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: Narrative Short
GENRE: Drama
STATUS: Pre-Production


Amber escapes into the church bathroom with her best friend during a boring Sunday morning service.


During a church service, Amber escapes to the bathroom with her friend Jackie who asks her if she wants to practice kissing. Then, someone opens the door. Pillars is about a forbidden moment of intimacy and the consequences that result from a young girl’s first exploration of her sexuality.


I grew up in church. I grew up in the South. I partly came of age in church hallways. I remember my father so vehemently trying to “raise us right.” The year that my father left home, I learned that his own father, a harsh disciplinarian and a deep Louisiana Catholic, used to call him “soft.” And I learned the name of the boy he met in college. I don’t have all the answers to the questions, but I feel indebted to the people in my family who were discouraged from becoming the people they were meant to be. I resent the sadness caused by traditions and silent Southern fears that eventually affected my sister and me and several church girls that grew up like us. Pillars is an ode to the church girls and inspired by the women in my life. It is a tale of those lazy Sunday afternoons where we witnessed each other's secrets and curiosities. Pillars is about a forbidden moment of intimacy and the consequences that result from a young girl’s first exploration of her sexuality in the world of the religious South. My experiences are not isolated. Society, similar to religious culture in the south, constantly chastises women and girls for asking questions and exploring their sexuality. Pillars is a meditation on these questions and feelings through the eyes of a young girl.


Haley Anderson - Producer/Writer/Director
Haley Elizabeth Anderson is a filmmaker and writer with a background in playwriting and poetry. She currently attends New York University's Graduate Film Program as a Dean’s Fellow. A Houston, Texas native with roots across the Gulf, her work explores coming-of-age experiences, race, family, and the class divide in the American South and in marginalized communities. Her recent experimental piece, Presence, recently played at the closing event held for Basquiat’s exhibition BOOM FOR REAL in London. Her third short film, Get Out Fast, premiered at Slamdance Film Festival where she was named a filmmaker to watch. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, she is the recipient of numerous awards including the Sara Driver Production Grant and the 2017 Wasserman 2nd place King Award. Pillars is a proof of concept film for Gulf, a non-linear feature that explores transgenerational trauma, genetic memory, and coming of age experiences of her relatives across three generations as they struggle to make a life in the American South. Gulf is a semi-finalist project for the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Grant. She is currently in post- production for her fourth narrative short film, Summer Animals, which was made with generous support from Kodak. Haley’s work has been featured at The New Orleans Film Festival, Lone Star Film Festival, I-D magazine, No Budge, Culture Magazine, Vimeo, and the Barbican in London.

Lasse Tolbøll - DP
Lasse Tolbøll is a cinematographer and director from Odder, Denmark. He studied media science at the Southern University of Denmark. After living in Taiwan, he started a masters program in Film and Media at the University of Copenhagen but dropped out when he was accepted into the grad film program at Tisch School of the Arts in New York City. A recipient the 2018 ARRI Volker Bahnemann Award in Outstanding Cinematography, he is now based in New York City where he is an HBO sponsored BAFTA Scholar. Lasse’s work has been featured at the Barbican in London, BFI, LA Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival and on Filmmaker Magazine.


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