Female-driven short about change, loss, and Texas.

All donations are tax deductible.

Farewell - Columbia University MFA Thesis Film A Project of Shorts

Farewell is a Columbia University graduate thesis film written by Annamarie Fernandez and Joshua R. Troxler.

The film follows Jennie Lee and her band mates, Wes and Bryan, as they travel from west Texas to Austin for their final show. After the show she will stay with her husband in Austin to raise their child, as Wes and Bryan continue on to Nashville to pursue a music career full time. It's a film about the realization of change and loss, capturing the experience of what it means to leave something behind and look ahead at the vast unknown.

Last summer we set out on a road trip through Texas, knowing we wanted to write a film in the landscape but unsure of what theme and story we wanted to explore. Over conversations about our families, passions, lost relationships and life changes we drove from Dallas to Austin to Marfa.

Although only in Marfa for a few days both of us felt impacted by the town's sweeping landscape and profound stillness. There's something so free, so surreal, about west Texas; time passes more slowly, and looking out at the overwhelming desert, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, the anxieties of day-to-day life in New York City felt inconsequential. When we drove back to the city a few days later all we could think about was how we could hold onto that freedom.

In Farewell, Jennie Lee finds herself on the road for the last time in the foreseeable future and as she and her band mates approach Austin - and the next phase of her life - she gets lost in the nostalgia of a lifestyle, a sense of freedom, she's leaving behind. And this nostalgia comes in the form of longing for something lost, jealousy of those who aren't facing change, and a fear of the daunting unknown.


ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE

From the Heart is a 501(c)3 non-profit supporting our film as a fiscal sponsor. Because of this all of your donations made through From The Heart qualify as charitable contributions under the U.S. Tax Code and are tax deductible. From The Heart Productions will take a 7% service charge and the rest of your donation will go toward our film.

From The Heart will provide a receipt for you to use under the itemized deductions in the donations portion of your taxes. You can then use the 100% tax deductible amount to adjust your gross income.


WHAT YOUR CONTRIBUTION WILL GO TOWARD

The film will be shot in and around Marfa, Texas in late March of 2017. The $18,000 we hope to raise through From The Heart will make up much of our production and post-production budget, and will go toward the following elements:

  • Cast and Crew - We are excited to be working with a mostly Texas-based cast and crew as we set out to explore the incredible landscape of west Texas. But because of the travel involved (Texas is huge, people), we want to be able to compensate those taking time out of their lives to help us make this film happen. So often student films have to ask their cast and crew to work for little to no pay. We want to be able to properly hire our cast and crew, to show them we respect and take seriously their crafts and passions, just as they respect and take seriously our film.
  • Travel and Lodging - As lovely as sleeping under the stars might sound, we should really provide adequate travel and lodging arrangements for our cast and crew. This means driving 10-15 people from Dallas and Austin to Marfa (roughly a 6-7 hour drive), and providing meals, comfortable lodging, and basic necessities for 5-6 days. Filmmaking is a physically draining experience, and ending the day with a hearty meal and a good night's sleep is essential to keeping everyone happy, healthy, and at their creative best.
  • Location Fees - Although we'll do our best to negotiate with local business owners, we'll need money to cover locations. Whether it's renting out the space, paying for an employee to supervise, applying for filming permits, or just covering electricity expenses for the time we're using the space, location costs add up.
  • Equipment - We all know money doesn't grow on trees, but do you know what else doesn't grow on trees? Cameras. Or lenses. Or tripods. Because Columbia University-provided equipment would require us to ship gear across the country, we'll be renting our equipment from local equipment rental houses in Dallas or Austin. As a low-budget student film we'll be keeping our equipment list as simple as possible, but we'll still need equipment and insurance to make this film happen.
  • Post-Production - Post-production goes beyond just putting clips in the right order and exporting to Vimeo. We'll need hard drives to store all of our footage, and once the edit is done there's color grading and sound mixing, the cost of creating a DCP, and festival application fees. Then we can all take a nap.

