Private Project


One masked dancer threatens the cycle of pursued acceptance met by authoritative rejection when part of her facade falls away and she can truly see.

  • Emma Keehan
  • Nick Early
  • Emma Keehan
  • Andrew Harrington
  • Kyra Renee
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Student, Other
  • Genres:
    Fantasy, Dance, Theatrical, No Dialogue, Dark Fantasy
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 1 second
  • Completion Date:
    December 15, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    1,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Student Film Festival
    United States
    December 17, 2016
    First Place
  • Visions 8 Film Festival and Conference
    Wilmington, NC
    United States
    April 6, 2018
    Best Narrative
  • Midwest Independent Film Festival
    Chicago, IL
    United States
    August 9, 2018
    Grand Jury Prize Winner
  • Milwaukee Short Film Festival
    Milwaukee, WI
    United States
    September 8, 2018
    Best Wisconsin Film
  • Reel 2 Reel Student Film Festival
    Burlington, NC
    United States
    November 2, 2018
    First Place
  • Dumbo Film Festival
    New York City
    United States
    March 9, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Indie Visions Film Festival
    Charlottesville, VA
    United States
    March 31, 2019
  • Light & Future International Film Festival
    Houston, TX
    United States
    March 31, 2019
  • Riverside Short Film Festival
    New Haven, MO
    United States
    April 5, 2019
    Missouri Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Chippewa Valley Film Festival
    Eau Claire, WI
    United States
    April 27, 2019
    Eau Claire, WI
    Official Selection
  • Real to Reel Film Festival
    Kings Mountain, NC
    United States
    July 26, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Full Bloom Film Festival
    Statesville, NC
    United States
    September 19, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Raleigh Film and Art Festival
    Raleigh, NC
    United States
    October 2019
    Official Selection
  • Genre Celebration
    Official Selection
  • Tryon International Film Festival
    Tryon, North Carolina
    United States
    October 2019
    Official Selection
  • Peak City International Film Festival
    Apex, North Carolina
    United States
    September 20, 2019
    Best Silent Short Film - Student Category
  • First Friday Film Festival Kansas City
    Kansas City, Missouri
    United States
    September 6, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Florence Film Awards - Monthly Competition
    Best Fantasy - October 2019
  • SHORT to the Point
    Best Production Design
  • Miami Independent Film Festival (MINDIE)
    Miami, Florida
    United States
    Official Selection - November 2019
  • Geek Short Film Festival
    Charlotte, North Carolina
    United States
    November 2, 2019
    Best Fantasy
  • Johnson City Film Festival
    Johnson City, Tennessee
    United States
    November 8, 2019
    Best Cinematography
  • NYLIFF (New York Long Island Film Festival)
    Seaford, New York
    United States
    November 8, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Big Water Film Festival
    Ashland, Wisconsin
    United States
    November 8, 2019
    Loren Savitsky Young Filmmaker Award
  • Stranger Days Independent Film Festival
    Charlotte, North Carolina
    United States
    November 16, 2019
    Best Art/Experimental Short
  • Bensenville Short Film Festival
    Bensenville, Illinois
    United States
    November 13, 2019
    Best in Show
  • iffy
    November 23, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Los Angeles Cinefest
    Los Angeles, California
    United States
  • Chandler International Film Festival
    Chandler, Arizona
    United States
    January 19, 2020
    Official Selection - Short Film
  • Experimental Dance & Music Film Festival
    January 23, 2020
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Emma Keehan

New to the Asheville, NC area, I am looking forward to being a part of the talented film community here.

My day job is in the mentoring/counseling field with flexible shifts and this has allowed me to work with some local filmmakers on several interesting projects and I look forward to continuing my engagement with the local film community.

Before moving to Asheville, I was a student at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (UWM) where I graduated in 2018 with a degree in film. I was a member of the Production Club at my school for my first year and went on to be selected as the club's Producer and Officer, successfully running the club for the next three years.
I had some wonderful teachers at UWM, including Tate Bunker, Sky Hopinka, and the late Ken Wood. My favorite classes included: Zen, The Art of Filmmaking, Director of Photography, Horror, and The Business of Screenwriting. The connections with my professors and fellow students were the most valuable assets from that chapter in my life and I long for the time when we can all gather again to work on a collaborative project.

My years in Milwaukee were the longest time I have spent in one city. From a very young age, my family moved from place to place on an average of every two years. It was incredibly fun and exciting to move all over the world and meet and become friends with so many different people.

Amidst all the travel were two constants for me and my younger sister and brother. 1) We all were homeschooled. In fact, my first class in “normal school” was my first day in college, where I graduated with honors. 2) We were all on the saber fencing circuit for many years, bringing home gold medals and high rankings. My sister and I traveled around the world for years representing the US in our sport.

I want to use my life to explore, take risks, and connect with people along the way. Which is great because, as far as I can tell, that’s what life wants for me and if I should be allowed to philosophize for a moment, for us all as human beings.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Within a voiceless, fantastical present-future, heavily masked figures stand within what seems to be a cargo train as they travel throughout the night and arrive at their destination in order to carryout their solo dances. The judge allows the performers to offer only small portions of their contemporary routines before harshly buzzing each of them off stage.

Our main character begins to ponder the fruitlessness of this cycle as she sits in an enchanted room bustling with mesmerizing activity while a visionless wardrobe attendant hurriedly goes through the motions of preparing her for the stage.

The dancers repeatedly travel, present their art, and receive the buzz of failure from judges until one day the main character’s eyepiece cracks and falls away to reveal her innate sense of sight. She discovers her own unadorned skin and wakes up to the ineffectuality of the maze of unfulfilling circumstances that make up her life.

She confronts the next judge who rejects her efforts and reveals his specious nature. Trying to help her fellow voyagers, she lifts the mask from the next contender who, overwhelmed by the anxiety of learning of her own essential power, pulls the mask back down to cover her face, thus returning to the life she knows.

The main character reveals a dejected and despairing posture, sharply contrasting with her bold and sweeping choreography. Unable to face the challenges of a new way of life without help from her cohort, she returns to the train and rides on into the night wearing a fully repaired mask.