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Unnatural Selection (Drama, Screenplay Award 2023)
Screenplay Award Sub-Category
Award Category
Logline or Premise
In a retro future where late stage capitalism has turned down right dystopian, a rebellious young woman must take down a megalomaniac led corporation to send her new immortal alien cat friend (and his friends) back home.
First 10 Pages

Sloane Wells has been doing her best to live life with the least amount of participation possible.

She’s a coder, with undeniable talent, who hasn’t touched a computer in years. Instead she works for minimum wage at a run down coffee shop, made bearable by her best friend Juno. A temporary job, chosen fresh out of school, to avoid signing her life away to a soulless corporation. One that Juno is considering trading, for an opening at Aud Industries (said soulless corporation). So to numb the pain of her mundane life, Sloane smokes her troubles away on the fire escape outside her window. Ignoring her late rent notices and messages from her loser boyfriend, she is content in her bubble of nothingness. No, really. She is.

Until she meets a black cat named Dave, A.K.A a mind reading immortal alien from a planet called Fenine. Who doesn’t just burst her bubble, but shatters her whole understanding of reality, when she discovers that they can communicate. An anomaly which last occurred in Ancient Egypt when they crash landed on Earth.

She faces a life altering decision. Help Dave locate his three fellow immortal Fenians to send them home or…go back to her bubble.

Despite Sloane’s best efforts to keep this unexpected development secret, Juno joins the mission. Using her computer know-how, Sloane first attempts to find Maëlle, a white persian cat, ‘the ultimate translator’, only to discover she belongs to the untouchable Damian Aud of Aud Industries. They then locate Mr Kitty, a wild eyed ginger cat living with Maddox, the rather handsome owner of a bar named The Velvet Jester.

After reviving Mr Kitty from a catnip haze with a cucumber, he is literally raring to go (his ability being super speed). Next is Violet, the telekinetic, who is believed to be living off the grid with Sage, a non binary conspiracy theorist.

Maddox’s uncle’s camper van is secured to take the group over the Aud controlled border and to Violet, while enjoying some sing alongs and a museum stop on the way. Dave dishes the dirt on the Ancient Egyptians. Tut was inbred. Cleo was hot. And that Maëlle was the only one who could talk to them. They spend the night at a motel, Sloane and Maddox have a heart to heart until they are rudely interrupted by the announcement that Damien’s secret project will be announced at Tech Con.

They meet eccentric Sage who turns out to be an ex Aud employee and reveals the secret project is Fenine. Potentially destroyed, empty and ready for humans to claim as their own. A plan is formulated to enter Aud headquarters, expose its wrong doings and get the cats home. However, life footage of Damien indicates that Maëlle is somehow using her abilities to control him for unknown reasons.

The group lie their way into Aud’s office and together with Sloane’s tech expertise and Sage’s intel, they begin the plan. Damien, puppeteered by Maëlle stops them in their tracks, detailing her revenge plan for Damien’s destruction of Fenine by enslaving Earth to take control of it. Instead of the ‘secret project’ tape, the world will be broadcasted a hypnotic video of Maëlle, that she sets off and hypnotises the humans in the room with, as the countdown begins. The cats fight and free the humans at the cost of a comatose Dave. Now un-hypnotised, Sloane is able to swap the revenge broadcast for damning files and details of Aud’s many wrong doings. The group makes it out, taking Maëlle with them and leaving a restrained Damien behind.

Once back at Sage’s sanctuary, Dave, who is presumed brain dead from catnip overexposure, wakes up. Using the files they took, they locate Damien’s ships intended to take humans to Fenine. Meanwhile, police arrest Damien and intend to ransack all Aud properties for further evidence, the ship's compound included. The group rush down and say their goodbyes to their unlikely friends (and an angry Maëlle in a pet carrier) before the police can get there. Sloane in the arms of Maddox and Dave tail entwined with Violet’s, they accept they may never see each other again. But as painful as that prospect may be, they are still somehow experiencing a joy they never thought possible. All because of a random, totally coincidental, catastrophe.