The Sister's Seance Movie
This is a film that has been with me for years. At its core, it is a film about death and how death can break apart a family; but at the same time, bring them back together again. This film is a personal statement that encompasses all stages of grief through its characters and story.
Inclusion StatementThe Sister's Seance includes an all female cast which tackles the ideas of coping with trauma and heartbreak from the female perspective. Behind the camera, we have recruited an all international crew of talented filmmakers from India, China, Kazekstan, Dominican Republic, Russia and Canada.
About The Project
On a dark and rainy night Annie, the eldest of three sisters, returns home after dissapearing for a year. Rebecca, the middle sister, meets Annie with suspicion as to why she's come home. Annie frantically pleads to her sister to help her conduct some sort of ritual. A ritual that will put them in direct contact with their youngest sister Katie, who passed away one year ago.
The passing of Katie was traumatic for both Annie and Rebecca, but it was how they handled that trauma that ultimately put them at odds with each other. At the height of her sadness and grief, Annie delved into a strange theory which she developed herself which accuses their mother of killing Katie. This deranged accusation created a deep rift between Annie and Rebecca which led to Annie running away from home. After much begging, Rebecca finally gives in to her sister’s demands in the hope that this ritual will finally bring Annie some sort of closure.
The ritual begins and all the emotions and dispositions between the two sisters are at their peak, creating an extremely uncomfortable atmosphere. After much trial and error Katie finally shows herself, leaving Annie emotionally paralyzed. Though this apparition resembles Katie, Rebecca is not convinced resulting in her putting an end to the seance. This leads us into the climax of the film, where the results of Annie’s choices seal not only her fate but the fate of her family. All in the pursuit of her own sense of closure.
WHY ME/WHY THIS/WHY NOW
This is a film that has been with me for years. At its core, it is a film about death and how death can break a family apart; but at the same time, bring them back together again. My journey with the Sister's Seance began with an event silimar to the central events of the film. The death of a close family member sent me searching for the perfect story to capture all of the emotions my family and I went through during that difficult time. When I came up with the idea for the Sister's Seance, I knew I had to make the characters feel as real and as relatable as possile.
To achive this feeling, I modled each character after members of my family to properly portray the characters in a state of mourning that feels real and relatable to people who have gone through similar expirences. Though there are supernatural elements, the film at heart is a family drama that centers around how these two sisters handle death differently. This film is a personal statement that encompasses all the stages of grief through its characters and story. Now is the time to make this film because in order to properly tell this story, I know as a filmmaker and an person who has experienced death, I've grown to a level of maturity where I am now comfortable in making this film the way it's meant to be.
I am a film student in a growing and changing industry and I feel that this story should be told, especially though the eyes of a young adult. Comnbining both supernatural horror and real human phycological factors in a story requires a lot of self reflection and introsepection that I believe I have come into over the past few year while working on the script.
After production wraps, my team and I plan on submitting the film to many film festivals. Screening this film at festivals is important for exposure of not only the film but the filmmakers as well. Festivals help the film reach as many people as possible and generate public interest in the film. With interest in the film and the filmmakers, it makes future projects more possible.
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About This Team
Writer/Director - Christopher Desiderio: For as long as I can remember, the only thing I’ve ever wanted to be in life is a filmmaker. I started my filmmaking journey when I was about eight years old, making films in my backyard with my brother and sister. Through middle school and high school, I continued to make films whenever I could. I wrote and directed two short films in my senior year and entered them into film festivals, which resulted in both films winning awards for bet picture. It was abundently clear that making movies is my calling in life. After graduating, I packed my bags and moved to LA to study filmmaking at the New York Film Academy in Burbank, California. I’m interested in telling stories that are less about spectacle and more about characters and emotions. I’m fascinated by simple single moments and how those moments can form a story that can resonate on multiple levels. Luckily, I have been blessed to meet and work with a great group of people from all over the world to help me make my films which has given me a deep appreciation for different cultures and how many stories there are to tell. For me, the core of a film has to have a specific vision and idea which I think we are all trying to find with every film we make. The only way to truly discover that vision is to keep telling stories.
Producer, Screenwriter and Professional Critic - Inés de los Santos.
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Inés has been working in different projects before even graduating from high school. She has been involved in various work from music videos, short films and campaigns, to documentaries and feature films. In January 2018, she wrote and produced a short film about cyber-bullying, called "Isn't this a crime?", that ended up as Runner-Up in the All Rise International Film Competition. In January 2019, she ended up as a finalist for the Sundance Lab for writers. In July 2019, she won the Stephanie Rothman Fellowship for female filmmakers with her TV pilot script, Exorcism 101.
Her stories are generally related to social issues, such as migration, gender equality, racism, hate crimes, injustice, and corruption. She plans to continue writing stories for movies, TV series or web-series that mirror what's going on in our world, with a more specific view pertaining the Hispanic population; with stories both, located in their particular countries and also their lives abroad.
Assistant Director - Farren Bordon: A former theater actress who has worked as an assistant director on a number of independent films, in addition to serving as writer, director, producer, and art director of her own films, many of which are also in the horror genre.
Director of Photography - Dhananjay Saraswat: I am from India. A former tennis player but I have always had an interest in photography and videography. I came to NYFA to learn filmmaking; cinematography in particular. For me taking videos and photos has always been about capturing specific moments and then sharing them. And the reason I love cinematography is because it is all about “creating” great moments and then telling a story with them.