In Bloom

Lily longs to turn her romantic dreams into a reality while taking shelter with her traveling companion, May, amid a snowy 1890s Utah frontier.

  • Kylie Mungenast
  • Kylie Mungenast
  • Kylie Mungenast
  • Julia Mason
    Key Cast
  • Destiny Greer
    Key Cast
  • Aaron Walker
    Executive Producer
  • Rose Caltrider
    Director of Photography
  • Dan Westcott
    16mm Cinematography
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Western, Revisionist Western, Romance
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes 52 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 2, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    RED, 16mm
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - University of Tampa
  • Boston Short Film Festival
    Boston, MA
    United States
    July 12, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Snow Leopard International Film Festival
    April 9, 2022
    Best LGBTQ+ Film
  • Gasparilla International Film Festival
    Tampa, Florida
    United States
    March 12, 2022
    Official Selection: Highlighting the University of Tampa
  • Almería Western Film Festival
    Tabernas, Almería
    October 10, 2021
    International Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Black Box Film Festival
    Tampa, Florida
    United States
    May 4, 2021
    North American Premiere
    Best Celluloid Narrative
Director Biography - Kylie Mungenast

K. M. Mungenast is a trans feminine screenwriter, director, and producer. In 2021, Mungenast graduated from the University of Tampa College of Arts and Letters with a BFA in Film and Media Arts. Her undergraduate thesis, In Bloom, was an official selection in the XI Almería Western Film Festival in Tabernas, Spain.

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Director Statement

In Bloom is my calling.

In my spiritual journey of searching for my soul through cinema, no genre has quite been as meaningful to me as the western. Yet at the core of the frontier myth lies the heterosexulization of gender non-conforming women, and because of this I have never seen the western I've always wanted to see.

My dream feature film follows a school teacher named Lily who travels to Bannack, Montana to take up homestead with a former female companion. When she arrives to her disappearance, her gaze begins to shift toward a loner cooped up in a ranch on the outskirts of town: May.

As my undergraduate thesis undertaking, I selected my favorite moment from In Bloom and set out with my fellow collaborators to start exploring the essence of these characters. Through hand-processed 16mm film, Lily’s dream is a tight 4:3 black & white box waiting to burst, but rather into a traditional western cinemascope, it instead explodes into full digital color picture to manifest a nuanced, complex grasping of her emotions which transcend the gendered constructs of the period which have forever repressed her until this one intimately vulnerable moment.