Private Project


Jennifer, an independent designer disappointed in her stalled relationship and career, discovers a surreal mashup videotape, labeled "Meme," among a friend's VHS collection. She goes in search of Meme's creator, tracking down people who appear on the tape to gain greater insight into what it is and why it exists. As she pursues the creator of the tape she takes greater control of other aspects of her life including her relationship, difficult clients, and a drinking problem that increasingly interferes with her life.

  • Sean Mannion
    Abel and Cain, Time Signature
  • Sean Mannion
    Abel and Cain, Time Signature
  • Carolyn Maher
    Trichster, Time Signature
  • Sarah Schoofs
    Key Cast
    Gut, Phobia, Ayla
  • Shivantha Wijesinha
    Key Cast
    Like a Boss, Callback
  • Kitty Ostapowicz
    Key Cast
    Time Signature, Happenstance
  • Chaz Cleveland
    Key Cast
  • Lauren A. Kennedy
    Key Cast
    Summit, 1961, Kelsey: The Series
  • Rory Lipede
    Key Cast
    The Redemption Project, Cross Training
  • Tara Cioletti
    Key Cast
    "Dr. Danielle Blackmore"
    Abel and Cain, Time Signature
  • Matthew Addison
    Key Cast
    Imagine I'm Beautiful, Sleepwalkers, Time Signature
  • June Dare
    Key Cast
    Brother's Keeper, Mosaic 33, The Eighth Day
  • Alex Bone
    Key Cast
    Abel and Cain, Devotion
  • Peter Westervelt
    About a Donkey, Kelsy: The Series, Time Signature
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Surreal
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 27 minutes 50 seconds
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Art of Brooklyn Film Festival
    Brooklyn, NY
    United States
    June 9, 2018
    World Premiere
    Outstanding Narrative Feature
Director Biography - Sean Mannion

Sean Mannion is a writer/director/producer based out of Brooklyn, New York. Sean grew up in Anchorage, Alaska where he built his appreciation for film browsing the shelves of the local video rental stores. As founder of the 4MileCircus production company he has been creating narrative, surreal non-narrative, and documentary short form content for almost a decade. Meme is his first feature film project.

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Director Statement

Meme began when I walked out of a screening of Harmony Korrine's Spring Breakers in early 2013. I was inspired not by the content of the film, but by it's form and what I saw as an interesting approach to reinforcing the drama of a film with a nonlinear approach to editing. It wasn't the first time I'd seen this approach, Soderbergh's The Limey had also struck me in this way years earlier.

This formal approach sat in the back of my mind for several days as other pieces began to fall into place. Much like Meme's protagonist, Jennifer, I began to assemble Meme from the pieces of my life. An outline for sequel to Cronenberg's Videodrome I'd assembled just for fun, my experience meeting collectors of VHS tapes at a Halloween event just a few years earlier, the frustrations of being a freelancer, the bizarre dehumanizing behavior of corporate clients, struggles with self-medicating with alcohol, fringe science, viral ideas, and the tension between authorial intent and audience experience that had fascinated me through my Bachelor's Degree in literature.

What ultimately came together and slowly evolved through these influences and further influences is a film that embraces a chaotic view of experience and questions the value of authorial intent in favor of audience reaction and action.

Through the film Jennifer transforms from a woman shyly accepting her lot in life to one who in fits and starts stands up for herself and takes charge of the direction of her life. It is a film about relationships: relationships with our lovers, with our friends, with our employers, and our relationships with our ideas. It embraces these relationships as fluid and understands that even when they don't go as we'd prefer, they can still be positive.

The experience I'm trying to communicate in this film is that of a time when someone makes the choice to change their life. It is never as simple as deciding to make a change and it is never just one thing that changes when the choice is made. The experience is messy and it can be hard to figure out exactly when it started and sometimes even what the sequence of events was. It was my desire to capture this in the form of the film, reflecting what I'd experienced in the aforementioned Spring Breakers and The Limey. The film presents events not with a temporal progression but an emotional one. It is a film about making the messy choices that are necessary to change.