MEET THE TEAM

Over the next few months as we power through pre-production, casting, location scouts, rehearsals, scheduling, production, editing (and then finally napping), the creative collaboration of everyone on our team will be crucial to maintaining positive energy and clear focus.

Joshua R. Troxler Co-Writer, Director

Joshua is a NYC-based filmmaker with roots in North Carolina. After spending most of his childhood overseas, he developed an interest in cinema and fine art. He graduated from Lycoming College in Pennsylvania with a degree in Fine Arts, focusing on painting and video installation, and was awarded Fine Artist of the Year and 3D Artist of the Year in 2011. After working as a film projectionist in a movie theater he studied with the Labyrinth Theater Co. in NYC where he became connected with a community of actors, playwrights and directors that led him to realize his true passion: filmmaking. He is now in his 3rd year of Columbia University's MFA Screenwriting program, and has written and directed four short films, one in collaboration with Annamarie. He pretends to know a lot about coffee, claiming his favorite coffee flavor notes are blueberry, cardamom, and tobacco.


Annamarie Fernandez Co-writer, Producer

Annamarie is a NYC-based writer and producer in her 3rd year of Columbia University's MFA Creative Producing program. A Texas native, she graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas with a degree in Film and Media Arts ('13) before working for two years as an Associate Producer for Dallas-based production company. Since starting Columbia she's Written, Assistant Directed, or Produced over 12 short films, and is currently an intern with New York City-based production company, Likely Story. Farewell is the second film she's co-written with, and produced for, Joshua. One time she told a flight attendant she was a nervous flyer and got a free glass of wine.


Dillon White Director of Photography

Dillon White is an award-winning cinematographer and director based in Dallas, Texas. His most recent film as cinematographer, Pepper Spray, screened at the Tulsa Overground Film Festival and Monarch Film Festival, among other venues on the Arkansas film circuit. As a director, White's credits include an energy-conscious production Zap! that screened at the Dallas International Film Festival and won the TXU Energy Film Contest grand prize. He has also received grants from Panavision and Kodak, directing a 35mm short film Lucky Red, which later screened at DIFF. In the recent co-production Remnants and The Space Between, White explored surrealist cinema with dance choreography. With local theater, he won the TheatreJones' Critic Award for Outstanding Creative Design for his contribution in the local production Trainspotting. He also produces independent music sponsorship for large corporate brands, like McDonalds, Ford, Dr. Pepper and more, through a Forbe's listed company. In addition to photography and directing, White has worked as an editor with James Franco, Sean Astin, and Rachel Dratch, among other feature productions.


Geenah Krisht Assistant Director

Geenah is a freelance producer and assistant director with experience in commercial, television, short, and feature film production. After earning her degrees in Film and Media Arts and Journalism from SMU she spent a year producing commercials, non-scripted television pilots and talk shows at an independent production company in Dallas, where she worked alongside Annamarie. Since then she's pursued her passion for narrative film by freelancing; she is the co-founder of the apparel brand More Feminist Comedy Please, and co-owner of It's Gonna Be Fine Productions. Aside from filmmaking she is known for her appreciation of espresso shots, karaoke, and meticulous curse-word placement.


Mark Sean Haynes Post-Production Supervisor

Mark is a 5th year MFA directing concentrate at Columbia University. For the last three years, he has been actively working as a film editor and post-production supervisor. At the 2016 Columbia University Film Festival, he post-supervised four short films, which went on to premiere at Fantastic Fest, Slamdance, and the Austin Film Festival. Mark is currently assisting in the post supervision of four feature films, including the documentary Trophy, which has been selected to premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.


MEET THE CAST

We will be casting the film throughout February and March. Check back for updates!

