Posts Tagged ‘ Teresa Lewis ’

Johnny Depp’s Huguenot Legacy of Honor

Jan 5th, 2013 | By T.L. Lewis | Category: Blog

Of all the places on Earth, in this place called France, in this time known as the Renaissance, a rebirth of classic art and literature abounds. But a more dangerous and heretical ideal will surface– that of liberty of conscience — of freedom for all. This concept will seem harmless, but will soon ignite a fire that will burn brightly well beyond its time, to spark a debate that will impact the entire world for centuries to come. “Rebirth” the screenplay, is an attempt to make sure this provocative true story will never be forgotten and its lessons never lost…


“Rebirth” unfolds in a world torn between Renaissance and genocide, viewed through the eyes of a womanizing artist who finds love that changes his life and risks all in the fight for civil liberty. This unlikely humanist hero stands with a few brave hearts, a courageous group of Free thinking French Aristocrats and Artisans, called Huguenots, who give up fortune and fame for a dangerous belief, risking death or dungeon. Their persecution begins with a few outspoken nobles and explodes into massacres of even women and children and triggers a French Civil War. Their only hope is to recant their beliefs or to escape from France. Their fight and flight sparks a debate that changes political thought forever.


When all had seemed lost, the Huguenot fight for freedom sparked a debate for civil disobedience against religious and political tyranny. Their forced migration had carried their love of liberty across borders and oceans and laid the foundation for the U.S. Constitution.

Yet, it is not until the American Revolution that France’s loss truly becomes America’s gain. It was then that the French Catholic Lafayette discovered that his good friend George Washington and many other American patriots, scholars and entrepreneurs are descendants of the French Huguenots.

Notes: The English word “refugee” came from the exile of Huguenot’s from France.

Huguenot Descendant Short List:

Johnny Depp, Robert Duvall, Warren Buffet,Steve Forbes, Charlize Theron, Kenneth Branagh, Marlin Brando, Winston Churchill, Lawrence Olivier, Tyrone Power, Megan Fox, Tom Brokaw, John Rockefeller, George Patton, George Will, Henry David Thoreau, Charles Tiffany, A.I. Dupont, Charles Lindbergh, Louisa May Alcott, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Jay, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Mark Roget, Francis Marion, Davy Crockett, John Sevier, Peter James Bayard, Jean Belmain, John James Audubon, Mary Cassatt, David Demarest, as well as over a dozen American Presidents have documented Huguenot ancestry. Many more world citizens, knowingly and unknowingly, also share this legacy of honor.

“If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.”

We carry the memories of our ancestors in every cell of our bodies.“The hero draws inspiration from the virtue of his ancestors.” Goethe

“Rebirth” was written not only for those who love history or philosophy, but for those who understand that the past is our present, because it lives within the cellular memories and in our collective consciousness. May this story give all the courage to change circumstances, even to those who feel love and liberty to be illusive and fleeting. This heritage of love, honor and freedom is our birthright and belongs to us all.

T tree

“People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.” —Edmund Burke ———–
“Pride and power fall when the person falls, but discoveries of truth form legacies that can be built upon for generations”
—Criss Jami

“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
—Benjamin Franklin

For more information on Huguenot genealogy or on the award winning screenplay REBIRTH: feel free to email me: or


To understand the legacy of French Huguenots in America, it is first necessary to know of their persecution and fight for tolerance and freedom in France.  The stage is set with high stakes devoted to the rise and respect for civil liberty, the cause for which many Huguenot patriots and innocents are murdered. To ‘speak your mind’  literally means to risk losing your head. This amazing true story reveals how most Huguenots are well educated aristocrats willing to give up everything as they riske death and dungeon for the right to speak their conscience.

In a world torn between renaissance and genocide, “Rebirth” reveals a provocative epic of a notorious and almost forgotten true story, set in a time when faith, law and king are one.

“Rebirth” is a mix of all the things that we are told should never be discussed: sex, love, politics, war and religion, to excite with its larger-than-life characters, in an emotional roller coaster of passion and intrigue, with many contemporary echoes of religious terrorism and the reason for separation of church and state.


The story opens through the eyes of a little boy who loses his faith and his faith in humanity, then unfolds into his life twelve years later as a womanizing artist who escapes his pain through pleasure. As he escapes, the world around him dissolves into anarchy. With intolerance blessed, the political and religious corruption is matched only by the cruelty.

