Biopic drama - spec script.

A tormented young man sets out to transition to a woman, but is derailed by the pains of unexpected love and loss; through therapy and life experiences, she must learn self-acceptance if she is to survive.

Haydn has repeatedly interviewed Samantha and her former counsellor to gain access to their accounts of her journey to date. The resulting screenplay serves as a dramatised version of events and recollections.

The short documentary Sam features Samantha, her former therapist (Haydn's dad) and Haydn retracing her journey.

Samantha focuses on an honest portrayal of the psychological, emotional and physical struggles of living before, during and after gender transition. Recounting a single trans life, structured by one‐to‐one therapy, allows the story to reach a new level of truth and intimacy, transcending existing transgender film productions. The numerous struggles Samantha encounters, particularly complicated love and painful loss, are universal themes that will resonate with a diverse audience, satisfying both genre and art-house audiences.

Samantha’s goal is self-acceptance. She uses counselling to try to make sense of her transition, and to help her shape a better future. Samantha’s main obstacle is herself, namely her inability to move on from her past. Other major obstacles include: her on-off lover and her estranged son; her disapproving mother, and her eventual acceptance; her mother’s sudden passing; and Sam’s resulting suicide attempt. The major subplot is her therapist’s terminal illness and his resolute, mysterious need to try to help Sam.

The unglamorous, true-to-life, gritty depiction of an authentic working class trans story aims to normalise – as opposed to glorify or glamorize – being transgender. Samantha blends struggle, determination and compassion to demonstrate the power we can have to fulfil our dreams and be our true selves. Above all, the hope permeating both the story and audience arc is what makes the film so compelling and inspiring.