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Highland Park Screenwriter's Film Hits Big Screen

Steffen Schlachtenhaufen's first feature length screenplay to hit the big screen, "Would You Rather," debuted at LA's Screamfest on Sunday evening.

Highland Park Screenwriter's Film Hits Big Screen

It's been a good month for Highland Park screenwriter Steffen Schlachtenhaufen.

Two weeks ago, he traveled to New York City for the News & Documentary Emmy Awards after earning a nomination in the Graphic Design and Art Direction category for his work as a visual effects producer on the History Channel's History of the World in 2 Hours.

Then, on Sunday Night, Schlachtenhaufen walked the red carpet again, as his first feature length screenplay, Would You Rather, debuted at LA's Screamfest Horror Film Festival.

"For a lot of screenwriters, seeing your movie on the big screen is a dream come true," Schlachtenhaufen said. "It's pretty significant."

On Monday morning, he got even more good news when Variety reported that IFC Midnight had purchased the rights to Would You Rather, meaning that his film would be coming to many more screens very soon.

"There's a certain validation that comes with getting distribution, especially with a company like IFC, which has a lot of credibility in the independent film world," Schlachtenhaufen said.

For the writer of a film as horrifying as Would You Rather--which tells the story of young woman forced to play a deadly version of the campfire game in order to earn money to support her ailing brother--the month that also features Halloween is probably the most appropriate time to have a great run of success.

Schlachtenhaufen said that the screenplay was inspired by the anxiety he felt playing the titular game as a teen. The film pushes the limits of the game to its most horrific and suspenseful extremes, with players forced to choose between gruesome decisions.

Would You Rather was written in March of 2011, with many of the writing sessions taking place in Schlachtenhaufen's Highland Park home.

Schlachtenhaufen said he's working on a few more creative endeavors within the horror genre, including further collaborations with the film's director David Guy Levy.

"I've also got some ideas that may be a little unexpected," Schlachtenhaufen said.

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