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The annual Lugnut List is my favorite material from the 534 submissions I received during the past calendar year. It is not an attempt to compete with any other list. It's just for fun and to potentially give the authors more exposure.

If you're a writer on the list and want anything edited (or spot a mistake) please email me at screenplaymechanic@gmail.com

If you're an interested agent, manager, or producer and I don't already know you, email me and I'll connect you with the writers.

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AVA by Joel Irwin   (Sci-Fi Thriller) 
A woman named Ava wakes up in a remote and secluded mansion to find herself a captive to a man who claims to be her husband, but in spite of the evidence she struggles to believe him and eventually makes a shocking discovery hidden in the basement. 

THE SWING BACK by Gaby Purchase   (Comedy)
A middle-aged couple, who are on the brink of divorce after 25 years of marriage, are gifted a 7-day vacation in Mexico by their daughter, but they arrive to discover it’s a resort for Swingers.

BLINDERS by Edward Klau   (Thriller)
When blind femme fatale Della Fremont manipulates her girlfriend into killing her husband, she discovers he’s planning a murder of his own and a perfect plan takes a dangerous detour.

CHRISTMAS DILEMMA by Tiayoka McMillian   (Comedy)
Unable to agree on whose parents to spend the holidays with, a newly-married couple opt to stay in their Atlanta home, but when both families show up unexpectedly, Christmas gets wild.

JUNGLEBALL by Steve Dini  (Vietnam War / True Story)
Chronicles the true story of a rivalry between a unit of American MPs and a detachment of Green Berets which culminates in a televised softball game near the front lines. 

CORA David Michael Milwee   (Sci-Fi Thriller)
When a venture capitalist agrees to fund a tech firm, they loan him a beautiful female robot whom he houses in his city apartment so he can use her for extra-marital sex, but he later learns she was actually designed for espionage and combat, and a malfunction makes her insanely jealous.

MURDERABILIA by Neil Krolicki   (Serial-Killer Thriller / Black Comedy)
The adult son of a dead serial-killer makes a living by communicating with prison inmates and selling macabre memorabilia, but when a detective hires him to help locate the skull of her own father (one of his dad’s victims) and a copy-cat embarks on a killing spree, his life is thrown into turmoil. 

THE JANITOR by Matthew Lee Blackburn  (Thriller)
A mob rib-breaker turned high school janitor seeks to redeem his violent past by preventing a young girl from making the same mistakes he did, but when drugs and gangs overrun her school, he must risk his cover to clean it up.

THE LAST TRIP by Christina Ferguson   (Drama / Comedy)
A successful married woman who works in Silicon Valley has her life turned upside down when Jerry Garcia dies and her estranged parents – two Deadheads – roll into town to pay their respects.

THE ROCK by Craig Knowles  (Drama)
After his son dies in the military, an aging farmer unearths a huge boulder in the middle of the field he wants to sow, but when he tries to remove it he discovers it goes deeper and deeper, which leads to an epic battle of man versus rock.   



SANCTUARY by Victoria Rau  (Drama / Thriller)
An Irish priest takes a job in a broken-down parish in a troubled Chicago neighborhood and he seems harboring a secret agreement with a Colombian drug cartel. 

BURN by David Gittins  (Crime Drama / Thriller)
While a drug-addicted San Bernadino County fire chief battles flames and tries to thwart a merger with the state’s fire department, a fire investigator with the county sheriff’s office longs for an arson investigation and gets precisely what he wanted. 

HOOKED by Alexandra Adornetto   (Thriller / Fantasy)
A young man who lives on the streets of Los Angeles has been searching for his friend Belle for over a decade, but she’s fallen into the hands of a sociopath who intends to harvest a drug named “Dust” from her blood because she’s not actually human – she’s a fairy.    

THE FIGHT GAME by Derek Finney  (Boxing Drama)
While a veteran white boxer defies his coach and looks to compete in bigger fights, a young black fighter who moved from NY to LA aims to build a career but must deal with institutionalized racism, and mobster Mickey Cohen prepares for his own fight with the authorities and his business rivals. 

LOW CIRCULATION by Patrick Dorsey  (Comedy)
Fired from the Tampa Bay Times on the day her team wins a Pulitzer, a dedicated investigative journalist is forced to take a job at a small-town newspaper that runs nothing but fluff stories ... for now.





THE RISING HAWK by Yaroslav Voitseshek  (Historical Adventure / War)
When a Mongolian Kahn orders his army into the Carpathian Mountains to destroy a community of Ruthenians, a brave young warrior and his brothers lead a counter-attack which pits a handful of them against thousands of Mongols. Based on the novel by Ivan Franko.

1066 by Victoria Rau  (Historical Drama / War )
Chronicles the rise to the throne of King Harold and the two subsequent wars he is forced to fight – against the Vikings and William The Bastard – in order to retain his rule over England. 

