• Cory Reeder

Best Friend

Updated: Feb 27


Best Friend is a family comedy short, that tells the story of Deirdre, a young girl from New York struggling to accept Los Angeles as her new home. With the help of her family and a very special new friend, things start looking up for Deirdre.

The film showcases heart-warming performances by Gitane Neil and Andrew “Julian” Alvarado, both making their acting debuts.

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

Made for the 2017 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge, Best Friend was written, shot, edited and delivered within a crazy 55 hour weekend.

Writer/ director Cory Reeder said, “My friend’s daughter has Down Syndrome and expressed an interest in being an actress, so I centered the story around her. Even though Gitane (Neil) had never acted before, and I had never worked with a performer who has Downs, her

enthusiasm, sense of humor and charm gave me the confidence that she could carry the

production.”

“After receiving the genre prompt from the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge, I began writing the story. I realized there was an opportunity to include other topics I care about: racial diversity, dog adoption and motherly tenderness and strength. As an added twist we were even able to cast Lexi, an adorable dog who has lost the use of her hind legs and uses a wheelchair.”

“I had my crew on standby, and was blessed by some amazing actors that came out for the shoot. Being my third year doing the challenge, I’ve love introducing seasoned cast and crew, who may be unaccustomed to working with people who have disabilities, to the warm friendly atmosphere the event provides.”

Working with Reeder again for the third year in a row was Diana Elizabeth Jordan. Last year

their collaboration on the film Boxed Out won her the Best Actor award. This year, not only was she cast as the quirky apartment manager Sue, but she asked to produce as well. So she joined the team helping to schedule, cast and provide craft service to the production.

Best Friend was filmed in a frenzy on Saturday April 22, from 9am - 6pm finishing with just

enough time to get the last shot as the sun set over Los Angeles. The film was then edited by Nathan Cox, who worked through the night and delivered the drive back to Reeder and Chad Eicher (post supervisor) the next morning.

The two of them hustled the rest of the day to tighten the edit, color the footage, add subtitles and finally upload for festival delivery. As it tends to do with things like this, it

came down to the wire, but they made it just before the delivery cut-off time.

The response has been overwhelming, not just from friends and family, but from other

filmmakers and industry acquaintances. “I love what I do as a filmmaker”, says Reeder, “and

whether this was lightning in a bottle or the result of years working, learning and paying dues, I'm simply overjoyed with what our cast and crew was able to create. It looks beautiful, has heart and has the essence of all I find dear in the world.”

CAST

Deirdre GITANE NEIL

Jessica KIM KENDALL

Max ROBERT BUSCEMI

Sue DIANA ELIZABETH JORDAN

Alvie ANDREW “JULIAN” ALVARADO

Steve DOC FARROW

Carol ANICKA HAYWOOD

Dogs LEXI & BLU

CREW

Executive Producer CORY REEDER

Producers ALLISON GRAY

DIANA ELIZABETH JORDAN

LOLA NOH

Director/Writer CORY REEDER

Editor NATHAN COX

Composer NAMI MELUMAD

Post Supervisor CHAD EICHER

Post Sound Mixer SHACHAR BOUSSANI

Colorist MARSHALL PLANTE

Location Sound Mixer GAVIN FARNSWORTH

Camera Operator JONATHAN MICHAEL MAHONEY

First Assistant Camera RODOLPHE PORTIER

Second Assistant Camera LIAM ARK

DIT CHAD EICHER

Gaffer MAX FRIEDLAENDER

Script Supervisor KATYA LOBAN

Hair/Make-Up ALEX STORM

Titles & VFX STEPHEN STEELMAN

Awards, Nominations, & Official Selections

WIN - 2017 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge – Best Film

WIN - 2017 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge – Audience Award

WIN - 2017 Directors Circle Festival of Shorts – Best Comedic Short

WIN - 2018 People of Passion International Film Festival – Best Comedy Short

WIN - 2018 Canine Film Festival, Miami – Best Comedic Short

Nom - 2017 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge – Best Filmmaker, Cory Reeder

Nom - 2017 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge – Best Actor, Gitane Neil

Nom - 2017 Directors Circle Festival of Shorts – Best Comedic Short

O.S. – 2017 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge - LOS ANGELES, CA

O.S. – 2017 Hollyshorts Film Festival - LOS ANGELES, CA

O.S. – 2017 Newfilmmakers Los Angeles: On Location - LOS ANGELES, CA

O.S. – 2017 Tacoma Film Festival - TACOMA WA

O.S. – 2017 Washington West Film Festival - DC/ VIRGINIA

O.S. – 2017 Yes Film Festival - COLUMBUS, INDIANA

O.S. – 2017 Marina Del Rey Film Festival - MARINA DEL REY, CA

O.S. – 2017 Focus on Ability Film Festival - AUS

O.S. – 2017 Sprout Film Festival - NEW YORK, NY (touring)

O.S. – 2017 Kids First Film Festival - SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO

O.S. – 2017 Connect Film Festival - LOS ANGELES, CA

O.S. – 2017 Directors Circle Festival of Shorts - ERIE, PA

O.S. – 2017 Culver City Film Festival - CULVER CITY, CA

O.S. – 2017 People of Passion Film Festival - AUS

O.S. – 2018 Canine Film Festival - MIAMI, FL

#DisabilityFilmChallenge #Easterseals #diversity #disabilities #CoryReeder #filmmaker #LosAngeles #director #producer #wrtier #film #Award #BestFriend #ShortFilm #filmfestivals

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2020  Cory Reeder