Experiencing Interruptions?

Conversation With A Cigarette

A cat and mouse game ensues when a man faces his greatest enemy: A Cigarette.

  • Russell Brown
  • Russell Brown
  • Ian Hart
    Key Cast
    (Backbeat, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Black and White, Surreal
  • Runtime:
    18 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    July 5, 2014
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Palm Springs International Shortsfest
  • The People's Film Festival - New York
  • Red Dirt Film Festival

    Best Editing - Finalist
  • Louisana International Film Festival
  • Hang Onto Your Shorts
  • The Original Santa Fe Film Festival
  • Columbia Gorge International Film Festival
  • The People's Film Festival
  • Snake Alley Festival of Film
  • Richmond International Film Festival
  • Full Bloom Film Festival
  • Reel Recovery Film Festival
  • Arlington Film Festival
  • Logan Film Festival
  • Houston Internation Film Festival

    Silver Remi - Experimental
  • Tampa Bay Arts Education

    Laurel of Excellence
  • WNY Music, Art and Film
  • Galveston Island Film Festival
  • Indigo Moon Film Festival

    Audience Award Best Narrative Short
  • Marina del Rey Film Festival
  • CKF International Film Festival

    Best Experimental
  • Borderlands Film Festival
  • Independent Shorts Awards

    Bronze Award - Best Documentary
  • Sedona Film Festival
  • EKO Film Festival
  • Beeston Film Festival
  • Something Wicked Film Festival
  • Enginuity Film Festival
  • Four Corners Film Festival
  • Alder Film Festival
  • Mesa International Film Festival
  • Clifton Film Celebration
  • Idyllwild International FIlm Festival
  • Romford Film Festival
  • Ramsgate International Film and TV Festival
  • Fargo Fantastic Film Festival
  • Hague Global Cinema Festival
  • Midnight West Fest
  • Carolina Short Film and Screenwriting Showcase
  • Golden Nugget Film Festibval
  • Sweet Life Film Festival
  • ZShorts International Film Festival
  • SonderBlu Film Festival
  • Ozark Star Film Festival
  • Lost River Film Festival
Distribution Information
  • Green Apple Entertainment
Director Biography - Russell Brown

Russell Brown’s fourth narrative feature, Search Engines, stars an ensemble cast including Joely Fisher, Connie Stevens, Daphne Zuniga, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Barry Watson and Michelle Hurd. It premiered at Cinequest and has played more than 50 festivals across the country and internationally, picking up over 20 awards in categories ranging from acting, directing and writing to audience awards and best picture recognition. It was released theatrically by Indican Pictures in October, 2016.

“Well-considered insights… Sharp banter… Insinuating camera moves…”
(The Hollywood Reporter)

"Filmmaker Russell Brown clearly had something pertinent he wished to say about our plugged- in, tuned-out obsession with the Internet and was obviously going for a Luis Buñuel-Robert Altman style of social commentary…” (The Los Angeles Times)

His third feature film, Annie and the Gypsy, starring Cybill Shepherd, premiered at the Seattle Film Festival in June, 2012. Osiris Entertainment distributed the film in Spring, 2013.

“Writer/director Russell Brown makes short, sharp films that investigate how and why friends treat each other badly... In Annie and the Gypsy, Brown’s most ambitious, and arguably most accomplished film to date, Brown provides a keenly-observed study of the title character (deftly played by Cybill Shepherd) who throws a Spanish-themed dinner party hoping to reconnect with Gordon, a man she loved in Spain decades ago.”
(Film International)

The Blue Tooth Virgin, his third feature narrative, was released theatrically in the United States by Regent Releasing in September, 2009. It won the Special Jury Prize at the Seattle International Film Festival in the New American Cinema competition.

“Hilarious, acutely knowing... Yet comedy enables Brown to dig into the art-industry equation that is the eternal Hollywood challenge, as well as questions about values, priorities, standards, goals -- all leading to what is all-important: self-knowledge. It’s not too much to hazard that Billy Wilder would have enjoyed The Blue Tooth Virgin.” (Los Angeles Times)

“What's striking, brilliant, and refreshing about this story is its sheer minimalist quality... And what dialogue it is! Beautiful and quotable, intriguing and challenging. There are so many great themes here, you truly wonder how writer/director Russell Brown will find something else to write about in future projects.” (Film.com)

Race You to the Bottom was released theatrically in the United States in March, 2007, by Here Films. The film played at festivals worldwide and earned a best actress award at Outfest.

“Top notch... Writing and directing with perceptive wit, Brown adroitly captures the quicksilver shifts in moods within a tempestuous, passionate romance between two articulate, free-thinking young people.” (Los Angeles Times)

“Brown’s screenplay and direction, both economical and unshowy, sketch character dynamics in crisp terms that resist the temptation to explain all, beg sympathy, or heighten drama for purely histrionic purposes.” (Variety)

Brown directed the educational program Karen Black: On Acting, a master class seminar with the iconic actress. The film has screened at festivals across the country and had its television premiere in August, 2014, on PBS stations. It is being distributed by First Light Video.

He has also made numerous well-received short films, which have had extensive play on the festival circuit. Conversation with a Cigarette (2014), a one-man chamber piece starring the well-respected British actor Ian Hart, is about a man facing his greatest enemy: A Cigarette. It premiered at the prestigious Palm Springs Shortsfest. Mama Laura’s Boys (2003), about the oldest blues club in Los Angeles, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was broadcast on PBS. Reality USA (2004), a study of the emotional and geographic landscape of America, was based on work by the noted poet Mark Halliday, and also premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Everyone Who Hears This Story Gets Laid (2012), starring noted performance artist Philip Littell, premiered at Outfest, and played numerous stops on the LGBT circuit.

Russell is a member of the Writer’s Guild of America and is a Film Independent Producing Fellow. His films are held as part of the collection at the UCLA Film and Television archive.

He also dedicates a significant amount of time to philanthropic efforts. He provided support to hospital patients across Los Angeles as a certified animal therapist with Love On 4 Paws. He also was awarded a commendation from the City of Los Angeles for his work with the Boys and Girls Club of Venice.

A Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Southern California’s Film Program in 1998, he held creative executive positions with Laura Ziskin Productions at Columbia Pictures and Saturday Night Live Studios at Paramount Pictures. Russell is a long distance runner, swimmer and triathlete.

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