Experiencing Interruptions?


Suffering from the malaise of life and it's inerrant meaninglessness, Susie decides to go to Alaska to find her estranged father.
She finds herself working on a small farm where she meets a 17 year old boy named Sam who, in struggling to find his own independence, yearns to explore the world. While Susie tries to find solace in her new surroundings, Sam begins to idolize her mission. However, when Sam asks Susie to take him with her to Alaska, she does not know what to say. Confronted by and shame, he runs away. She finds him in the flowing creek of water staring back at her. In this moment, Susie sees a young man equally afraid of the world around him. She sees herself in him and realizes how lonely they both are.

  • Arthur Gay
  • Arthur Gay
  • Derin Celik
  • Nina Cochran
  • Quinn Jackson
    Key Cast
  • Tuni Hernandez
    Key Cast
  • Naama Potok
    Key Cast
  • Michael Cong
    Director of Photography
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes 45 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 31, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    4,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Columbia University
Director Biography - Arthur Gay

Having spent his early years of life, often moving countries with his mother, Arthurs work focuses on ideas of existentialism and belonging. Within his fiction work, his characters are often in a state of transience, grappling with the meaning of what 'home' means to them and what the future holds. He is interested in characters that are naturally on the fringe of societal norms, granting a different lens on the world.

After eventually settling back in tāmaki makaurau, New Zealand. In 2009, Arthur went on to study film at Unitec, graduating with a Bachelor in Performing and Screen Arts, majoring in Directing and Writing for Screen. His first significant work was a feature experimental/art documentary titled 'Malerverksted' focusing on the works and process of three fine artists creating work in a remote town in Norway. The film screened as an installation as part of the Auckland Arts Festival in 2014. After this, he spent 5 years crewing within the New Zealand film industry gaining valuable skills in various departments, while making his own work on the side. For him, the pursuit of his own work was always the most important endeavour as he would often take time off between paid jobs to focus on his own short films, music videos and a feature documentary in post production titled 'Somewhere in Between'. In 2020 he was accepted into both the prestigious NYU Tisch and the Columbia University Graduate film programs with scholarship offers from both schools. He ended up at Columbia University, where he is currently completing his MFA graduate program and was recently awarded the celebrated 'Miloš Forman Directing Fellowship' from the program.

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Director Statement

Susie was originally inspired by stories I have been told by my mother(Susie) of when she was a young woman traveling and working on farms. Although this film is not particularity accurate in its depiction of those stories, I was inspired by her sense of independence and desire to search for answers somewhere other than 'here'. This concept of transience and a search for abstract meaning is something that has been incredibly formative for me as a filmmaker and person navigating my own path. My mother and I spent many years moving countries and towns. Each time needing to start new. It very much defined my childhood and teenage years.

So for me, 'Susie' is an exploration of belonging, a search for the cure of inexplicable discomfort of where one currently stands. I was drawn to this idea of two characters, both yearning for connection and a greater understanding of their place in the world, yet ultimately unable to connect. More so, it was an exploration of the existentialist idea that we are all alone - even in a shared connection we must ultimately walk this journey alone, searching for oneself.

In 'Susie' I wanted to explore how the world of the farm represented her romantic image of 'connection' to self - also expressed through connection to Sam. Abstractly Susie and Sam are the same person, both afraid and running away, both being pulled by the ever moving current of the rivers water. Formally, in this piece and in most of my work, I am interested in how characters interact and belong within a space. To me, the environment characters find themselves in, the frame they inhabit (and sometimes don't inhabit) is a direct portal to their inner psyche. I am fascinated by the way we(the audience) engage with an environment/space within a frame and how our emotional reaction to that image is projected onto the character. 'Susie' is, for me, an exploration of the search for belonging within the world and the notion that we are all searching for this alone.