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UNIFORM
 
UNIFORM
 
US Premiere

Director: Ellie Foumbi, Michael Niederman

United States, 2017, 10min
Format: Digital (screening) - 2K (shooting)
Festival Year: 2018
Category: Short Narrative
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Cast:  Jody Christopherson, Laura G=mez, London Peith, Derek Peith, Charlie Peith, Leslie Miller Peith
Crew:  Executive Producers: Jeffrey Keyes, Jody Christopherson - Producers: Sola Fasehun - Screenwriters: Jeffrey Keyes - Cinematographer: Kim Venable - Composer: Eric Andrade
Email:  efoumbigmail.com

synopsis
Parents are at odds with what to do when their 6-year old son is sent home from school for wearing a dress.

director
Ellie Foumbi is an actor/writer/director. She was born in Cameroon and moved to the United States at a young age. Growing up in the suburbs of New York City, she attended the French-American School of New York where she studied classical French theatre and was introduced to the filmmakers of the French New Wave. She had the privilege of working as a production assistant on Peter Brook's production of Tierno Bokar and worked very closely with the late acclaimed Malian actor, Sotigui Kouyaté, who later became her mentor. Ellie was recently selected for the prestigious directing exchange at La Fémis in Paris, France where she will collaborate with actors from L'Atelier des Acteurs. She's the recipient of the 2014 NYWIFT Scholarship, the 2016 Breaking Barriers Production Award and the 2016 Jesse Thompkins III Award recipient for Excellence in Screenwriting. She was also recently awarded a Caucus Foundation grant for the short film, Nocturne in Black, a Columbia thesis film she produced. Ellie is currently pursuing her MFA in Directing at Columbia University. - In addition to his directing skills, Michael Niederman is also an accomplished screenwriter. His script for the film Billion Star Hotel was shot in Cambodia and received multiple international releases. Another short film he wrote (Proof of Birth) won the Broadcast Educational Association Best Screenplay Award and Faculty Selects at the Columbia University Film Festival. Michael’s feature length screenplay, Saint Carlos of Gowanus also won Faculty Selects at Columbia University, was featured at the National Association of Independent Latino Producers Writer’s Lab, and was a finalist for the Sundance Film Festival Writer’s Lab. Currently Michael is the Director of New Works at Ignited States, a member of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), a founding member and producer of the Crosstown Playwrights. He is a veteran of various writers’ workshops at theaters throughout New York, including Pataphysics at The Flea, ESPA at Primary Stages, The New York Neo Futurists, and the Actor’s Studio Writers/Directors Lab. Michael is the author of the plays Freshman Fifteen (NYC Actors Studio), The Riverside Symphony (Planet Connections Theater Festivity), The Kuptferberg Family Tragedy (New York Stage and Film), To Barcelona! (Ignited States), Alvin Saves The Day, Good Men, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays (Risley Theater), Running Across Amsterdam (American Theater for the Actors), Chelsea, Alaska (New Ohio Theater) and The Eschaton Caberet (Bowery Poetry Club.
Filmography   

filmmaker's note
Last year, Brad and Angelina Jolie-Pitt generated buzz when they revealed that their 8-year old daughter, Shiloh, preferred to be called John. Several have speculated that she’s a transgendered child yet her parents insist she’s simply having fun and refuse to label her in any way. Society, however, functions in labels. Those who do not conform to these predetermined labels risk being ridiculed, or worse. What interested Michael and I in adapting Jeffrey James Keyes' one-act play (The Biltmore Academy) for the screen is the fact that it never touches on whether Nicholas, the boy in question, is straight, gay or transgendered. It's simply a play about a mom who defends her child's right to express himself. This is a topic we felt many parents would relate to. We were met with a lot of support from members both inside and outside the LGBTQ community. Soon, we realized it was just a human story. One doesn't have to be a parent to connect with it. Everyone can relate to these parents' debate about doing "the right thing for their child." We pulled our inspiration from films like Billy Elliot, Tomboy and About Ray. With 2015 being declared the year of the transgendered person, we hope this film will engage audiences in this controversial yet pressing debate.

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