All explodes when the villain Duke De Guise, commits a mass murder and is not arrested; but instead greeted like a modern day bad boy, cheered on through the streets of Paris. As tyranny triumphs, this unlikely hero emerges. Edmund du Chastel, a pacifist and humanist at heart, exchanges his brush for a sword in a fight for liberty and life itself.

Edmund’s transformation is partially based on the pain of his past, his search for the meaning of honor, and standing up for a cause greater than self. His unexpected love for an extraordinary young woman, Genevieve, is the love that changes his life and gives him courage in his quest for redemption. Their love story sizzles as it warms the heart and transcends the turbulent time.

Unlike William Wallace in “Braveheart”, who had little left to lose, these heroes are a pure and rare example of men and women who have everything – prominence, prestige and all the pleasures that success brings – and sacrifice it all to stand for cause greater than self.

After many arrests and massacres, the Huguenot options are clear to the few still alive: to either recant or escape from France. Their estates  and treasures are confiscated as they leave all they own behind and yet take with them something far more priceless: a respect for honor and a love of liberty, justice and tolerance for all.


REBIRTH is also a timeless love story woven throughout, that rises above it all.  As this provocative true story reveals, this courage cost the Huguenots so dearly.


Soon, France’s loss soon becomes America’s gain with the sowing of these ideals in her fertile ground; their honor and bravery admired by the English ‘Free Thinkers’. These ‘brave hearts’ find acceptance and admiration in all the countries that take them in. France eventually realizes the loss of her most noble and industrious citizens,  leading to poverty of body, mind and will,  and weakens France for decades and paves the way for the French Revolution.

The wide spread influence of the early French Huguenots outside France is quickly notable. However, the Huguenots do not strive to isolate themselves or perputae race purity or predjudice, instead they assimilate  to become productive world citizens. For centuries, Huguenots were known for their humility and honesty.

In this way they sometimes lost immediate recognition, but undoubtedly have left a legacy of liberty and honor that has been handed down for generations. It is a legacy that  many, including Johnny Depp, would be proud to share with their children and grandchildren.



The Roots of inhumanity: Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, Science without humanity, Politics without principles…”

REBIRTH: the Sequel (in progress)

Greatness sometimes skips a generation or two as grandson Captain Edmund becomes a privateer and comes to Philadelphia with a young William Penn… Pirates and corrupt Politicians seek gold and the excesses of mortality on the high seas, and amid the high ideals in the city of brotherly love. Add a real Secret Society in search of the immortality of the Philosopher’s Stone, and you have haunted and hunted heroes on totally different paths of a true adventure and altered destiny.


Jan 4th, 2013 | By T.L. Lewis | Category: Blog, Ludo BERNARD attached to direct REBIRTH


Oct 2nd, 2012 | By T.L. Lewis | Category: Blog, Ludo BERNARD attached to direct REBIRTH

MovieBytes Interview: Writing Competition

Sep 5th, 2011 | By T.L. Lewis | Category: Interviews

An interview with screenwriter Teresa Lewis regarding Writing Competition.

Q: What’s the title of the script you entered in this contest, and what’s it about?

A: ‘REBIRTH” is inspired by a true story, a provocative mix of lust, love, politics, war and religion; as it opens in the diffused white light of the Louvre, amid a grand library and gallery of Renaissance images.

The timeless works and heights of humanity are juxtaposed against the depravity of civil violence between religious factions and the corruption of Church and State.

In this world torn between Renaissance and genocide, a young boy loses his faith and his faith in humanity. Twelve years later, he’s grown into an amorous young man, a student at the University of Paris, who chooses to be largely oblivious to politics or the swirl of intolerance that still rushes around him. He soon finds love that changes his life, and risks it all in a fight for the civil liberties of a minority.

Ultimately, “Rebirth” reminds us of the perils of unbridled power, and inspires us to never lose sight of the true power of love and honor. I will never be the same for knowing or telling this amazing story, and will never look at our freedoms and the sacrifices for civil liberty never quite the same again. I hope one day, should the film be made, that it would also have a similar impact on the lives and legacies of others.

I tend to think that Rebirth has the passion of “Braveheart” and the promise of “Ever After.”

Q: What made you enter this particular contest? Have you entered any other contests with this script? If so, how did you do?

