Private Project


A lonely nine year old boy wants to save his mom from his abusive father, but he feels powerless in the middle of all the fighting until...

  • Michelle J Tang
  • Michelle Tang
  • Michelle Tang
  • Reid Richards
    Key Cast
  • Cameron Pillitteri
    Key Cast
  • Hanna Gaffney
    Key Cast
  • James Rappa
    Key Cast
  • Ben Solasky
  • Emmit Fenn
  • Savfk
  • Ross Bugden
  • Chris Omar
  • Michelle Tang
    Sound Designer
  • Rose Notch
    Sound Designer
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 59 seconds
  • Production Budget:
    2,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Metuchen High School
  • DC Indie Film Festival
    Washington DC
    United States
    February 26, 2022
    World Premiere
    High School Nominee
  • Garden State Film Festival
    Asbury Park
    United States
    March 26, 2022
    NJ Premiere
    Best Home Grown Drama Short (Student)
  • Scholastic Art and Writing Awards
    South Jersey
    United States
    May 20, 2022
    Museum Exhibition in May
    Gold Key; American Visions Award
  • Fastnet Film Festival

    Official Selection
  • Film Now Film Festival

    United States
    April 24, 2022
    Finalist (Top 3)
  • Brightside Tavern Film Festival
    Jersey City
    February 26, 2022
    Best Film, Rising Star Award, Best Ensemble
  • Sun Valley Film Festival

    Honorable Mention
  • Barrymore Film Center Film Festival
    Fort Lee
    First Prize student Film
Director Biography - Michelle J Tang

Michelle Tang is a 17 year old filmmaker (16 at the time of production) from Metuchen, NJ. She started filmmaking in 8th grade and hasn’t looked back. As one of a few filmmakers at her school, Tang entered film festivals to meet others who were as passionate about production as she was. Aside from film, Michelle loves science, her pets (Irma + Nugget), and food! Next year, she will be studying Film Production and Psychology at Princeton University.

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Director Statement

I often wonder: How does a child's environment affect their mental state and development? As a director, I enjoy exploring this concept within my films. "Hunter" was first inspired by a friend who was trapped in a home of domestic violence. She loved her parents and did not want to leave them, so she never tried to get out. I felt bad for her, but never understood just how scary domestic violence could be until I witnessed a situation myself. I froze. For weeks, I felt guilty for not acting. The fear and uncertainty that I experienced in that moment allowed me to get a glimpse into what my friend’s life was like. Her strength inspired me to explore such a family dynamic in my film. With this issue in mind, the plot of “Hunter” was also sparked by a moral ambiguity that I came across in a few news articles. Though the cases looked fairly similar, the court rulings varied, but they all stirred an uproar. The conflicting views piqued my interest.

Through “Hunter," I also aimed to explore the links between different roles in a toxic family and how they affect a child: the abusive father plagued with addiction issues, the emotionally exhausted and neglectful mother, and the overwhelmed brother who acts as the glue of the family. The film displays the complex power dynamic that arises in an abusive family. As a child, I remember wanting to grow up so badly so that I could have more power and freedom. While everyone in his family deals with conflicts, Hunter is left behind, feeling weak and helpless when he wants to be powerful. He blames Tate for halting his involvement. And so, shooting the gun empowers Hunter not only because of the gun’s deadly nature, but also because it is an act of rebellion against Tate.

Though the abusive father and the gun drive the plot, at its core, “Hunter” is about the powerful bond that siblings form to survive in an abusive family and the effect of the weakening of that bond. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you enjoy watching “Hunter.”