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Based on the 1904 American novel "Tillie, a Mennonite Maid" by Helen Reimensnyder Martin. Screenplay by David Chester & Blake Pinter,
TILLIE GETZ (12) lives a life of drudgery on a farm with her stepmother, siblings and tyrannical father JACOB (35). Her only joy is her school and her beloved teacher MISS MARGARET (25). Margaret recognizes Tillie's intelligence and one day gives her the classic novel Ivanhoe. Tillie escapes into Ivanhoe and feels the ground shift when she realizes there are other worlds outside her small town. But the magic spell is shattered when Jacob discovers Tillie with the forbidden book, beats her unmercifully, burns Ivanhoe and takes her out of school because "she's learned enough for a girl".
This cruel act sets Tillie on a six-year journey to secretly educate herself to follow in Margaaret's footsteps. But Jacob thwarts Tillie's progress at every turn, abusing her emotionally and physically. Tillie perseveres, experiencing a spiritual rebirth, love's first blush and public shunning, leading to a violent showdown where Tillie threatens to kill her father to finally gain her freedom.
Taking control of her destiny at last, Tillie leaves her small town as a liberated , educated young woman poised to take on the world. that's how our story ends, but really, it's just the beginning for Tillie.
David Chester and Blake Pinter met and currently reside in Tokyo, Japan. Their work has benefitted from Corey Mandell's screenwriting workshops, Roadmap Writers Top Tier Group and mentorship from industry professionals.
Before becoming a screenwriter, David travelled the world as a professional pianist and wrote music and lyrics for over 80 songs recorded by major label American and Japanese pop singers. Blake, who has a Masters in TESOL from Columbia University is currently an English professor at Aoyama Women's Junior College.
David is also a filmmaker and has produced. written and/or directed four short films, most notably "The Lesson", which won the Grand Prix at Rainbow Reel Tokyo and Best Short. In addition, he's written eight commissioned feature dramas, currently streaming on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Lifetime TV.
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