Phillip Hollins on writing “Sin Mi Familia”

Phillip Hollins, screenwriter

NY Elite: Congratulations on being an ISC finalist. What does it mean for your work to be selected at the International Screenwriting Competition in New York?

Phillip Hollins: I’m extremely grateful to be a finalist. I’m honored to be in the company of a very talented group of writers. 

NY Elite: Can you tell us about the work that you participated with at ISC? What is the story about?

Phillip Hollins: Sin Mi Familia (Without My Family) a Guatemalan mother who flees to America to protect her daughter from the girl’s father, a Guatemalan Secret Police officer, upon learning he has a vicious past, but the girl’s father, who has a history for tracking people down, comes after her.

NY Elite: Can you tell us yourself and your artistic talents?

Phillip Hollins: I’m an Air Force veteran who upon retirement, worked the disaster field, training the private and public sector on pandemic preparedness and conducted FEMA damage assessments for homes and property impacted by disasters. I’ve been writing for five years, studied creative writing and have a master’s in Liberal Studies in Borders Migration, Health & Cultural Identity.

NY Elite: What scripts have you written so far?

Phillip Hollins: Over thirty scripts ranging from features, TV series and shorts which cross multiple genres.

NY Elite: Top 3 favorite projects that you have been involved in?

Phillip Hollins: “Blackballed” a Black FBI agent must helps a white supremacist leader go into hiding, upon learning his late son’s heart was transplanted in the leader’s daughter. I collaborated with writer John McCarney on “In Search of… Califia” an adventure about Califia, the 16th Century Black queen of California Island, and “In Search of… Amanirenas” about Nubian Queen Amanirenas.

NY Elite: What type of scripts do you want to write in your career?

Phillip Hollins: I enjoy writing stories that matter and often go overlooked due to their subject matter. I feel it’s important to captivate a wide audience and show them original stories they can appreciate.

NY Elite: As a writer, what is the most important aspect of building a character?

Phillip Hollins: Creating visual and character growth is so important to telling the story. Putting the character in positions that the audience can relate to, coupled with realistic dialog, in my opinion is a winning formula to building that character.

NY Elite: What projects are you currently working on?

Phillip Hollins: Two years ago I found records about my ancestral Gullah (West African descendents) roots on an Antebellum plantation. The journey’s so unexpectedly amazing I had no choice but to write it.

NY Elite: Do you express yourself creatively in any other ways?

Phillip Hollins: Listening to music and helping other writers see opportunity in the face of adversity. Whether that’s in table reads, story building, or even real life, you offer ideas that they haven’t considered.

NY Elite: What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career in filmmaking/writing?

Phillip Hollins: Don’t give up. Storytelling takes time, practice and imagination. With determination, research, revisions, and a solid premise, you can create a world you’ll be proud of.

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