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Synopsis: My Friend John is the story of Gio Hames, a young boy who lives at home with an emotionally abusive father and a loving mother who cannot keep the peace between father and son. Gio, against his father’s wishes, constantly travels into the woods behind their house to visit a pair of train tracks where his brother, John, was killed. As he returns home to his chaotic family life, Gio begins to imagine that his imaginary friend, an astronaut who he has named John, has come to save him from his family life and take him away to another planet where he can be happy. My Friend John is a story about family, love and what grief does to a family trying to hold their bonds together.

Language

English

Run Time

15 minutes

Starring

Mikelle Matos (Gio Hames)
Jeremiah Jahi (Eulow Hames)
Khalimah Gaston (Nina Hames)
Will Cooper (John the Astornaut)

Directed by

Henry Arroyo

Produced by

Jessica Reyes
Ava Gramin

Director's Statement

My Friend John is a film about how grief can destroy a family. In the film, Gio, the main character, is so overcome with grief over his brother that he never speaks a single word. His father, Eulow, is angry and constantly taking his anger out on Gio. His mother, Nina, is the only person who can keep her composure, yet that does not give her the space to feel what she needs to feel. I wanted to show the different process’ of grief through these characters and show how, at the end of it all, what can really bring a family together is their trust and love for each other. Gio’s imaginary friend is a catalyst that sets the Hames family on a road to recovery and the steps that they need to take to become a loving unit again.

Director's Bio

Henry Arroyo is a Filmmaker based in Queens, New York. He received his BFA degree from LIU Post in Film and in February 2021 he graduated from Columbia University’s MFA Film Program with a master’s degree in Screenwriting. His artistic practice consists of Writing, Directing and Editing narrative and documentary films of different lengths to be exhibited to audiences through films festivals and distribution through local theaters and online resources. His purpose as an artist is to positively impact the everyday lives of audiences by giving them the experience of living in another world through entertaining, character driven, emotional stories that push the boundaries of genre and artistic avant-garde storytelling practices and techniques.

Production Year

2016

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