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The liberty

An AFI Thesis Film

 
 

story


Photo by Allie Schultz

Photo by Allie Schultz

premise

Our film tells the heart-warming tale of a young woman who strives to reconnect with her father when their family’s shuttered movie palace is slated for demolition. Navigating between her father’s nostalgic delusions and a cynical social reality, Lily fights to save the beloved theatre, and stand up for the things she loves. 

 

Photo by Allie Schultz

Photo by Allie Schultz

DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT

The film is about lonely individuals fighting for humanity in the face of mad, blind, greed and corruption. The stakes are high: whether the modern world has become enslaved by systems we created – politics, capitalism, technology – or whether individuals have the power to fight for the things they love. The story asks the question: Can idealists exist in our world?

A feeling we want to evoke is that of being an anachronism, the heartbreaking nostalgia for something that may no longer exist in this world, the feeling of being at odds with the people of this time, alienated from the current zeitgeist. The structure of the story itself is inspired by the films of Frank Capra, the kind of classic narrative that has almost disappeared from modern cinema, where viewers feel their hearts in their throats, they care so much for the characters.

Throughout the film is a constant motif of the duality of the old versus the new, nostalgia versus technology. Yet it is intrinsic to the story that in the end technology leads to the preservation of the theatre. The story is not proclaiming the superiority of the past. It is urging the importance for each generation, each individual, to fight for the things that matter, the things that define us as human. We must not be cowed by comfort and apathy, controlled by our technology. We must consciously decide our path.

 


filmmakers


the team

The Team

Jill Sachs | Director/Writer

Jill Sachs | Director/Writer

Jason Don | Producer

Jason Don | Producer

Allie Schultz | Cinematographer

Allie Schultz | Cinematographer

Keara Burton | Editor

Keara Burton | Editor


about afi


american film institute conservatory

 

At the world-renowned AFI Conservatory, a dedicated group of working professionals from the film and television communities serve as mentors in a hands-on, production-based environment nurturing the talents of tomorrow's storytellers. The Conservatory is consistently recognized as one of the world’s top film schools.

With an emphasis on narrative visual storytelling and personal expression, each class breaks into teams that mirror a real production environment. Those teams collaborate on and produce more films than any other graduate level film program.

Established in 1969, the two-year Master of Fine Arts program provides training in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. Admission to AFI Conservatory is highly selective, with a maximum of only 140 graduates per year.

 

notable alumni

  • Andrea Arnold (Directing '91)
    FISH TANK, RED ROAD

  • Darren Aronofsky (Directing '92) 
    BLACK SWAN, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM

  • David Lynch (Directing '70)
    BLUE VELVET, MULHOLLAND DRIVE, THE ELEPHANT MAN

  • Terrence Malick (Directing '69) 
    BADLANDS, THE TREE OF LIFE, THE THIN RED LINE

  • Sam Esmail (Directing '04)
    MR. ROBOT (also as creator/executive producer/writer), COMET (also as writer)

  • Pieter Jan Brugge (Producing '79) 
    HEAT, THE INSIDER

  • Anne Garefino (Producing '88) 
    SOUTH PARK (as executive producer), THE BOOK OF MORMON

  • Steve Golin (Producing '81) 
    BABEL, ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, SPOTLIGHT, THE REVENANT

  • Brad Falchuk (Screenwriting '94) 
    AMERICAN HORROR STORY, GLEE, NIP/TUCK

  • Scott Frank (Screenwriting '84) 
    MINORITY REPORT, OUT OF SIGHT

  • Susannah Grant (Screenwriting '91) 
    ERIN BROCKOVICH, THE SOLOIST

  • Janusz Kamiński (Cinematography '87) 
    BRIDGE OF SPIES, SCHINDLER'S LIST, THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY

  • Matthew Libatique (Cinematography '92)
    IRON MAN, PI, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM

  • Wally Pfister (Cinematography '88) 
    BATMAN BEGINS, INCEPTION, MEMENTO

  • Robert Richardson (Cinematography '79)
    DJANGO UNCHAINED, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, SHUTTER ISLAND, THE HATEFUL EIGHT

  • Bryan Felty (Production Design '92) 
    BLACK MASS, THE HEAT (both as art director)

  • Andrew Max Cahn (Production Design '92) 
    THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PARTS 1 and 2, THE HANGOVER (both as art director)

  • Sharon Seymour (Production Design, '84) 
    ARGO, THE TOWN

  • Christopher Gay (Editing '06) 
    12 MONKEYS, MAD MEN

  • Affonso Gonçalves (Editing '93) 
    BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, CAROL, WINTER'S BONE

  • Steven Rosenblum (Cinematography '76) 
    BRAVEHEART, THE LAST SAMURAI (both as editor)

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