As an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, writer/director/editor Steven Heil directed five productions that won recognition in national competitions. His narrative short film The Order, which he wrote, produced, directed, shot, and edited, won Best Student Film at the Oregon International Film Awards. His narrative television episode Love Bites #2 “Sous Chef Wanted,” which he wrote, directed, and edited, won the Grand Prize in the Video Drama Program Category at the National Undergraduate Student Electronic Media Competition. His music video for Scumbag Kea’s “Yew Who” won a Bronze Remi Award at the Houston International Film Festival; he served as its producer/director/cinematographer/editor. Since graduating, his music video for Franki Moscato’s “Me, Myself, & I” has won several international awards, including Best Music Video at the London Independent Film Awards. In 2019, he was competitively selected for the Creative Minds in Sundance Film Program.
One-liner: A Japanese-American high school student spars with his father while forging a close bond with two social outcasts — one of whom is bullied because he is gay, while the other claims she is being followed by a spirit.
Synopsis: Akira is a high school transfer student with a deteriorating relationship with his father. When he arrives at his new school, he stumbles onto a classmate being bullied. His intervention triggers two new friendships — one with the victim Scott and the other with Elizabeth — the classmate who aids him after he is knocked out. Scott has a worse problem than the bullies — he has not come out at home yet. But Elizabeth may have an even bigger problem: she is a social pariah because she keeps acting as though someone or something is after her. Meanwhile, Akira’s home front situation is going from bad to worse.