Screenwriter and Filmmaker
Working both as a hired feature-writer and director, David M. O'Neill's latest written works include the documentary, "Mary, Life After Jesus" and the hi-jack action thriller "Passenger 58" contracted and penned for Warner Brothers set for a 2023 production start - TBA.
David's latest screenplay, "Saving MLK" came from the immersive work in attaining a Master's through ScreenwritingU. The story is of Byron Middleton, an attaché to Martin Luther King Jr., where he finds himself in Memphis, April 4th, 1968 in the line of fire between James Earl Ray and his mentor MLK.
Combined written and directed features to date are "Five Aces" (20th Century) and gambling action-thriller, "Player 5150" (First Look Studios). Additional produced writing ventures include the Afghanistan family political-drama, "The Black Tulip" (Snag Films) and the Netflix ESX Production rural political action drama, "The Stand at Paxton County".
Taking on the writing duties on The Black Tulip, David's film was shot entirely on location in Kabul Afghanistan and was selected by the Afghanistan Film Commission as its official, 2011 Academy Award entry for Best Foreign Language Film. Favored in the 83rd Motion Picture Academy Awards as eligible for best original screenplay, Tulip was ultimately awarded Pen USA’s 2013 prestigious Freedom to Write Award along with numerous other international festival awards. The film premiered September 23rd, 2010, at the Ariana Cinema Theater in Kabul, Afghanistan. There were advance screenings at the headquarters of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force for allied commander General David Petraeus, the U.S. embassy in Kabul, as well as screenings held at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles for notable political dignitaries and policy makers.
David spends his time partnering with rights holders, capturing, creating, and executing new Intellectual Property content. New works include an adaptation of Mary of Agreda's "The Mystical City of God" - Golf comedy "Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden" - St. Martin’s Press psychological thriller, "What Lies in the Valley Below" and Viking Press, Pulitzer Nominated Richard Jessup’s action-thriller, "Threat".
Awards Include: The Black Tulip – Freedom to Write Award. Afghan Film Official Entry - Best Foreign Film, Motion Picture Academy Awards. Official Academy screenplay consideration. NY International Film Festival – Official Selection. Salento International Film Festival – Best Feature Film, Boston International Film Festival – Best Feature Film. Beverly Hills Film Festival – Golden Palm Grand Prize. Cinequest – Official Selection, International Digital – Screenwriter. Ft. Lauderdale Int. Film Festival – Writer-Director – Spirit of Independent Filmmaking Award. William Morris Agency – Writer of the Week. Monte Carlo Charity – Best Feature.
Graduate of the University of Oregon, Arizona School of Business, American Conservatory Theater of San Francisco, and the Screenwriting University master's certificate program.