Film Screening: Director Alice Millar presents her “Summer in the Shade” Mon., Mar 9, at 7 PM

Best Video Film & Cultural Center presents a special screening of the unreleased independent movie “Summer in the Shade” on Monday, Mar. 9, at 7 PM. NYC-based Director Alice Millar will be on hand for a Q&A as will BVFCC members Gabrielle Muller and David Lackner, who were responsible for illustrations used in the film and the music score, respectively.


Summer, 1997. Twelve-year-old Grace and eleven-year-old Asta have been friends for as long as they can remember. When her father suddenly leaves, Grace’s fascination with religion and the supernatural becomes an obsession. At the end of the school holidays, the girls go to stay in a cottage in the Cornish countryside with Asta’s bohemian mum, Kate. There, troubled Grace is forced to confront her demons.

From Alice Millar’s director’s statement:

“Summer in the Shade” is a psychological thriller about the terror experienced by a girl as she transitions from a child to a woman. Set in 1997 on a summer vacation in Cornwall, we follow troubled Grace and her best friend Asta as they explore the ancient forests and their changing bodies…

What unfolds is an exploration into the trauma of puberty and the experience of self-disgust experienced by most women as they deal with changing from a little girl to a sexualized being. Universally this is a diffcult time and for many, is accompanied by deep psychological fear and existential revulsion. The body swells and starts to bleed. Often, men look at you with hunger rather than affection and women with jealousy rather than protection in their eyes.

In the vivid imagination of our protagonist Grace, who is also dealing with her father abandoning her family for the cliché of a younger woman, these themes lead her to see religion as a comfort. However, the religion she finds merely reinforces a sense of shame and guilt, as well as igniting fears of supernatural and biblical terrors, demons, original sin and the concept of participating in evil.

Award-winning Alice Florence Millar is a filmmaker from London, England based in New York City. She is a graduate of NYU’s Gallatin School where she created the individualized degree ‘Mesmerizing the Masses.’ Millar has worked as a Director of Photography for six years, shooting in the Americas, the United Kingdom, France, Bangladesh and Thailand. She is best known for her handheld camera style, which is fluid and meditative; her images oscillate between naturalism and highly constructed surrealism. Millar is attached to four independent features about to be released, including a co-direction on psychological thriller Attendant. Her directorial work focuses on women, violence and identity. Millar will make her feature length directorial debut with Summer in the Shade, a dark mystery about puberty inspired by her childhood holidays in seaside Cornwall.

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