Codependence Day

Emily is nervous about meeting her husband Wilson’s family for the first time at their annual Independence Day gathering. Having eloped, she is concerned that the family will never accept her as one of their own. But Wilson has a plan to bring her into the fold — competing in the family’s annual (if ridiculous) tradition of throwing balls at a target object, a barely-recognizable variation of bocce.

  • William R. Coughlan
  • William R. Coughlan
  • Lee Perna
  • Pam W. Coughlan
  • Mary Egan
    Key Cast
  • Nello DeBlasio
    Key Cast
  • Nick DePinto
    Key Cast
  • Keith Waters
    Key Cast
  • Carol McCaffrey
    Key Cast
  • Erin Rose Coughlan
    Key Cast
  • Brooks Tegler
    Key Cast
  • Jean Miller
    Key Cast
  • Dan Foster
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Family, Holiday, Comedy
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    May 3, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    900 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • 48 Hour Film Project
    Washington, DC
    United States
    May 8, 2015
    World Premiere
    “Best Of” Selection
  • TIVA Peer Awards 2015
    Washington, DC
    United States
    November 14, 2015
    Silver Award: Editing - Fiction | Bronze Award: Scriptwriting - Fiction
  • Small World Film Festival
    Bradford, West Yorkshire
    United Kingdom
    June 1, 2016
    European Premiere
  • London Monthly Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    October 7, 2016
  • 14th International Short & Independent Film Festival
    December 5, 2016
    Asian Premiere
  • Indiana Comic Con Film Festival
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    United States
    April 16, 2017
    Indiana Premiere
  • Ocean City Film Festival
    Ocean City, Maryland
    United States
    June 9, 2017
    Maryland Premiere
  • Tampa Bay Comic Con Film Festival
    Tampa, Florida
    United States
    September 1, 2017
    Florida Premiere
  • San Francisco Comic Con Film Festival
    San Francisco, California
    United States
    September 1, 2017
    California Premiere
  • 300 Seconds International Film Festival
    Toronto, Ontario
    September 18, 2017
    Canadian Premiere
  • Movie Night at the Evening Star Cafe
    Alexandria, Virginia
    United States
    February 25, 2018
    Virginia Premiere
  • Comedy World Network Film Festival
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    United States
    December 1, 2018
    Nevada Premiere
Director Biography - William R. Coughlan

William R. Coughlan is an award-winning screenwriter and director, and is one of the founders (and primary financier) of Tohubohu Productions — which basically means that even on pictures he doesn’t direct, he can at least squeeze in an Executive Producer credit. He worked for 26 years as a senior director with The Advisory Board Company in Washington, D.C., where he began as a graphic designer before segueing into video and multimedia, and then eventually into the ranks of creative department management. In addition, he is the Associate Artistic Director of Jabberwocky Audio Theater, and serves on the Board of Directors for TIVA, the Television, Internet, and Video Association of DC, Inc., filling the roles of Treasurer and Vice President before stepping in as President in 2018. He also enjoys acting, voiceover performance, design and illustration, editing, animation, and writing autobiographical comments in the third person. He is the illustrator of the therapeutic workbook Stories for Children with Problems & Wishes, has provided schematic graphics for several HBS case studies, designed the acclaimed Protégé clay poker chip line, served as the Critic at Large for the online literary magazine Inkblots, has been a judge for both the TIVA Peer Awards and the Emmy Awards, founded and co-hosted the long-running Tohubohu Producer Podcast, and is an accomplished animator and ambigram artist. He currently resides at a secret compound in Burke, Virginia, with his wife Pam and their two daughters.

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Director Statement

Given the mandate to develop a “holiday film,” I wanted to shy away from the traditional “year-end celebration” motif (particularly as we’d already mined that territory for our film “Please Forward”). Instead, in the story-breaking process, I focused on the underlying conceptual elements that define the genre: togetherness, the comfort of family, and a sense of belonging to a larger whole. Putting aside the external yuletide trappings, situating our film at some kind of family gathering still seemed logical; from there, the notion of an Independence Day celebration fell into place. With no desire to get overly sentimental, I developed a decidedly absurdist, dysfunctional family — and built in a clear ”be careful what you wish for” turn. Shooting in a Wes Anderson-influenced composition style leapt out as an amusing (and appropriate) challenge, and the offbeat family of “Codependence Day” was born.