Synopsis: A newcomer to recovery arrives to help a man with longterm sobriety pack for a move across the country, pulling the lid off long-simmering resentments… the kind not often spoken in an AA meeting.
Jesse James Acevedo (Alex)
STAY. came from the same place most of my work comes from: a desire to say something that doesn’t get talked about much. In both the recovery and LGBTQ communities, there can exist a sense of isolation or disconnection from the people with whom you should be connecting the most, and STAY. expresses that disconnection in no uncertain terms. As a filmmaker, I was also intrigued by the idea of shooting a real-time piece in one long, continuous take. My goal was to let the claustrophobia of the setting and the oppressive emotions felt by the characters come through in the film, and even if the conclusion doesn’t offer any clear-cut answers, at least provide a vicarious release. I hope STAY. proves as exhausting for its audience as it was for the production team, in the best possible way. Because at this very moment, isn’t a sense of physical and emotional exhaustion something to which we can all relate?
Raised in Austin, Texas, Chris Phillips wrote and performed his own work in scholastic competition before starting his career with playwriting. His plays have been seen on both coasts in venues such as Celebration Theatre, SoHo Playhouse and the Cherry Lane Theater, receiving two GLAAD Media Award nominations, winning the award for Overall Excellence in Playwriting at the New York International Fringe Festival, and receiving a grant from the Robert Chesley Foundation, which supports LGBT playwrights. Moving from theatre to film & TV, Chris has directed 6 short films — 4 from his own scripts — screening at festivals such as Outfest Los Angeles and the California Independent Film Festival, where he won Best Director of a Short. Chris was a finalist for the Warner Bros. TV Writers Workshop, a semi-finalist for the NBC Universal Emerging Writers Fellowship, and his screenplay BLACK CAT was just named a semi-finalist for the 2020 Academy Nicholl Fellowship. Producers are currently attaching a director to his recently optioned screenplay PIECES. Continuing his mission to provoke discussion and always put what scares him most on the page, stage, or screen, Chris currently lives, writes, and continues to find inspiration in Los Angeles, California.