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Automatic at Sea

Matthew Lessner
Narrative Features :: Vanguard
Running Time:95:00 minutes
Event Date(s)
10:30 AM EST
Friday, November 10
Thalian Ballroom

Writer & Director: Matthew Lessner
Director of Photography: Aaron Kovalchik
Cast: David Henry Gerson, Livia Hiselius, Breeda Wool

On a whim, Eve (young Swedish traveler) accepts an invitation from Peter (wealthy heir) to vacation on his family’s private island off the coast of New England. As a series of unexpected delays prevent other guests from arriving, Eve discovers that she has little in common with the increasingly erratic Peter and that something is not quite right on this mysterious island. Gradually the idyllic natural beauty of her surroundings dissolves, and Eve finds herself trapped in an unstable reality punctuated by feverish visions, dimensional shifting and secret pizza.


Short before Feature: Pigeon // Lindsey L. Miller, Natalie Deryn Johnson :: In a fusion of fashion, dance, and film, Pigeon explores a story of transformation and reflection upon ideal versus reality.


MATTHEW LESSNER is a nomadic award-winning filmmaker and artist whose work defies easy categorization while remaining distinctly his own. Lessner’s first feature film The Woods (2011) premiered in the New Frontier program at the Sundance Film Festival and was shortlisted for Independent Spirit and Gotham Awards. He was recently awarded two grants from the San Francisco Film Society for his upcoming feature Terror Tuesday. His award-winning short films (Darling Darling (2005) starring Michael Cera, By Modern Measure (2007), Chapel Perilous (2014)) have collectively screened at over 100 film festivals worldwide, including SXSW, Clermont-Ferrand, and Sundance, where Chapel Perilous was just awarded the Audience Award. In addition to narrative work, Lessner has directed a number of music videos and promos for acclaimed bands such as Dirty Projectors + Björk and Explosions in the Sky.