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Synopsis: When screenwriter JOHN is assigned the task of writing a simple “Boy meets Girl” romantic comedy, he feels the need to spice it up. Playing with genres, John can’t decide if the script should be set in the ‘Old West’ or the gritty streets of ‘Film Noir.’ When he runs the ideas by his most trusted critic, his wife PAULA, she is not impressed. It is then that Paula reminds John that the best stories are the ones you already know by heart.


English, limited Spanish

Run Time

5 minutes


Brendan Lee (JOHN)
Adriana Aponte (PAULA)

Directed by

Brendan Lee

Written by

Brendan Lee


Adriana Aponte

Director's Statement

This film was created out of the isolation we all felt during the infamous year of 2020. Like most collaborative artists I felt frustrated not being able to work with a full crew, actors, etc out of the fear we were all feeling during the pandemic. Out of boredom I began rewatching old films, particularly John Ford Westerns and Film Noirs and thought, what can I do with my camera and the objects and spaces in my immediate surroundings? With the right framing, can Astoria Park be as cinematic as Monument Valley? The idea of a couple having a ‘meet cute’ felt like it needed to be put through the genre cycle and in the end the ‘Writer’ would be told by his ‘Wife/Sounding board’ that the best stories come from the heart. That is the principle I believe in, in the films that I make and the films that I want to watch: Is the filmmaker putting a piece of himself/herself into the story? If you watch ‘The Purse’ I think you will find the answer is ‘YES.’

Director's Bio

BRENDAN LEE was born and raised in Woodside, Queens. After 11 years as a firefighter with the FDNY, Brendan went back to school to pursue his dream of becoming a filmmaker. Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Film from HUNTER COLLEGE, he began writing and making short films using the “greatest backlot in the world”…the streets of New York. His short film, BREATHE, a semi-autobiographical story of a firefighter coping with a life changing medical diagnosis was an official selection to the 8th Annual Queens World Film Festival.

Brendan is now a screenwriter/filmmaker based in Woodside. When not making films he spends his time blogging, hosting a podcast, and with his wife, Adriana, raising their beautiful, energetic 4 year old daughter, Anna.

Production Year


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