A Birthday Story

The tale of twin brothers who fight over each other’s birthday gifts.

Creative team

Writers: Emma Phelan, Alyson Richards
Director: Alyson Richards
Producer: Mike Macmillan

Filmmaker’s statement

A Birthday Story is a loose personification of ‘aggressive’ and ‘passive aggressive.’ And it’s also a story about nostalgia, looking back and interpreting moments from your past with a present lens.

Emma Phelan and I wrote the script a good decade before I decided to pull it out of the drawer and direct it. We used our son as an extra as well our niece and nephew and their friends. And kids grow fast. So, appropriately, a film I tried to craft to have nostalgia already has a crap ton of nostalgia for us.

About Alyson Richards

Alyson Richards

Alyson Richards co-wrote and directed A Birthday Story, an official selection at New Filmmakers Los Angeles (nominated for best foreign comedy) and the Miami Independent Film Festival. The short won a Remi Award at the Houston International Film Festival and an award of excellence at the One-Reeler Short Film Competition.

She also co-wrote the feature thriller The Sublet which premiered at Whistler Film Festival and was released as The Resident in the UK. Her feature screenplay The Retreat ranked top six in the 2018 Slamdance Screenplay Competition. 

As a producer, her projects include Don’t Talk to Irene (Toronto International Film Festival, Austin Film Festival), Guidance (Toronto International Film Festival, Netflix), Quality Balls (Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Showtime), Living In Your Car (HBO Canada) and Docking (Sundance).

Alyson has been a juror for the international Emmy Awards, a mentor at the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and guest speaker at The University of Toronto and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.).

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