Genre: comedy, road trip, coming of age, bromance
When teenaged boys, Cesar and Max, best friends from very different socio-economic backgrounds, get into trouble at home and at school, they take off to Mexico in search of Cesar’s long lost father and along the way learn the importance of friendship and family.
Get to know the writer:
1. What is your screenplay about?
“Cesar and Max” is about two 17 year old best friends. Max, is the son of a well-to-do attorney and stay at home mom who are going through a divorce, and Cesar, is the son of an illegal Mexican immigrant single mom struggling as a housekeeper. The boys get into trouble at home and at school for which Max, with his lawyer dad’s help, only gets a slap on the wrist, but finds Cesar in deep trouble when his mom does not show up to court fearing deportation. Instead of suffering the consequences of being put in juvie or a group home, Cesar decides to run away to Mexico to find his long-lost father. Max has had enough of his parent’s fighting and decides to join him. The boys have many adventures and mis-adventures (as only immature teenaged boys can) along the way, and learn the value of friendship and family.
2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?
3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?
It it topical in today’s society, dealing not only with stereotypical teenaged boy hijinks and stupidity, but also in the current political environment with so much controversy over illegal immigrants, Dreamers, and tensions between the US and Mexico over the Trump administrations policies. It also exemplifies how two people, from totally different backgrounds, can create a bond of friendship that overcomes their differences, obstacles and adversities.
4. How would you describe this script in two words?
5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
The Big Lebowski.
6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?
I wrote “Cesar and Max” when I was in the Professional Program in Screenwriting at UCLA many years ago. Life and finances got in the way, so I shelved it until just recently. And now there’s some great opportunities in the screenplay for Trump jokes. I hope I can get an agent or production company interested in my script to one day see it up on the “big screen.”
7. How many stories have you written?
2 and a half and a third. I have two completed screenplays,”Cesar and Max” and “Voices,” a nearly finished screenplay called, “I Hate You, A Love Story” and one somewhat outlined called, “Seeds of Deception.”
8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)
Beethoven’s 6th symphony, but that’s not quite a “song.”
“Touch of Grey” by the Grateful Dead.
9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?
Deadlines, family, a business I ran, life.
10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
I advocate for homeless and mental health issues. I have two adult children who live me who suffer from schizophrenia.
11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?
I like FilmFreeway, better than MovieBytes. I just wish it didn’t take so much digging in these sites to find out the entry price, because often when I find this cost I discover it’s out of my price range at the moment.
12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
I needed some feedback for “Cesar and Max,” and exposure, too. I feel it could actually get made one day – low budget, no name (but up-and-coming) young cast, built in audience. My other screenplay, “Voices” has won many awards, but “Cesar and Max” has not been submitted to many competitions or festivals because of money constraints. I also thought some people might find it offensive, and some do, but the story does redeem itself beyond those objections (mostly to stereotypes and crude behaviors) but also gives my characters rich “flaws,” which makes it interesting and real. These characters are based on real boys.
Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com
Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson
Camera Operator: Mary Cox