Saturday, June 12, 2021

2021 Films: Appetite

Appetite by Stacey Maltin
Brooklyn, NY (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time:14 minutes
Screening Time: TBA

Jack, an aging hedge fund CEO, hesitantly acquiesces when Ruby, his wife of 25 years, suggests they check out an open love party. Thrust into a new world, he is surprised to uncover the intimacy he actually desires.

Director's Bio:

Stacey is a provocative filmmaker whose work has screened in film festivals around the world. She was recently nominated for Best Director at several film festivals for her short film Jones and she won best Dramatic Short for her short film Baggage. She wrote, produced, and starred in her first feature film “Landing Up” through her production company Bold Compass Films. It premiered at Dances With Films in Los Angeles and she picked up a Best Actress as well as Best Feature nomination. Her short film "Stronger Together" was recently acquired by Shoreline Entertainment after having it's world premiere at NewFest. Her short film "Head" is streaming on REVRY and the feature film version of HEAD was an Outfest Screenwriting Lab finalist. Her work has further screened at Cinequest Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, Flicker's Rhode Island, ITVfest, and more. The script she penned, “The Other Side” was selected by the screenwriting website THE BLACK LIST as a Top 10 Finalist in the Hasty Pudding Fellowship for a screenwriter focusing on satire and social commentary. That script was further selected to be a part of the Black List Table Reads series and was produced as a podcast starring Darren Criss, Eddie Kaye Thomas, and Jerry Adler.

She is currently creating a new provocative series called Linked which premiered at Academy Award Qualifying film festival Cinequest in 2019.

She is the co-founder of production company Besties Make Movies with close collaborator Margarita Zhitnikova.

Director Statement
Appetite and desire are often used interchangeably. Food metaphors are deeply embedded into the language of sex. But having an “appetite” for something can be fleeting. One minute you crave it the next you don’t. This is where our lead character, Jack, begins his journey - hoping that his wife Ruby’s new hunger for sex outside their marriage will dissipate before she ever gets a chance to taste. Our opening scene illuminates a new world of “flexible love” where people actively meet up to find new entanglements for “whatever.” Each womxn at this party is more intimidating to Jack than the last. The womxn are confident, sensual, embracing of their own sexuality and their own desires which is not something Jack can say for himself. We don’t often see men filmed like this in cinema, where each shot is designed to make him feel at a distinct loss of control. While he’s the character we’re following, the power isn’t his.

When Jack returns to his apartment with Tanya, an asexual, vegan, the lighting shifts drastically from the erotic reds and purples of the party to the cool blues and oranges of an intimate, non-sexual encounter. This is where we flip the script on the trope that it’s womxn who stop wanting sex in marriages while their husbands fantasize about younger options. When faced with a night alone with a beautiful, young, womxn, all Jack really wants is connection (and maybe somebody to eat strawberries with).

When confronted with the reality of our own appetites, we don’t always get what we want but sometimes we get what we need.

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