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A Screenwriter's Dream - An Interview With Rafael Neves

Rafael Neves always dreamt of working with movies.

His latest short script, 'A Time Traveller's Dream' won Sunday Shorts' Script Competition this month, and he found a team committed to producing the film while he works on a variety on new writing projects.

Neves cleverly uses flashbacks throughout 13-genre-bending-pages to delicately tell the story of an old man with Alzheimers, and his unexpected chance of happiness.

Big Fish (2003, Burton)

The log-line reads:

After ingesting a defective remedy for Alzheimer's disease, a lonely old man has a chance to go back in time and regain the love of his life.

We had the chance to ask Neves about his work, and this is what he said:

Q - How did you get into screenwriting, and is it your full-time job?

A - I've been a movie fan since I was a kid and have always dreamed of working with movies. At age 13 I started writing short stories, then plays, and then at 20s I started writing amateur movie scripts to film with friends, and after that I wrote 2 novels. Recently I decided to study script for real, to learn the format, and I discovered that it is the thing that I like to do the most. But I'm not a full time writer. I work for the government at the Rio de Janeiro State Attorney's Office and I write in my spare time.

Q - How long have you been working on this script?

A - I wrote this script in a few months. I adapted from a story I had written and received script doctor and translation services by Bill Labonia, a professional screenwriter.

Q - What interested you in Alzheimer's disease?

A - I love the themes of memories, the mind and time travel. My grandfather had a kind of Alzheimer's. It's a terrible disease. But all the time the family stayed with him and it was a beautiful love story that I will carry for the rest of my life.

Q - If you were able to go back in time, what would you change, and why?

A – I’m very grateful for the life I have. Especially for my family. So I would not change much to avoid creating a paradox that affected the present. But if I could go back in time, I'd tell myself to worry less and enjoy life. Today I learned that.

Q - Have you submitted this script to many competitions/festivals?

A - I submitted the script of 'A Time Traveler's Dream' to a few festivals. To Sunday Shorts I submitted especially because of the feedback, which was sensational. I'm part of a screenwriter facebook group and somebody had posted about how great your feedback was. But also winning the prize was an incredible, wonderful surprise.

Q - What are you working on now?

A -Today I'm writing a short and a feature comedy to be produced by a friend, and working on the adaptation of my second novel, a suspense thriller about a Brazilian prosecutor who needs to find out who killed a judge.

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