a corner for august

August Stevens, a college student transferring to a new campus, relearns how to connect in a digital age.

  • Janjay Knowlden
    Director
  • Sofia Fey
    Writer
    He Follows
  • Luke Worland
    Writer
  • Janjay Knowlden
    Producer
  • Ryan Luzzo
    Key Cast
  • Nic Morse
    Director of Photography
  • Michael Gutzmer
    1st Assistant Director
  • Project Type:
    Short
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes 47 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 15, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    100 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
  • New Art Film Festival
    Champaign, IL
    United States
    October 29, 2017
    North American Premiere
Director Biography - Janjay Knowlden

Born and raised in Champaign IL, Janjay Knowlden is a 2017 BFA graduate from the University of Illinois. During his time at UIUC, Janjay received his BFA in Acting while performing in stage, screen, and voiceover roles.

Janjay is currently the executive producer of film production company Protagonist Pizza Productions. PPP plans to expand in content production and team members in Champaign, Urbana, Savoy, and Chicago in the near future.

He recently closed his first run at Urbana’s Station Theatre in the US Premiere of Tom Basden's Party, playing Duncan. Janjay also looks forward to directing the next Protagonist Pizza Production, Delivered.

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Director Statement

In the summer of 2017, Sofia Fey, a friend and colleague, approached me about a script that she was writing. It would be a story with no dialogue, detailing a college student’s search for balance between pleasing others and pleasing oneself. Being a recent graduate myself, I understood this search for balance. I’d also wondered how to maintain my sense of self while also keeping healthy relationships with my work and social life. Needless to say, I was intrigued.

At that point in my life, I’d doubted whether or not I was meant to continue along the path I had walked most of my life: acting and creating characters. I was nearing the end of my senior year of college/acting school, still reeling from the recent discovery of my mom falling ill. “Why the hell am I in acting school? Why am I not spending time with my mom?” With this discovery combined with the heightening pressures to be the best artist I could be, I felt like the rope in a very intense bout of tug-o-war: my mother’s illness pulling me one way, the increasing pressures to commit myself to the craft of acting pulling another. In this complicated game, I struggled to find the space for myself.

About a week later, Sofia sent me the script. I read it. Then I reread it. Then I reread it again. I was immediately hooked. I saw the tension between pleasing yourself and pleasing others that I had recently experienced. I saw August discover his corner for himself within himself, something I’d longed to do myself. I then began to wonder how many other people were feeling the way I felt. How many students were longing to reconnect with their families and loved ones? I knew I had to make this project.

It is my sincere hope that students can relate to A Corner For August in several ways. For one, this is my first time directing a short film. I found that the best way to learn this new form of storytelling was to jump in and immerse myself in the craft, similar to August’s discovery in the film. Secondly, students are constantly in a state of transition: from home to a new campus, from old school to new school, from social circle to profession and back again. Even the older, experienced students who find their beloved school transitioning around them. In all of these situations, it is important to find a corner for yourself. I hope this film encourages people to do that.