Oakdale, 1959

In a sleepy suburb in 1959, Chuck learns that his life may not be as Rockwellian as it may appear. He discovers that his mother has committed suicide, and that society demands that some tragedies be kept in the dark.

  • Josh Garvin
    Director
  • Josh Garvin
    Writer
  • Katie Sponseller
    Producer
  • Ryker Baloun
    Key Cast
    "Chuck"
  • Terry Kaye
    Key Cast
    "Mrs. Wallace"
  • Matthew Keirn
    Key Cast
    "Mr. Wallace"
  • Project Type:
    Short
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes 53 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 31, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Arri Alexa Mini
  • Aspect Ratio:
    2.39:1
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography - Josh Garvin

I was raised by an older dad on John Ford and Howard Hawks. I was the only 5-year-old I knew who's favorite movie was "Babes in Toyland," the only 10-year-old who loved "The Searchers." When i went to grad school, I realized that every major interest I had in my life can be traced back to a movie. Hell, my (entirely useful) philosophy degree is thanks to watching "Dogma" in jr. high school. Filmmaking was an inevitability.

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Director Statement

My life has been shaped by the mental illnesses of people close to me, as well as my own struggles. My most recent projects have been about centering those stories in an effort to tell the people closest to me that I see them, and that I love them.

We sometimes like to act as if the stigmas that surround mental illnesses are things of the past. But even if there aren't angry townsfolk on the streets ringing bells and shouting "Shame, Shame" at you, sometimes one's own internal gatekeeper is more cruel than anyone else could ever be.

Too often, our own biases about mental illness are buried so deeply, we don't even realize that they're there. How many psychologist's offices, for example, are still in hole-in-the-wall buildings a few blocks from Main Street? With semi-hidden entrances so you can keep out of sight. Mine is like that.

The concept of needing to seek out help can feel utterly repellent - even to me, and I know better. There is no seeming failure more intimate, more embarrassing, more painful than losing the ability to regulate one's own mind.

So you ignore it; you put on a mask and pretend everything is fine. And then, when it gets so bad you can barely breathe, you want to hole up in a cave and never come out again.

But that's not living. Sometimes, you need help, and that's okay.

Oakdale, 1959 is a film about how neither pretending everything is fine nor hiding away is a real long term solution. In fact, either can lead to some truly tragic consequences.