Experiencing Interruptions?

Gardening At Night

The period between knowing death is near and death’s arrival forms an unbearable state of regret, sadness and anticipation for Samantha. She is powerless to help Anne, who on the eve of her death, has not come to terms with her fate and remains angry and afraid. Samantha recreates conversations between Elyse and Anne from the hospital in order to comprehend what Anne is facing and the enormity of her own impending loss. Waiting expands time to the point that it loses meaning. The world shrinks to encompass only her and her phone, which will ring soon with the news. That night she can no longer bear the stillness and despite the darkness, Samantha tries to put neglected garden in order. Caring for living things gives her a temporary sense of control. Afterwards she realizes how she can help Anne let go of her fear, which also gives her the chance to say a personal good-bye to her friend.

  • Shayna Connelly
  • Shayna Connelly
  • Wendy Roderweiss
  • Janelle Snow
    Key Cast
  • Suzanne Culp
    Key Cast
  • Lia Mortensen
    Key Cast
  • Jonah Rubash
    Director of Photography
  • Keke Mullins
  • Marlise Barta
    Sound Designer
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 19 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    15,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    RED Epic
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Columbus International Film and Video Festival
    Columbus, OH
    United States
    April 9, 2016
    World Premiere
  • Unrestricted View Festival
    United Kingdom
    April 26, 2016
    UK Premiere
  • Pennine Film Festival
    Accrington, Lancashire
    United Kingdom
    May 6, 2016
  • Long Island International Film Expo
    Bellmore, NY
    United States
    July 17, 2016
    New York Premiere
  • Melbourne Indie Festival
    July 8, 2016
    Australian Premiere
  • Breckenridge Film Festival
    Breckenridge, CO
    September 15, 2016
  • Louisville International Festival of Film
    Studio City, CA
    United States
    October 13, 2016
  • Women Texas Film Festival
    Dallas, TX
    August 20, 2016
  • Toronto Indie Film Festival
    Toronto, ON
    September 13, 2016
    Canadian Premiere
  • World of Film International Festival
    United Kingdom
    September 30, 2016
  • Charlotte Film Festival
    Charlotte, NC
    United States
    September 30, 2016
  • River's Edge Film Festival
    Paducah, KY
    United States
    November 4, 2016
  • Third Eye Film Festival
    New York, NY
    United States
    December 2, 2016
  • Indie Chicks Film Festival
    Santa Monica, CA
    United States
    November 11, 2016
  • Shawna Shea Film Festival
    Uxbridge, MA
    United States
    November 11, 2016
  • Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival
    Tampa Bay
    United States
    December 3, 2016
  • Monkey Bread Tree Awards
    United Kingdom
    Best Film Over 10K
  • Irvine International Film Festival
    Irvine, CA
    January 13, 2017
  • Spokane International Film Festival
    Spokane, WA
    January 25, 2017
  • Dam Short Film Festival
    Boulder City, NV
    February 8, 2017
  • Chicago Feminist Film Festival
    Chicago, IL
    March 3, 2017
    Hometown Chicago Premiere
  • Cosmic Film Festival
    Orlando, FL
  • Ann Arbor Film Festival
    Ann Arbor
    United States
    March 23, 2017
  • WAMMFest
    Towson, MD
    United States
    April 22, 2017
  • Crossroads Film Festival
    Jackson, MS
    United States
    April 7, 2017
  • Nevada Womens Film Festival
    Las Vegas, NV
  • Milledgeville Film Festival
    Milledgeville, GA
    April 27, 2017
  • Chicago Underground Film Festival
    Chicago, IL
    June 1, 2017
  • Grand Rapids Film Festival
    Grand Rapids, MI
    April 8, 2017
  • Stranger With My Face
    North Hobart, Tasmania
    May 6, 2017
  • The Mespies
    Minneapolis, MN
    March 26, 2017
    Best Film About Loss
  • Eve Film Festival
    March 18, 2017
  • Derby Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    May 6, 2017
  • High Desert International Film Festival
    Pahrump, NV
    May 27, 2017
  • ProxyAct Film Festival
    October 21, 2017
  • Weird Wednesdays
    October 25, 2017
  • Milwaukee Short Film Festival
    Milwaukee, WI
    September 9, 2017
  • Milwaukee Women's Film Festival
    Milwaukee, WI
    September 9, 2017
    Best Screenplay Short
  • Oak Park Film Festival
    Oak Park, IL
    September 16, 2017
  • Twisted Oyster Film Festival
    Chicago, IL
    October 21, 2017
  • Tally Shorts
    Tallahassee, FL
    January 26, 2018
  • Mondo Cult Variety Showcase
    Los Angeles, CA
    April 27, 2019
  • Bechdel Film Festival
    Akron, OH
    May 30, 2019
  • Autobahn Tour by STUFF MX
    Latin American Premiere
Distribution Information
  • TruIndie
    Country: United States
    Rights: Video on Demand
Director Biography - Shayna Connelly

Shayna Connelly’s work explores hauntings, liminality and the boundaries between documentary, experimental and fiction filmmaking. Her films have screened at Sunderland Shorts, Toronto Short Film Festival, Big Sky Documentary, San Francisco Doc, CIMMfest, Chicago Feminist, Stranger Without a Face, Big Muddy, Columbus International, Breckenridge, Charlotte International, Crossroads, Chicago Underground, Sydney Underground, San Diego Underground, Oak Cliff, Brooklyn Film Festival, Bushwick Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival and Athens International among others. Newcity Magazine named her one of Chicago's 50 Screen Gems of 2016.

Contact information:
Shayna Connelly
773-858-7310 | shaynacon@gmail.com
1150 S. Ridgeland Ave, Oak Park, IL 60304

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

In 2012 my lifelong friend Anne died of leukemia. The night she passed away I went out to garden after I could no longer sit still waiting for the phone to ring with the news. The only light I had was from the motion detector lights, which kept switching off. I wrote the script several months later and got in touch with the band REM to see if I could get the rights to their song 'Gardening At Night' for the film. Through a friend I was able to get the script to the band and they agreed to allow me to use the song. When I went to make the deal with their the record company, I was told the title of my film could not be the title of their song. I protested, saying that the only action in the film was gardening at night and this was based on autobiography, not the song. They conceded and allowed me to use it. During editing it was clear that the song's pace was too fast and the effect was too jarring in the end credits. Instead I chose a recording of the real Anne telling what she was grateful for during her hospital stay. The original sound recording was too compressed to use, so I transcribed it and had the actress playing Anne in the film recite it. She embodies Anne and gives a haunting performance throughout.