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Logline: A young woman determines to find her lost brother in 1920s Georgia. Running afoul of both the law and the leaders of the KKK, she must not only find her brother but avoid falling prey to a deadly fate.
Synopsis: IT HAPPENED IN SILENCE is an action drama that explores Southern history in an intensely emotional and thrilling way. From chain gangs of the 1920s to the KKK and other monumental historical moments in Georgian history.
Resolute but mute, young Willow Stewart leaves her Georgia mountain home to bring back a preacher for her impending mother’s funeral and to find her estranged brother, Briar.
Briar left the family homestead after the death of his oldest brother in a mining accident, vowing to never return. However, while wandering in his new life, he stumbles into a corrupt town and finds himself on a prison chain gang – a popular Georgia labor tactic in the 1920s.
Ardith Dobbs, an up-and-coming star in the women’s KKK movement, with a past as dark as the movement she leads, weaves a life of deceit and manipulation that includes fraud and murder.
Their lives entangle as Willow finds Briar after the law determines she too must pay her debt to Georgian society. Willow now must escape the clutches of Ardith, to whom the law has bound her, and rescue her brother before he perishes in the Georgia penal system.
To date, it took second at the Orlando Film Festival and Las Vegas International Film and Screenwriting Festival, honorable mentions at the Chicago Screenplay Awards, Miami Screenplay Awards, Santa Barbara International Screenplay Awards and Williamsburg International Film & Music Festival. It was a finalist at the Los Angeles Film Festival, Reno Tahoe Screenplay, and a Rhode Island International Film Festival semifinalist. It also received official selection laurels at the Adapted Story Showcase, Action on Film, and the Wiki Screenplay Contest.
As a book, it has won major awards including the 2021 Benjamin Franklin Award, a prestigious prize where the book beat out 700 other publishing houses in the Historical Fiction category. The novel currently has a 4.6 out 5.0 rating on Goodreads and on Amazon out of over 10,000 readers.
Adapted from the award-winning book IT HAPPENED IN SILENCE by Karla Jay, the story resonates strongly with current events and headlines. Screenwriter Shaun Delliskave has received awards and recognition from Page International, Catalina Film Festival, Big Apple Film Festival, and 18 other contests. He has had three scripts optioned and “IT HAPPENED IN SILENCE” has been invited to represent at several international screenplay competitions.