Chicago made ‘The West Virginian Starfish’ set for Festival Au Cinema

Multiple Hats Productions in partnership with Dune Grass Pictures announce The West Virginian Starfish will hold its Chicago premiere on August 26 as part of the first annual Festival Au Cinema at The Den Theater.

To date the film has racked up a myriad of nominations and wins at film festivals across the country, including taking home the Best Short Film award at the famed Long Island Film Expo 2022 in July.

The film is based on an award-winning screenplay written by Hyten Davidson who also co-directed the film with local director Tommy Martin. Starring Broadway veteran Christopher Gurr (The Blacklist) and leading actress Melanie McNulty (Rendezvous in Chicago) The West Virginian Starfish explores the rocky terrain of grief, closure, and the ways in which we heal or hurt ourselves in the process. 

The screenplay for The West Virginian Starfish first gained attention when it competed in Eleven 04’s First Backer Initiative Live Pitch Event in 2020. It was subsequently made possible by the support of Eleven 04, Light Modifiers, and Mind Exchange Music. While shot in New York, the short utilized the talents of Chicago-based cinematographer Robert Dalley, gaffer and associate producer Carrie Graham, sound editor Kelly Askam, and music by Donny Walker.  

This powerful short film follows a woman named Carly in the aftermath of her father’s disappearance by the Appalachian Trail in Harper’s Ferry, WV. She decides one night to retire her father’s old project—rescuing defeated thru-hikers off the trail—but not before picking up one last hiker. In a twist of fate, the man shares a story that may hold the key to her past while changing the course of her life forever. 

The West Virginian Starfish screens on Friday, August 26 at 8:30pm in the ‘Chicago Shorts’ block with an encore performance on Sunday, August 28 at 1pm at The Den Theater, 1331 N Milwaukee Ave. 

Tickets can be purchased HERE.

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