THE IMMIGRANTS Updates

We're two weeks away from the end of 2020. It's been a wild, scary, and strange year for us all. It also happened to be one where I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time writing and creating.


Today, I wanted to look back and celebrate the early success of my feature script THE IMMIGRANTS. While it's been an idea in the back of my mind since I was a teenager, I finally decided to take pen to paper earlier this year to write the script. The script is available, so if you are interested in collaborating please reach out.


I want to thank all the following organizations for their support:

  1. The Black List - I submitted my first draft to the site (yes, this is an absolute no no but sometimes you need to throw the "rules" away and take a chance). The Black List reader who read my script really connected with the material. I felt heard, seen, and understood. This opened so many doors for me and gave me the courage to keep going.

  2. SEEfest - I was lucky enough to be invited to the SEEfest accelerator this year. I found a community that treasures the rich and complex culture and history of South East Europe. New voices are celebrated. Fellow filmmakers, screenwriters, and lovers of art all support each other.

  3. Austin Film Festival - The team at Austin is incredible. Not only do they send your notification via mail, they add a personalized message written in handwriting (mine was "Great characters"). It was so exciting to get mail that wasn't spam or a bill. I may have jumped for joy a little. Their screenwriters conference was also one of the best I've ever been to. Fun fact: attending the conference helped me find the inspiration for a new feature script that I've almost finished.

  4. WE Screenplay - This is another organization that celebrates new diverse voices and made me feel heard and understood.

  5. Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards - Being awarded an honourable mention was truly touching, especially since it was such a small list of finalists.

These are some excerpts from readers:


"This is an exquisite and exceptionally beautiful script that dazzles in its heart and simplicity... Lingering on the kinds of moments that sometimes big Hollywood films pass by. And here they’re poetry... This could be a hugely successful “Foreign Film” style film. And also a Film Festival standout. The writing is exceptional and beautiful. The story is important and human. And the journey is universal in a way, and also incredibly unique " - The Black List


"This story feels like an honest, grounded tribute to an immigrant mother's love, intelligence, and resilience. " - The Black List


"The world is gripping and full. The story has an engaging voice. There is a balance between the narrative and the dialogue that is refreshing." - Austin Film Festival


"The characters are three dimensional and a pleasure to follow. Everyone is complex and endearingly human. " - Austin Film Festival


"This is a poignant, moving, at times, funny immigrant story that moves along at a good pace and is buoyed by a compelling protagonist whose story we want to follow... What is also wonderful about this story is how the writer, without drawing attention to it, shows how well immigrants are woven into the fabric of society in Canada... This is a wonderful story. The writer’s talent is clearly abundant." - WE Screenplay


That's not to say that there haven't been rejections along the way as well. Art is subjective. Some people connect to the material while others don't.


I wrote this blog post as a reminder to myself to keep writing. And if you're a writer out there on this journey as well, keep going.



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from Ivana Strajin

© 2021 by Ivana Strajin.

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