A Memory Called River

Screenplay

Genre: Historical

LOGLINE

One of the most famous men (Teddy Roosevelt) in the world sets out on a journey to map an uncharted tributary in the Amazon, which turns into a terrifying descent into a psychological abyss where he comes face-to-face with the limits of his ambition and deepest regrets. (Screenplay: Drama/Historical)

SYNOPSIS

Shortly after the devastating defeat in the 1912 presidential election, Theodore “TR” Roosevelt faces a daunting, unexpected challenge: what should he do with the rest of his life. A man of historic prominence and incomparable action with an insatiable curiosity who is struggling to stay a step ahead of the family curse of melancholy that’s led some relatives into the dark corners of despair, TR is emboldened by an expedition to South America, where he’s been invited to give several lectures and come along on a modest excursion into the Amazon jungle.

Notions of a serene and “safe” trip through the jungle, however, change dramatically when TR agrees to join a legendary South African adventurer on the endeavor to map an uncharted tributary, River of Doubt. The adventure through the stark and awe-inspiring landscape is transformed into an inward journey as TR comes to grip with mortality; a deep-seated self-righteousness; and, the gnawing regret of having his brother – a self-destructive alcoholic – placed in a sanitarium. (TR’s brother, Elliott – who is also the father of Eleanor Roosevelt – could not overcome his own demons and committed suicide twenty years earlier.)

From the height of power as president of the United States to a shriveling man infected by malaria, TR finds himself in an unaccustomed helplessness cast somewhere in an unmapped region of the one of the world’s strangest and most mysterious regions. Winning the campaign in the Amazon means coming to terms with the ever-expanding grayness of despair pervading his disposition.

In the end, TR faces the limits of his ambition and the depth of his regret that he couldn’t save his younger brother, Elliott, while he realizes the haunting parallels between his brother and his son, Kermit, who accompanies him on the expedition.
Along the way, TR learns the river is the current that passes through life blending experiences in way that makes the past, present and future inextricably bound.

Interested in reading the screenplay?

Please contact Eric Canton, Canton Literary Management, at ecanton7@gmail.com, 805.406.0527

Mr. President’s Bench

GENRE: Drama

LOGLINE

The dictator of an embattled second-world country arrives in America for medical treatment at the hospital where Armando works as an intensive care nurse. An emigrant from the same country as the despot, Armando befriends the ruler and his wife, and struggles to keep the secret from his father and other expatriates who want to kill the tyrant for revenge and a generous reward.

SYNOPSIS

Armando immigrated to America with his family more than a decade ago. During the last decade, he has worked tirelessly to become assimilated into the American mainstream, and travel along the path of the American Dream. Recently, he has earned his bachelor’s degree in nursing as he’s worked his way up at a prestigious hospital intensive-care unit. While Armando, his wife, two children and father live in a small apartment in a large city, the happenings and social unrest of their homeland, Hautera, are never far from their minds.

Indeed, Armando’s father, Carlos, is part of an expatriate community working to overthrow the despot of the second-world country. The proximity of that challenge becomes strikingly real and urgent when the dictator arrives for medical treatment at the hospital where Armando works. Dedicated to “caring for his patients,” Armando keeps the despot’s whereabouts a secret despite the intensifying search for the detested leader among the expatriate community who has learned the president is not only in America, but also in their city.

A high-price reward for the assassination of the president and a chance encounter with the president’s wife gives an expatriate the incentive and compelling clue of
the location of the despot. The ambitious expatriate hatches a plot that includes Armando’s father, whose oldest son was tortured by the president’s secret security force, and who is filled with unquenchable vengeance. Meanwhile, Armando grows fond of the president and his wife, coming to see them as people with faults who have been foisted as leaders of a country where they have made regrettable compromises to keep the military from taking over.

As the assassination plan goes according to plan, Carlos realizes the futility of vengeance and cannot bring himself to kill the president, thereby leaving him an easy target for the president’s security force. In the end, Armando discovers he can never truly leave behind his homeland, and learns that assimilation into American culture is a painful integration that recasts his cultural identity.

Interested in reading the screenplay?

Please contact Eric Canton, Canton Literary Management, at ecanton7@gmail.com, 805.406.0527

I Knew You When

GENRE: Drama, Romantic

LOGLINE

Mutually saved by a chance encounter when their lives are at a meaningless impasse, Addie and Will realize they are soul mates. Fate, however, casts many obstacles in their way.

SYNOPSIS

Will is a free spirit, looking for a good time, proud of living the bachelor’s life and not giving a commitment to any woman. Meanwhile, Addie is angst-ridden, never been in love (although it’s not because she hasn’t tried), and convinced she should marry despite not feeling in love with one of the nicest men she’s ever known, Bruce.

