CHURROS (2019) is a dramatic short film about Jo-Jo, a 15-year-old Mexican-American boy who lives with his street vendor single mother and little sister in Bushwick, Brooklyn. He breakdances with a crew and dreams of being "the illest" b-boy in the world, but a local gangster attempts to lure him away. One night, Jo-Jo is forced to make one of the most important decisions of his life. Screened at the HBO NY Latino Film Festival, Berkshire Film Festival, Nantucket Film Festival, Boulevard Film Festival (Winner Audience Award), Refilmery, Montana International Film Festival, Ville Film Festival (Winner Best Narrative Short), Corto Circuito Latino Shortfest, New Hampshire Film Festival, St. Cloud Film Festival, Micheaux Film Festival and more. Read more about our Winter 2019 Hammer to Nail Short Film win here. CHURROS will soon be made into a feature film.
QUEEN ANNE'S LACE
QUEEN ANNE'S LACE (2017) is a hybrid doc-narrative feature about a woman who flees her family in NYC in an attempt to reclaim her childhood freedom in the Blue Ridge Mountains. When she falls for a local female kayak instructor, things get complicated. The film was shot in the mountains of North Carolina with a cast combining actors and real people. Directed and co-written by Emilie McDonald, produced by Emmy award-winner Caitlin Mae Burke, executive produced by Gill Holland, DP'ed by Jake Ladehoff, and aided by an amazing cast and crew that helped bring this story to life. Work-in-progress screening, Cinequest 2017.
"MUCK" (2015) is a short narrative film about Mel, a young female open mic comedian who lives with her tabloid-obsessed mother in Queens and who misguidedly seeks companionship with a misogynistic male comedian. It stars Tallie Medel ("The Arbalest", "Joy Kevin", "The Unspeakable Act"), was shot by Sean Price Williams ("Frownland", "Heaven Knows What"), produced by Emmy award-winner Caitlin Mae Burke, and co-written/directed by Bruce Smolanoff. Co-written and produced by Emilie McDonald. The film has screened in many festivals including IndieMemphis (Best Narrative Short Award 2015), Sidewalk Film Festival, BAMcinemaFest, Palm Springs International ShortFest, Berkshire International Film Festival, Nantucket Film Festival and Sarasota Film Festival. Read about Hammer to Nail's Winter 2015 short film award here.
CROSSING THE river
"Crossing the River" (2013) is a short narrative film inspired by a true story about a young white boy who is influenced to commit a hate crime against a biracial girl who is his friend. The film was shot in rural South Carolina on the Arri Alexa and explores themes of racial justice, tolerance, and forgiveness. Written and directed by Emilie McDonald, shot by Matthew Woolf, and produced by Tammy Arnstein, the film features a combination of actors and "real people" to create an authentic portrait of a rural Southern community in turmoil. To read more about the award-winning, internationally-screened film, visit http://crossingtheriverfilm.wordpress.com/
other people's houses
"Other People's Houses" (2011) is a short narrative film shot in cinema verite style on the streets of Queens, NY. When a lonely, struggling single mom searches for connection with a clique of upwardly mobile moms, she finds that the greatest connection is the one with her daughter. Written and directed by Emilie McDonald and starring Emilie McDonald and her real-life daughter Miranda Smolanoff. Shot by Bill Scurry, produced by Janice Erlbaum, and featuring a combination of actors and local Queens moms and their children, the film is a piercing portrait of an urbanite's experience of being a new mom.
"My Elena" (2010) is a short narrative film about one modern woman's inability to choose what she wants. It also involves a clothing swap. Co-written and co-produced by Emilie McDonald and Bruce Smolanoff; directed by Bruce Smolanoff.