SICK BOY

Films

14MIN

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Available on 10/11/2020 10am
Every day that passes in New York City, Jeff finds a way to get through it. Maybe he’s driven to find love. Maybe he’s driven to find a connection. Or maybe he’s just driven to do what he has to do to survive, however erratic or unforgivable it might be Director Statement: “Sickboy” stemmed from a desire to shine light on an issue of critical importance in New York City: homelessness. During my research on the topic, I came across a report by the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development indicating that more than half of all New Yorkers are one paycheck away from homelessness. For me, this forced the realization that we all walk a fine line between being able to support ourselves and having to face the cruel realities of the systems and structures in place that allow poverty and homelessness to continue to thrive in NYC. Inspired by a true story, “Sickboy” is the portrait of someone who defies common stereotypes of what a homeless person might look or behave like, thus is able to pass for what others consider “normal” in most of his daily interactions. He is aware of this, and chooses to exploit others as a means of survival while refusing to take any responsibility for his actions. Yet the protagonist is human, and although he is fallible, I hope the viewer could come to empathize with him after having been through a day in his life. I wanted to humanize those around us who may be struggling with forms of trauma that cause destructive patterns of behavior. Influenced by the films of John Cassavetes, Frederick Wiseman’s observational documentaries, and modern voices like Sean Baker and Josh and Benny Safdie, “Sickboy” embraces the realism of documentary while creating a fictionalized portrait of an individual in distress. I chose to shoot “Sickboy” on 16mm film to capture the grittiness of life in NYC, and to fully immerse the viewer in that experience in a way that could only be done with film. Shooting on film provided its own set of logistical challenges, but ultimately the cast and crew rallied around the story and brought it to life in a way that far surpassed our expectations. I am so grateful to them for their generosity and patience throughout this process, and I look forward to sharing this film with the world.

Included with

Director Biography - Julian Muller

Julian Muller is an award-winning filmmaker and photographer based in New York City. Julian studied cinema at DePaul University in Chicago, and currently lives in Brooklyn.

Director Statement

“Sickboy” stemmed from a desire to shine light on an issue of critical importance in New York City: homelessness. During my research on the topic, I came across a report by the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development indicating that more than half of all New Yorkers are one paycheck away from homelessness. For me, this forced the realization that we all walk a fine line between being able to support ourselves and having to face the cruel realities of the systems and structures in place that allow poverty and homelessness to continue to thrive in NYC.

Inspired by a true story, “Sickboy” is the portrait of someone who defies common stereotypes of what a homeless person might look or behave like, thus is able to pass for what others consider “normal” in most of his daily interactions. He is aware of this, and chooses to exploit others as a means of survival while refusing to take any responsibility for his actions. Yet the protagonist is human, and although he is fallible, I hope the viewer could come to empathize with him after having been through a day in his life. I wanted to humanize those around us who may be struggling with forms of trauma that cause destructive patterns of behavior.

Influenced by the films of John Cassavetes, Frederick Wiseman’s observational documentaries, and modern voices like Sean Baker and Josh and Benny Safdie, “Sickboy” embraces the realism of documentary while creating a fictionalized portrait of an individual in distress. I chose to shoot “Sickboy” on 16mm film to capture the grittiness of life in NYC, and to fully immerse the viewer in that experience in a way that could only be done with film. Shooting on film provided its own set of logistical challenges, but ultimately the cast and crew rallied around the story and brought it to life in a way that far surpassed our expectations. I am so grateful to them for their generosity and patience throughout this process, and I look forward to sharing this film with the world.


Credits

Directed by Julian Muller

Written by Conor Champley

Produced by Julian Muller
Conor Champley

Cast Antonio Magro
Sarah Wisser
Rachel Hale

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