Will and Addie’s paths cross on a deserted stretch of shoreline when he comes to her rescue after drifting away from shore, looking as if she has intentionally wandered into the deep waters to drown. Drawn together by a magnet attractive force, the magical and torrid love-affair weekend at the beach is based on a mutual understanding that neither will reveal their identity, and both agree to “live in the moment” of what is the most exhilarating and passionate days of their lives.

Six months later, they are stunned when Will shows up at Addie’s wedding to Will’s best friend, Bruce. Knowing much more about each other than either realizes, Will and Addie restrain themselves and agree their weekend affair should be forgotten and they each need to get on with their lives. The problem, however, is once they realize their passion for each other, neither can live without the other.

In the years ahead, Will tries desperately to get past his love for Addie by marrying the daughter of the partner of an architectural firm where he works. But that’s not enough. Looking to “find himself,” Will leaves his wife and travels, settling in a small town out west, working as a bartender. With too much time on his hands, Will is drawn into the local meth scene. Soon thereafter, he is stealing money so he can keep up with his meth habit.

After Will falls on hard times after an unintentional overdose, Bruce comes to his aid and helps him to recover. Moving in with Bruce and Addie stirs up Will’s romantic feelings for Addie, and soon he and Addie are again passionately in love. Yet again, they realize they must leave each other for Will cannot live with himself for being disloyal to his best friend.

Interested in reading the screenplay?

Please contact Eric Canton, Canton Literary Management, at ecanton7@gmail.com, 805.406.0527

In the Language of Birds

GENRE: Fantasy

LOGLINE

In the aftermath of the assassination of a beloved king, conspirators take control of the Kingdom of Melderone, unchallenged until the deposed ruler’s rightful heir learns of his destiny in a “Hamlet” meets “Beauty and the Beast” fantastical tale.

SYNOPSIS

The dying King of Melderone names his youngest son, Magnus, the next monarch, bypassing his oldest, conniving son, Torrence. Consequently, political machinations swirl and allegiances balance precariously as royal forces loyal to each brother commence a brutal fight to death to rule Melderone, an archipelago rich in natural resources and ingredients used in the making of a precious glass. The elements are made from the ashes of a buried village in the Sands of the Navejo, where the ghosts impart a curse on the king until he orders for the ground to remain untouched so the people of the sands can embark into the next world.

Unwilling to see the murderous streak in his brother, the kindly King Magnus – adored by the people of Melderone – is victim of an assassination during the annual Festival of the Fishes, a sprawling convivial gathering that fills the village streets of Castione, the capital of the island kingdom. At the time his wife, Queen Gabriella, is several weeks pregnant. When the new king, Torrence, finds out the newborn could challenge his throne, he orders his trusted aide to make sure the baby doesn’t survive. They travel to the Isle of Fortunella, where a physician tends to the Queen’s troubled and torturous pregnancy. Unbeknown to the king’s aide, the child, born with a distinctive birthmark and severely deformed, survives with the defense of flocks of birds, speaking to him in a language that strengthens and protects him – and carries the wisdom of his departed father.

Raised as his son by the physician who delivered him, the child named Ercole grows to become an imposing man, muscular and deformed. Only one person sees the “real, true Ercole” – the lovely Artemesia, daughter of one of the deposed king’s best friends. Through Artemesia’s eyes, she sees a handsome king-in-waiting.

Amid the onset of a revolt led by former allies of the late king, Ercole learns the truth of his birth, and soon joins the rebels to answer the call of destiny. In the end, he marries his great love, Artemesia, and assumes his role as king, ordering the Sands of Navajo to be left untouched and removing the curse on his family. As the people of the Navejo Sands enter into the netherworld and Ercole’s natural, handsome form returns, appearing as a stunningly handsome king, who is beneficent and restores justice to the Kingdom of Melderone.

Interested in reading the screenplay?

Please contact Eric Canton, Canton Literary Mangement, at ecanton7@gmail.com, 805.406.0527

A Long Way From Jamaica

GENRE: Drama (with music)

LOGLINE

Clyde, an irascible rebel (who lost his eyesight decades ago), is estranged from his family, and serving time at a halfway house for the consequences of his bad temper. As he struggles to find his place, Clyde comes under the influence of a charismatic street hustler with a scheme to finance an escape to paradise, where Clyde believes he will be finally free.

In-development

MARLOWE

GENRE: Drama, Historical

LOGLINE

A spy for the British throne and avowed atheist with an irrepressible wicked wit and poetic vision, Christopher Marlowe is at the center of two controversies: His role as a spy helping to preserve the rule of Elizabeth I, and as the possible literary talent behind the pen known as William Shakespeare.

In development