On The Cusp, Longlist - Short Film - Fiction

Summer Animals

Haley Elizabeth Anderson

Pulse Films

Summer. Texas. Fifteen-year-old Tommy is tired of living in and out of motels with her family. She just wants to be a normal teen and escape the summer heat, but instead has to take care of her two younger siblings while her single mother works as a housekeeper trying to secure a down payment on an apartment. When the family gets thrown out of a motel, Tommy, driven by her longing for freedom, decides to break into the pool of her mother's employer.

Haley Elizabeth Anderson is a filmmaker, writer, and photo-based visual artist from Houston, Texas. She recently graduated from New York University’s Graduate Film Program as a Dean’s Fellow. With roots across the American South and Gulf Coast, and a background in playwriting and poetry, her work revolves around fragile, indefinable emotions in coming-of-age experiences and memories; race and familial mythology, and the ever-growing class-divide through mundane but significant moments of human vulnerability and intimacy. Although her work is often a meditation on personal histories and identity, she is interested in examining these ideas within a global landscape, experimenting with natural environments and cinematic language. Before moving to New York, Haley worked in casting. Her experiences street-casting a Terrance Malick project in Austin, Texas led her to further develop her love for collaborating with first- time actors, a process that drives part of her aesthetic: a hybrid of narrative film and non- linear, experimental documentary. Her work has been featured at the Barbican in London, The Shed in New York, Le Cinema Club, the Criterion Channel, International Film Festival Rotterdam, and Sundance. She was recently selected as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film.” In the Spring of 2021 Haley’s latest film “Summer Animals” won the Jury Prize at SXSW and has directed commercials for brands such as Levis, Hennessy, Ford, McDonald’s, Facebook and more.