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“A Victimless Crime” written by Ella Roby and Zahid Gamieldien

A Victimless Crime Zahid Gamieldien Ella Roby Austin Comedy Short Film Festival Fall 2017
  • Screenplay Title: "A Victimless Crime"
  • Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
  • Category: Short Comedy Screenplay, 10 pages
  • Screenwriters: Ella Roby and Zahid Gamieldien
  • Tagline: “A young woman and her inter-dimensional housemate try to do the right thing when their unwelcome guest refuses to honour his Tinder obligations.”
  • Review: A quirky fun screenplay from two seasoned Australian screenwriters. "A Victimless Crime" is a good laugh that could be produced on a minimal budget.

"A Victimless Crime" Screenwriter Biography:

Ella Roby is an Australian screenwriter and editor. Working from a strong literary background (BA in English Literature and Linguistics), Ella has found a niche as a freelance script and book editor in Sydney. Her eight-year tenure at the Australian Classification Branch has afforded her a unique insight into the international film and television industry. As well as developing a number of television and feature film projects, she is currently finalising her first book as author, part of a forthcoming YA series.

In August 2017, Ella was one of the successful applicants of Endemol Shine Australia’s Smart for a Girl: Roar competition. This program is the brainchild of creative collaborators Imogen Banks and Alice Bell and was designed to address the lack of opportunity for entry-level screenwriters in the television industry. It is part of Screen Australia’s Gender Matters: Brilliant Careers initiative. You can read more about Ella’s other projects at ellaroby.com.

Zahid Gamieldien is an Australian author, screenwriter, editor and writing tutor. His screenplays and short stories have been nominated for awards, both in Australia and internationally. Since 2015, his fiction has been widely published in prestigious journals such as Overland, Kill Your Darlings, Meanjin and Mascara Literary Review.

He holds a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Writing and Cultural Studies) and teaches short story, novel and script writing through the Writers’ Studio in Sydney. In addition, he provides freelance editing services for established and emerging prose and screenplay writers.

He is currently working—independently and in collaboration—on several creative projects, including a short story collection, television series, film and novel. Find him at zahidgamieldien.com.

"A Victimless Crime The Story Behind the Story"

  1. What is the title of your screenplay and why did you think that your screenplay was a good fit for the Austin Comedy Short FF? “A Victimless Crime was written as a love song specifically for the Austin Comedy Short FF. Well not really, because that's creepy. Unless...?”
  2. What inspired you to write this screenplay and how did you come up with the title? “It was originally conceived as a Law And Order spec - Law And Order: A Victimless Crime. But there was some legal unpleasantness, and the rest is history.”
  3. What was your inspiration for some of the characters in your screenplay? “This short was created as a proof of concept for our comedy series "Portalgate". The characters are portalgated from that world. We're really sorry.”
  4. In your mind, where do you see this story taking place and why? “You've nailed it. It mainly does take place in our minds. In our lucid moments, we see it taking place in a world exactly like our own, except with interdimensional creatures roaming free. This device allows us to examine contemporary issues from a fresh, interdimensional perspective.”
  5. Do you have plans to fund the production of this film independently? If so, where are you at, in the process? “Not right now but perhaps at a time that is in the future from now.
    Has creating this screenplay helped your writing career in any way? “At first it set us back, perhaps light years. But that gave us time to develop our comedic voice and now we find ourselves back in the present, being honoured as an official selection in the Austin Comedy Short Film Festival.”
  6. What were some of the creative challenges that you encountered while writing this screenplay? “Mainly the Law And Order thing. Once we got Dick Wolf off our backs, we were able to focus on the problem of condensing an entire series concept into a self-contained short film.”
  7. How do you promote your screenplay on social media or other online websites. “We regularly mention it on the Thermomix customer complaints page. Also on our websites ellaroby.com and zahidgamieldien.com, and on Twitter @otherellaroby.”
  8. Can you list any awards, nominations or official selections for this film? “No, but the pilot on which it’s based was a finalist in We Screenplay’s Diverse Voices Award. It was also nominated for the Australian Writers’ Guild’s John Hinde Award and a semifinalist in Australians in Film’s Gateway LA Script Competition.”

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