NYFA Grad’s Award-Winning Film Captures Gays in Military

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LingerAfter being raised in a military family, the idea for New York Film Academy Filmmaking graduate Molly Calliste’s thesis film, Linger, came quite naturally. With the theme of the film in mind, Molly’s best friend’s situation truly shaped the story. One of her close friends was a gay U.S. Marine terrified by the thought of being outed. He lived in fear as to what would happen–the least of which he thought would have been a dishonorable discharge.

“He couldn’t scream about the betrayal he felt,” said Molly. “So I thought perhaps, I could whisper it.”

And this is what paved way for her film, Linger, which is about the United States military’s handling of gays or suspected gays in the armed services. The forced secrecy, the badge of ‘shame’ and mostly, the betrayal of what is taken when your country fails you on such a level.

So far, her message is being heard at film festivals around the country. Linger has received an Award of Merit at IndieFest and screened at the IndependentFilmmakerProject. Her upcoming screenings include the NewFilmmakersNY Film Festival fall series on November 12th at 7:15 PM and Bakersfield Film Festival on November 9th in Bakersfield, California.

Molly was born and raised in Grenada, the British West Indies, but has been living in New York City since the age of twelve. She chose to study at NYFA because of its intensive, hands-on curriculum.

“My training at NYFA was singularly instrumental in the production of this film, as well as several others. I knew nothing of storytelling in terms of moving pictures, except what I liked and didn’t like. I knew a good film when I saw one, and kept an open mind for the most part, but what I learned from NYFA was not just technical–though a large part of it was. It was also political, and dealt with the ethics and hierarchy of filmmaking. Essentially, you put into it what you hope to get out of your production, and your reputation travelled a lot faster than you ever could in filmmaking. When I didn’t know what I was doing, which was often, I asked for help. Instructors at NYFA: Piero Basso, Lanre Olabisi, Claude Kerven, Ivan Julien and many others were always eager to help. I will always be a perpetual student when it comes to filmmaking.”

Molly’s hope is for Linger to ‘reach’ at least one person, who in turn might alter their perception on how they view a simple human choice.

Aside from Linger, Molly has recently completed post-production work on a feature film directed by a fellow NYFA alum, Manoj Annadurai, titled Get Happy. She’s also trying to raise funds to film her own feature, tentatively set to begin filming November of 2015.

Linger canon

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Published on: October 13, 2014

Filled Under: Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights

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