Isle of Hope

Victoria (Mary Stuart Masterson) is a university professor with a grudge against her self-absorbed mother, the famed actress Carmen Crawford (Diane Ladd), for crushing her dreams of becoming a playwright.

When Carmen suffers a life-threatening stroke and wakes up thinking she is living 15 years in the past, Victoria is given a unique opportunity to figure out where her life went off track and reconcile her relationship with her mother.

  • Damian Romay
    Romantic Rewrite, My Teacher, My Obsession, A Taste of Christmas, Nobody Will Believe You, South Beach Love, Sinister Seduction
  • Damian Romay
    Below The Surface, Purge of Kingdoms, Pregnant and Alone
  • Omar Romay
  • Diane Ladd
    Key Cast
    Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Rambling Rose, Alice, Wild At Heart
  • Mary Stuart Masterson
    Key Cast
    At Close Range, Some Kind of Wonderful, Chances Are, Fried Green Tomatoes
  • Andrew McCarthy
    Key Cast
    St. Elmo's Fire, Pretty in Pink, Orange is the New Black
  • Sam Robards
    Key Cast
    AI Artificial Intelligence, American Beauty
  • Jessica Lynne Wallace
    Key Cast
  • Juan Hernández
    Killer Cove, Her Worst Nightmare, My Teacher My Obsession
  • Steven Nevius
    The Magicians
  • Leo Sujatovich
    The Aereal
  • Cinema Collet
    Festival Strategist
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 36 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    November 30, 2022
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    ProRes 4444
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Damian Romay

Damian Romay is an Argentinean American film and television writer, producer, and director. He graduated from the University of Southern California's film school with a master's degree in screenwriting. His work has participated in many film festivals worldwide and has been recognized with the Jack Nicholson Directing Scholarship, The Best Story for a Motion Picture award in LALIFF, the ABC/Disney writing fellowship, and a regional Emmy for writing and directing. In 2015 Damian founded Sunshine Films, a film and television production company based in Florida. He is best known for producing, writing, and directing TV movies and independent feature films.

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Director Statement

Words hurt. Words heal. Words matter. Especially when they come from someone we love and admire, like a parent.

It was a Sunday afternoon when my father, who introduced me to the love of film, called me and asked me to watch the play “Dias Contados” by Oscar Martinez. The play was a sort of one-woman show where the lead character, an actress played by Cecilia Roth, talked about her complicated relationship with her mother.

As a third-generation storyteller, I could identify with the character’s struggle, and I immediately understood why it spoke to him too. That never-ending desire to see the pride in your father’s eyes is a longing we both know too well. As a producer, he has always lived in the shadow of my grandfather, Alejandro Romay, an iconic figure in the entertainment industry in our native Argentina.

When he requested that I adapt the play into a feature film in English, the prospect was terrifying. It meant not only having to collaborate with a producer who I knew to be, at times, overbearing and stubborn but also having to deal with the fear of not living up to my own father’s expectations. To add to all that, the story was a personal drama. The type of story that hit its peak of success in the late 70’sand early 80’s but that no one produced anymore. No explosions, no violence, no sex, no politics. It wasn’t edgy or new. I thought, “How will he ever recover the investment it will take to make this?” But also, knowing how strong-willed he is, I knew that if I didn’t do it, he would find someone else who would.

So I decided to face my fears and dig deep into my feelings to write it. I added a third act to the script to find a resolution where the mother and daughter say to each other the things I believe every son, daughter, mother, and father would like to hear.

When our casting director, Judy Henderson, managed to get the brilliant Diane Ladd to read the script, she became a champion of the project and me. Diane and I developed a strong bond, and our creative collaboration was something I have never experienced before.

Later, Mary Stuart Masterson, Andrew McCarthy, and Sam Robards came on board as well, and their ideas and talent made the movie even better than I could have hoped.

With a very tight schedule, budget, and a great group of collaborators, I believe we were able to make a movie that the world needs today. A movie about real human beings dealing with everyday problems and finding a way to heal. A film I believe my grandfather would have been proud of.

I hope that the journey of the characters in “Isle of Hope” can in some way inspire audiences and encourage them to have that difficult conversation with their parents or children that they’ve been holding off for a time that might not come.