an AFI thesis film

Michelle longs to escape her past. She is romantic. She is impulsive. She is reckless. She believes that life is something that you get on with, as best you can and with what you’ve got. 

In a decrepit rural town, a young woman (Michelle) is forced to look after her volatile teenage brother (Clay) while their mother is away battling issues with substance abuse. In effort to escape the toxicity of her home life, Michelle is compelled to ditch town with her lover, Tom, who has plans for a brighter future. When Clay finds out about Michelle's intentions at a farewell party, his self-destructive behavior grows to a boiling point, forcing Michelle to face the demons she longs to escape.





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.

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


David Lynch (Dir.)
Mulholland Drive, Blue Velvet, Eraserhead, Dune
Amy Heckerling (Dir.)
Clueless, Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Terrence Malick (Dir.)
Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line, Tree of Life
Darren Aronofsky (Dir.)
Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, Black Swan
Steve Golin (Pro.)
Babel, Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine
Dana Lustig (Pro.)
Brick, Dancing at the Blue Iguana, Kill Me Later
Wally Pfister (Cin.)
Inception, The Prestige, Memento, Batman Begins
Robert Richardson (Cin.)
Kill Bill, The Aviator, Inglorious Basterds

Janusz Kaminski (Cin.)
Saving Private Ryan, Schindler's List, Munich
Matthew Libatique (Cin.)
Cowboys and Aliens, Black Swan, Iron Man
Steven Rosenblum (Edit.)
Braveheart, X-Men, Blood Diamond, Defiance
Victor Du Bois (Edit.)
The Last Samurai, Profiler, Roswell
Susannah Grant (Scr.)
Erin Brockovich, Unfaithful, Everafter, 28 Days
Paul Shrader (Scr.)
Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Bringing Out The Dead
Todd Cherniawsky (Des.)
Avatar, Alice in Wonderland, Armageddon
Joe Garrity (Des.)
Sunshine Cleaning, Waiting for Guffman, My Girl