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Open Screenplay’s First Film, “The Poem”, Wins Best International Indie at Venice Shorts, Builds Momentum in Festival Circuit

Feb 22, 2021

TORONTO, Feb 22, 2021 Open Screenplay is proud to announce that its first short film, The Poem, has won Best International Indie Short Film at the Venice Shorts Film Festival. The Poem is a short film based on Murat Vargelci’s winning screenplay from Open Screenplay’s screenwriting contest on the topic of mental health which was launched in partnership with Layla Care, a mental health service that facilitates access to therapy. In addition to its winning its first award, the film seems to be gaining momentum in the festival circuit and has been named as semi-finalist in the LA Independent Film Festival Awards (LAIFFA)

The film touches on the monotony and loneliness of the daily urban grind, yet strikes a hopeful tone by showing that we are merely a single act of courage away from genuine human connection. The picture is helmed expertly by award-winning director Matt Handy, and stars Canadian actor Nabil El Khafif, best known for roles in Netflix The Mist and Amazon Prime’s The Expanse.    

When asked about the significance of the project, Open Screenplay Founder and CEO Khaled Sabawi said: “This is an important milestone for Open Screenplay as it demonstrates our ability to help businesses generate authentic and diverse stories from their audience that can then be produced into powerful short films, while simultaneously helping new, emerging screenwriters find opportunities to showcase their creativity and write about important topics. We are incredibly proud of this project, and thankful to Matt Handy, Nabil ElKhafif, and the folks at Layla Care for helping bring it to life”. 

“We are touched by the response that our partnership with Open Screenplay has received. The Poem is a powerful story that speaks to many of us especially during these times” said Samer Abughannam, founder and CEO of Layla

About Layla Care
Layla’s mission is to empower Canadians to take control of their mental health. We are a human-first, tech-powered mental health service, built on quality, patient-centricity, and innovation  Visit us at www.layla.care

Press Contact: Samer Abughannam, Founder & CEO

Email: samer@layla.care

About Open Screenplay
Open Screenplay, a free, first-of-its-kind online platform that enables businesses to generate authentic and diverse stories from their audience while providing 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: Khaled Sabawi, Founder & CEO
Email: press@openscreenplay.com