Nika Ezell Pappas Jennie Lee

Nika is a California native who relocated to New York City to pursue her MFA in Acting from Columbia University, which she completed in 2013. Her past projects include original female understudy for Daphna/Melody in Bad Jews (Roundabout), Puck (Classic Stage Company), Actor 5 in 'We Are Proud to Present' (Guthrie), and roles in Vinyl (dir. Martin Scorsese), Middleground (Feature), Adam Bloom (Feature), and many regional and national commercials including Verizon and Bank of America.



Andreas Robichaux Wes

Andreas was born in Irving, TX but moved to Anaheim, CA at the age of 3. After spending time bouncing between the UK and the States, Andreas attended Chapman University in Orange, CA where he was introduced to acting in film. He studied under Kelly Galindo, a lifetime member of the Actor's Studio as well as doing some studies on Shakespeare in Performance in London. His previous roles include being featured in Glee and In Time. Recently he played Henry Abbot in the stage production of Kind Lady under the direction of Michael Serrecchia.




Chris Harold Bryan

Chris is a Dallas-area based actor, filmmaker, and a passionate storyteller. He frequently performs stand-up comedy in Denton, TX, just north of Dallas and has been in a handful of student short films for the University of North Texas. Most recently he was on an episode of "Scandal Made Me Famous" about Amanda Knox, and last October he wrapped on a passion project of his, a short film called Arcanum.





HOW ELSE CAN YOU HELP?

If you aren't able to contribute financially, there are still a few ways in which you can help us out!

  • Share this page with your family, friends, neighbors, mailmen, anyone you think might be interested in this project. The more people see this page, the more help we get.
  • Check back here and on our film's webpage for updates and announcements.

We're so grateful for all of the financial help, emotional support, and good energy sent our way, so thank you for your support!

$11,025 Raised
61% towards $18,000 Goal

Supported by 54 Donations:

  • Silhouette
    Anonymous
  • Katherine H.
    I Gave $50
    So proud of you, keep living the dream
  • Lauri F.
    So proud of you both! Can't wait to see it! Love Ken, Lauri & Charlie
  • Molly C.
    I Gave $10
    Good luck, you guys!
  • Richard T.
    I Gave $850
    Looking forward to seeing the film.
  • Silhouette
    Anonymous
    I Gave $25
  • Shannon D.
    I Gave $25
  • Silhouette
    Anonymous
    I Gave $1,500
    Good luck on your project!
  • Rini C.
    I Gave $25
  • Silhouette
    Anonymous
    I Gave $25
    Wish we had more to give! Love from Latvia. -B
  • Daniel  P.
    I Gave $10
    Congrats on getting your thesis film underway guys! Enjoy the small moments as well as the big ones. Keep up the hard work!
  • Sarah D.
    I Gave $100
    Best of luck and well wishes Annamarie!
  • Kevin C.
    Much love, guys. miss you both. Can't wait to see it.
  • Callum S.
  • Joao P.
    Good luck!
  • Scott M.
    I Gave $100
  • Silhouette
    Anonymous
  • Sandra  M.
    I Gave $50
    Good luck guys :*
  • Silhouette
    Anonymous
  • Laurie J.
    I Gave $1,000
    We are proud of both of you and cannot wait to view the finished product! Laurie and David
  • Tianqi Z.
    I Gave $50
    It's going to be awesome!
  • Silhouette
    Anonymous
  • Silhouette
    Anonymous
  • Silhouette
    Anonymous
    I Gave $250
  • Bryan T.
    I Gave $100
    Good luck Annamarie!
  • Christopher A.
    I Gave $25
    Have a great shoot, guys!
  • Silhouette
    Anonymous
    Good Luck, Guys! Can't wait to see!
  • Sean D.
    I Gave $50
    This is going to be great. Can't wait to see it!
  • Eleanor F.
    I Gave $25
    Annamarie, we wish you the best. Hope you will be celebrated with an award of honor for your creativeness.
  • Silhouette
    Anonymous
    I Gave $25