Silkroad Runaways screenplay

Feature, Drama, Adventure, Romance
After an aunt arranges her marriage, a rebellious Mongolian girl flees with a friend, but ruthless Steppe Riders are in hot pursuit. Read more

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SYNOPSIS for Silk Road Runaways

SILK ROAD RUNAWAYS Feature by Christine Inserra

Life in ancient Mongolia is pretty peaceful: shear sheep, collect dung for fuel, sweep the yurt, milk horses– except when marauders ride through to abduct women and children. That’s why Altan, a sling-wielding teenage girl, and her boy cousins work as security lookouts. One day, Altan spies a plume of dust. She signals with a mirror and saves her village. She witnesses a Steppe Rider molesting a young eagle huntress from a distant tribe. Reflexively her sling WHOOSHES; THWAP, her first kill. A deep friendship grows as Altan’s survival skills help the girls return to camp safely.

Altan implodes when her aunt and uncle insist she marry a wealthy merchant. (Unbeknownst to them, he plans to sell her as a war bride!) Through a shaman’s vision, Altan discovers that her nightmares have been memories of the raid that killed her father and abducted her mother, who is still alive! Desperate to escape, Altan is on fire to find her mother and return Kengi, the eagle huntress, to her mountain home. The two plan their escape and set out on a treacherous journey.

On horseback, along with Altan’s dog and Kengi’s golden eagle, they prepare for certain danger by honing warrior skills. Five Steppe Riders descend on them, but the girls prove worthy opponents. They take the squad leader, Sol, prisoner. His secret mission is to bring Kengi, Tamir, her brother, and their mother back to tribal chief Baluan. Tamir, who has been searching for Kengi, arrives on the scene and guards this prisoner. Sol asks Tamir to return and train to be the next chief. Tamir rejects his father’s offer and violent life. As Kengi and Altan’s love grows, so does their desire to live a free life together.

When the foursome arrives at Kengi’s “mountain fortress,” Altan and Sol are imprisoned for “safekeeping.” Kengi’s mother, Kyran, is the leader of a band of abused, runaway women turned warriors. Imprisoned, will Altan find her mother? The girls overhear that Sol is Kengi and Tamir’s birth father, who, in his cowardice, wouldn’t leave his tribe to help Kyran escape the abusive Baluan. Sol warns that Baluan will come with a small army to bring his wife and children back. Kyran orders, “All hands on deck!” Altan must train for the big battle, but she is appalled by the violence that is about to ensue. Professing her love for Kengi, she pleads with her to leave. Kengi, like her father, has trained to be a warrior. It breaks her heart, but she must stay. Kyran discovers an identity tattoo on Altan’s chest, the one she gave her firstborn. A tearful mother-daughter reunion ensues.

Baluan attacks and the battle commences. Kyran’s warriors slaughter more than half his men by dropping rocks and assailing them with arrows. Altan shocks Kengi, “I’ve found my mother; we’re half-sisters!” The two convince Sol to join them in Altan’s planned ruse. Retreating to the open battlefield, Baluan’s men and Kyran’s Amazons let arrows fly. Altan and Kengi join the fight, as does Sol, who delivers an “apparently captive,” Tamir. Altan refuses to surrender to a tracker sent to bring her back to her fiancé, and she openly declares her love for Kengi. Sol refuses to give up Tamir, revealing that he is Tamir and Kengi’s true father. Baluan’s men SNAP whips around the necks of Kyran, Kengi, and Altan and pull them off their horses during “negotiations.” WHISTLE! Dog, an eagle, and a flock of Kyran’s falcons attack, creating pandemonium as they mob Baluan and his men. Altan and Kengi get loose and grab their bows. It takes all the Amazons to shoot Baluan dead and save Kyran. With the monster Baluan slain, his men flee. Safe for now, the Amazons and Kyran’s family ride back home. Altan and Kengi have found peace together as they enjoy the beauty of the mountains and night sky.

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