Bio & Drctr's Stmnt:



From the turn of the new millennium, Stephen Barnett has produced 21(+) no-budget exploratory short projects while earning a Master's in Gender, Sexuality, and Cinema Theory shortly after a Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies in Theatre and Cinema through The City University of New York Graduate Center. Likewise, his multidisciplinary life experiences working within dance, choral performance, theatre, photography & its darkroom lab, acting, playwriting, screenwriting, interior & furniture design and construction, art, sculpture, personal assisting, and even filmmaking have contributed toward enriching his stories and characters. His mission is to help cultivate social change through empathy, fortitude, and imagination.




       What is the trigger that compels a person to make the choice to choose a contrary point-of-view from the one they’ve only ever known? For Mrs. "Ruth" Wilson (Lucy McMichael) it is life and death told through the narrative of this short project. But too it’s the choice for her innermost self now living within this new millennium’s present day as an aged hetero white middle-class recently-widowed American woman completely alone for the first time in her life. When writing the script, storyboarding, and then working with Lucy, Alessandro Colla (the Priest), and the collective Crew we focused (and slightly blurred) in on Ruth’s communicating from her evolving clarity of self-awareness. I wanted to tell the story of a person breaking free from the chain of illusions about love, hate, and identity within the religious context regarding the will of God.

       When I came “out” to my parents my father told me it was a choice while implying it was the wrong choice. My mother remained relatively quiet throughout the discussion; she had been raised with a strong Catholic education. Later, I learned that she had subsequently gone to the priest at the church we’d been raised to attend every Sunday morning. When she returned, she casually told my sister that we were no longer required to attend church services because she would no longer be attending them herself. Clearly, my mother had gone through a change in her theological perspective. She was triggered to make a choice between the dichotomy of loving the sinner and hating the sin. This short film’s narrative is inspired by that shift in perspective but told through a grandmother trapped between gender-oppression and the liberating world.

       Thirty-nine days after my father passed in the Fall of 2021 my mother passed. I chose to mourn my parents while forging through Pre-production just after the start of the new year. I embraced their love and my work throughout the one-day Production during that Spring of 2022. I then edited in (generally-quiet) solitude for seven months. Thus, this project’s always-intended “in honor” and “in dedication” now also includes “and in memoriam” of my mother.

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© Stephen Barnett