IN THE HOLLOW (2015)
2015 Inside Out (Premiere) - **Audience Award, Best Short Documentary**
2015 Honolulu Rainbow LGBT Film Festival
2015 Out East
2015 Frameline 39
2015 Provincetown International Film Festival
205 Sidewalk/Shout Film Festival
2015 Milwaukee International Film Festival
2015 Atlanta Out On Film Festival - **Jury Award, Best Short Film**
2015 IRIS Prize Festival - **Runner Up, Best Short Film**
2015 ImageOut Rochester LGBT Film Festival
2015 Dayton LGBT Film Festival - **Audience Award, Best Short Film**
2015 Sacramento International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
2015 ReelQ Film Festival
2015 MiFo LGBT Film Festival - **Audience Award, Best Short Film / Jury Award, Best Short Film Runner Up**
2015 NewFest: The NYC LGBT Film Festival - **Audience Award, Best Documentary Short**
2015 Queer Film Festival MEZIPATRA (Prague and Brno, Czech Republic)
2015 Long Island Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
2015 USN|expo Sardinia Queer Short Film Festival (Italy) - **Jury Prize, Best Documentary Short**
2016 San Francisco Indie Fest
2016 Mardi Gras Film Festival (Sydney, Australia)
2016 Roze Filmdagen; Amsterdam LGBTQ Film Festival (Amsterdam)
2016 Queens World Film Festival - **Best Short Documentary**
2016 Queer Vision Bristol Pride (Bristol, UK)
2016 London LGBT Film Festival
2016 Dyke Drama Film Festival (Perth, Australia)
2016 Rio Gender & Sexuality Film Festival (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil)
2016 GAZE International LGBT Film Festival (Dublin, Ireland)
North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival - **Jury Award, Best Documentary Short Subject**
2016 QUEERSICHT Film Festival (Bern, Switzerland)
2016 Indiana Cares Campaign
2016 Short of the Week
2016 Vimeo Staff Pick
[ Director's Statement ]
“Conjurings.” That was the word I used during pre-production to describe the dramatizations that would serve as the spine to IN THE HOLLOW, a hybrid documentary that mixes nonfiction and fiction to tell a harrowing survivor’s tale. The film follows two young lovers, Claudia Brenner and Rebecca Wight, as they hiked the Appalachian Trail in 1988 and were stalked by a “mountain man” named Stephen Roy Carr who eventually shot them eight times. Claudia Brenner, hit in the head, arm and head, had to hike four miles out of the woods to her rescue. Rebecca died on the trail.
This notorious attack – one of the very few acts of violence on the trail, which then became a touchstone event in the origin story of Hate Crime legislation – presented unique challenges to a film adaptation. How could I capture the uniquely visceral experience without exploiting it? What was the cinematic present tense I could show effectively on film? The solution, I believe, lay in expanding the convention of “reenactments” by creating two present tenses – one of the event itself, written and shot as though it were a stand-alone dramatized film, set against another of the survivor herself hiking into her past.
As a screenwriter, I’ve worked with true stories before. My script for KILL YOUR DARLINGS, based the a little known murder that brought the Beat Generation writers together, required extensive research and fidelity to fact, and I worked for nearly a decade as a journalist for The New York Times Magazine and elsewhere. With IN THE HOLLOW, Claudia Brenner served not just as a character in the film, but a collaborator as well. In addition to her testimony, Claudia contributed the packs, her shoes, the t-shirts the actors wore, even the sleeping bag that Rebecca Wight carried and Claudia later covered her dying body with -- a powerful artifact of a traumatic experience the film hopes to capture.
This ghostliness extended to production. IN THE HOLLOW uses actors to hike the very trail and camp in the very spots where Rebecca and Claudia had been. The script, developed collaboratively with Claudia Brenner, carefully tracks with her memories of the experience so that it attains a kind of veracity and honesty. And Spencer Gillis’s cinematography widened the frame to immerse our characters in the actual location, inside a beautiful, if eerie and indifferent, natural landscape.
2.35 Partner Spencer Gillis lensed the film for director/producer Austin Bunn. Bunn co-wrote the feature film KILL YOUR DARLINGS (Sony Pictures Classics), which premiered at Sundance 2013, and screened at the Toronto Film Festival and Venice Film Festival (WINNER, International Days Prize). His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, The Pushcart Prize, The Advocate, Best American Science and Nature Writing and elsewhere. He is the producer and writer of LAVENDER HILL (Outfest 2013, Inside Out 2014, Palm Springs LGBT Film Festival “Best of the Fest”, Oneota Film Festival Short Doc Winner). His short story collection, THE BRINK, will be published in 2015 by Harper Perennial. He is an Assistant Professor at Cornell University’s Performing and Media Arts Department.
IN THE HOLLOW is a co-production by Traveling Fellows and 2.35 with funding from Cornell Council for the Arts, the Departments of Performing and Media Arts, LGBT Studies, Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies, the LGBT Center, and Zwickler Memorial Fund.