Meet the 2015 Fellow!


Matthew Fantaci was raised on a strict diet of comic books, genre fiction and horror, gangster, and art house movies so that he would have an appreciation for the finer things when he came of age.  His parents still shake their heads somberly when reminded of the fact that they took him to see “Goodfellas” in theaters when he was only 11 years old. But Matthew Fantaci only smiles.  For he knows it was from that little acorn of a movie-going experience (and many others like it) that he became enthralled with the world of visual storytelling.

From his humble beginnings foraging for berries and leaves in Brooklyn, NY, to his humble present day living in Los Angeles, CA, Matthew Fantaci has always dreamed of making movies.  On the internet he heard tales told of a place called Idyllwild. A place where other people with the same dream all met and shared high hopes and lessons learned and the same love for moving pictures – and who wouldn’t want to go to such a magical place as this?  He is honored to be picked as CineStory’s Fellow for 2015.

CAKE to be released in 2014!

A huge congratulations to CineStory fellows Daniel Barnz and Patrick Tobin on the announcement that their film CAKE will be released by Cinelou Releasing. Read more details about what Cinelou Releasing is planning for the release here:

CineStory Foundation - TV/New Media Retreat Announced!

While the details will be finalized in the coming months, we are excited to announce that early next year, the CineStory Foundation will start accepting submissions for the Inaugural TV/New Media Retreat which will be held in Idyllwild, CA in the Spring of 2016.

We plan on bringing the same positive energy and creating the same welcoming environment for the writers and mentors of this Retreat that the CineStory Foundation has been known for during its 20 years of existence.

Meet Our 2nd & 3rd Place Winners


Jack Davidson is an aspiring screenwriter who was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Graduating from the University of Hawaii with a degree in Political Science, Jack moved to Reno, Nevada in the 1990s where he currently works as a used-car salesman.  Clouds of Sorrow is Jack’s fifth screenplay. A four time Nicholl Fellowship semifinalist Jack’s 2nd place finish in the Cinestory Fellowship is the 8th time he has finished first or second in a national screenwriting competition.




Kranti Pally grew up in Tampa, FL and studied film at NYU. He lived for several years in Los Angeles where he worked in development for several production companies and The Artists Agency, learning from literary agents Merrily Kane and Richard A. Shepherd. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife and two kids where he writes original screenplays and works with independent and studio producers. 

Meet the 2014 Fellow


Hank Hoffman is a proud comic book geek with a unique expertise in ancient Jewish mysticism and Pythagorean numerology.  His fascination in the "supra-rational" began after his nine-year-old brother claimed to see auras, angels and demons. 

At first, Hank was convinced his little brother had lost his grip on reality, but after his brother shared an impossibly intimate message from one of the angels, Hank's grasp of reality was forever shaken. 

Torn between faith and scientific grounding, he travelled with his brother to Israel where they met leading mystics, and what ensued would forever reshape his once agnostic and "scientific" views on consciousness and reality. 

Hank then took a two year hiatus from Western living,  where he nestled in the hills of Safed, learning under mystical masters by day, and by night still reading and writing screenplays.

After two years,  Hank left to fulfill his lifelong dream of screenwriting full time and  moved back home to Toronto where he chose an autodidactic approach to screenwriting and used his College fund to build the biggest screenwriter's library he could afford.

After years writing and consuming material, Hank finally felt it time to find an established mentor and moved to Los Angeles where he skipped Undergrad completely and  pursued a MFA in Screenwriting from AFI's prestigious fellowship. 

Currently, he is completing a Graphic Novel where he serves as creator and art director alongside a team of Marvel and DC artists, exploring the origin of black magic at the beginning of time. 

Recently Hank began penning the untold story of Santa Claus's origin. And hopes to find some time this year to write a personal story about Jewish Gangsters living in Poland shortly after the Holocaust.

When he isn't busy writing, he is changing diapers and offering Shabbat meals for a small community of friends and colleagues he and his beautiful wife happily support.