Institute History

  • 2001 January Screenwriters Lab


"This is the story as I knew it growing up. And even though there is fiction here, at its heart, it is all truth. Listen now; I will tell you of the man named Nigel and his wife named Jema and the red string that strung hearts together from the storms of heaven."

Our story is about a couple's longing for a family, their intense desire to be parents and their ultimate choice to adopt as a means to this end. Our narrator is this couple's adopted child, now an adult. It is the partly true, partly fantastic story told to him by his Dad. The true parts deal with his parents' yearning for a child—a child Jema believes is destined to be theirs, but that Nigel fears he will not be able to love unconditionally. The more visually stimulating and dramatic part of the story has Nigel slipping in and out of a surreal world of Japanese myth and lore. His main antagonist comes in the form of a Tengu—a sword-toting samurai of a demon. He is an evil thing: an incarnation of self-doubt, inner struggle and turmoil. He will eat you from the heart outward and eventually consume you and all that is around you: the ones that you love and the ones that love you. The apparent battle is for a baby boy., The true battle, which is the underlying meaning of the story, is Nigel's battle with himself. He must fight his fear, eventually overcoming his doubt and learning to have faith.


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