Local-ized is a quirky comedy with sci-fi elements that follows a socially awkward Romanian scientist named Gustav as he navigates the cultural differences and humorous mishaps of working in Singapore. With a lighthearted tone reminiscent of The Big Bang Theory, the story pokes fun at stereotypes while exploring deeper themes of friendship, jealousy, and letting go of the past.

The story begins with Gustav, a brilliant but eccentric scientist, living in a basement in Spain and working on various unusual formulas. Down on his luck and out of money, he jumps at the chance to work for Boss, the wealthy owner of a research lab in Singapore called FARC (Formulas and Antidotes Research Center). Boss hopes Gustav can help FARC develop a virus repellent.

Upon arriving in Singapore, Gustav struggles to adapt to the local customs and way of life, leading to many humorous cultural misunderstandings and awkward interactions with his new coworkers - the friendly Sam and Lydia, and the intelligent Olga, who seems strangely drawn to Gustav. However, Gustav soon discovers that his work has been mysteriously altered.

As Gustav races to uncover the mystery of his work alterations and crack the formula with help from Olga, Sam and Lydia, he must also navigate the eccentric antics of Boss and his parents. A weekend outing with Olga to Coney Island results in Gustav getting lost while chasing a butterfly, adding to his string of comedic misfortunes in Singapore.

However, Gustav's adventures intensify when his old rented apartment is revealed to be a place inhabited by a ghost, which manifests itself in front of him and Olga after their visit to Coney Island in a chilling way.

The story takes a turn when it is revealed that William, the former lead investigator, was behind not only the sabotage all along but also the ghostly appearance of Gustav's flat in a desperate attempt to make Gustav leave Singapore.

Jealous of Gustav replacing him and Olga's apparent infatuation with the new scientist, William tampered with Gustav's work in an attempt to discredit him, acting out after the tragic loss of his sister Sharma, who is nothing less than the ghost of the haunted apartment.

The Spirit of Sharma however, after trying to scare Gustav and Olga, realizes that they have no bad intentions towards William and decides, in return, to explain to them the terrible experience that William went through during the last two years.

In a triumphant moment, Gustav finally cracks the code for the virus repellent formula, which he names Virepell. William's deception is exposed and Boss fires him, but at Gustav's urging, agrees to still credit William for his contributions. The team celebrates as Virepell becomes a massive global success and William is back in the team.

As Gustav prepares to return to Spain, Boss surprises him at the airport with news of a new secret project and convinces him to stay in Singapore. The story ends with the team heading off together on a new adventure, having grown into a tight-knit group of friends bonded by their experiences.

  • Leonidas Stanescu
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    comedy, drama, supernatural
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
  • Language:
    English, Romanian, Spanish
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
  • New York Script Awards
    New York
    August 16, 2022
    Best Foreign Screenplay
  • Paris Shorts Film Awards
    April 2, 2022
    Best Unproduced Script
  • Cult Critic Movie Awards
    February 19, 2022
    Critic's Choice Award
  • World Film Carnival - Singapore
    March 3, 2022
    2nd Runner-up
  • Tagore International Film Festival
    March 9, 2022
    Outstanding Achievement
  • Vesuvius International Film Festival
    March 31, 2022
    Nominee Best Unproduced Script
  • New Jersey Film Awards
    New Jersey
    March 1, 2022
    Finalist Best Unproduced Script
Writer Biography - Leonidas Stanescu

Leonidas Stanescu, Romanian-Spanish artist based in Singapore, is a very passionate actor who recently started to venture in scriptwrting and filmmaking.

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Writer Statement

The Artist dies in the moment he or she steps into the comfort zone.