In filmmaking, being an outsider is a badge of honor. It signifies the freedom to stretch the boundaries of the mainstream. But some outsiders end up there because the industry won’t make room for them or their perspectives. People of color face mostly white casting directors, women face the casting couch. This year’s Brooklyn Film Festival, based in a borough with a reputation for embracing outsiders, highlights these obstacles with a short film featuring familiar character archetypes.
The nun waits for a call that never comes, despite the sacrifice she’s made. The elf queen tells a tale of a lord who revealed his darkness only after luring her to his lair. Inspired by her story, the spy shares her encounter with a man who came too close, but pushing him away cost her a job.
The nearby waitress is named “Ronan,” in an Easter Egg-style nod to Ronan Farrow, the investigative journalist who broke stories of allegations of sexual misconduct against powerful men including Harvey Weinstein and Les Moonves. She nearly recognizes the trio, but can’t, because they've never been in a film.
Actor and activist Ashley Judd (who, not coincidentally, may have lost out to an elf queen role in Lord of the Rings thanks to Weinstein's influence), provides the voiceover for the film, which is directed by Emily Elizabeth Thomas of Derby Content and was created with TBWA/Chiat/Day New York. It is running online to promote the 10-day film festival, which begins today. Shorter cuts will also run ahead of each BFF film program throughout the festival. Behind-the-scenes spots dive into the motivations and perspectives of the director and each of the actors, who were drawn to the roles because they rang true to their own experiences in the film industry.