Expired March 30, 2021 3:59 AM
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7 short films celebrating the art of cinema, from animation, cinema verite, experimental to narrative fiction gems.

Set in the American South just before the 2016 presidential elections, ‘To Sonny’ follows a vending machine loader on his daily, lonely route.

Director Biography - Federico Spiazzi, Maggie Briggs

Federico Spiazzi is a Director and Writer based in New York City where he recently graduated from Columbia University’s MFA Film Program concentrated in Directing. His most recent short film, 'Refuge', was awarded a Kodak Motion Picture Grant, a National Board of Review Student Grant, and the Refinery 29’s Best Film Award at the 2018 Columbia University Film Festival. Beyond directing, Federico has worked as a freelance cinematographer and editor internationally. He is currently in development on his first feature film, 'Verona'.

Originally from Asheville, North Carolina, Maggie Briggs is an award-winning screenwriter, director, and producer currently based in New York City where she recently received her MFA from Columbia University Film. Her produced work has shown internationally at festivals including Toronto International Film Festival and Palm Springs International Short Film Festival.

Her first feature in-development, ‘Prone to Wander,’ was selected by Tribeca Film Institute to participate in TFI Network 2020 and awarded as a Jury Select at Columbia University 2019. Her stories are often inspired by normalcy and the dangers of it.

Together, Maggie and Federico co-directed their film, TO SONNY, which premiered at Clermont-Ferrand International Short Festival earlier this year and continues on the festival circuit. The film was shot on 16mm and was made possible with the generous support of Kodak's Motion Picture Product Grant.

Director Statement

'To Sonny' tells the story of both the closest people to me and people I don’t really know at all – the greater part of the country in fear of facing their last moments of control in a world that has radically drifted from the ideals they grew up with, a world that is probably unrecognizable to them.

The film was meant to answer a common question from my friends in the north: "but who actually voted for Trump?" The answer is my father, a good man to his core but seems to be totally lost in this changing world. 

Together with my co-director, Federico Spiazzi, with his outsider’s perspective (and a European perspective specifically), we were able to achieve a distanced, quasi-documentary style that doesn’t come off cold but rather gives the film a unique and loving warmth, almost really like a child observing their father.

This film, that has really become a letter, is undeniably deeply personal to me. It’s told with a most tragic love and admiration for the Sonnys out there, both in America and beyond. It’s a letter from one generation to another that simply reads, “I’m here, I see you but do you see yourself?”

  • Year
  • Runtime
    19 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Premiere
    Canadian Premiere
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
    Maggie Briggs
  • Producer
    Maggie Briggs
  • Cast
    Alphie Hyorth