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Alexandra Turshen

N. Stonington High School grad seeks support for sci-fi film


NEW YORK — The journey from student to actress was an interesting enough evolution for former North Stonington resident Robin Rose Singer, but with just three days left to raise enough money to complete her company’s latest film, “Aphasia,” the journey’s become all the more interesting — if not wildly intense.

The film, which takes its name from a brain disorder that causes difficulties in communicating, is a short, sci-fi drama in which the main character comes face to face with the consequences of her dependency on technology. It is being funded through the crowd-funding platform Indiegogo, now through Friday at noon, with the high hopes that it will be accepted at an Oscar-qualifying festival like Cannes, Sundance, or Tribeca.

“We are aiming big, because we believe this message needs to be heard,” said Singer, a 1999 Wheeler High School graduate. “Short film is a pure medium... it does not generally turn a profit, so we are dependent upon the support of a community that believes in the story.”

Singer said her transition into filmmaking began while she was studying literature at New York University. After taking classes with Tim Robbins (“Mystic River,” “Bull Durham” and “Shawshank Redemption”) and Tony Kushner (“Angels in America”), Singer said she had an epiphany.

“I realized that I was more interested in performance and production,” said the actress, who also writes and produces films.

Earlier this year, Singer and fellow actress Olivia Bosek founded A Small Fire Productions, an independent production company that specializes in unique and compelling storytelling.

Bosek said the company’s goal is to create films that are artistic and entertaining. They hope to have their inaugural production, a short comedy called “Sideswiped,” hitting film festivals next year, but for now, they’re making a big push for “Aphasia.”

Singer, who also works at a New York City wine bar, said she was inspired to write “Aphasia” after realizing how many people are plugged into their electronic devices.

She came up with the idea when she was out one Friday night in the city.

“I looked around the restaurant, and half the people had their faces buried in their phone screens,” she said. “They were texting, checking in on FourSquare, tagging the friends they were with, and posting pictures of their dinner on Pinterest, and I wondered, ‘Is anyone even eating?’

“Or are they just posting about eating? Maybe we should be talking about this, before we aren’t talking to each other at all anymore.’ My language is film.”

“We are raising a new generation that does not know life without the Internet,” said Singer.

As someone who grew up playing in the woods of North Stonington, she said, “that thought is a little bit horrifying. I mean, what price will we pay for our dependency on smart devices?”

For now, people can pay to help get the film completed by going to the website www.aphasiathefilm.com and clicking an Indiegogo link, or they can go directly to the Indiegogo campaign page, www.indiegogo.com/projects/aphasia-the-film and donate through the site.

“This is really, really exciting,” said Singer.

nbfusaro@thewesterlysun.com



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