Alta California

an historical action-adventure drama set in California’s mission period

  I am an immigrant, coming to the United States in my 20s.  Immigrants, particularly older ones, comes with certain ways of seeing. For me, this was particularly true of a way of seeing history.  History for me (European) was power, the struggle for land, domination, Machiavellian tactics, etc.  Yet, here I was taking a class on American history which was completely white-washed.  No indigenous peoples, blacks, or women.  Just white men. 

Somehow I go through that class.  But it set me thinking.  I set myself a task: name some California Indian tribes.  I think I got about 3!!  Yet there were once 500+!  What had happened?  I moved back through the coming of the miners, land grabbers, etc. and arrived at the mission era.  Was that the beginning of the end for the indigenous peoples of California?  Padre Serra and the secular/military authorities (Captain Felipe de Neve) had vastly different ideas on what should happen to baptized mission Indians (neophytes) when the Spanish left California.  For Serra, the indigenous peoples should be left in the mission.  God would protect them.  in contrast, Neve wanted them returned to their tribes.  Serra won and got gained sainthood and Neve—and the California Indians—lost.  How did Serra win despite orders from King Carlos of Spain and Captain de Neve.  His method can only be described as Machiavellian.

This historical truth is the background to the fictional story of a helf-blood, Paco Palido.  When his mother is slaughtered and tribe wiped out, the half-breed boy is “saved” by a Franciscan priest.  Renamed, Paco Palido, he now works as a mission guard, steadily refusing baptism.  His is a quest for his people, for a place he belongs, and a people he can call his own.

Multiple national and international award winner.

Although this could be regarded as a "period" piece, it deals with the contemporary issue of revisionist history, particularly that of a 'forgotten' people, the California Indians.

Although this could be regarded as a "period" piece, it deals with the contemporary issue of revisionist history, particularly that of a 'forgotten' people, the California Indians.

LOGLINE:  The time is the turbulent California mission era.  A mixed-blood young man, who witnessed the slaughter of his tribe and mother, now serves as an unbaptized mission guard struggling to find a home, a place he belongs as the Spanish prepare to leave California. 

Multiple national and international award winner

ALTA CALIFORNIA deals with questions of identity, dispossession, dehumanization and the tools used by the conquerors to achieve their goals.

 


Selected for All Genre Screenplay Contest
Finalist in Filmmatic “Pitch Now” screenplay competition
Finalist in Creative Screenwriting Screenplay Contest
Finalist in Pitch Now Screenplay Competition
Finalist in Finish Line Script Competition
Finalist in both the Best Action/Adventure and Global Script Challenge of the 2018 Oaxaca FilmFest
Winner of Partner in Industry Award at 2018 Oaxaca Film Festival

Award Winner, Depth of Field International Film Festival, Nassau, DE.  2020
Finalist -  2020: Toronto's Film Festival of Time: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror & History

Best Writer, Prix Royal, 2020

Finalist, Australasia's Film Festival of time, 2020

Semi-finalist, Page Turner International Film Festival

Semi-finalist, Sirota Finish Line Social Impact, 2020

Finalist, Film Lot, 2020

Award Winner of the 1st Edition of Global Monthly Online Film Competition

Award Winner and Best Feature for Los Angeles Film Awards, 2020

Selected for Austin Revolution Film Festival, 2020

Award Winner for kalakari film fest, 2020

Awardd Winner, Los Angeles Film Awards, 2020

Award Winner, Madras International Film Festival, 2020

Award Winner.  Wonderland International Film Festival, 2020.

--OFFICIAL SELECTON,.  Paris Arts and Movie Awards PAMA, 2020

--SEMI-FINALIST.  TIROTA_FINISH LINE SOCIAL IMPACT SCRIPT COMPETION, 2020

--FINALIST.  BEYOND THE CURVE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, 2020Lone

-- FINALIST LONELY SEAL INTERNATIONAL FILM, SCREENPLAY AND MUSIC FESTIVAL, 2020.  CANNES AWARD, 2020

-AWARD WINNER.  Summer Edition of Point of View Indie Film Awards, 2020.

AWARD WINNER.  Lonely Wolf (London) International Film Festival, 2020

AWARD WINNER, Global Film Festival (LA), 2020.  Best feature.

