Experiencing Interruptions?

Cowboy's Girl

A successful woman travels to the seedy fringes of Las Vegas to confront her estranged, eccentric father, known simply as 'Cowboy'. Because of his failing health, this is her last chance to solve the mystery surrounding her identity that has haunted her for years. With a DNA test stored secretly in her purse, she knows she's heading into the home of an unpredictable and manipulative man, who is unlikely to give up the answer.

  • Andrew Piccone
  • Diahnna Nicole Baxter
  • Andrew Piccone
  • Diahnna Nicole Baxter
  • Craig Blair
  • Tony Todd
    Key Cast
    Candyman, Fast & Furious Franchise, Star Trek,
  • Diahnna Nicole Baxter
    Key Cast
    Satacracy 88, Scandal, A House is Not a Home, Shadow Puppets
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes 35 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 11, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    26,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Pan African Film Festival (PAFF)
    Los Angeles, CA
    February 8, 2015
    North American Premier
    Nominated - Best Short
Director Biography - Andrew Piccone

Andrew Piccone is from the San Francisco Bay Area where he graduated film school at SFSU. As a cinematographer, he subsequently worked on the successful documentaries: Grrlyshow (Sundance), Take Downs & Falls, and Standing Silent Nation (PBS) among others. His writing-directing debut, Swerve, premiered at Slamdance in 2007, and in later years he served as a programmer and advocate for the festival. Recent work includes directing web campaigns for Adidas, Obey Inc., CBS Studios, Cartoon Network, Getty Foundation, as well as music videos for Mayer Hawthorne and Snoop Dogg. He is currently finishing the documentary, In Kilimanjaro's Shadow, which was filmed in Tanzania last year. He lives in Los Angeles where he is also working on a new animated TV comedy series, and developing feature projects.

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Director Statement

Cowboy's Girl - Director's statement

Cowboy first approaches us though wind and dust, hostile eyes, squinting under a black-rimmed hat. An iconic western bad guy; a monster played an actor legendary for playing monsters. However, our story didn't end up being about conquering him, but stripping away the monster's layers until we see and recognize the child underneath. The pilgrimage to this concept was decades in the making. Based closely on the real story of Producer/co-writer/lead actress, Diahnna Nicole Baxter's life, Cowboy's Girl could easily have been a condemnation of a brutal and negligent father. But from the beginning of our writing process till the end of post-production, she never encouraged that perspective, but to rather find the humanity in these characters. She was clearly on a quest for truth over all else. This inspired the crew to channel and confront our own stories of lost identity of personal conflict, and to accept our tormentors as individuals on their own unique journeys. Our set became a reflective, spiritual space. Perhaps the most quiet film set I have ever witnessed.

Shot briskly and on a tight schedule, the crew accomplished a daringly moody look, chiefly brought by cinematographer VanNessa Manlunas and production designer, Morgan Gillio. Directors don't always have time to intellectualize the decisions they make. I found myself pushing VanNessa and Morgan to go darker while making sure we found our places to show life: tiny golden spots of light hitting the room through torn curtains, a colorful stuffed animal surrounded by browns and grey, a picture frame among the ruins containing a fresh-faced child, glistening pupils upon dim faces.

The film almost becomes a hide and seek game for the beauty that exists in our most troubling relationships. I realize now more than ever that we created a story about the love we hold but will never be able to express. Sometimes perhaps, in the absence of that ability, hate is the closest we can come to it.

The devastation of the film's ending might stick with the audience as they walk away. But the moments I find myself thinking about most are the fleeting glimmers of harmony flickering from within the characters' locked hearts. The smiles they are resisting, the songs they are pretending not to remember, and the respect they did not expect to find. We eventually see that this family cannot resist looking back to the one magical, long-ago Summer they spent together when they were happy and whole. Even in the shadows under the crumbling roof of Cowboy's house, we are reminded that innocence may always be lost, but the memory of Eden never leaves us.

Andrew Piccone
April 13, 2015