Breakaway Heart by Gary Piazza | Script Revolution

Breakaway Heart

A Vietnamese refugee barely escapes Vietnam after the fall of Saigon and embarks on a life-long journey to find her father and rebuild her family. Her story is one of hope and survival.

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Page Count: 
114pp

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Synopsis/Details: 

From 1975 to 1996 more than one million people fled Vietnam in search of a better life—to escape persecution, torture and death from a corrupt government. Approximately thirty percent of those who fled in this mass diaspora lost their lives at sea or in camps.

This is the story of one person's struggle of survival, redemption and retribution. “Breakaway Heart” follows young My Le Nguyen as she makes multiple attempts to escape Vietnam (barely) and embark on a lifelong journey to find her father after the fall of Saigon. Like many others, she is faced with being caught, forced into work camps, and making multiple attempts to board a directionless junk—a vessel that is boarded multiple times by Thai pirates in the South China Sea for the sole purpose of rape, theft and torture…and that’s only the beginning.

My Le utilizes her survival instincts to push on and help others along the way. Having made it to a small island in the Anambus Island chain in Indonesia, she must step up and become a woman, a savior and a survivalist at the same time. The refugee camps are no picnic, but her determination to find her father fuels her ambition during seemingly impossible times.

Having a connection in one of the refugee camps turns out to be her ticket to America and a possible reunion with her father who supposedly resides in Arkansas. She learns that he had suffered a stroke and is bound to a wheelchair. Her arrival to the host family homestead in America turns out to be a sad disappointment as the person in the wheelchair is not her father.

It is years later after she has relocated and reunited with an old friend that she is able to settle down and move on with her life. When she is finally reunited with her father, we learn that it is not her doing; but the loving gesture of a child she had rescued along the way and raised as her own.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

"Breakaway Heart" - Semi-Finalist - Scriptapalooza 2019
“Breakaway Heart” – Semi-Finalist – LA International Screenplay Comp 2018
“Breakaway Heart” - Quarter-finalist-Stage 32 Screenplay Competition 2017
“Breakaway Heart” – Winner – Moondance International Film Festival, 2017
“Breakaway Heart” – Winner – Hollywood Blvd Film Festival, 2016
“Breakaway Heart” – Winner – L.A. Underground Film Festival, 2016
“Breakaway Heart” - Finalist at the Writebox screenplay competition, 2015
Other notable recognition –
“Breakaway Heart” dev notes from the Blacklist, “Very professional. A story whose protagonist should be remembered at award season. A story that needs to be told…”

“Breakway Heart” dev notes from Brad Wilson of Higher Purpose Entertainment, “Wow! What can be said? The plot is amazing and the structure the writer has laid out is terrific. A piece of history that needs to be told…”

Submitted: August 30, 2018
Last Updated: March 17, 2021

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The Writer: Gary Piazza

Gary Piazza is an award winning screenwriter, filmmaker and photographer residing in the Pacific Northwest. He began writing and shooting videos in high school back in the 80's and never looked back. After serving in the Navy, Gary enrolled in the Hollywood Scriptwriting Institute by Donna Lee and graduated with honors. It wasn't long before he wrote a sequel to John Carpenter's, "The Thing" and sent it off to ICM where they responded with interest in the script. It was that interest that landed him an agent, Gaily Vollmer with Trans International Productions. Like many projects and successes, however, this one never made it and Trans International closed their doors soon after. It was only... Go to bio

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