Global events can impact even the most personal things. This story of young World War II widows is relevant today as this story shows us how to dig deep, find human strength and that there is always hope. This project celebrates women in film, and strong female characters.
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Mission StatementACROSS celebrates WOMEN IN FILM! Across is written and directed by a woman and is about American Women in the United States after World War II. We aim to have an almost completely female team including a female cinematographer, costumer and producer.
About The Project
Across is a Historical Drama short film set in 1949 New York. It's an intimate story about three young World War II widows and the main character Charlotte’s younger sister, Ruby who they take on a girls’ day trip on the eve of her wedding. It is a moment in history after a major event and explores how civilians are affected by war and struggle to recreate their lives after tragic loss.
It is a microscope into how a global event affects our most personal relationships. When I wrote this I had no idea we'd be living together through a global pandemic which has impacted us all so personally. This story is far more relevant than I expected it to be.
Due to the pandemic, we obviously need to adjust our plans. But never has World War II's impact on civilian life been more relevant than today when we are all once again joined together by the impact of a global event. Currently, our production plans are to shoot the end of August or the beginning of September 2020 and since the entire film takes place outdoors, we are optimistic that we will be able to implement socially distancing on set. In the meantime, we can be using the funds to get costumes and art prepared. If the State parameters ultimately do not allow us to shoot in 2020 we will push back the shoot for May 2021. We are fundraising now because the healing power of art and stories are of hope are needed more than ever.
Our last collaboration MOMMY MAFIA is a dark comedy about four moms in Brooklyn. It was another character-driven piece about four women. We are ready to take on something more ambitious, set in the 1940's also with a focus on women.
I am excited to create a character-driven piece with an all-female cast and work on a period piece. It is a unique story because it looks at how our history both political and personal has the power to impact and inform our future. A major theme in the piece is hope and strength to move forward despite pain and fear. The two main characters are sisters and their relationship changes because of the hope that the younger sister brings. She goes from kid sister to guide, beacon, and leader. People become bridges to link generations and to guide those most affected by war back into our society despite their wounds.
The short film script was a 2019 Official Selection at Cascadia International Women's Film Festival and participate in the Script Studio. The script was also a finalist at the Nantucket Film Festival Tony Cox screenplay contest and a quarterfinalist at Screencraft Film Fund.
The vision for the project is a crisp visual with a muted color palette to conjure conflicting feelings of nostalgia and sobering reality. The soundscape will vary from harsh wheels and city roads to water splashing and crickets and stillness. I’m picturing for the car a 1948 Buick Convertible Super 8 in powder blue. Blue because the car will hold the emotions of the women and a convertible to underscore how we adapt and open to find freedom.
We will be submitting this film to festivals with a special focus on reaching an audience of war widows and the military community. I believe it will succeed because it’s a story about female friendship and women driving our country forward.
Thank you for your time in considering this project. It’s a beautifully poignant story and I believe it will resonate in the hearts of many. Also, for my artistic growth, it feels like the correct next logical challenge to create a period piece with this dramatic depth and message of enduring hope.
Laura Sweeney and THE ACROSS Team
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About This Team
LAURA SWEENEY is a screenwriter, director and actress. Her scripts have been finalists at Nantucket Film Festival, HollyShorts and Screencraft Script Fund. Laura’s self-produced pilot MOMMY MAFIA won Best Comedic Pilot at Manhattan Film Festival and won the Award of Merit at Indie Fest Film Awards. She had a feature film in development with Aloris Entertainment and previously has had television projects optioned by North South Productions.
Laura wrote and directed a short experimental film called THE NECK. She co-wrote co-produced and acted in the short film SOLSTICE with Lisandro Perez-Rey. SOLSTICE will premiere at the 2020 Philip K. Dick Sci-fi and Supernatural Film Festival. She wrote a short film adaptation of John Milton’s PARADISE LOST which premiered at 2020 Garden State Film Festival. Also, she has created and starred in two different ongoing web series: The Mothership and Theater Bitches.
Laura was the lead actress in the NYC Fringe Festival award winning play Random Us. A native New Yorker who is a proud member of FILMSHOP, SAG-AFTRA, The Georgetown Entertainment Media Alliance, and New York Women In Film and Television. Laura taught screenwriting for Writers Boot Camp and is a private script consultant. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and studied acting with the Moscow Art Theatre. She is fluent in French and currently resides in Centerport, NY. imdb.me/laurasweeney
Teresa Bolz, Producer - Teresa is a school librarian, actress and a member of the Prop Department in IATSE Local 52. She produced and acted in the independent television pilot, Mommy Mafia. Teresa was the lead actress in the independent short film, Mr. Endocino. She filmed multiple episodes for the web series The Mothership. She was the lead in the 2003 Fringe NYC play Who's Not Ready Holler I! In 2015, she returned to the Fringe NYC stages in the awarding winning production of Random Us portraying three characters. She has performed around Long Island with the following companies: YCP presents The Company, Huntington Village Theater Company, BareBones Theater Company and Township Theater Group. In 2015, Teresa along with Laura Sweeney created the on-going web series, Theater Bitches, an improvisational duo that dishes on theater, the arts and anything that pops into their eccentric, scatterbrained minds!
Cybel Martin, Director of Photography - Cybel is an award winning Director of Photography for feature films, commercials, documentaries and television programs. She's a Native New Yorker with a voracious appetite for travel. Recent projects have brought her to Tanzania, Ethiopia, Turkey and Brazil. Her films have premiered at Sundance, TriBeCa, Toronto and Berlin Film Festivals. She's shot commercials for Timberland Apparel, Reebok, Sony and L'Oreal; tv programs for ESPN, Netflix, NatGeo and Centric/BET. She's been featured in Fader Magazine, American Cinematographer Magazine and most recently in Fast Company for her work shooting Virtual Reality. Cybel received her MFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and is a proud member of the International Cinematographers Guild. She is currently a Cinematographer on the hit show ALL RISE on CBS.
Muriel Stockdale, Costume Designer - Since 2003 Muriel has continually created additions to her art serires of USA flags. The project, entitled E PLURIBUS, is inspired by the diverse cultures of people coexisting in this great country. Since February of 2011, many flags have been displayed at Charlotte's Place, which is an elegant Trinity Church Community Venter at 109 Greenwich Street, NYC. Also in 2011, Muriel was commissioned by Trinity Church to oversee construction of a community art flag to honor the tenth anniversary of 9/11. That flag, entitled "Out of Many, ONE" which is 8 by 11 feet, can also be seen at Charlotte's Place. In 2011, E Pluribus' last gallery exhibit was in Fairfield, CT at ARC Fine Art. Before that, E Pluribus enjoyed a solo exhibit at the Charles B. Want Center at SUNY Stony Brook NY. Since 2004, the flags have been exhibited in over 20 venues including Queens Libraries, Galleries in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, and Connnecticut. The New Britain Museum of American Art owns the original E Pluribus African flag as part of its permanent collection.