Cast: Claire Lilley, Marie DiNorcia, Caroline Renner
Crew: Producers: Julia Kennelly, Karine Benzaria – Screenwriters: Dina Graham – Director of Photography: Isaac Berner – Production Design: David Jaffe – Costume Designer: Adrianna Covone – Editor: Ben Rossen – Composer: Scott James
After her first rebellious night out with friends, 16 year-old Claire finds the effects of her adventure, a little hard to stomach. Written and Directed by Dina Graham, “Medium Rare” is a nuanced coming-of-age drama told through an unusual lens. Claire, a bright-eyed, innocent 16 year-old, dines with her picture perfect family. As they enjoy their meal, a triage of perfectly cooked medium-rare steaks, Claire is more involved with her phone, excited about tonights upcoming secret adventure. Later that night, after the parents have gone to sleep, Claire and her mischievous friends sneak out a window. Their destination? The hottest nightclub in town. It’s Claire’s first time but her friends are experienced. As the night wears on, Claire’s experience will shape her view of the world. The lesson learned is not a feel good moral, rather a universal truth many women understand, but not too many speak about. “Medium Rare” is a film that explores the female experience through the eyes of a 16 year-old during her first night out. Changed by her encounter, Claire will be unsettled by what she can’t unsee.
Dina Graham is a New York-based Writer and Director for narrative film and branded commercial content. She has worked for multiple New York based and internationally based production companies as both a Producer and Assistant Director, including the British Broadcasting Company at Radio 1 in London, UK. While Dina is within the Director’s Guild as a 2nd Assistant Director, her passion lies in the creative, specifically telling stories by, for, and about women in the modern age. She is founder of New York-based production company Grahamcracker Media LLC.
Medium Rare started out as a conversation over drinks. The discussion, probably a bit too dark for casual conversation but incredibly on brand for the group of filmmakers at the table, centered around women, particularly at what age they first got harassed or witnessed someone being harassed by a man. The range of answers, some as young as seven, none older than twelve, surprised many of the men at the table. The women however, desensitized from years of the experience, proved unphased. For me, the age was 11, a man followed me around as I walked two blocks from the playground to my home. The entire walk he shouted, “You’re beautiful you know.” “Nice shorts.” “Where are you going? Can I come?” Did I mention I was 11 years old? This script was developed with the belief that something this personal can be and is universal to most women. The experience I most wanted to capture is that of the innocence of it all: not knowing how something so seemingly small will stay with you for the rest of your life. Whether you experience harassment first hand or witness it happen to someone else, it changes the way you see people and it changes the experience you have. And that is exactly what happened to Claire. To be absolutely clear, this film isn’t about how men are bad. In fact, this film is not about men at all. It’s about the female experience, the coming-of-age story that is not spoken about or explained, and is rarely ever discussed. The idea of growing up and being given attention puts a different taste in your mouth once it actually happens. That metaphor is exactly what I tried to encapsulate within this story. Whether you can identify with Claire in this film or not, I hope that this snippet of life leaves you questioning the world around you and how your experience might differ or agree with the person sitting across the table. Thank you for your support and I hope you enjoy the film.