2019 Script Selections

Catalyst Festival is pleased to announce its 2019 Official Script Selections. These entries have been selected from a very competitive pool.

Each of these semi-finalists will be welcomed to the festival in Duluth. Final awards will be presented at the festival's Red Carpet Awards Gala on Sunday, October 13, 2019.

  • The Adventures of Ash and Owen, Arun Narayanan

In their predominately white middle school in Connecticut, two preteen social outcasts, one Indian-American and one African-American, form a partnership that unexpectedly propels them to the top of the social ladder.

  • Butch Pal for the Straight Gal, Ally Johnson

In a world where societal pressures often force women to act, dress and conform to unrealistic feminine stereotypes, five queer women, each with their own specialty, help straight women re-discover their true identity and offer tips on how they can overcome outdated gender roles. With areas of expertise including Fashion, Grooming, Cooking, Design, and Culture, straight women will learn everything from simplifying their morning routine to life skills traditionally attributed to men.

  • Butterhead, Jean Sramek

Evelyn, a terrible person, wants to be Princess Kay of the Milky Way in the worst way. A dark comedy set at the Minnesota State Fair.

  • Developmental, Tommy Heleringer

A never-made-it actor in New York struggles to get it out - whether it's pain, diarrhea, or an inner demon with a dildo problem - until he creates a show from his own life and learns what it truly means to "make it."

  • Down & Out​​, Coyote Clark

A mockumentary about a trio of roommates trying to survive Hell. Literally.

  • Fish Food, Grace Hayden & Amy Stoner

Maneuvering online dating in midlife while hiding her sex addiction, Alex pursues being a fly fishing guide for the top fresh water predator as the path to learning how to love again. Fish Food is a story of finding healing by embracing vulnerability and brokenness. It also invites the viewer to follow their own heart as the only true way to find satisfying love and peace. Transformation is work. It is intentional. It is often messy and scary. And, the guides who help us the most often come in surprising guises.


  • Fourth Wall, Allyson Morgan

The Fourth Wall is a half-hour comedy about high school students who start their own community theater in the break room of a pizza shop.

  • Millennial Divorce Club, Ethan David & Jorja Hudson

The series ‘Millennial Divorce Club’ will explore the question; “How does getting divorced in your twenties compare to getting divorced later in life?” The theme of the show is that the seemingly-frivolous problems of millennial divorcees are analogous to those of middle-aged divorcees who appear to have more at stake.

  • Mr. Trivia, Wendy Braff

A socially inept, walking encyclopedia of a man keeps his dream of someday being a game show host alive by running his own Trivia event company. Besides the usual bar games, he custom tailors games for everything from bridal showers to children's birthday parties to his weekly game at a home for dementia patients.

  • Nasty Habits, Juliette Cohen

Nasty Habits follows the tumultuous journey of newbie nun, Sister Marie Graves, who has recently fled her former life in showbiz to become a newly minted nun-in-training at The Sisters of St. Augustine. Though eager to follow her calling, Marie finds that life inside the convent is much crazier than anything she ever experienced in the outside world. These sisters are out for blood and when Marie’s deadbeat ex returns with some outstanding debts he believes he’s owed, Marie will have a choice: retreat back to the quiet desperation of her old life or try and mark her territory in what seems like a veritable wolves den. "Orange Is The New Black" meets "Mean Girls" set in a convent. Inspired by a true story.

  • Pitch Palace, Pablo Andreu

At the dawn of the "fake news" era, a young public relations executive invents a visionary techpreneur in order to survive in her dysfunctional work environment.

  • Public Course, Micah Cohen & Matthew Mullen

15 years after losing his leg in Afghanistan, a former blue-collar golf prodigy must battle addiction and his own demons to reclaim his life and career.

  • Scouts, Rachel Ravel

Lucy, a pot-smoking, class-cutting, underachieving high school senior must participate in an extracurricular activity to get into her dream art school in New York City. With all the good extracurriculars already full, Lucy only has one option, the Girl Scouts.


  • Catalyst, Minoti Vaishnav

On a cruise ship traveling between San Diego and Cabo San Lucas, an unknown disaster causes 90% of the people on board to drop dead. With the life rafts mysteriously stolen, the engines dead and the communications systems mysteriously fried, the small group of survivors realize they're being targeted. They must investigate what happened to the dead, why they've been chosen to live, and who's behind the attacks. As they begin to search the boat for answers, they find that all is not what it seems, and there's even more at stake than just their lives.

