Sundown is a coming-of-age thriller short about Mikey, a young boy from Baltimore, and the lifelong consequences of disobeying his mother and staying out too late one night.

One night, while Mikey and his mother are moving out of their Baltimore home, they get into an argument regarding their family's past. After the dispute, Mikey's mother leaves the apartment, but not before warning him not to stay out past sunset. Mikey ultimately ignores her and returns home to a visit from a Creature that haunts him through his young adulthood.

As a child, Mikey has his whole life ahead of him. As an adult, Mikey lives in fear after his encounter with the Creature in his childhood. His mother has since passed, leaving him without an immediate family. Mikey lives alone in Baltimore City and clearly struggles with his mental health, having succumbed to a destructive lifestyle. Mikey eventually reaches out for help and finds another opportunity to encounter the Creature. Mikey must make a choice to take back his life… will he make the right one?

  • Cierra Andrea Gladden
  • Cierra Andrea Gladden
  • John D'cruz
  • Aarushi Krishnan
  • Cierra Andrea Gladden
  • Sean Tyrik
    Key Cast
    "Young Mikey"
  • Marc Moise
    Key Cast
    "Adult Mikey"
  • Jakarra Howard
    Key Cast
    "Mikey's Mother"
  • Kayla Manigault
    Key Cast
  • Andre Johnson
    Key Cast
    "The Creature"
  • Jamie Young
    Key Cast
  • Sophia Lin
  • Isabel Salas
  • Indi Aufranc
  • Cierra Gladden
  • Jolene Shao
  • Elaine Lu Qu
    Production Design
  • Abby Cloud
  • Nils Randers-Pehrson
  • Scott Li
  • Christian Reidy
    Camera and Electrical
  • Chime Nwogu
    Camera and Electrical
  • Matthew Riggieri
  • Devin Andrada
    Script and Continuity
  • Max Massiah
    Production Assistants
  • Udochukwu Nwosu
    Production Assistants
  • Nikki Ucheya
    Production Assistants
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Thriller, Drama
  • Runtime:
    17 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    April 24, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    4,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Johns Hopkins University
  • Studio North 8th Annual Student Film Showcase
    United States
    April 26, 2023
Director Biography - Cierra Andrea Gladden

Cierra Gladden is a writer and filmmaker based in Baltimore, MD. Originally from Maryland, she grew up in Annapolis and enrolled in the Performing and Visual Arts program in the Film and New Media concentration. As an artist, Cierra is passionate about telling a wide array of stories that communicate the human experience, particularly across the intersections of her cultural and affinity-based communities.

Recently, Cierra wrote and directed her first short film, SUNDOWN, with the support of multiple grants from Johns Hopkins University and Studio North production company.

Cierra has extensive experience working on local film productions, such as Saul Zaentz Innovation Fellow Katiana Weems’ GENERAL MAINTENANCE, where she served as Production Manager. Currently, she is co-producing Studio North shorts RED PRIOR and COCAINE TO LONDON, both of which are set to be released in 2024.

When she's not on set, Cierra spends her free time learning more about film and photography, journaling, crewing for her friends’ short films, and trying to catch up on her watchlist. She is currently a senior at Johns Hopkins University, majoring in Film & Media Studies and minoring in Entrepreneurship and Management.

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Director Statement

SUNDOWN presents a fantastical yet relatable story about growing up and overcoming inner strife. The concept of “sundown towns” is used as a foundation to explore a story about a Black teenager who disobeys his mother by staying out past sunset and consequently endures a unique trauma he must overcome. The film aims to contribute to the conversation regarding the destigmatization of mental health and emotional well-being, reflecting a growing cultural awareness of mental health struggles, particularly within communities of color and during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Through the character’s intimate emotional journey, I hope to resonate with audiences who have personal experiences with these underlying themes. As I continue to explore my personal style as a filmmaker, I strive to create compelling and character-driven stories with other diverse, talented creatives.