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Daniel Kellerman-Demick, MA Media Studies ’19 and Billy Cadden, MA Media Studies ’17, Receive ‘Award of Excellence’ At IndieFEST Film Awards

Dan Michael, of Dan Michael Films, and Billy Cadden have won a prestigious Award of Excellence from the IndieFEST Film Awards. The award was given for the team’s singular short film, Dodgson (2019), which follows the complicated life of Isaac Dodge, a jaded psychologist with a life-long speech impairment, whom, upon the discovery of his estranged father’s death, is forced to confront former childhood traumas. With a run-time of just over twenty-one minutes, Dodgson presents a refreshingly honest exploration of the paradoxical influence that trauma has on human behavior, as well as the remedial potentials of therapy, self-acceptance, and forgiveness. Best described as an ensemble piece, the short film features exceptional performances from each and every member of the eight-person cast, which includes Alex Scigliano, Elizabeth Officer, Tim Shelburne, Laura Kiser, Danny Schwarz, Steven Gamble, Ian Lowe and rising star Willoughby Pyle as ‘Young Isaac’. This Award-Winning Short was shot over a remarkably brief period of two-days, both in Brooklyn and Manhattan, by a crew of merely thirteen men and women (most of whom were New School Graduate students). Special acknowledgment goes out to Billy Cadden (MA Media Studies ’17), whose tireless and collaborative work as Co-Producer of Dodgson profoundly impacted the film throughout the entire production process. Prior to shooting Dodgson, Director of Photography and Colorist, Jimmy Xie, collaborated with Dan Michael for over a month, meticulously scouting sites all across the five boroughs so as to ensure the best possible locations needed to accurately bring the filmmaker’s story to life.

The second of two adopted children, Dan was born and raised outside Boston, Massachusetts alongside his older sister, Katie, and is the son of two clinical and developmental psychologists. Prior to writing the script, Dan Michael dedicated over three-months toward the comprehensive research of scientific histories, societal stigmas, and individual impacts that surround both speech and mental health disorders. To better his understanding of fluency ailments, Dan frequently attended and observed weekly speech therapy sessions in the greater New York City area. Additionally, several portions of dialogue which make it into the final draft of the script are stripped from real-life therapy sessions.

As of Summer, 2019, Dan’s critically acclaimed film has won numerous ‘Grand Jury’ Prizes for Best Short Film, been named an ‘Official Selection’ at several Academy-Award/BAFTA Qualifying Film Festivals, and is sparking extreme interest from international recognized film distribution companies, motion picture studios, and talent agencies.

Vimeo Link to Trailer:

Additional Links:

Dodgson IMDb:
Official Dodgson Facebook:
Official Dodgson Website:
Dan Michael IMDb:
Official Dan Michael Facebook:
Official Dan Michael Films Website:

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