Daine  (Crime Thriller)
When a former Chief of Tribal Police returns home to the Jicarilla Apache Nation to search for his missing niece, he gets pulled into a hotbed of conflict between struggling locals, a White-owned resource development company, and a pan-tribal activist group led by his violent, unpredictable brother -- with whom he has a serious score to settle.

When a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist from Los Angeles relocates to Richmond, Virginia, the city’s two rival newspapers compete to hire her, and she ultimately picks the underdog because of the owner’s integrity and determination to expose a widespread corruption.

HEROES OF THE PENITENTIARY by Matthew Lombardo (Mafia Drama)
The story of the Italian-American Mafia is told in an episodic anthology format, featuring viewpoints from all that were impacted, not just the gangsters themselves. The pilot tells the true story of Chris Rosenberg, a Jewish American who—en route to pursuing his futile lifelong dream of becoming the mob’s first non-Italian inductee—caught the lustful eye of sadistic Gambino capo Roy DeMeo and became a willing participant in one of the most notorious murder sprees in American history.

DEAD MEN by T.A. Snyder (Western / Thriller)
A small town Sheriff leads an elite group of soldiers to eliminate a notorious group of murderers whose plans for revenge could threaten the stability of the government.


Honorary Mentions:

MEDINA TAXI by Steven P. Goodin
HIGH RIVER by John Albanis & Dan Mitchell
YOTE by Aaron Carew
THE TRAIL by E.L. Davis
NIGHT OWL by Joel Irwin
OEDIPUS by J.R. Halterlein
THE BETRAYAL by Jill Hoppe
STATE OF EMERGENCY by Luke Goltz & Max Yaney
DOGPLAYER by Alexandra Bromstad Lubenova & Nathan Hertz
FOR REAL by Abu Berat
ALMOST HEAVEN by Confidential

HUMANITY 2.0 by Wendy J. Goody
THE FATES: NORJAK by The Cosci Brothers
COLONY ONE by David Minaskanian & Quentin David
FOREVER WAR by Reid Morgan

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The annual Lugnut List is my favorite material from the 380 submissions I received during the past calendar year. It is not an attempt to compete with any other list. It's just for fun and to potentially give the authors more exposure.

If you're a writer on the list and want anything edited (or spot a mistake) please email me at screenplaymechanic@gmail.com

If you're an interested agent, manager, or producer and I don't already know you, email me and I'll connect you with the writers.

- - - - -


ILAND by Jesse Chatham (Drama)
After her husband and son are murdered in a mass shooting at a shopping mall, a devastated lawyer decides she wants to disappear off the grid and have no human contact, so she buys 200 acres in Wyoming and learns how to fend for herself and live off the land.

THE PAPER-MAKER'S DAUGHTER by Jacob Coakley (Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Adventure)
Held captive in 19th-century London, a young Japanese woman—made entirely of paper—yearns to be free to return home. But when she escapes the clutches of the sinister Commander of the Royal Air Fleet she finds herself embroiled in a larger struggle between humans and mechanicals, and has to help free them all before she can be free herself.

RISING TIDE by Tim Drain, Don Millar and Eric Hogan (Drama / Thriller)
Skeptical and disillusioned with his first job at a tabloid website, a young journalist breaks a story about a corrupt oil company burying what they knew about climate change, then quickly finds himself in over his head, and in the crosshairs of the big oil machine.

GAME SET SCRATCH by Billie Bates (Sports / Comedy)
After relocating to a small town in Illinois from New York for her husband’s new job, a mother of two is desperate to find some friends so she joins a tennis club and soon develops a passion for the sport, or rather a determination to beat a snooty rival.

REUNION by John Biolsi (Comedy / Drama)
A group of people in their late 20s gather together for their 10-year high school reunion and, needless to say, it’s an evening of cat-fighting, bad memories, and social dysfunction.

HAUNTING AT 1600 by Asabi Lee & Paul Hart-Wilden (Supernatural Thriller)
The newly-inaugurated President and her family are haunted by vicious spirits in the White House, forcing her to dig up the dark truth about one of the biggest lies the White House has ever told. Inspired by True Events.

THE PAPER TIGERS by Tran Quoc Bao (Martial Arts / Action)
When their old Kung Fu master dies under mysterious circumstances, three estranged friends, despite being terribly out of shape and washed-up as fighters, must reawaken their abilities to find the killer and restore their master’s honor.

S.O.S. (Ship Of State) by Eric Henry, Bruce Todesco, & Paula Landry (Action Thriller)
A billionaire philanthropist uses his technological prowess to locate a large group of school girls abducted by Boko Haram, something the world’s intelligence services are unable to do, but when it becomes clear the CIA have no intention of launching a rescue mission he’s forced to take action himself.

JIHAD by Paul Erskine (Wartime / Thriller)
Three radicalized British teenagers travel from London to Syria so they can fight for ISIS, but shortly after their arrival in the city of Al-Raqqah they’re split up and realize they’ve made a grave mistake.

DISEMBARK by Peter Alexander (Sci-Fi Thriller)
Two scientists purposely release a swarm of deadly flesh-eating microscopic robots aboard a cruise ship, to expose the danger of the project they were working on, but they didn’t count on a handful of survivors, including a tough female ex-con who was using the cruise to try and reconcile with her young daughter.

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OASIS "Subversives" by John Covarrubias (Crime Drama)
Set in 1952, an uptight FBI agent is sent on assignment to the famously private and depraved town of Palm Springs, where he poses as a real estate developer to track down a Russian spy living among Hollywood stars, corrupt politicians and deadly gangsters.

CRUSHED by Jill Hoppe (Drama)
When the beloved founder of a world-renowned winery retires because of health problems, his children inherit not only a multi-million dollar business but also one dead body and a legacy of dark family secrets they’re now required to protect.

THE TWIST by George Gier and Emmett Overbey (Sci-Fi / Thriller / Drama)
A washed-up TV producer convinces a network to put his new, revolutionary idea for a show on the air and it’s an instant hit, but the first-person POV imagery from 1962 is actually the tapped memories of a cryogenically frozen man who is accidentally brought back to life during a power surge.

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As always, here's a few honorable mentions. I can't list everyone, so please don't be upset if you didn't make the list. There were many other screenplays I enjoyed reading, clients I'm a fan of, and plenty of cool ideas, some of which simply needed more development.

GARGOYLE by Victoria Rau and Brendon Udy
BAD ASS SOLDIER by Steven P. Goodin
LEOPARD by Thivanka R. Perera
SAVAGE by Luke Randall
PAYNESVILLE by Matthew Peek & Cameron Ford
ROUGH EDGES by Evan Laughlin
TRUE WEST by Tom Groneberg
DISPOSE by Jay Rodriguez
DEATH IS MY PLAN B by Roberto Bentivegna
FASCINATION 127 by Alex Carl
LOVE AT WAR by Noella Borie
ROOFTOP by Simon Paniora
JACQUELINE / HYDE by Matthew Bryan
PAWN'S GAME by Tom Lewis
MUMMY'S BOY by Stewart McDonald

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Every year, people ask how many "Considers" I award. I use four recommendations in my coverage:

Consider (solid execution, strong idea. definitely worth reading)
Consider w/ reservations (good concept and/or strengths in execution)
Pass w/ reservations (a pass but there are some positives)
Pass (needs significant work or concept is weak)

This year I gave less than 5 full considers out of 380.

As always, thank you to all my clients for trusting me to read your work...