"Burden" is Alexa Wolf's senior thesis film at Bard College. It is a short (20 min.) narrative film that will be shot near Coxsackie and Tivoli, NY with a mix of student and professional crew in January. Although the film is lo/no pay (TBD), some transportation costs, meals, credit, and a copy of the film will be provided. Please respond by email with resume, headshot, and any other information.
Synopsis: Lux Matthews is released from prison early when his conviction is overturned by new evidence, but no one, even his girlfriend, is willing to treat him as an innocent man. Searching for a way to start over, Lux moves to the picturesque town of Burden, where he is taken under the wing of the town’s philanthropist. Soon after his arrival though, Lux becomes the prime suspect in the case of a missing girl. Afraid that his newfound innocence is slipping through his grasp, Lux sets out on his own to find the girl, but every move Lux makes seems only to drive him farther from the townspeople’s trust. And when the vital clue to her disappearance eventually does surface, it leads Lux into a new understanding of the society that he is attempting to become a part of.
Lux Matthews is an innocent man who, after serving two years of a sentence for child molestation, cannot escape the burden of assumed guilt. His time in prison has ingrained in him an aggression and fear that only hinders his sincerest attempts at once again rejoining society. Everyone around him immediately senses his estrangement, and their reactions to him are often hostile, without due cause. After two years of regimented life, even small decisions feel momentous and Lux is thrown into depression. Yet, when faced with the chance to become “normal” again, but in an immoral way, Lux must decide whether his personal innocence is more important to him than his acceptance in society. (note: Lux is good at card tricks, and the actor will need to know, or learn some of these)
William “Bill” Burden is, at first glance, the amiable philanthropist of the town of Burden, who has used his family’s industrial era fortune to keep his precious town safe from the fall of the “Rust Belt”. Although his intentions seem honorable, Bill is a man that will leave nothing to chance. His uncanny ability to manipulate those around him, bringing them into and out of anger with seeming ease, and shifting their desires to align with his own, allows him a cultish control over the inhabitants of the town, but one seemingly unnoticed by the townsfolk themselves. Bill seems a smooth talking gentleman of a bygone era, yet on rare occurrences he is unable to hide his obsessive and violently controlling nature.
Sarah Curtis is an enterprising high school senior who goes missing from the small town of Burden.
Molly Franklin is a high school senior and Sarah’s best friend. She is convinced that Lux has taken Sarah.
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