RED: A Short Film
In rural Pennsylvania, a teenage couple— James and Lizzy— relationship is interrupted by Aaron, the guy James almost hooked up with four months ago. Red explores being queer in conservative towns during hard times with empathy rather than disdain.
Inclusion StatementOur film represents teens as fully dimensional people that deserve to be listened to with empathy and respect. We want this film to show a raw and honest depiction of being closeted in rural America without demonizing those that don't understand or accept us.
About The Project
Earlier this year a team of amazing filmmakers came together to bring a short story I wrote over 10 years ago into to life. We are now raising the funds to complete post-production and release the film so that it can reach those who need it most.
Red is from a time when the nearest thing to being open about my sexuality was through my writing.
I often tested the waters of coming out by taking close friends to a 24 hour diner. I would read them stories which had gay subplots and I would gauge their reactions.
Red has always been one of the most special stories in my life. At the end of almost 20 years of being in the closet, my heart was terribly thinned and my exhaustion was nearly insurmountable.
It is this moment for many queer youth where tough decisions are made... and I was fortunate.
I came out within a year or two of writing Red, and eventually found some semblance of happiness. To this day, that is not a given for many, and the scars of those traumatic years remain today.
One late night in a Hollywood coffee shop in 2017 I was having coffee with a friend and contemplating what my next project could be.
This was a year after Trump had galvanized the divide in America greater than ever before, a year of him endlessly stoking fires. Not only did he give voice to the long-discredited "Deplorable," but he opened the door for many on the left to develop their own kind of hatred.
A segment of the left now has an irredeemable hatred for people on the right. All-the-while, the country writ-large bleeds the toxicity of deep division. US vs THEM.
I had to make Red into a movie. I had to re-humanize the underground and have three characters who are part of it but only just because of it. I wanted to tell their story with honesty and empathy, and have no villain but this division.
Red is a story that gives voice to a hidden artery of our society; the other side. This story explores the nuances of a culture straight Americans think they know, and queer Americans (often rightfully so) fear.
This is a story of a pain that truly knows no boundaries and persists to this day.
This is a story told with empathy not disdain.
The closet still exists in conservative white towns, of course. It is also deep rooted in minority communities, left-leaning religious communities, and affluent places like Beverley Hills. The more open society becomes, the more the closet has been vilified and shamed, deepening the suffering.
The Impact of Red
Red takes a story from before and uses it to identify, explore, and understand the fear and pain from today’s alarmingly caustic climate.
They are all stuck in a world wholly constituted by the generation before them. A time on the cusps of when so many young people could come out more freely— an option that didn't exist for me.
I didn’t come out of the closet until I was 22 years old. It is remarkable how life before seems to be such a blur— like I was born the night I came out in a West Virginia apartment, wine drunk (read: wasted and sobbing) with my best friend.
Red seeks to find the story from before, to identify, explore, and understand the fear and pain from the perspective of today’s Trump Country climate.
The power of voice and understanding can never ever be underestimated.
For people to see their story and know they are not alone can heal so much.
I speak with abundant experience. To look on a screen, be it a large theater, a television, a laptop, or an iPhone, the power of seeing your story changes your life. To see your truth told by someone else, to see first hand that you are not alone and that you are understood, it is a feeling you cling to.
I clung to the indie queer films of Greg Araki when I was young, and clamored for the truths that Gus Van Sant knew about me. They were my only access points to a life I thought I'd never have.
After a short film festival run, we plan to release this film for free. We will use targeted ads to hit 10s of thousands of people in rural communities across America who can watch this film and find power and strength through truth and similarity.
Use the WishList to pledge cash and loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an incentive directly.
About This Team
Scott Sullivan (Writer, Director, Producer)
Hey! A small bit about me outside of the story... I am a producer, actor, writer director. I started my career in acting doing short films and starring in a few feature films, and then transitioned into writing, producing, and directing my own content. I turned to producing full time. I produced a short film that screened at the Cannes Short Film Corner, and a feature length doc that premiered at the Carnegie Museum and screened at numerous festivals. I've been in Los Angeles for a few years cutting my teeth in the development world for Bohemia Group Originals pitching tv and feature scripts to ever major network and studio. I left that position to help run John Homa's acting coach business and work on Red.
Annalea Fiachi (Producer)
An Actress, Writer, and Producer who graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Film and Television Studies. Annalea has had the pleasure of traveling all over the world, working both on and off the screen. Her work spans across everything from Feature Films, an NBC Sitcom, Reality Television, Short Films that toured and won Festivals, Webseries, Commercials, and Documentaries. At the age of 18, Annalea, with her business partner, Ryan, created their own production company Hoovaloo Films which produces commercials for hire and creates personal content.
Ryan Palmer (Director of Photography)
A Director, Writer and Cinematographer who graduated from California State University, Northridge with a Bachelor’s Degree in Film Production, with an emphasis in Cinematography. During his education, Ryan was chosen as one of only four students to be the Director of Photography of a student Thesis Film, where upon completion, the film was chosen and accepted into the annual Thesis Showcase at the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences. Ryan also founded and runs a production company with friend, business partner and film cohort Annalea Fiachi. Hoovaloo Films has had success in helping small businesses and non-profit companies find their voice in the form of online marketing and television commercials. Together, and with Hoovaloo’s dedicated team of creators, Ryan and Annalea have planned and executed several shorts, web series’, sketches and films.
Christian Para (Producer)
Christian was born in the Suburbs of Pennsylvania— just outside of Philadelphia. He graduated from The California University of Pennsylvania in 2015 and moved to Pittsburgh to pursue a career in production. A year later he moved to Los Angeles. Christian has worked on shows such as CBS’s ‘LA > Vegas’. He has also worked on various films, short film, live television, and commercial productions from all angles such as Production Assistant, Assistant Camera, and Grip. Currently he is working on the agency side of the business. Para worked for Torque Entertainment and Artist and Brand Management. Christian is currently employed at McDonald Selznick Associates as the Talent department coordinator. He and Scott met four years ago when working on Scott's documentary Tracing Outlines.
Parker Queenan (James)
Parker Queenan cannonballs your heart when he brings the complexities of James to screen. Parker is not only an actor but a writer, a director, and just an all around creative. His passion and depth in person will sweep you up, and his talent on screen will knock you down. He is know for playing Reed in the Disney comedy series Andi Mack and directing short films such as Business as Usual, Beyond Conscious, and Desolate (2016).
Ally Ioannides (Lizzy)
Ally Ioannides creats such a robust and interesting Lizzy that made the character come to life in the movie. She is best known for playing Dylan Jones in the NBC drama series Parenthood, and Tilda in the AMC martial arts drama series Into the Badlands.
Jance Enslin (Aaron)
Jance Enslin is an actor, known for Good Boy (2016), The Mental State and Untitled Kansas Bowling Film (2019).
Jade Harlow (May)
Jade Harlow was born in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. She is an Emmy Winning actress and producer, known for The Bay (2010), Passions (1999) and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.(2013).