About a Donkey

About a Donkey follows the Owens family: Ann & Tim, their 3 adult children, Cecilia, Burgh, and Annie (and her husband Paul), and matriarch Farrah. When Tim brings home a donkey in a mixture of wanting to rescue both it and himself, all of the characters' lives are shaken up and pushed forward.

About a Donkey follows the Owens family: Ann & Tim, their 3 adult children, Cecilia, Burgh, and Annie (and her husband Paul), and matriarch Farrah. When Tim brings home a donkey in a mixture of wanting to rescue both it and himself, all of the characters' lives are shaken up and pushed forward.
Ann, who has been struggling with depression, doesn't quite know how to navigate her marriage and sudden neighborhood interest with the new animal in her life. Cecilia, also struggling with identity issues due to a recent unemployment, passes the time by helping her grandma Farrah with experimental inventions, which Farrah only enjoys because it gives her bragging rights with the other seniors at her nursing home. To Cecilia's delight, there's a new independent living assistant who makes hanging out with her grandma far more intriguing. Meanwhile, Burgh struggles with telling his family about an old acquaintance back in his life, and a very pregnant Annie just tries to keep the peace between all members of the family.

  • Christina Raia
    Summit (feature film on Amazon), Kelsey (web series with half a million views)
  • Kelsey Rauber
    Kelsey (web series with half a million views)
  • Christina Raia
  • Kelsey Rauber
  • Christina Shea-Wright
    Key Cast
    Jessica Jones (1 episode guest spot), Boardwalk Empire (multiple episode arc)
  • Alexandra Clayton
    Key Cast
  • Katherine Wessling
    Key Cast
  • Peter Jensen
    Key Cast
  • Ben Kaufman
    Key Cast
  • Ricardo Manigat
    Key Cast
  • Elisha Mudly
    Key Cast
  • Sarah Haruko
    Key Cast
  • Ellen Graff
    Key Cast
  • Peter Westervelt
  • Matt Gershowitz
  • Alexandra Kalinowski
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Comedy, Drama
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 17 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 27, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 2K
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • 2018 Austin Revolution Film Festival
    Austin, TX
    September 21, 2018
    Texas Premiere
    Winner: Best Produced Screenplay, Nominated for Best Comedy Feature, Best LGBTQ Film, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Actress
  • 2018 Buffalo International Film Festival
    Buffalo, NY
    October 7, 2018
    New York State Premiere
  • 2018 North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
    Durham, NC
    August 18, 2018
    North Carolina Premiere
  • 2018 Adirondack Film Festival
    Glen Falls, NY
    October 19, 2018
    Eastern NY Premiere
  • 2018 YoFiFest, The Yonkers Film Festival
    Yonkers, NY
    November 3, 2018
  • 2018 Georgia Film Festival
    Oakwood, GA
    May 19, 2018
    World/Georgia Premiere
  • 2019 Flathead Lake International Cinemafest
    Polson, Montana
    January 26, 2019
    Montana Premiere
    Nominated: Best Picture, Best Female Actor
  • 2019 Cambria Film Festival
    Cambria, CA
    February 9, 2019
    California Premiere
  • 2019 Queens World Film Festival
    Astoria, NY
    March 23, 2019
    NYC Premiere
    Lois Weber Pioneer Award
  • 2019 Capital City Film Festival
    Lansing, Michigan
    April 13, 2019
    Michigan Premiere
Director Biography - Christina Raia

Christina Raia is a New York City based Writer/Director, the Founder of CongestedCat Productions, and the Head of Education at Seed&Spark. She was named one of the 10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2018 by Independent Magazine, as well as selected for the annual New York Film Festival's prestigious Artist Academy at Lincoln Center. Her first feature film, Summit, won Best Director at the 2015 Flickers: Rhode Island International Film Festival (genre division). She co-created, directed, and produced the comedic web series Kelsey, which premiered on blip.tv in September 2013 to rave reviews and consistent press coverage, including as a Critic’s Pick and named one of the 19 Best Comedy Web Series of 2013 by Indiewire.com. It has over a quarter million views online. She is currently on the festival circuit with her second feature film, About a Donkey, which won Best Produced Screenplay at the 2018 Austin Revolution Film Festival. She has also begun pitching what she hopes to be her third feature, Silent Night, a Quarter Finalist at Slamdance's 2016 Screenwriting Competition. Her other credits as Director, Producer, and Writer include over a dozen narrative short films that have made official selection at film festivals across the country. In addition to Indiewire, her projects and approach as a filmmaker have been covered by various press outlets, such as BuzzFeed and AfterEllen. Her work can be viewed on Amazon Prime, Vimeo, VHX, and Youtube.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The screenplay for About a Donkey was originally written after a visit with screenwriter Kelsey Rauber’s dad resulted in him casually mentioning that he would like to own a donkey.
That passing comment sparked the quirky and heartfelt idea that led to the film. The screenplay won the Grand Prize in the Comedy Division of the 2012 New York Screenplay Contest and was a Semi-Finalist of the 2013 LA Comedy Shorts Film Festival. The 2016 Blue Cat Screenplay Contest shared these comments about the final draft, "The themes of growing older, mid-life depression, and generally figuring out one's adult life were poignant and relatable. The idea of using a donkey bought on a whim is a novel, whimsical and interesting one, and adds to the dark comedic tone of the piece. The concept is unique and speaks to the various struggles of finding one's identity and purpose." I was attracted to the screenplay due to how it effortlessly tackled weighty issues through a comedic lens filled with characters that feel real and show growth as the story progresses. As I got in involved, I became excited by the prospect of getting to enhance more of the dramatic subtext under the story and establish an inclusive world that surrounds this family.

About a Donkey at its core is about compassion and growing towards acceptance. I hope this ensemble piece will bring audiences in and cause them to identify with characters who they may not otherwise. The film was largely shot with a look that balances reality and an inviting-warmth. Our mission is to show that love is love, people's lives and desires are relevant no matter their age, and struggling with depression is acceptable and normal. And sometimes just taking an action, even one as random as buying a donkey, is exactly what's needed to get your life going again.

We did not have any industry-known actors attached to our film, but did feature a cast of diverse and talented up-and-comers who are actively working in the independent film scene. Over half of our crew and two-thirds of our cast is made up of women. Over one-third of our cast & crew includes people of color; notably I, the director, am an ethnic minority. And one-third of our cast & crew includes LGBTQ identifying individuals; notably our writer is a lesbian. It’s important to us that people who truly reflect the diversity of this country be represented onscreen, and that those who identify in real life as that representation have a voice and agency in their portrayal. Through our storytelling and filmmaking, we aim to contribute to a more equitable, varied and nuanced portrayal of those often excluded or erased.