2023 Angel Film Awards - Monaco International Film Festival angel awards



“BLACK DAWN” Short Screenplay Written by Letizia Arcaleni (Italy)


I was born in Assisi in 2002 and I have lived in various areas of the province of Perugia. I started writing poetry at four years old and have never abandoned the pen since then. My strong passion for cinema combined with that for writing very early, in fact at the age of sixteen I wrote my first screenplay. In the meantime I took some acting lessons. Once I graduated from high school, I wrote my first novel which is now a screenplay for a possible TV series. Shortly afterwards I wrote Black Dawn, a short film screenplay that won and participated in many independent festivals and a feature film screenplay, When rain falls down on me, which also received good recognition.

“BLACK DAWN” Short Screenplay Written by Letizia Arcaleni (Italy)

LOGLINE: (Genre: Drama / Horror)

When new acting promise Lesmarie Jean Jay forgets her lines, the only solution is help from the afterlife.


Debut actress Lesmarie Jay has just finished filming a movie. When her agent Clara reminds her that filming of the zombie movie Black Dawn will begin the next day, Lesmarie panics completely as, not remembering the date, she is still not ready. To keep her from losing the part, Clara gives her the address of one of the best zombie movie actors. The actor's help will prove to be a double-edged sword.


Lesmarie Jean Jay, called simply Lesjay, is a first-time actress who has just finished filming a movie.

cousin and agent Clara, she discusses her next film: a zombie movie that will be shot in the same studios as the last film she just shot and in which she is the lead.

Clara reminds her that filming will begin the following day, catching Lesmarie by surprise as she believed it would begin in a week.

To help her, her cousin leaves her the address of the greatest zombie movie actor ever : Frederick Stomh.

Lesjay, that very night, follows the address, which leads her to a tombstone : Stomh's. Incredulous she looks around, then decides to follow what is written on the note, which is to knock three times.

Seconds pass and nothing happens, so disappointed and feeling mocked, she turns to leave when all of a sudden she hears noises and moans coming from the grave.

Out from under the ground comes the decrepit body of the actor, who bites the girl's arm, leaving her on the ground in agony, where she falls asleep until dawn.

On the day of the film shoot, Lesjay leaves everyone speechless, as his performance is flawless.

The next day the effect seems to wear off, losing that realistic acting style of his and forcing the director to stop filming. She then decides to return to the actor's grave to be bitten, thus regaining her credulity in the role. On the set she receives praise from everyone, including the director, and realizes that the only way to achieve a flawless performance is to get bitten by the zombie, and thus become a zombie herself, until the end of filming. As she goes on, day after day, night after night, her appearance begins to change: her skin becomes increasingly greenish/gray, her hair filthy and brittle, her eyes increasingly hollowed out and red, and her mannerisms seemingly slow and clumsy. One evening, she returns to the grave almost dragging herself, shattered, calls out to the corpse of the old actor who denies her any bite. Before then Lesjay had never heard him speak, never even knew he could do so. Stunned by this fact and especially by his denial, she remains silent for a while until she begins to argue, but the actor turns away and goes back to rest in his grave.

Panicked, she looks for her cousin's way home, the only one who could find a solution to help her, but once there, she too denies her any help.

Destroyed both physically and mentally, she returns to her dressing room during the night, looking at herself in the mirror.

She then realizes that she must rely "only" on her acting skills until the effect wears off.

It happens, however, that the effect does not wear off, but rather intensifies, and by the end of filming she is more zombie-like than ever.

Months pass, filming is now over, and the film is shown in competition at a local festival. Alone in her dressing room, Lesmarie tries on her dress, which, however, does not hide what she has become.

Taken by despondency she runs to the cemetery she visited during all the filming and abandons herself to her fate, just as the actor had done, underground.