Aster and Sidney

After the collapse of society, a secret threatens to destroy two women's relationship.

  • Sean Temple
    Aster and Sidney, (IFFBoston 2016), Safe (IFFBoston 2015), Hunt, Illegal
  • Sarah Wisner
    Safe (IFFBoston 2015), The Kingdom, Hunt
  • Sean Temple
    Safe, Illegal, The Camping Trip
  • Mia Cioffi Henry
    Valeria, Superior (2015 Sundance Film Festival, Berlinale, Hong Kong International Film Festival, Independent Film Festival Boston, Nashville Film Festival, LA Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, Philadelphia Film Festival)
  • Sean Temple
  • Sarah Wisner
  • Charlotte Rea
    Key Cast
    Safe, The Strays
  • Adjovi Koene
    Key Cast
  • Logan Freeman
    Key Cast
  • Logan Freeman
    The Strays (2015 Sidewalk Film Festival)
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    17 minutes 37 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 1, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    5,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Canon C100
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Independent Film Festival Boston
    Boston, MA
    April 29, 2016
    North American Premiere
  • Lodzia po Wisle Student Film Festival
    April 16, 2016
    World Premiere
  • Emerson Film Festival
    Boston, MA
    United States
    April 30, 2016
    Audience Award
  • Moviate Underground Film Festival
    Harrisburg, PA
    United States
    May 25, 2016
  • Sidewalk Film Festival
    Birmingham, Alabama
    United States
    August 27, 2016
    Southeast Premiere
  • HollyShorts Monthly Screening
    Los Angeles
    United States
  • Semi-finalist Rhode Island International Film Festival
    United States
  • Semi-finalist Miami Short Film Festival
    United States
  • Emerson Los Angeles Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
  • Great Lakes International Film Festival
    United States
    September 22, 2016
  • Orlando Film Festival
    United States
    October 20, 2016
    Florida Premiere
  • FirstGlance Film Festival
    United States
    November 11, 2016
    Short Film Contest Winner
  • Green Mountain Film Festival
    Montpellier, VT
    United States
    March 18, 2017
    Vermont Premiere
  • First Glance Film Festival Los Angeles
    Los Angeles
    United States
Director Biography - Sean Temple

Sean Temple is an Editor, Screenwriter, and Director based in Los Angeles. He believes cinema’s unique ability to tell character-driven stories through image and sound enhances our capacity for social empathy. Sean is a working artist who recently finished his MFA in Media Arts at Emerson College. He has written and directed several short films that have screened at multiple film festivals and for the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Sean is currently in various stages of production on multiple short films, TV pilots, and feature films.

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Director Statement

Aster and Sidney is a story about the destructive power of patriarchal individualism. In a world focused only on day-to-day survival, these characters have no choice but to refuse to trust anyone but themselves and, ultimately, each other. As an example of speculative fiction, this film is a depiction of the negative potential outcome of our current society: one in which millions starve, despite adequate food production; oil and water are hoarded and sequestered; billions of dollars are spent denying climate change, and income and wealth inequality increases daily.

Growing up, I had direct experiences with the negative effects of American individualism. Socialized to believe unemployed people were lazy and uncaring, I secretly blamed my mother for our unstable family situation. In reality, my mother struggled every day to take care of me and my brother. I am passionate about presenting the struggle to survive in my films. The struggle, however, is far from hopeless - and this hope is what Aster and Sidney aims to convey.

It was also important to depict the decisions and relationships that form between women in extreme circumstances. Looking at the vast majority of stories told on film, one finds a huge deficit in the number of stories told by women and about women. And focusing on the post-apocalyptic genre specifically, the majority of films not only put men at the center - they also structure the story around masculinized, individualistic hero-creation. Where do women go, to survive in these worlds? How would their choices look different from the choices we see so frequently?

As someone who deals with social anxiety disorder, I am also interested in representing the difficulty and importance of communication. There is a certain safety in closing oneself off from others; as a defense mechanism, keeping quiet about meaningful or tender thoughts and feelings provides a level of invulnerability. But that lack of vulnerability results in a lack of true connection. One secret puts Aster and Sidney’s relationship in danger; when their whole world is comprised of paranoia and risk and fear, their ability to connect and rely on each other is the one thing that might save them.

Sean Temple & Sarah Wisner