Helen on 86th St. has been adapted into an award-winning feature screenplay.
An imaginative and precocious New York City tween must accept her father's absence after going to extreme measures to bring him back home.
2018 London Film Awards: Finalist
2018 ISA Fast Track Fellowship: Special Mention / Top 6
2018 Inroads Screenwriting Fellowship: Finalist
2018 Berlinale/European Film Market: mentorship with Stowe Story Labs
2017 Stowe Story Labs: NewEnglandFilm.com Fellowship
Check out a feature interview with Nicole Kempskie about the project, fellowship, and labs here.
2017 TTP Screenplay Competition: Official selection
2016 International Family Film Festival Screenplay Competition: Winner
2016 Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Contest: Quarter Finalist
2016 Marble House Project artist residency to write the screenplay
Based on the celebrated New Yorker short story, Helen on 86th St. is a coming of age story that follows Vita Sanford, a plucky and outspoken 12-year-old girl, and the struggling adults in her life.
While growing up in New York City might seem like a dream, Vita’s life is anything but. Her father left three years ago and hasn’t been in touch since; her mother’s unpleasant boyfriend has been hanging around way too much and they seem to be getting serious; and regardless of how much she knows about Ancient Greece, the chances of her high-strung drama teacher Mr. Dodd casting her as Helen of Troy seem remote. But Vita is not one to be disheartened for long. With tenacity, resourcefulness, and relentless hope, Vita is determined to turn her luck around.
After burning letters at an altar to Goddess Athena—the letters she’s been writing her father every night since he left—her wishes begin to come true. The role of Helen of Troy becomes hers after the beautiful Helen Mc.Guire gets the chicken pox. Her mother breaks it off with her boyfriend. All that’s left is for her father to come home. As Vita stands onstage searching for him in the audience, she learns the limitations of wishes and the value of strength.