Short Screenplay – Bowling for Concubines by Vanessa Marlowe

Watch the July 2016 Comedy Short Screenplay Winner.

Bowling for Concubines by Vanessa Marlowe


Genre: Mockumentary, Comedy

Investigative reporters, Jean Burbank and Robert Ibsen, explore the highly controversial game of Bowling for Concubines in this satirical mockumentary. Involving bowling balls and actual human concubines as pins, B.F.C. forces a nation to question its own morals. Should fun come at any cost? Some say yes. These questions and more will be answered via variously dubious testimonies.


MAN – Michael Gaty
NATASHA – Kiran Friesen
BORIS – David Occhipinti
MISS WINDIG – Judy Thrush
TALL LANKY GUY – Dan Cristofori
CLERK – Mark Boutros
KOYLA – Sean Ballantyne
CAROL – Viktoria Napolenova

Get to know the winning writer:

1. What is your screenplay about?

It’s about people’s fascination with violence and sex – somethings some of us can’t get enough of – expressed in the form of a violent game that releases humanity’s own repressed and erratic nature by breaking all the rules.

2. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

“Bowling for Concubines” would make a very compelling film because the issues addressed – violence, sex, religion and our very own moral values – are forever relevant. Also, the story expressed as a satire helps us to not only evaluate the absurdity of our own warped behavior, but hopefully, laugh at it as well.

3. How would you describe this script in two words?

Sexual Revolution!!

4. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

It’s a tie between Back To The Future and Wizard of Oz.

5. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I worked on it for six months.

6. How many stories have you written?

Many short stories…one feature screenplay and 3 features in-process, two unpublished novels that I’m adapting into additional screenplays… A handful of short films, and a few sketches as well. The hope is the writer finishes his/her projects and doesn’t let them all collect dust! 😛

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

The film “Bowling for Columbine” had such a unique title when I first heard it that I immediately went to “Bowling for Concubines” (As the comedic mind corrupts all.) which I thought was a strange notion, then feeling passionately about the topic of sex trafficking, women’s rights, violence and sexual abuse, decided to tie it in there somehow.

8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Just trying to end it. A strong ending is very challenging for me.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Creatively speaking…acting. Comedy. Dancing. Filmmaking. Art. Interior Design. Colors. Textures…Personally…Exercise. Nature. Meditation. Nutrition. Love. Globally…Women and children’s rights. Water access, health care access, education. Treating the earth with respect and helping to heal it and ourselves in the process. World peace.

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

Just trying to get my work out there. I think the concern is always wanting it to be polished as possible but sometimes you just gotta put it out there and hope for the best. I will always continue to work on my material as best I can in the time that I can focus on it. The feedback was helpful, constructive. I always feel like everyone has a different perception of what can be interpreted as offensive. Writing comedy you’re going to offend people at some point but comedy doesn’t apologize, so neither can I. You can’t make everyone happy, but you can try to convey a solid message and make some people laugh, and maybe give them food for thought as they get into bed at night or as they criticize some aspect in irritation. I’d rather my work made people angry than inspired them to just go home and eat potato chips and completely forget about what they just saw or read. I mean if I’m not moving someone to feeling something, than I’m not doing my job.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Get yourself into a quiet, peaceful place of rigid discipline and routine when it comes to writing. If your mind isn’t at peace, than it’s hard to concentrate. Finding the discipline I think to do it is easier than being able to concentrate if, as most writers and artists at some point have experienced, times are tough and you’re struggling financially or whatever. But, as Charles Dickens wrote, “It was the best of the times, it was the worst of times…” Through it all, the truly dedicated, determined prevail in completing their work and seeing it through. If you want to start a revolution, it starts with that first word on that magical paper.

Find what inspires you and light that fire I say! 🙂


Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson


By comedyfestival

Film and Writing Festival for Comedy. Showcasing best of comedy short films at the FEEDBACK Film Festival. Plus, showcasing best of comedy novels, short stories, poems, screenplays (TV, short, feature) at the festival performed by professional actors.

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