Better Man

Against his mother’s wishes, Eli goes out with his friend James. When James kisses him, he realizes that his feelings for James are much more than friendly. He panics, and runs away.

After an agonizing walk he writes a letter to his mother, then returns to the night.

Creative team

Writers: Adam Bradley, Gary Settles, Amelia Mathews
Director: Amelia Mathews
Producer: Adam Bradley

Filmmaker’s statement

When we founded Well-Drawn Dog Productions, one of the things we wanted to focus on was collaborating with other people to help them tell their stories – particularly stories from voices that are often marginalized.

And when Gary Settles (who plays James in the film) shared with us his own story of coming out to his deeply religious mother, we knew that this was a story we wanted to help him tell.

We also knew that if we focused on the essence of the story, we would be able to tell it in an intimate, authentic way (which fortunately also meant a low-footprint, no-budget way.)

Shot over one night, on a budget of $100, we believe that Better Man is one of our best works and is proof that you don’t need big budgets, big lights or big cameras to tell a good story.

About Amelia Mathews

Amelia Mathews

Classically trained as an actor, Amelia Mathews has spent the last 10 years working in American repertory theatres, off-off-Broadway, and independent film.

She received her MFA in acting from the University of Tennessee, and has also trained with master teachers in Bali, Italy, Serbia and Japan.

Favorite projects include Masha in Chekov’s Three Sisters, Constanza Mozart in Amadeus (co-production of Clarence Brown Theater and Knoxville Symphony Orchestra), The Woman in Will Eno’s The Flu Season, Solange in Jean Genet’s The Maids and Sally Bowles in Cabaret, among others.

Her first cinematic effort, So Far, was accepted into the Short Film Corner at the 2014 Cannes International Film Festival. Upcoming films include Kurt Vonnegut’s Long Walk to Forever, R.S.V.P, and her first independent feature Yesterday Last Year.

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