AMERICAN CHERRY

A teenage boy with a fascination for suicide meets an impressionable young girl in their small-town middle America.
They embark on a true romance as he tries to protect her, from her dysfunctional family. He makes her a video diary that confesses an intricate story of love, mental illness, and the tragic consequences if left untreated.

  • TARYN SIMS (p.g.a)
    Producer
    ONLY FOR ONE NIGHT
  • HANNA GRIFFITHS (p.g.a)
    Producer
    THE SINNERS
  • GEOFFREY GOODMAN
    Producer
    MINDHUNTERS
  • JEFF WALD
    Producer
    TWO DAYS IN THE VALLEY
  • MARCELLA CYTRYNOWICZ
    Director
  • MARCELLA CYTRYNOWICZ
    Writer
  • HART DENTON
    Key Cast
    “FINN ELLIOT”
    RIVERDALE
  • SARAH MAY SOMMERS
    Key Cast
    “ELIZA STEIN”
    ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD
  • LEONOR VARELA
    Key Cast
    “LOUISE STEIN”
    CLEOPATRA
  • LARSEN THOMPSON
    Key Cast
    “SASHA ”
    PEARL
  • MATTY CARDAROPLE
    Key Cast
    “CLAY ELLIOT ”
    STRANGER THINGS
  • HANNA GRIFFITHS
    Key Cast
    “EVE ELLIOT ”
    THE SINNERS
  • JOHN HONEY
    Key Cast
    “DALE HOFFMAN ”
    THE VIEL
  • VALENTINA CYTRYNOWICZ
    Key Cast
    “RUBY ”
    THE FOUR
  • ISABELLA HUNTER
    Key Cast
    “AVA ”
  • BRIE-AZSA LAWRENCE
    Key Cast
    “CLAUDIA”
  • AVA TORRES
    Key Cast
    “YOUNG ELIZA ”
    THE CURE GAME
  • AUDREY HOLCOMB
    Key Cast
    “CORINNA ”
    MURDER CALLS
  • Project Type:
    Feature
  • Genres:
    TEEN ROMANCE, DRAMA, psychologicalthriller
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 28 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    February 19, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    35mm
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16.9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
Distribution Information
  • UNTITLED ENTERTAINMENT
    Sales Agent
    Country: Worldwide
Director Biography - MARCELLA CYTRYNOWICZ

Marcella Cytrynowicz graduated in 2017 from USC with a B.F.A. in Writing for Screen and Television. Since graduating, she has directed, and editing music videos and commercial content for clients such as Snoop Dogg, JOYRICH, Capitol Records, Yellow Claw, Happy Socks, and Nike. 'American Cherry' is her feature film debut.

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Director Statement


American Cherry

The film will be shot on 35mm, emphasising color and texture. The camera will always be both still and in motion, accentuating the point that although it’s a small dead-end town, there is still motion from the emotions of the characters and in larger context, the motion of the earth rotating. Meaning that there’s something bigger out there, drawing the characters away.  The production design will be old-fashioned in style, these are outdated homes still in the embrace of the 90s/early 2000s. The styling will be bolder and more colourful, showing a further difference in the characters in relation to their surroundings. The score; electronic interwoven with eerie duets of electric guitar, will completely contrast the dull tones of suburbia and entrapment.
We follow Eliza, who lives in a small town with her mom, Louise, recently separated from Eliza’s step father Dale, due to her refusal to take medication for her mental illness. An unfit mother, she constantly rejects Eliza, making it clear that she prefers Corinna, Eliza’s stepsister. Corinna, tries really hard to maintain a good relationship with Eliza. Since they grew up together, she sees Eliza as family. But Eliza cannot reciprocate this feeling since being made to move out. Finn, lives across the street from Eliza. He has a bad reputation in town for having been kicked out of high school for trying to assault his English teacher. Because Eliza is living already in her own dark world, having to deal with being more of a parent than a daughter to Louise, and having developed a reputation in school of being antisocial, she feels a natural bond to Finn. Attracted to his nihilism, and the fact that he lives alone, Eliza starts to spend most of her time with him. Finn, in turn, shares his world with her. He constantly films on an old video-camera, and tells Eliza he is making a documentary about life and death. He brings her to a clearing, his own special getaway from town. This clearing becomes their sanctuary and they start to fall in love. Eliza reaches her breaking point and plans escape from town.
Finn, who sees himself at this point as Eliza’s protector, and having heard stories of Louise’s failures as a mother, takes it upon himself to become judge and executioner. Corinna and her friends convince Eliza to go to the school dance that night, hoping it will make her feel better. She agrees begrudgingly, and Finn joins her. He confesses because he loves her. She realises that she loves him, too. They sleep together for the first time, after which Finn confesses everything: the death of his parents and Louise are on his hands. Eliza leaves him, whereupon Finn takes his own life. Eliza watches Finn’s home videos. She realises that he wasn’t obsessed by death, he was obsessed with her.