Private Project

An Invitation to Tea

A disheartened Millennial is encouraged to reconnect with the magical stories of her youth when she returns to her childhood home after the death of her grandfather.

  • Desiree Abeyta
    *First Time Director
  • Claudia Murdoch
    The Invaders, Imitation Girl, Time is the Longest Distance, Cacaya
  • Desiree Abeyta
  • Jennifer Diamond
  • Christopher Shyer
    Key Cast
    The Night Agent, J. Edgar (w/Leonardo DiCaprio), Madame Secretary, The Blacklist, Blue Bloods, V,
  • Jaimi Paige
    Key Cast
    Control, Desolation, Criminal Minds, Rizzoli & Isles, The Mentalist, A Mermaid's Tale, Ghost Whisperer
  • Maddiekaye Harris
    Key Cast
    "Young Laura"
  • Desiree Abeyta
  • Angelique Gray
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Fantasy, Magical Realism, Drama, Family
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes 7 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 1, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    25,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, Red
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • London Indie Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    March 1, 2021
    Best Fantasy Film
  • Reale Film Festival
    Bi-Monthly online
    March 26, 2021
    Best Sci/Fi Fantasy Film
  • Blackbird Film Festival
    United States
    June 21, 2021
    Audience Choice Award
  • New York Indie Shorts Awards
    New York
    United States
    September 21, 2021
    Honorable Mention: Best Director
  • Juggernaut Fantasy Film Festival
    United States
    November 5, 2021
    Female Filmmaker Award
  • Flickfair Festival
    United States
    March 26, 2021
  • Rome International Film Festival
    Rome, GA
    United States
    November 13, 2021
  • Hot Springs International Women's Festival
    Hot Springs, AR
    United States
    April 23, 2021
Director Biography - Desiree Abeyta

Desirée is a Telly Award Winning Hispanic Creative born and raised in Las Vegas, NV (yes, hard to believe, people are actually born there). A graduate of the Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts, Desirée also has a BA in Theater Performance from UNLV’s Nevada Conservatory Theatre Program. She starred across from Billy Baldwin and Denise Richards in the film “Christmas Trade” before transitioning successfully from in front of the camera to behind. Desirée has since made a living working in multiple aspects of the production world. She has produced and/or production coordinated for a variety of media such as: promotional content for large brands (Google, Macy’s, PepsiCo, Dunkin’ Donuts), music videos/events for notable artists (Beyoncé, Post Malone, Magic!, Steph Sexton, Jacob Whitesides), and award winning narrative work (Not It!, FabUless).

With her true passion set on Directing, Desirée is a strong visual artist described as “magical, yet relatable”. She is known for exploring social and feminist themes through a hopeful lens. Her short film, An Invitation to Tea (Desirée's first venture into filmmaking as a writer/director), was one of 5 recipients of the “Inwood Artworks Filmmaker Grant”. She went on to direct the controversial short film ANNE, which continues to screen around the world and was in consideration for a 2023 Best Live Action Short nomination. Returning to her magical realism roots, she has recently completed her third short film, BEYOND THE FOG, thanks to a production grant via the South Carolina Film Commission.

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Director Statement

Pulling from magical realist films such as Pan's Labyrinth & Big Fish, An Invitation to Tea asks the question: "Do the stories we are told as children contradict the "real world" we live in as adults? Or does the world we live in as adults simply no longer apply the lessons/stories we are told as children?" Most films we see in this genre have a young protagonist. It is widely accepted that children are innocent and given permission to create alternative realities to their own as coping mechanisms and coming of age/learning experiences. I believe this is because, as adults, our ability to imagine circumstances beyond the ones we have experienced becomes more and more limited. This film gives permission for an adult woman to have a magical experience in an effort to deal with life's many hardships. In doing so, she is given the opportunity to reconnect to the part of her that once believed in what was possible before the world told her it wasn't.

While this story is very personal to me, I believe the struggle is universal. I don't know of a single person who doesn't know what it is to feel lost (angry/betrayed/confused) when the world you experience contradicts the world you were taught to believe in. However, it is my goal as a filmmaker (and specifically with this film) to leave viewers with the knowledge that the choice to stay open to magic, in all its various forms, is truly within us all.