Object of Affection, a short film by Marygrace Navarra
Object of Affection, a short film by Marygrace Navarra
On the eve of his twenty-first birthday party, Jonah Chambers receives news of his admission to Yale Law School. When he thinks his night can’t get any better, a fascinating freshman girl catches his eye. He plunges into the party to pursue her, unaware of the strange, violent ritual that awaits.
Mission StatementThis is a female-led production about power, accountability, and rape culture. 70% of our crew are women/LGBTQIA+/POC. We are dedicated to bringing urgent stories to life, interrogating power structures, and effecting change.
About The Project
OBJECT OF AFFECTION is a boy-meets-girl psychological thriller about rape culture and accountability. Jonah, 21, has finally accomplished his lifelong goal: admission into Yale Law School. Coasting on his newfound freedom, Jonah arrives at his massive twenty-first birthday party, where he meets the fascinating, larger-than-life freshman, Violet.
When Jonah resolves to pursue Violet, the Crowd begins to act oddly, like a harmonious school of fish. They grow reverent of him, subservient to him. The party launches into a surreal celebration. Cheerleaders present him with a grotesque cake. Jocks brawl to defend his honor. As Jonah fights through the Crowd to find Violet, he comes to understand the strange, violent ritual that has been prepared for him.
We believe that in order to create change, we must be made uncomfortable. We must interrogate the nature of our culture, our lives. When powerful men abuse their power, it is our responsibility to trace the source of that abuse, that power. It is the only way for us to grow.
The beginning of Object of Affection plants us at the start of a familiar story: A promising young man secures a promising future, and it seems all-the-more promising after his introduction to a young woman. Too often, these stories end in an act of violence wherein the man is left unscathed, while the woman, silently, must deal with her trauma. By manipulating this narrative structure, we are able to examine its underbelly and offer an interpretation for why it so often comes to a violent end. Thus, Object of Affection constructs a microcosm of rape culture expressed through a birthday party that transforms into a surreal celebration.
The Me Too movement brought countless stories of sexual abuse by men in power to the forefront of the American consciousness. But too often, the language and thought dealing with sexual assault isolates men in power as subhuman monsters, outliers on the scatterplot where the rest of us exist comfortably in normalcy.
While these men must be held accountable, most of us have failed to draw a connection between our rape culture and the truth of our lives. What is the genesis of this culture? Where does power begin, and most importantly, who bestows it? When are we going to finally, painfully...look inward?
Here is how your kind contributions will be spent:
We began shooting Object of Affection in March of this year...and we decided, two days in, to suspend production to ensure the safety of our cast and crew. Our cast delivered stunning performances in that short time, and our crew created a deeply immersive world -- giving us just enough beautiful footage to share it with you. We're about 1/3 of the way through principal photography, and we are so eager to get back to work!
We aim to recoup our financial losses from this setback and return to set stronger than ever and safer than ever. We are committed to following health guidelines set by Pennsylvania and health officials and are planning our careful return to Violet and Jonah's world.
We so appreciate all contributions, large and small. Please consider contributing to our campaign! And check out our fantastic incentives, which include a limited edition, handmade Object of Affection mug by small-batch pottery artist Julie Miller. If you're in a generous mood, check out the Wishlist tab on this page!
You can follow us here, on Seed & Spark!
If you're unable to contribute, we still love you! Please share our Seed & Spark link with your friends and family, and with anyone who enjoys a good story.
xo Marygrace, Kaya, Mary, Karl, Sasha & Valerie
Use the WishList to pledge cash and loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an incentive directly.
About This Team
Marygrace Navarra is a Philadelphia-based writer and filmmaker. She was a nominee for the 2018 Tribeca Film Institute/Sloan Institute Student Discovery Award for her pilot episode for Dora, a dramatic miniseries about Ida Bauer, Sigmund Freud’s most infamous patient. Her first short film, Lunar Maria, is in post-production, and the script was a Second Rounder in the 2019 Austin Film Festival Script Competition. She also writes fiction. Her short piece, "3:32 to Penn," appeared in the Fall 2018 print edition of Blue Earth Review. She is an MFA student in Film & Media Arts at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, where she concentrates in screenwriting. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Director of Photography
Anastassia Anderson is a Philadelphia-based director of photography. She received her BA in Film and Media Arts with a concentration in cinematography from Temple University, where she graduated summa cum laude. She pursues female-driven narratives, such as her senior thesis, Bracelet (2018), and Marygrace Navarra's forthcoming short film, Lunar Maria (2020). She has worked on a number of Philadelphia feature-length productions, including 21 Bridges, starring Chadwick Boseman, and Concrete Cowboys, starring Idris Elba.
Kaya was born in Pittsburgh, PA, but has grown up all over the northeast. Before getting into directing and producing, she was a director of phography and photographer. Her love for storytelling and desire to give voices to the underrepresented lead her to become the filmmaker she is today. Her filmography consists of music videos, short films, documentaries, and more recently, several web series. Kaya has recently worked on projects like HBO's Mare of Easttown, and Neighborhood Film Company's debut feature film, Concrete Cowboys, featuring Idris Elbas, Jharrel Jerome, Method Man, and Caleb McLaughlin. As a woman of color, true representation and authentic stories are her focus. Her goal as a filmmkaer is to continually create things that she truly connects with and that provoke.
MARY R. WILLIAMS
Mary R. Williams is embarking on her fourth year as a Film and Media Arts student at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. This is her second time producing a project by Marygrace Navarra, as she enjoyed working on her previous short film, Lunar Maria, over the summer of 2019. Mary has been involved in many student film as well as professional film sets all over Philadelphia during her time at Temple, and plans to intern at a film production company in Philadelphia this summer as well as continuing to freelance edit.
Alicia DeLarge is a production designer, set designer, and costume designer based in Philadelphia. After freelancing in the film and fashion industries for three years, Alicia decided to return to school to enhance her craft. She has fulfilled many roles in production from production designer, set designer, set decorator, costume designer, costumer, locations scout, and locations manager. She recently graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA with a Bachelors Degree in Film Design and Production. Post-graduation, Alicia continues to bring her clients’ visions to fruition with her talent for locating, manipulating, and curating environments.
Playing the role of Jonah
Garrett McCord is currently a working actor based in Philadelphia, PA where he is completing his MFA acting degree at Temple University. He received his BFA in acting from Western Michigan University in 2018. He was recently seen on Temple’s stage in An Enemy of the People and is currently working on a production of Betrayal on the same stage.
Playing the role of Violet
Gloria Bangiola is a New York based actor and singer whose work spans from opera to musical theater to film. Bangiola recently starred in Make Her Happen, a short play featured as one of the Best Plays of The 2019 Strawberry One-Act Festival. Bangiola also performed in the New York City premiere of Svadba, a Serbian six-voice chamber opera. She is currently developing a cabaret to be performed this summer at Don’t Tell Mama’s in Manhattan, which will highlight her range of musical and theatrical skills.
Playing the role of Melaine
Judy Silverman is a New York City based actor. She graduated from CAP21's Musical Theatre Conservatory and is currently studying Film/TV at Kimball Studios. Judy recently led the short film Junebug and the student film You Again. She also participated in Tony Greenlaw's premiere concert at 54 Below. For more information, please feel free to visit her website, judysilverman.com.
Playing the role of Nick
Justin McEneny is very excited to be playing the role of Nick in Object of Affection. Justin, a graduate of the Ward Acting Studio, is an actor from North Carolina. This will be his first film with director Marygrace Navarra and he would like to thank all those involved in the making of Object of Affection.