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
    J. Edgar, Madame Secretary, The Blacklist, Blue Bloods, V, Fierce People
  • 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:
    14 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 31, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    25,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Charlotte Film Festival 2020
    United States
    September 24, 2020
    World Premiere
    Audience Choice Award: Best Narrative Short
  • Accolade Film Competition 2020
    United States
    October 1, 2020
    Award of Excellence: Women Filmmakers
  • YoFi Fest 2020
    United States
    November 7, 2020
    East Coast Premiere
  • FlickFair 2021
    United States
    March 1, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Indie Shorts Awards NYC
    New York
    United States
    March 27, 2021
    Honorable Mention "Best First Time Filmmaker"
Director Biography - Desiree Abeyta

Desiree 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, Desiree 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. Desiree 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). And to round out her ever growing skill set, Desiree started her production career in post production as an editor.

With her true passion set on Directing, Desiree is a strong visual artist described as “magical, yet relatable”. She is drawn to stories that expose the harsh realities of life while still presenting a nugget of hope. Desiree has a deep seated love for films with heightened realities/fantastical components and is actively striving to make her voice known in the world of Magical Realism. Her short film, An Invitation to Tea (Desiree's first venture into filmmaking as a writer/director), was one of 5 recipients of the “Inwood Artworks Filmmaker Grant”. She is based in NY with her spouse and pug, Lucy.

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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. But adults being given that same permission without being deemed "crazy" is rare. 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 (without worrying that she has "gone crazy") 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.