  • County of Kings, Dave Chan

County of Kings is a serialized crime-drama about four close friends of different ethnicities who rise to the thrones of their criminal empires and must choose between bonds of friendship and family loyalty as the underworld vie for control of Brooklyn in the 1980s.

  • Ecco, Idaho, Christian Lybrook

On the dusty outskirts of Eisenhower’s America, George Hennesey, a failed geophysicist who has never forgiven himself for the disappearance of his sister, and Cat Clausen, a teenage rebel outcast, stumble into greatest technology race the world has ever known when Cat’s best friend vanishes off the face of the planet.

  • Flow, Jordan Jaffe

Set in the high stakes international oil business of the 1970’s, young bi-sexual Texas oilman Charlie Kurtz struggles to save his family’s oil company from the threat of Libyan strongman Mummar Qadaffi’s nationalizations of oil fields owned by American firms. Turning to his former lover, a prominent Saudi Prince for help, Charlie must maneuver against the board room machinations of his half-brother and a crusading local big haired journalist in a winner take all game of survival of the fittest with global implications.

  • The Met, Barry Leach

In 1920, a naïve young woman from a poor family dreams of being an opera singer at the New York Metropolitan Opera, where the prima donna tries to hide her early stages of Parkinson’s disease, and the other performers and maestros must overcome grief, morphine addiction, heavy debts, extreme guilt, and PTSD, while navigating prohibition, and the hatred of Germans -- and its impresario is German.

  • Mill City, Nickolaus Swedlund

Mill City is a premium hour-long drama based on the McKenzie mystery novels by author David Housewright. Ex-St. Paul cop Rushmore McKenzie has more time, and more money, than he knows what to do with. In fact, when he's willing to admit it to himself (and he usually isn't), McKenzie is downright bored. Until he decides to do a favor for a friend facing a family tragedy: nine-year-old Stacy Carlson has been diagnosed with leukemia, and the only one with the matching bone marrow that can save her is her older sister, Jamie. Trouble is, Jamie ran away from home years ago.

  • The Naked Eye, Sean Skelton

In the near future, a young woman executes clandestine missions for a mysterious global network with extraterrestrial ties, but revelations about her displaced life are enlightening her to the dark truths of her existence.

  • Protect & Conserve, Daniel Olson

A northwoods procedural, Protect & Conserve follows conservation officers in the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as they investigate all sorts of crimes against nature.

  • The Rebound, Matthieu Silberstein

The Rebound takes place in a futuristic world where humans have recently found out that if anybody reaches the age of 125, their body regenerates to their early 20s. A gift for those who can afford the health care necessary to keep their heart beating until their rebound day and a catastrophe for a civilization dealing with the dire consequences of over-population. While politicians try to cope with the many implications of this new fact of life on society, across the globe people start to rebound. Some to live the life they want after living the life they were supposed to. Some to resume their life's work. Or in the case of Cody, who spent half of his first life in prison, for revenge.

  • Rust, Justin Moran

While trying to scrape a living in the asteroid belt, the members of a mining ship pick up a survivor from an old shipwreck, which launches them into a world of bounty hunters and a mammoth mining conglomerate.

  • Schooling the Rich, Elaine Loh

Elite tutors in Los Angeles have unlimited access to the rich and powerful - through their children. But how do the rich and powerful react when a tutor steals drugs from their ADHD eight year old? Has sex with their big-tits-thin-waist seventeen year old? Or damages a closeted fourteen year old so deeply that he attempts to hurt himself? Schooling the Rich is a nighttime soap full of intrigue, scandal, and retribution, in which we will learn how devastating it can be when money and power turn against you.

  • Tales From Suburbia, Kristi Gescheidler & Michael Sapieja

Meet the Goodwins. An all American family living in a small suburban town in the 1950's. The neighbors envy Maxine, who is the perfect housewife and mother. But if the neighbors only knew about her darkside. Each episode begins with a narration by her psychiatrist Dr. Schroder, giving glimpses into Maxine psyche. Episodes place current day issues into the 1950's.

  • Vaccine, Matthew Ballen

When her young daughter gets sick from a mysterious vaccine, a mother must battle dark supernatural forces to save her. But her toughest enemies might be her own complicated past—as well as a group of parents who opposed the vaccine in the first place.