LONG HAUL by Jesse Chatham  (Action Thriller)
Desperate to pay for his young daughter’s leukemia treatment, a long-haul truck driver steals a large amount of money from his employers – who smuggle arms and drugs – and heads for a Colorado hospital with his family, but the men he robbed pick up his scent and they want their money back.

UNPLUGGED by Bobby Finnegan & Bob Flathers  (Comedy)
A successful technology critic who is addicted to gadgets has a mishap with her self-driving car prompting a court judge to sentence her to a 30-day rehab program, during which time she is forbidden to use any form of technology.

MICHELANGELO MACHINE by Michael McGee  (Sci-Fi / Action / Adventure)
In the future, when the Los Angeles Museum of Modern Art is filled with holograms and robotic artwork, a teenager becomes trapped inside and must do battle with a deadly military drone to save the curator’s daughter.

THE PAYOUT by Samuel J. Winokur  (Thriller)
A tough street gang member picks the winning numbers in a $240m lottery, but his remarkable good fortune makes him a target and he’s hunted all night by his own gang members, a rival gang, and a crooked cop, all of whom want the ticket for themselves.

TRIBAL by Erik Candiani  (Horror-Thriller)
When a group of friends on a desperate road trip to Mexico takes a detour through a Native American Indian reservation, things go south fast as they become the unexpected prey in a ruthless annual hunt.

ZERO DAY by Paul Erskine  (Action)
When a devastating large-scale attack is launched on Washington D.C. and the U.S. President is murdered, a Secret Service agent fights with all she’s got to protect the VP and his teenage daughter.

POST-PARTUM by Brie Mitchell  (Comedy)
Four women with diverse backgrounds, lives, and careers, experience childbirth then form their own unofficial support group as they navigate the first 6 weeks of parenthood.

A THOUSAND MILES TO FREEDOM by Suzanne Allain  (Biopic / Drama / True Story)
A young slave woman who can pass for Caucasian runs away from a Georgia plantation with her black slave husband and disguises herself as a white male so she can pose as his “Master” and help them complete the treacherous journey to the Northeast.

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(Last year, I only selected three pilots to make the list. These days, however, the percentage of submissions which are TV pilots as opposed to features has risen dramatically, hence I seletected five.)


THE MAGDELENE RANCH by Charlotte Winters  (Drama / Comedy)
Tricked into attending her brothel madam mother’s wedding, a pastor’s timid wife and her rebellious teenaged daughter consider staying to help run the family business. 

LAW OF THE RIVER by Meagan Daine  (Crime Thriller)
When a former Chief of Tribal Police returns home to the Jicarilla Apache Nation to search for his missing niece, he gets pulled into a hotbed of conflict between struggling locals, a White-owned resource development company, and a pan-tribal activist group led by his violent, unpredictable brother -- with whom he has a serious score to settle.

When a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist from Los Angeles relocates to Richmond, Virginia, the city’s two rival newspapers compete to hire her, and she ultimately picks the underdog because of the owner’s integrity and determination to expose a widespread corruption.

HEROES OF THE PENITENTIARY by Matthew Lombardo (Mafia Drama)
The story of the Italian-American Mafia is told in an episodic anthology format, featuring viewpoints from all that were impacted, not just the gangsters themselves. The pilot tells the true story of Chris Rosenberg, a Jewish American who—en route to pursuing his futile lifelong dream of becoming the mob’s first non-Italian inductee—caught the lustful eye of sadistic Gambino capo Roy DeMeo and became a willing participant in one of the most notorious murder sprees in American history.

DEAD MEN by T.A. Snyder (Western / Thriller)
A small town Sheriff leads an elite group of soldiers to eliminate a notorious group of murderers whose plans for revenge could threaten the stability of the government.


Honorary Mentions:

MEDINA TAXI by Steven P. Goodin
HIGH RIVER by John Albanis & Dan Mitchell
YOTE by Aaron Carew
THE TRAIL by E.L. Davis
NIGHT OWL by Joel Irwin
OEDIPUS by J.R. Halterlein
THE BETRAYAL by Jill Hoppe
STATE OF EMERGENCY by Luke Goltz & Max Yaney
DOGPLAYER by Alexandra Bromstad Lubenova & Nathan Hertz
FOR REAL by Abu Berat
ALMOST HEAVEN by Confidential

HUMANITY 2.0 by Wendy J. Goody
THE FATES: NORJAK by The Cosci Brothers
COLONY ONE by David Minaskanian & Quentin David
FOREVER WAR by Reid Morgan

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The annual Lugnut List is my favorite material from the 380 submissions I received during the past calendar year. It is not an attempt to compete with any other list. It's just for fun and to potentially give the authors more exposure.

If you're a writer on the list and want anything edited (or spot a mistake) please email me at screenplaymechanic@gmail.com

If you're an interested agent, manager, or producer and I don't already know you, email me and I'll connect you with the writers.

- - - - -


ILAND by Jesse Chatham (Drama)
After her husband and son are murdered in a mass shooting at a shopping mall, a devastated lawyer decides she wants to disappear off the grid and have no human contact, so she buys 200 acres in Wyoming and learns how to fend for herself and live off the land.

