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Ashkan Chavoski, LISP Screenplay Semi-Finalist

- Can you please tell us about you? Where do you live and how is your daily life?  I was born and live in Kermanshah, one of the western cities of Iran. My main job is in the handcraft industry. I am also a lecturer in screenwriting at the Iranian Youth Cinema Society.

- When did you start writing? How often do you write? We want to learn all about your writing life! I started writing poetry and short stories as a teenager. I have published a book of poetry. I have a collection of children's stories ready to print. I've written about 15 short screenplays and I am currently writing a feature-length screenplay. I made two short films called 'Suitcase' and 'The Share Of A Grave'. Also, I was one of the judges of one of the Iranian short film festivals and I have won awards in various festivals, the most important of which are: Best Screenplay: Cinema & Literature Festival, Shiraz, Iran/2020 Best Screenplay: MOMO Film Festival, Switzerland /2019 Best Screenplay: Mowj Festival, Kish Iceland, Iran /2019 Best Screenplay: Shabdiz Film Festival, kermanshah, Iran /2019 Best Screenplay: Zhiar Film  Festival, sanandaj, Iran /2018 Best Screenplay: Shabdiz Film  Festival, kermanshah, Iran /2018

- How did you feel when you learned that you are a Semi-Finalist on The London Independent Story Prize? I'm definitely very happy. For someone who writes something, going out of bounds and being seen in prestigious art circles is always a wish and an opportunity. I am extremely happy and grateful for the opportunity to have a native Iranian story here.

-What's the best thing and the hardest thing about writing a Screenplay? Writing a screenplay is actually watching a movie. The film that the screenwriter is the first to watch, and that is a lot of fun for me. The hardest thing for me when writing a screenplay is to transform the characters' feelings into dramatic acts. How to look within a character?

-  How did you come up with the idea for your LISP selected script? Is there a story behind your story? And how long have you been working on it? The screenplay is not a final work and must be turned into a film. When a script is approved in a reputable place, the way to make that script to a film is easier. Hopefully, alongside LISP, I have the opportunity to do my screenplay to a film. The initial version of the script was prepared in a day. But it took about a week for the final editing. Salamon's story is the story of many of us. We always have to choose between our favourite things and we can't have them all. We gain something to lose something else, like Salamon's story.

- Can you please give us a few tips about writing a short screenplay? A Short script is not just a short script because it is short. Time is one of its factors. The subjects that the short film deals with and the form of narration should be specific to itself. Not every story is suitable for a short film. Characters must be few, locations are limited, and the story takes place in a short space of time. We don't have much time for building up characters in the short script. We start the story and very soon we have to make it to an effective end in a short time and that's not an easy task.

- What's the best thing about writing competitions? Having a deadline, a motivation to finish the story, the chance of winning, getting recognised by a professional organisation, communicating with other writers or a networking opportunity to meet with like-minded people? Maybe all of this. For me, competing internationally can be a testament to my ability to write. You will gain more confidence when experienced referees choose your work. Many producers also follow the results of the competition, and this is a great opportunity for a screenplay.

-Lastly, do you recommend the writers to give it a go on writing a Screenplay and LISP? Yes of course. Well, I'm a screenwriting instructor and I share screenplay-related news on social media.



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