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Dani Thomas, Serena Kuo, Christina Raia, and Ricardo Manigat
Dani Thomas, Serena Kuo, Christina Raia, and Ricardo Manigat
End of Summer Wins September IndieWorks

(released 9/23/2019)


IndieWorks took place Tuesday, September 17 at Sanger Hall in Queens. The short film series presented by CongestedCat had four films that evening.

Jane, End of Summer, Canceled, and MissUnderstood Monster were shown. The first two titles were screened followed by a filmmaker question and answer. Final two films screened and a second question and answers with the attending audience and the hosts for the evening Ricardo Manigat and Dani Thomas.  The night wrapped up with the presenting of the Audience Award and Silver Whiskers Award.  The Audience Award went to MissUnderstood Monster and the Silver Whiskers Award went to End of Summer.

Jane filmmaker Joey Schweitzer made this student film along with a DP he found a rhythm with while producing the scenes. Joey was inspired to make Jane after witnessing a fellow high school classmate, a girl of strong, independent character become a caretaker for her Dad after her Mom passed away. Joey saw the role reversal between father and daughter and thought the dynamic was something to explore through the film medium. Joey is currently working on his thesis film for his studies at NYU.

End of Summer is the story of being 18 and sharing college moving day with the family. Filmmaker Serena Kuo is a cinematographer by trade and had not written for profession but this story lingered in her mind and she got it down on paper. Five years passed and she made this film. Kuo had directed commercials in the past, but narrative film was new and she worked hard to switch gears. The film follows a storyline familiar to her own life when she and her parents packed up and moved her to USC for school. The short  film, once viewed, it will be clearer how a feature film is waiting to evolve from this piece of the story. Serena Kuo had the fortune to find a classically trained musician that helped to set tone in the film.  An audience member complimented filmmaker Kuo on the outcome of the choices made to set a mood during the question and answers segment of the programming.

Canceled by Jimmy Caputo was coming from a place of breakups when he wrote the script. Better Call Saul was an inspiration for the story as well. One of the actresses from the film, Maria Scenna, was also on the panel post screening. Scenna, along with the other actresses, found Caputo through Facebook film groups. More details about the film can be found at facebook/canceledshort.

MissUnderstood Monster is a gift to women everywhere as the story reveals the monster to be lurking in all of us females at sometime of the month. "Half the population has this once a month and no one is talking about it?" Says filmmaker Lindsay Serrano. Lindsay's husband helped in the filmmaking process. He did a lot of the stop motion animation that gives the film its flashy gritty vibe. Both filmmakers  appreciate Tank Girl and the graphics reflect the admiration. As a horror girl filmmaker, Lindsay said of the film she made, "It had to have blood".  Filmmaker Serrano also of good fortune with musicians locally, had tracks donated to the film. Three bands were featured, all volunteered to help. MassGravePictures.com is where you can find more about the film. You can also follow the filmmaker and her husband on their podcast Filmmaking Sucks.

Sanger Hall is located at 48-20 Skillman Avenue, Long Island City 11104. The next IndieWorks will be the Halloween edition on October 29th. Connect with IndieWorks here: www.congestedcat.com



Ricardo Manigat, Joey Schweitzer, Serena Kuo, and Dani Thomas


Joey Schweitzer


Serena Kuo


Dani Thomas, Jimmy Caputo, Maria Scenna, Lindsay Serrano, and Ricardo Manigat


Dani Thomas, Heather Buckley, Lindsay Serrano, Christina Raia, and Ricardo Manigat




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