Experiencing Interruptions?

On The Whistle

A suburban basketball star struggles to impress the uncompromising coach at his new inner-city school.

  • TJ Noel-Sullivan
    Good Sam, Expectations
  • TJ Noel-Sullivan
    Good Sam, Expectations
  • Erik Bloomquist
    Long Lost, The Cobblestone Corridor
  • Danny Johnson
    Key Cast
    "Coach Weaver"
    Luke Cage, Pose, For Life
  • Aidan Peluso
    Key Cast
    "Luke Adley"
    A Crime to Remember
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Sports, Drama
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    April 18, 2020
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital (ARRI)
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - TJ Noel-Sullivan

TJ Noel-Sullivan is a native of Hartford, CT, and actually attended the high school that served as the primary location for On The Whistle. He was excited by the opportunity to return to his roots for this project, as much of its success is thanks to the support of the community. Nearly all of the extras in the film are played by his friends from high school, and most of the food and lodging for crew were donated by friends and family. TJ was raised by two public school educators, and played basketball through high school. He graduates from Yale in May 2020, and is currently developing a feature length version of the script.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I’ve always been obsessed with films that use small, personal stories to explore big ideas and discussions. From the outside, the stakes of a high school basketball tryout are low, but for a 17 year old basketball player those two days mean everything, and that was a feeling I wanted to capture on screen. Alongside that, there’s been a lot of discussion in Connecticut, and around the country, about the importance of diverse teaching staffs. In many Connecticut suburbs, including the one Luke attends in this fictional world, white students will graduate high school never having had a teacher or administrator of color. One of the things I wanted to explore with this story is how that lack of authority figures of color factors into things like white entitlement and white privilege.