Private Project


A Middle Eastern grad student faced with deportation hides away on campus where he falls in love with an undocumented janitor who wishes she could go to college. When a Keystone Cop sniffs them out, the homeless outlaws seek sanctuary in each other.

  • Austin Alward
  • Austin Alward
  • Jean Bodon
  • Austin Alward
  • Artur Lago-V
    Key Cast
  • Gabi Giordani
    Key Cast
  • Angela Jones
    Key Cast
    "Keystone Cop"
    Pulp Fiction
  • Abraham Amkpa
    Key Cast
  • Tamara Rodriguez
    Key Cast
  • Madeleine Falk
    Key Cast
    "HR Administrator"
  • Andreas Burgess
  • Olivier Le Solliec
    Sound Designer
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Arthouse, Drama, Love Story, Slow Cinema
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 28 minutes 21 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 30, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    160,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English, Persian, Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Festival Mundial de Ciné de Veracruz — Marcel Sisniega Special Award for Love of Cinema
    November 25, 2023
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Austin Alward

Austin Alward is a New Orleans based filmmaker and camera operator who began as a camera assistant in Paris after graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a Communication Arts degree. He was contracted through the Dan Rather Endowment at Sam Houston State to rewrite and direct Tasmania, his first feature.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Tasmania tells the unlikely love story of two undocumented noncitizens who do not share a common language. Their tragic journey is a yearning meditation on the impenetrability of the modern American Dream.

The movie's DNA stems from an un-produced script written by Jean Charles Tacchella whose Cousin Cousine netted three Oscar nominations in 1977. It’s those old French romcom roots that allow Tasmania to unfold at a slow cinema pace, de-emphasizing plot and experimenting with audience expectations as it does. To pursue something as wholesome as the American Dream requires an element of blind faith, and it’s heartbreaking to witness the disenchantment of people who innocently believe in something wholeheartedly only to confront the fact their dream was a mirage. Tasmania is not intended to be a deep dive into the complex dynamics of America’s culture war. It’s more like a vibe about how it feels to love and lose in a place where the game is rigged against you from the start.