Soo Film Festival Announces Screenwriting Seminar Details


July 6, 2014
SAULT STE. MARIE (July 6)—The first ever Soo Film Festival announces that a seminar by LA-based screenwriter Michael J. Wilson will be held Saturday, July 26 at 1 p.m. at Bayliss Public Library.

In this seminar students will find out how screenwriting in the film industry really works today.

They will also have the opportunity to work with Mr. Wilson over the next following few months—after the seminar is completed, online and on the phone—to complete an original screenwriting assignment.

Mr. Wilson will discuss how writers work for the movie studios now, a brief history of writing for the movies, the evolution of screenwriting as an art form, a practical look at the form and structure of a screenplay, and Mr. Wilson’s personal experience in the industry as an agent with CAA, a television producer/writer, and a working screenwriter. The seminar will run approximately two hours. The take-home assignment and personal instruction will be included as part of the seminar fee.

Michael J. Wilson created the story and characters for the Fox Ice Age franchise and co-wrote the screenplay for Ice Age I. He recently completed the first draft of Ice Age V, which is now in production. Last year his original CGI screenplay, Gladiators of Rome, a family film, was released theatrically in Europe through Rainbow Films/director: Iginio Straffi.

His experience is not limited to family fare and comedies. He is currently working on Blood In, Blood Out for Warner Bros., an R-rated original screenplay about Mexican drug cartels. Other current projects include the action-adventure Triple Time for actor Vince Vaughn, and Inventory, an R-rated police thriller, written and sold to Bruce Willis. Wilson just sold his original screenplay Undone, an R-rated thriller, to Voltage Pictures (Hurt Locker, Dallas Buyers Club) this past month.

These are just a few of Michael J. Wilson’s projects. You can find more information about him on the festival website and IMDB.

Tuition for the screenwriting seminar is just $25. Through Mr. Wilson’s generous donation, all proceeds will go towards movie projection equipment.

To register for the seminar, call the Soo Theatre office at (906) 632-1930, visit the Soo Theatre office in person at 534 Ashmun St., or go to For more information, email .

The Soo Film Festival plans to announce its August 1-2 festival lineup and schedule on July 7. We can tell you that Northern Light, which was shot in the Soo, will be screened. We’ll be posting on Facebook ( and Twitter ( So stay tuned!


Soo Film Festival Concludes Call for Entries, Announces Screenwriting Workshop


The first ever Soo Film Festival has concluded its call for entries.

Film festival organizers announced this week that they have a full line-up of submissions for the festival, including documentaries, features, shorts, and music videos. All submissions have roots in the Great Lakes, including two filmed in Sault Ste. Marie.

Organizers also announced a screenwriting workshop July 26 with well-known screenwriter Michael J. Wilson.

Michael J. Wilson created the story and characters for Fox’s Ice Age franchise and co-wrote the screenplay for the first film. He recently completed the first draft of Ice Age V.

He is currently working on “Blood In, Blood Out” for Warner Bros., an “R”-rated original screenplay about Mexican drug cartels, sold to the studio with director Gavin O’Connor.

Michael, who has family ties in Sault Ste. Marie, wants to help promote Soo Film Festival and nurture screenwriting in the area.

Details about the workshop will be announced shortly on the festival website,

The Soo Film Festival line-up will be announced during the first week of July.

Steve Hamilton, a member of the festival advisory board and well known author, had this to say about the upcoming festival:

“As a Michigan native with a strong interest in the Upper Peninsula, having set ten books up there and plans to do more, and becoming more and more involved in the film industry myself, I could not be more excited to see the creation of the Soo Film Festival. It’s a venue that I’ll hold close to my heart for as long as it exists, and I’ll be looking forward to bringing more material there myself.”

The Soo Film Festival takes place August 1-2, 2014, at the historic Soo Theatre in downtown Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

Soo Film Festival, Inc. is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote and host film and allied arts festivals in the City of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.  Soo Film Festival, Inc. seeks to showcase the work of independent and emerging filmmakers from the Great Lakes of North America while bringing movies back to downtown Sault Ste. Marie and the historic Soo Theatre.  Our Mission: Great Lakes, Great Movies!

Download this press release (pdf)