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We have always given a special spotlight to films that have come from our own community here. Since we started in San Diego, and have moved to Orange County, we now consider both locations for this showcase. It is odd thinking of that now that we are virtual for 2020, but it is also pretty darn cool that we get to showcase our people to an audience outside of our exact region!

In a 2030s small town bitterly divided over who belongs, a young Muslim-American woman puts herself at risk when she shares her private, digitized memories with strangers, challenging the status quo in the hope that empathy will triumph over hate. “American Quartet, through innovative storytelling and without speaking a word, poignantly communicates the future of hate, humanity, and courage.” - Irshad Manji, author, “Don’t Label Me” "Dvořák’s music is a perfect underscore for this American story of love, hate and identity..." - Elliott Forrest, WQXR "American Quartet" is a short film set in the near future, in which the newest device is a telepathic diary. The diary, owned by everyone, records only each individual's emotions and memories for the purpose of retrieving and re­-experiencing them. It centers on Noreen, a young home health aide starting to make a home for herself in a small American town, only to find that there are people who don't want to share their town with her. Andrew, a young man who lost his father in a war in the Middle East, does his utmost to make sure Noreen knows she’s unwelcome. And the majority of citizens, shepherded by longtime city councilwoman Sonia, are more interested in minimizing strife than in facing the underlying issues that plague their town. But with the help of Antonia, a newly-elected and justice-hungry city councilwoman, Noreen might have a chance at creating a place she can call home. Antonín Dvorák's beautiful “American Quartet” drives the film and allows the characters to tell their stories entirely without dialogue.

"The story it tells is an important one, the focus on empathy is critical. A hopeful short about hate." -Rebekah Fieschi

Director: Jesca Prudencio is a director, choreographer,

and community based artist. She is dedicated

to developing new theatrical works that humanize issues

and explore the tension between cultures.

She focuses on new plays, musicals, and

dance theater works in New York, regionally,

and internationally.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    9 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Jesca Prudencio
  • Screenwriter
    Erin McGuff-Pennington, Adam Grannick
  • Producer
    Adam Grannick
  • Cast
    Yekta Khaghani, Brian Wolfe, Ieesha Watts, Katherine Argo
  • Cinematographer
    Nona Catusanu
  • Editor
    Adam Grannick
  • Composer
    Antonín Dvorák