A: I saw the Greenlight Competition posted on Moviebytes. and when I visited the webiste, I was very impressed with the content and professionalism. This is Rebirth’s Fourth FIRST PLACE WIN, and is ranked in the top five on Movie bytes/ Winning Scripts (along with many other wonderful screenplays) in Drama, Historical and Romance genres. Someone asked me recently, when are the AGENTS/PRODUCERS going to realize that winning scripts more likely will be winning films? I and a few other winning screenwriters, are anxiously awaiting their enlightenment. :)

I think with each placement or win, especially first place wins and consistency over time, gives a writer more credibility and attention. Then the query letters suddenly get more attention, or more requests are made to read your script. Actually “Rebirth” is now in the hands of a major agency, as I type. I still know the odds, but I know that it is also in good hands. Wish me well.

Q: Were you satisfied with the administration of the contest? Did they meet their deadlines? Did you receive all the awards that were promised?

A: Extremely satisfied and impressed with the professionalism! Gordon Rogerson, the director, did everything promised and more. He also created a special page that highlights the top winners, their bio and showcases their scripts. If the same level of professionalism continues, this contest is destined to be one of the biggest and best.

I would highly recommend this screenwriting contests to beginning writers as well as to seasoned ones. I would advise them not to get defensive, but to keep and open mind to keep learning, improving and enjoy the process.

The feedback was a huge plus and the main reason I’ve entered this and other contests. Most writers are sensitive, their writing very personal, and sometimes criticism hurts, even when it’s constructive. But, if you listen, it can make you a stronger writer. I was a writer, not a screenwriter– I needed feedback and guidance, and I think I am finally getting the hang of screenwriting. You tell me.

The following comments are from the Greenlight judges:

“One the best scripts we have ever read! The writing is superb. The characters, locations and story are exciting, rich, and would dazzle any cinema going audience…The writer has captured the essence of a tumultuous time in world history and delivered it to the page like a newborn naked, screaming, and with a tenderness. This is a gorgeous looking script. It has what we call the holy trinity… Sex, Violence and a well crafted story. BRAVO!!!! RECOMMEND!!!”

Q: How long did it take you to write the script? Did you write an outline beforehand? How many drafts did you write?

A: Since ”Rebirth” is an epic, the script took approximately eight months from the beginning of research (that filled a 3-inch binder). Then about eight more rewrites. The following year was spent in tweaking as I entered contests with feedback, then another ten- twelve drafts and polishes. I still polish. But as far as outlines: the more I learned of this heart wrenching story, the less of an outline I needed, because these characters so touched my heart, that they literally came to life and they led me on this journey into their lives of honor and courage. I couldn’t stop writing– and I truly felt as if I were living in the French Renaissance for many months in these “best and worst of times.”

Q: What kind of software did you use to write the script, if any? What other kinds of writing software do you use?

A: MovieMagic seems to be all I need. I’m sure Final Draft and others are great too, but I won MovieMagic a couple of years ago in the Brass Brad contest, and have happily used it since. I think I’ve read every book written on screenwriting, and am partial to Truby and Campbell and the “Hero’s Journey.”

Q: Do you write every day? How many hours per day?

A: I cannot get through a day without writing. No matter how busy I am, it is my escape, my relaxation, a true passion.

Q: Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with that?

A: N/A. I never run out of ideas, just hours in the day– in spite of needing only an average of 5 hours per night.

Q: What’s your background? Have you written any other screenplays or television scripts?

A: Sometimes I am so driven to write I wonder if writing is part of my cellular memory, as I actually share 5th Great grandfathers’ and Grandmother’s with writers Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, Alred Tennyson, Sir Walter Scott and Jacqueline Bovier Kennedy. I like to think writing is in my genes. I definitely share their love for a great story.

Q: Do you live in Los Angeles? If not, do you have any plans to move there?

A: I lived in L.A. as a child, and always wanted to go “home” to visit. I know it would be quite emotional, as I have many fond memories. But with the advent of the Internet, and ‘ at the fingertips’ communication and transportation, it is not as critical to live there as it once was.

Q: What’s next? Are you working on a new script?

A: The REBIRTH Sequel… :) Seriously, I’m always writing and actually have several shorts complete as well as a few feature scripts in progress that I often work on simultaneously. I write daily for pleasure and in the case of “Rebirth”– for the passion to tell the story–to bring these amazing characters back to life on the big screen. I also want to congratulate the other screenwriter winners Rhys Gledhill, and Richard Sartore and wish all the other great writers that entered the contest only the best. And to all passionate writers, keep writing, not for the product but for the joy of the process. It’s quite an emotional roller coaster, but oh what a ride.