BEST DRAMA FEATURE SCREENPLAY/AWARD WINNER,  Los Angeles Film Awards, 2020

AWARD/SCRIPT WINNER.  The Film Club/Lot of Australia, 2020.

OFFICIAL SELECTION.  U.K.. Film Festival (London), 2020)

 

--OFFICIAL SELECTION, Mediterranean Film Festival, 2020)

--AWARD WINNER, Andaman and Nocobar International Film Festival, 2020

--AWARD WINNER. Indo French International Film Festival, 2020

--AWARD WINNER. Kateye International Film Festival, 2020

--SEMI FINALIST.  Fade In Awards-True Story/Biopic. 2020

--AWARD WINNER, Five Continents International Film Festival, 2021

--QUARTER FINALIST, Miami Film Festival, 2021.

--SELECTED.   North Europe International Film Festival: London Edition 2021.

--FINALIST.  Golden Fox Award, 2021

--AWARD WINNER NS BEST FEATURE SCRIPT, Goldstar Movie Awards, 2021.

--QUARTER-FINALIST in Your Script Produced, 2021

--OFFICIAL ACCEPTANCE,  Beverley Hills Film Festival, 2021

--AWARD WINNER, Gold Star Movie Awards, 2021.

--AWARD WINNER, Crown Wood International Film Festival, 2021.

--AWARD WINNER.  Mokkho International Film Festival, 2021

--FINALIST, The Wiki Screenplay Contest, 2021

--AWARD WINNER.  WorldFest Houston International Film Festival, 2021

--AWARD WINNER, Depth of Film Field International.  2020

--AWARD WINNER,  Vegas Movie Awards, 2021

“Exquisite”.  Lonely Wolf International Film Festival.

 


SERRA
I won’t be here in the morning.  Do you think I wait for authorization from Captain de Neve while this—
PALIDO
Say it!  This heathen whose mother was a savage, a whore unbaptized at her death.  Say it!  Her soul burns in the everlasting flames of hell.  Eternal damnation.  Say it!
CRESPI
Palido, the Padre didn’t . . .
PALIDO
Remind me that no matter how much I study the scriptures, how much I fall on my knees and pray, how many ‘Hail Marys,’ I say, how many times I confess and beg forgiveness, for you the heathen is here, inside me, always!


Selected for All Genre Screenplay Contest
Finalist in Filmmatic “Pitch Now” screenplay competition
Finalist in Creative Screenwriting Screenplay Contest
Finalist in Pitch Now Screenplay Competition
Finalist in Finish Line Script Competition
Finalist in both the Best Action/Adventure and Global Script Challenge of the 2018 Oaxaca FilmFest
Winner of Partner in Industry Award at 2018 Oaxaca Film Festival

Award Winner, Depth of Field International Film Festival, Nassau, DE.  2020
Finalist -  2020: Toronto's Film Festival of Time: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror & History

Best Writer, Prix Royal, 2020

Finalist, Australasia's Film Festival of time, 2020

Semi-finalist, Page Turner International Film Festival

Semi-finalist, Sirota Finish Line Social Impact, 2020

Finalist, Film Lot, 2020

Award Winner of the 1st Edition of Global Monthly Online Film Competition

Award Winner and Best Feature for Los Angeles Film Awards, 2020

Selected for Austin Revolution Film Festival, 2020

Award Winner for kalakari film fest, 2020

Awardd Winner, Los Angeles Film Awards, 2020

Award Winner, Madras International Film Festival, 2020

Award Winner.  Wonderland International Film Festival, 2020.

--OFFICIAL SELECTON,.  Paris Arts and Movie Awards PAMA, 2020

--SEMI-FINALIST.  TIROTA_FINISH LINE SOCIAL IMPACT SCRIPT COMPETION, 2020

--FINALIST.  BEYOND THE CURVE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, 2020Lone

-- FINALIST LONELY SEAL INTERNATIONAL FILM, SCREENPLAY AND MUSIC FESTIVAL, 2020.  CANNES AWARD, 2020

-AWARD WINNER.  Summer Edition of Point of View Indie Film Awards, 2020.

AWARD WINNER.  Lonely Wolf (London) International Film Festival, 2020

AWARD WINNER, Global Film Festival (LA), 2020.  Best feature.

