Private Project

Branch Out

Branch Out is a 15-min comedic thriller short film that follows three Black friends who attend a house party at their predominantly white college with hopes of expanding their social circle but instead, experience a bit of… well, let’s just call it... “culture shock.” ;)

  • Andrew Otchere
  • Andrew Otchere
  • Cortez Hill
    Executive Producer
  • Andrew Otchere
  • Tomias Robinson
    Key Cast
  • Taylor Daniel
    Key Cast
  • Owen Scales
    Key Cast
  • Clara Dossetter
    Key Cast
  • Claire Vogel
    Key Cast
  • Ruby Sevcik
    Key Cast
  • Christopher Jensen
    Key Cast
  • Caleb Quezon
    Key Cast
  • Henry Lu
    Director of Photography
  • Rachel Ienna
  • Malachi Pitts
    Production Manager
  • Rachel Schlager
    Production Designer
  • Naomi Alexander
    Costuming Team
  • Rachael Hymowitz
    Costuming Team
  • Morgan Elder
    Sound Engineer
  • Tanner Rodriguez
    Music Composer & Supervisor
  • Timothy Jagielo
  • Christian Kassab
    Camera Operator
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Comedic-Thriller, Dark Comedy
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 7 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 1, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    3,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, 35mm f1.8
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - University of Michigan
Director Biography - Andrew Otchere

ANDREW OTCHERE [awe-tree] (Writer, Director, Producer) is a first generation Ghanaian-American, multi-hyphenated creative from Loudoun County, VA. He is a senior at the University of Michigan pursuing a BFA in Acting with a double minor in Arts Management and Sociology. Though his love for the arts began as a theatre performer at the age of 10, his passion for storytelling has evolved and manifested itself into writing, directing, and developing his own work. Living at the intersection of storytelling and social justice, he finds joy in using art to provide entertainment, ignite discourse, and simply just make people laugh!

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Director Statement

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always enjoyed telling stories, entertaining, and simply making people laugh. Even in the most serious moments, I was always the person who could be caught holding back the urge to crack a joke or making someone else cackle. Laughter and comedy was and continues to be my go-to mechanism of coping with the complexities of life (still not exactly whether or not this is a good thing). And throughout my journey of figuring out how to address the important issues in this film, comedy became a medium that felt most accessible to me.

This story serves as commentary on the Black experience of navigating white dominated spaces. Growing up Black, we’ve all been told that we must work harder for the same opportunities as our white peers. However, we don’t often discuss how this extra labor comes into play in seemingly low-stakes social settings: mitigating micro-aggressions and copiously code-switching to be accepted, all while the unfortunate realities of being Black in America go unaddressed.

I was most inspired to bring this piece to fruition because of the lack of Black-centered narratives and creative opportunities that I was seeing around me and on my college campus. As a writer, I find the most joy in writing the world around me. Driven by a passion to share my voice and a refusal to wait for a seat at Hollywood’s table, I took a leap of faith in independently creating my first short film and I’m grateful for the knowledge I’ve gained through the process and the ability to now celebrate the product. Ultimately, I believe that, “the role of art is to ignite public discourse,” and if nothing else, I hope this film is the catalyst that starts a conversation.