Laura Elliott

As a teenager, Laura's love for story began in the Amazon where she water-skied with piranha while learning of head hunters and curses. She is a screenwriter and a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling ghostwriter of award-winning books, including a Kirkus-star reviewed book of illustrated fables, biography, memoir, historical non-fiction, business, and leadership books. She specializes in writing screenplays about true survival, crime, war, and journeys of the heart. Laura earned her chops at E! Entertainment Television working on shows like E! True Hollywood Story, which gave her an appetite for finding the story behind the story. She further developed her skills at the Los Angeles Times where she told interactive stories reporting on features, entertainment, crime, hard news, politics, and investigative journalism. Her experience writing feature films, documentaries, and limited series shapes her cinematic writing style.

Your project takes a part in our festival. What is your project about?
Beyond the Rivers of Babylon is a journey through time when the Jews were killed by the Muslims during The Farhud, and how one young Jewish boy escaped and helped other kids smuggle into Iran from Baghdad on a riverboat. Based on a true story.


Why should distributors buy your film?
We believe that Beyond The Rivers of Babylon will be of interest because it highlights a world where Jews and Muslims lived in peace for 2500 years until The Farhud during WWII. We believe that the understanding that the film will bring to the complex situation in the Middle East will help to foster better awareness of the peace that was, and what we believe is possible in the region.

What expression elements did you use in your project? How would you characterize your work?
I characterize this work as a historical drama.

At what festivals have you had success? Has the film already premiered? If so, where?
The screenplay won at the International Drama Festival in January, 2024:

What motivated you to become a filmmaker?
I was a writer of books when a personal tragedy affected me so deeply that I couldn't write in that format anymore. And so, caring friends asked if I might try another format. They thought that a new format might, perhaps, help me keep writing. This is when I discovered screenwriting.

Which movies are your favorites? And why?
I love movies that transport me to other worlds and help me to understand history in new ways. I also love lighthearted moments in these epic movies. My favorite movies are Dr. Zhivago, Gone With The Wind, Oppenheimer, Pearl Harbor because they do all these things.

What topics do you like to deal with in your work?
I like to illuminate lost chapters of histories that we think we know and yet show us that we have yet to scratch the surface of their understanding.

What project would you like to shoot one day, what would it be about?
I would like to produce a screenplay about my family's own story, a lost chapter of WWII set in Indonesia and Japan.

What do you do if you're not thinking about a movie? What are your hobbies?
I am a ghostwriter of books, mostly memoir and business books. And I love to sail, boat, and cross-country Nordic Ski in the wilderness...the quieter and more remote the better!