Expired May 25, 2021 3:59 AM
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In the midst of a failed suicide attempt, Mary (April Matthis) meets John (Robbie Tann), a well intentioned, but confused and troubled man battling mental illness. The two form a friendship based on their need for housing, food, and personal connection. Mary and John are both currently houseless and occupying a cargo train as they search for new opportunities while unpacking past traumas and depression.


A dark, yet compassionate story, Fugitive Dreams weaves an experimental narrative mimicking the experience of mental illness and PTSD through the combination of exquisitely shot color and black and white film. Director Jason Neulander creates a beautiful, yet haunting story of empathy, pain, and ultimately, chosen family.

In this allegorical road movie touching on homelessness, mental illness, and addiction, two lost souls embark across a dreamscape America. Their darkly strange journey confronts them with their traumatic pasts, and bonds them in compassion and love.

—Emily Eddy, Guest Festival Shorts Programmer, MdFF 2021

Content Considerations: Depictions of harassment and violence, strong language, depictions of self harm, misogynistic and racist language  

This screening will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers including actors, O-Lan Jones, and April Matthis; DP, Peter Simonite; co-writer and playwright, Caridad Svich; and co-writer and director, Jason Neulander moderated by MdFF Artistic Director, Christy LeMaster.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    97 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Note
    English closed captions available
  • Director
    Jason Neulander
  • Screenwriter
    Caridad Svich, Jason Neulander
  • Producer
    Jason Neulander, Michelle Randolph Faires, Jennifer Kuczaj, Peter Simonite
  • Executive Producer
    Peggy O'Shaughnessy, Claire Rivers, Adam Sear, Rashimi Kilam
  • Cast
    April Matthis, Robbie Tann
  • Cinematographer
    Peter Simonite
  • Editor
    Mike Saenz
  • Production Design
    Scott Colquitt, Thoa Nguyen
  • Composer
    Nathan Hamilton
  • Sound Design
    Lyman Hardy, III, Buzz Moran