BEST DRAMA FEATURE SCREENPLAY/AWARD WINNER,  Los Angeles Film Awards, 2020

AWARD/SCRIPT WINNER.  The Film Club/Lot of Australia, 2020.

OFFICIAL SELECTION.  U.K.. Film Festival (London), 2020)

-OFFICIAL SELECTION, Mediterranean Film Festival, 2020)

 

--AWARD WINNER, Andaman and Nocobar International Film Festival, 2020

--AWARD WINNER. Indo French International Film Festival, 2020

--SEMI FINALIST.  Fade In Awards-True Story/Biopic. 2020

--OFFICIAL SELECTION, Five Continents International Film Festival, 2021

--OFFICIAL SELECTION, Mediterranean Film Festival, 2020)

--AWARD WINNER, Andaman and Nocobar International Film Festival, 2020

--AWARD WINNER. Indo French International Film Festival, 2020

--AWARD WINNER. Kateye International Film Festival, 2020

--SEMI FINALIST.  Fade In Awards-True Story/Biopic. 2020

--OFFICIAL SELECTION, Five Continents International Film Festival, 2021

--QUARTER FINALIST, Miami Film Festival, 2021.

--SELECTED North Europe International Film Festival: London Edition 2021.

--FINALSIT.  Golden Fox Award, 2021

--AWARD WINNER NS BEST FEATURE SCRIPT, Goldstar Movie Awards, 2021.

--QUARTER-FINALIST in Your Script Produced, 2021

--OFFICIAL ACCEPTANCE,  Beverley Hills Film Festival, 2021

--AWARD WINNER, Gold Star Movie Awards, 2021.

--AWARD WINNER, Crown Wood International Film Festival, 2021.

--AWARD WINNER.  Mokkho International Film Festival, 2021

--FINALIST, The Wiki Screenplay Contest, 2021

--AWARD WINNER.  WorldFest Houston International Film Festival, 2021

--AWARD WINNER, Depth of Film Field International.  2020

--AWARD WINNER,  Vegas Movie Awards, 2021

 

--FINALIST, 4th Dimension Independent Film Festival, 2021.

--AWARD WINNER/BEST SCREENPLAY, CIUDAD DE MEXICO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, 2021.

--HONORABLE MENTION.  Santa Barbara International Screenplay Award, 2021.

--BEST FEATURE SCRIPT,.  Paris Arts and Movie Awards PAMA, 2020

--WINNER.  Royal Society of Television and Motion Picture Awards, 2021.

--QUARTER FINALIST, Reno Tahoe Screenplay Contest, 2021.

--OFFICIAL SELECTION.  Open Window International  Film Challenge, 2021.

--AWARD WINNER.  Pinnacle Film Awards, 2021.

--FINALIST.  DIAMOND AWARD, BEST SCREENPLAY, Mindfield Film Festival. 2021

--FINALIST, Beverley Hills Film Festival, 2021.

--AWARD WINNER and OURSTANDING FEATURE.  Williamsburg Music and Film Festival, 2021.

COMMENTS:

Exquisite”.  Lonely Wolf International Film Festival.    “Overall, the screenplay is a fascinating, if sometimes oppressive piece of work. Each character brings something interesting and important to the historical story. In similar vein to works such as ‘The Eagle’ or ‘The Pilgrimmage’, this screenplay could make a dark and gritty but incredibly interesting and valuable historical adventure/drama feature film.”  Annie Knox, Lonely Wolf. 

"With some additional character development on this front, Alta California promises to be the dramatic juggernaut it sets out to be". (Wiki Screenplay)

Redrafted since this comment.

"Your script was amazing! No wonder it won! We hope you enjoyed FFFF and you'll send us more of your amazing work!"  Film Fantastique, Paris, France

 

 

 


SERRA
I won’t be here in the morning.  Do you think I wait for authorization from Captain de Neve while this—
PALIDO
Say it!  This heathen whose mother was a savage, a whore unbaptized at her death.  Say it!  Her soul burns in the everlasting flames of hell.  Eternal damnation.  Say it!
CRESPI
Palido, the Padre didn’t . . .
PALIDO
Remind me that no matter how much I study the scriptures, how much I fall on my knees and pray, how many ‘Hail Marys,’ I say, how many times I confess and beg forgiveness, for you the heathen is here, inside me, always!