The Store

GENRE: Drama, Crime, Family

LOGLINE

In a city on the brink of widespread insurrection, Giacomo Borgetto comes face-to-face with the people and forces shaping post-World War II Detroit, including taking advantage of his connections to the mob while remaining mindful to keep his three sons on the straight-and-narrow path.

SYNOPSIS

In the mid 1940s After World War II, the social strife and impulses of change in Detroit are boiling over. As the home of organized labor, automotive manufacturing, an emerging civil right movement and the growing influence of organized crime, the city is the political and cultural ground zero of the dynamic social forces that will create profound, dramatic changes in the decades ahead.

Giacomo Borgetto — a grocery store owner — has a front-row seat to the people, circumstances and conflicts that will not only shape contemporary Detroit, but mid 20th-century American history. Among the personalities that cross his path are charismatic labor leaders, civil rights ministers, politicians, shrewd corporate executives and mafiaso tough guys.

As an immigrant, Giacomo struggles with assimilating to America culture and retaining the traditions of his homeland – Sicily. Indeed, the traditions are shared by a broad community of relatives and friends, many of who are members of a growing organized crime syndicate. At a critical time when he needed money to start his grocery store business, Giacomo borrowed money from the most powerful mafia family in Detroit, a regrettable decision that haunts him everyday.

Amid an environment of organized labor posturing, communist witch-hunts, and struggles to fight racial segregation, Giacomo struggles to find the moral path for himself, his family and the broader social world. While his choice to “do right” is often cast in a black-and-white world, the choices of this three sons isn’t as clear. Deeply righteous, he seems to be struggling against the prevailing current, although he will be vindicated by history.

Interested in reading the teleplay?

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

 

THE U

GENRE: Drama, Social

LOGLINE

Jonathan Walden — idealistic and high-minded — is a long shot to become president of Midwest University until a shrewd deal gets him the post at the proverbial liberal arts/research school where football, status, allowing donors to have their way and taking any action to protect the brand is the norm.

SYNOPSIS

Few other times in its 200-year history has Midwest University (“The U.”) faced such a long list of grievances that expose many of its least appealing features and hypocrisies. In the heat of intense public criticism provoked by a mishandling of a rape case, a lawsuit by minority students regarding unfair admission policies, donors who seemingly get whatever they want and an athletic program playing fast and loose with the rules, the board of regents has voted narrowly to hire a new president – an alumnus with a brilliant record as a scholar, administrator and progressive thinker.

Soon after becoming president of Midwest University, Jonathan Walden learns the many ways “The U.” isn’t ready, willing or capable of changing. Indeed, “The U.” is a cesspool of self-interest where the dominant ethos is doing whatever it takes to get ahead, and where status transcends academic achievement.

In the early days, Jonathan learns of the many promises made by his predecessor, a charismatic less-than forthright aggrandizer brought to “The U.” to attract donors and create the wealthiest endowment for a university in the world. Slowly, the political minefield of navigating “The U.” – much more than a university and closer to a behemoth corporation – becomes startlingly apparent.

Through a series of inquires and setbacks, Jonathan learns the power of “The U.” is found in the alignment of special interest groups, including wealthy alumni, notable faculty, the legendary football coach, and a range of corporate and individual investors betting on turning research into profits.

Determined to transform “The U.” into pure environment of higher learning, academic integrity and a model for social justice, Jonathan seeks to rebuild the university culture from the grassroots. In his journey to make personal connections with donors, faculty, staff and students, he comes face-to-face with the cut-throat politics of wealthy donors, self-centered professors, staffers caught in a passive mindset, and students who live most days on the edge, pushing boundaries and wallowing in the excesses of despair, newfound freedom, drugs and sex while fixated on the latest gossip and postings in the social media world.

“The U.” is more than an in-depth look at the inherent contradictions of a major university and the precarious values of higher education; it’s a barometer of the state of American ideals.

Interested in reading the teleplay?

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