LA Festival Script: Along the Way, by Alex Leopardi

Logline: An intelligent, studious teen turns to alcohol to cope with the unexpected obstacles that threaten his path towards the first in his family to attend college.

“Along the Way” is written along the lines of “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and “The Edge of Seventeen.” This is the story of Julian, a Latino entering his senior year of high school full of promise. Julian has done well in school, his studious behavior fueled by his mother’s constant reminder that she immigrated to the U.S. to give him and his sister a better life. But the constant pressure put on him by his mother has built to a breaking point for Julian. He takes this final year to branch out and let loose. He chases after girls, but finds repeated failure, and is even strung along by Natalie, a girl he has a hard crush on. At the hotel where he’s employed – thanks to mom – Julian is exposed to a supervisor who tries to shatter his self-esteem, and a few hotel guests who are full of hatred and racism. When Julian accidentally commits a hit and run – spurred by Natalie’s impatience – the other driver catches up to Julian and begins legal proceedings for a lawsuit based not on the accident, but on revenge. This threatens his future, as well as that of his family.

All of these events, these unforeseen obstacles, become catalysts for the consumption and over-reliance on alcohol. Drinking and partying, the things he swore off long ago to focus on school, become his only coping mechanisms for the impediments that stand in his way to being the first in his family to attend university. But in trying to deal with his problems, Julian begins to distance himself from his long-time friends, his family, and even himself. The harsh realities outside of his high school life, on top of all the mounting pressure to succeed, may prove to be more than Julian can handle on his own.

Writer Biography – Alejandro Leopardi

Ba5e9f370e headshot

I’ve sold a feature-length drama/action script that was produced and has won Best Screenplay and Best Canadian Feature, among other awards and nominations. In addition, I have also had female-driven thriller and a romantic comedy optioned. Additionally, this script won Best Narrative at the Columbia Gorge International Film Festival.

I have worked as producer on six short films, including writing and directing three of those short films.

In addition to screenwriting, I also write short stories and have been a freelance writer and editor for over a decade.

Writer Statement

I strive to write works that resonate with a wide array of audiences.