Suburban Fantasy

Tonight is the last night for Rocco in his Rhode Island hometown before leaving to study photography in New York, and he and his girlfriend Sofia have decided that they will continue dating in a long distance relationship. But as the night drags on, Rocco begins to second guess what he really wants - is he willing to give up everything that he's ever known in order to follow his dreams? Through music, Rocco's struggle comes to life around him, making this choice all the more real and terrifying.

  • Peter Mancuso
  • Peter Mancuso
  • Peter Mancuso
  • Sabeen Shalwani
  • Harvey Kingsley-Elton
    Director of Photography
  • Jade Genga
  • Trevor Moore
  • Timmy Beckmann
  • Andrew Boone
    Key Cast
  • Kylie Cipolla
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    28 minutes 40 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 24, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - New York University's Tisch School of the Arts
  • New Media Film Festival
    Los Angeles, CA
    United States
    June 2, 2022
    World Premiere
  • Long Island International Film Expo
    Bellmore, NY
    United States
    July 13, 2022
    New York State Premiere
  • Festival of Cinema NYC
    Forest Hills, NY
    United States
    August 11, 2022
    New York City Premiere
  • In the Cut Film Festival
    Jersey City, NJ
    United States
    September 28, 2022
    New Jersey Premiere
    Best Musical Film, Best Acting Duo
  • Revolution Me Film Festival
    Brooklyn, NY
    United States
    September 30, 2022
    Brooklyn Premiere
  • Indepedent-Star Filmfest
    Freising, Bavaria
    October 9, 2022
    European Premiere
  • Poulsbo Film Festival
    Poulsbo, WA
    United States
    October 15, 2022
    Washington State Premiere
  • First Run Film Festival
    New York, NY
    United States
    October 22, 2022
    Manhattan Premiere
  • Borrego Springs Film Festival
    Borrego Springs, CA
    United States
    January 16, 2023
    San Diego Premiere
  • World Music & Independent Film Festival
    Herndon, VA
    United States
    March 31, 2023
    Virgina Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Beeston Film Festival
    Beeston, Nottingham
    United Kingdom
    April 13, 2023
    British Premiere
    Best Sound Track & Design Nomination
  • Boston Film Festival

    September 23, 2022
    Selection for Online Festival
  • New York City Film & Television Festival

  • Dumbo Film Festival

  • Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival

  • Blow-Up Arthouse Film Festival

  • Moody Crab Film Fest

    Official Selection
  • Symbiotic Film Festival

    Official Selection
  • Iconic Images Film Festival

    Official Selection
  • NexGn International Short Film Festival

    Best Director of Photography (Harvey Kingsley-Elton), Best Editor (Timmy Beckmann)
  • Amazing Shorts & Movies! Film Festival

    Best Actor in Medium-Length Film (Andrew Boone), Best Actress in Medium-Length Film (Kylie Cipolla), Best Editing in Medium-Length Film (Timmy Beckmann), Best Sound in Medium-Length Film (Jairo Daniel García, J.L. Wright)
  • Stafford Film Festival

  • Buzz Vicious Film Festival

    Best Direction for Short Film (Peter Mancuso)
  • Reels International Film Festival

  • Portugal International Film Festival

    Official Selection
  • Germany International Film Festival

    Honorable Mention
  • London International Film Festival

    Special Jury Award
  • Italy International Film Festival

    Official Selection
  • Spain International Film Festival

    Special Jury Award
  • Blackbird Film Festival

    Honorable Mention
  • Canada Independent Film Festival

    Official Selection
  • Film Festival of Mumbai

    Award Winner
  • SounDance Film Festival

    Finalist for Fiction-Drama, Actor (Andrew Boone), and Script (Peter Mancuso)
  • Los Angeles Core Independent Film Festival

    Best Student Film Short
Director Biography - Peter Mancuso

Peter Mancuso is a filmmaker and producer from Rhode Island currently based in Jackson Heights, NY. After writing and directing several short plays in high school, he moved to New York and received his BFA in Film & Television from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, with minors in both Producing and Business. While writing and directing his own films, he spent much of his time in college producing other students' projects totaling about a dozen in just under two years. His education and experience culminated with his thesis film "Suburban Fantasy," a semi-autobiographical film about leaving home to follow your dreams.

Since graduation, Mancuso's career experiences have run the gamut of the industry. Before the pandemic, Mancuso worked as an intern at Scott Rudin Productions while simultaneously working as an Assistant Production Coordinator for Simba Productions, a small video service production company. In the past year, Mancuso has shifted to focusing more on script consultation with clients like writer/director Elegance Bratton and producer Valerie Steinberg. For most of 2023, he served as the Video Production Manager for Cicatelli Associates, Inc., a non-profit that creates instructional material for the public health workforce. His main role was project management, coordinating video projects between funders like the Center for Disease Control, external video vendors, and internal interdepartmental project teams.

In 2021, Mancuso founded The New Artist Workshop, an independent development and production company built for the changing landscapes of the arts and entertainment industries. Providing a legal framework to continue his consultation work and commercial video production, it has also allowed him develop and produce not only his own projects but that of other rising artists across various mediums looking for a collaborator to guide them and help them to manifest their vision.

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Director Statement

Musicals and film have a strange relationship; at one time, they were the dominant genre of Hollywood and were the blockbusters of their day. Now they are relegated to campy Broadway adaptations or Oscar bait films. While these approaches aren't inherently bad, there's been a huge missed opportunity in exploring the efficacy of the musical film as a genre. What are the things that a musical film can do that a stage musical or regular film can't do?

I spent most of my time involved with high school theater, and this experience taught me just how effective musical storytelling can really be in bringing an emotional reality to life for an audience. And when I left my home in Rhode Island to study filmmaking in New York, my emotional reality was overwhelming and complicated.

Suburban Fantasy is my passion project and a thesis film in the truest sense of the word - an experiment to test the limits of the musical film in the modern age. The music in this film is far from Singin' in the Rain or Mary Poppins, owing much of its existence to pop punk bands like Modern Baseball and the Front Bottoms. These artists and their music capture what it feels like to "come of age," and a musical in this genre is the perfect avenue to tell this story. In a musical, people break out into song when they have so much pent-up emotion that they can't possibly express themselves with words...well, who has more pent-up emotion than a teenager about to leave his hometown to follow his dreams?

Whatever your life experience or your taste in music or film is, I hope that this film can at least entertain you for the duration of its runtime. But if you can relate to Rocco's journey, then I hope that this film can speak to you and that it can speak for all of us who have had to give up the things that we loved most to make our dreams a reality.