TORONTO, October 19, 2020 – Open Screenplay has announced that it wrapped shooting its first short film, The Poem, in Toronto today. The feel-good short-film is based on the winning screenplay by writer Murat Vargelci, from Open Screenplay’s screenwriting contest on the topic of mental health, held in partnership with Layla Carea mental health service that facilitates access to therapy 

The contest was launched to encourage writers to use the immense power of storytelling to tackle the challenges of speaking openly about mental health. And it appears the topic has resonated strongly with writers who submitted an impressive 143 screenplays submitted over the 6-week contest period, from 10 countries.  

The project showcases Open Screenplay’s ability to help new, emerging screenwriters find opportunities to showcase their creativity while writing about important topics. When asked about the project, contest winner Murat said the following: “I think everyone feels alone, isolated or left out at one point in their lives. I wanted to draw attention to the silent cries of others that we may be oblivious to while we are busy in our everyday routines. I am grateful to Open Screenplay and Layla Care for the wonderful opportunity. I am honored to be selected as the first prize winner and I would like to thank everyone involved in bringing this project to life.”

The short film is directed by award-winning director Matt Handy, and stars up and coming actor Nabeel El Khafif, best known for roles in Netflix The Mist and Amazon Prime’s The Expanse.  

About Layla Care

Layla empowers you to take greater control of your mental health, bridging the gap between wanting care and getting it. We're a human-first, tech-powered service that makes it simpler to connect with the right mental health support. Visit us at www.layla.care

Press Contact:  Sophie Stuart-Sheppard
Email: sophie@layla.care

About Open Screenplay

Open Screenplay, a free, first-of-its-kind online platform for screenwriters, was founded to provide access to writers struggling to break into the business by helping them create better stories through the platform’s proven story-writing process and tools. Open Screenplay is creating a global community, where members have the option to collaborate with writers around the world. Visit us at www.openscreenplay.com

Press Contact: Sami Alsabawi, Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer
Email: press@openscreenplay.com