About this submission
A caseworker at a bureaucratic afterlife tries to convince a recently deceased man to alter his wife’s memories from beyond the grave to fix retroactively their flawed marriage.
I just graduated from Harvard University where I studied English and film with minors in Theater and Arabic. Now I am a Masters student at the Royal College of Art on a Marshall scholarship for which I am researching how experimental theater techniques and aesthetics can be used in narrative cinema. I have directed several short films at college which have been screened (and sometimes even awarded – which is nice for my fragile ego) at film festivals in the US, Canada, the UK, India, and Italy. I just finished my newest film: an experimental reinterpretation of "The Glass Menagerie" in collaboration with two theater artists using elaborate miniature sets and figurines, ala Toddy Haynes' "Superstar." The movie I submitted for ~Ignite~ was my thesis film starring none other than my sweet sweet parents. It follows a man changing his wife's memories from the afterlife to fix retroactively their flawed marriage. (I even used their actual wedding tape in it.) I know. The Freudian implications do not look great on this one. But! My parents are actually very much in love and very supportive of my rediculous projects (so much so that they drove ten hours from Toronto and slept in my dorm room to help me shoot it – God bless 'em!) A couple of summers ago, I was a development intern at Protozoa Pictures, Darren Aronofsky's production company (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream) in Brooklyn. But what amateur filmmaker can survive on an unpaid internship in New York? So I also ended up working as a part-time live-in caretaker for an 89-year-old named with Alzheimer's (Hi, Jean!) in exchange for a bed. I also worked as a creative producer and researcher for 110th street films and assisted Oscar-nominated animated filmmaker Bill Plympton for a series of short films for the New York Times. The summer before I tried to shoot a documentary while living with a group of Bedouins in Wadi Rum, Jordan (flexing that Arabic minor)... It didn't go well and I ended up running away saying that my father had a heart attack but I ended up working at a book store so, y'know, six-of-one. Throughout college, I studied under Guy Maddin (one of the weirdest filmmakers who I just love to death. He has been way too nice in response to my truly insane emails) who taught me that, when in doubt, rub vaseline on the lens and wave a veil in front of the camera. My great ambition in life is to be a feature screenwriter and director and to develop a method of collaborative filmmaking that incorporates key creatives (actors, cinematographer, editor) into the entire process so that filmmaking labor is not segregated into separate departments. I have actually written a feature screenplay based on the aforementioned short that I would love to make one day. My favorite contemporary filmmakers are (in no particular order) Ruben Östlund, Todd Haynes, Lynne Ramsay, the Coen Brothers, Charlie Kauffman, Yorgos Lanthimos, Paul Thomas Anderson–I know, I know, all very cliched film-bro answers. But the heart wants what the heart wants! more...