THE PAPER-MAKER'S DAUGHTER by Jacob Coakley (Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Adventure)
Held captive in 19th-century London, a young Japanese woman—made entirely of paper—yearns to be free to return home. But when she escapes the clutches of the sinister Commander of the Royal Air Fleet she finds herself embroiled in a larger struggle between humans and mechanicals, and has to help free them all before she can be free herself.

RISING TIDE by Tim Drain, Don Millar and Eric Hogan (Drama / Thriller)
Skeptical and disillusioned with his first job at a tabloid website, a young journalist breaks a story about a corrupt oil company burying what they knew about climate change, then quickly finds himself in over his head, and in the crosshairs of the big oil machine.

GAME SET SCRATCH by Billie Bates (Sports / Comedy)
After relocating to a small town in Illinois from New York for her husband’s new job, a mother of two is desperate to find some friends so she joins a tennis club and soon develops a passion for the sport, or rather a determination to beat a snooty rival.

REUNION by John Biolsi (Comedy / Drama)
A group of people in their late 20s gather together for their 10-year high school reunion and, needless to say, it’s an evening of cat-fighting, bad memories, and social dysfunction.

HAUNTING AT 1600 by Asabi Lee & Paul Hart-Wilden (Supernatural Thriller)
The newly-inaugurated President and her family are haunted by vicious spirits in the White House, forcing her to dig up the dark truth about one of the biggest lies the White House has ever told. Inspired by True Events.

THE PAPER TIGERS by Tran Quoc Bao (Martial Arts / Action)
When their old Kung Fu master dies under mysterious circumstances, three estranged friends, despite being terribly out of shape and washed-up as fighters, must reawaken their abilities to find the killer and restore their master’s honor.

S.O.S. (Ship Of State) by Eric Henry, Bruce Todesco, & Paula Landry (Action Thriller)
A billionaire philanthropist uses his technological prowess to locate a large group of school girls abducted by Boko Haram, something the world’s intelligence services are unable to do, but when it becomes clear the CIA have no intention of launching a rescue mission he’s forced to take action himself.

JIHAD by Paul Erskine (Wartime / Thriller)
Three radicalized British teenagers travel from London to Syria so they can fight for ISIS, but shortly after their arrival in the city of Al-Raqqah they’re split up and realize they’ve made a grave mistake.

DISEMBARK by Peter Alexander (Sci-Fi Thriller)
Two scientists purposely release a swarm of deadly flesh-eating microscopic robots aboard a cruise ship, to expose the danger of the project they were working on, but they didn’t count on a handful of survivors, including a tough female ex-con who was using the cruise to try and reconcile with her young daughter.

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OASIS "Subversives" by John Covarrubias (Crime Drama)
Set in 1952, an uptight FBI agent is sent on assignment to the famously private and depraved town of Palm Springs, where he poses as a real estate developer to track down a Russian spy living among Hollywood stars, corrupt politicians and deadly gangsters.

CRUSHED by Jill Hoppe (Drama)
When the beloved founder of a world-renowned winery retires because of health problems, his children inherit not only a multi-million dollar business but also one dead body and a legacy of dark family secrets they’re now required to protect.

THE TWIST by George Gier and Emmett Overbey (Sci-Fi / Thriller / Drama)
A washed-up TV producer convinces a network to put his new, revolutionary idea for a show on the air and it’s an instant hit, but the first-person POV imagery from 1962 is actually the tapped memories of a cryogenically frozen man who is accidentally brought back to life during a power surge.

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As always, here's a few honorable mentions. I can't list everyone, so please don't be upset if you didn't make the list. There were many other screenplays I enjoyed reading, clients I'm a fan of, and plenty of cool ideas, some of which simply needed more development.

GARGOYLE by Victoria Rau and Brendon Udy
BAD ASS SOLDIER by Steven P. Goodin
LEOPARD by Thivanka R. Perera
SAVAGE by Luke Randall
PAYNESVILLE by Matthew Peek & Cameron Ford
ROUGH EDGES by Evan Laughlin
TRUE WEST by Tom Groneberg
DISPOSE by Jay Rodriguez
DEATH IS MY PLAN B by Roberto Bentivegna
FASCINATION 127 by Alex Carl
LOVE AT WAR by Noella Borie
ROOFTOP by Simon Paniora
JACQUELINE / HYDE by Matthew Bryan
PAWN'S GAME by Tom Lewis
MUMMY'S BOY by Stewart McDonald

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Every year, people ask how many "Considers" I award. I use four recommendations in my coverage:

Consider (solid execution, strong idea. definitely worth reading)
Consider w/ reservations (good concept and/or strengths in execution)
Pass w/ reservations (a pass but there are some positives)
Pass (needs significant work or concept is weak)

This year I gave less than 5 full considers out of 380.

As always, thank you to all my clients for trusting me to read your work...