• Director

    Eric McGinty

  • Country, Year, Length

    United States, 2023, 01:28:00

  • Category

    Narrative Feature

  • Format


  • Festival Year


Film Screening & Ticket Information

When & Where to See this Film!

STOCKADE: A Lebanese painter in financial straits, strives to get her visa extended

April 27, 2024 @ 5:30PM • MoMI Redstone

View the Trailer


Ahlam, a Lebanese painter in financial straits, strives to get her artist visa extended so she can stay in New York City. Hoping to improve her circumstances, Ahlam takes a job delivering a parcel upstate. But the parcel opens a Pandora’s Box, sparking the emergence of various characters with different degrees of menace who take an interest in this mysterious package and its intriguing courier.


Eric McGinty, Director
Eric McGinty, Writer
Anna Sang Park, Executive Producer & Producer
Adam Vazquez, Producer
Eric McGinty, Producer
Lela Meadow-Conner, Executive Producer
Guy de Lancey, Director of Photography
Nay Tabbara, Editor
Alex Wakim, Composer
Sarah Bitar, “Ahlam”
Bahar Beihaghi, “Zora”
Guy de Lancey, “Paul”
Paula Pizzi, “Marta”
Ho-Jung, “Eun-Me”
Guy Camilleri,  “Keith”
Caterina Verde, “Camille”
Eric McGinty, “Richard”
Justine J. Hall, “Judy”
Michael Wiener, “Linton”
Rawya El Chab, “Layla”

Director Statement

STOCKADE is inspired by my experience as an artist who’s tracked the fine art world in New York City for many years. I was intent on building on my interest in the commodification of the artist and artwork in general. Additionally, my research on Middle-Eastern artifacts and the illegal antiquities trade was also a catalyst. Though all these spheres are potentially rife with international intrigue, STOCKADE is a meditation on the pursuit of the mythic American dream.

The film explores how the underground trafficking of ancient artifacts intersects with the modern-day art-commerce world, and how unlikely participants from various corners of the globe willingly and begrudgingly play the game. It’s the ultimate backdrop for a contemporary neo-noir where an immigrant is the protagonist instead of a secondary character. I was determined to make an “immigrant noir,” where characters and situations that are underrepresented in most mainstream films are instead at the center of the story.

When I first met Sarah Bitar (Ahlam) she was attending acting school in New York City while struggling to make ends meet as she navigated the bureaucratic gauntlet necessary to extend her artist visa. She hoped to stay in New York to access opportunities difficult to attain today in her native Lebanon.

Sarah’s actual struggles inspired the creation of our protagonist, Ahlam, a Lebanese painter just out of art school; an antihero who gets caught up in the hyper-capitalistic, colonialistic world of fine art – where greed is the currency. The intersectionality of her real-life – as an immigrant to America and a queer person from a region in the world where the LGBTQ+ community is often not accepted by significant swaths of society – was deeply influential as we crafted the character.

STOCKADE is my version of a slow-burn thriller, seamlessly mixing styles reminiscent of the focused, quotidian vérité of the Dardenne Brothers and the surrealist Americana of David Lynch. Half the film was shot in New York City, while the other half was shot upstate in Kingston, lending to the paradigm of these influential directors. Lyrically combining bold, beguiling images with a menacing storyline, the film fuses naturalism with an expressionist aesthetic.

Our cast and crew resembled a colorful mosaic from around the world – a family of working artists in New York who represent the city’s working people. It was imperative for me to collaborate with Lebanese cast and crew members, including our editor, composer, and several actors. Other performers are from the Middle-Eastern diaspora, South Africa, Argentina, and to everyone’s relief, Sarah’s artist visa was granted an extension soon after principal photography began.

Director Biography

Eric McGinty’s first feature, Wallabout, won the Best Narrative Feature Award at the 2015 Bushwick Film Festival and the Best Personal Narrative Award at the 2014 Manhattan Film Festival. In 2016, Wallabout played for a month at the venerable Paris art house, Cinéma Saint-André des Arts, where the esteemed film magazine, Positif, gave it 4 stars. Eric’s previous credits include the short films The Mitten, and TransMission 1998, a documentary featuring painter Luke Gray. Based in Brooklyn, Eric grew up in a bicultural environment, having been raised in Paris and Washington, D.C. by a French mother and an American father. As a first assistant director, Eric often collaborated with French directors who were shooting films in the US, including Cédric Klapisch, Luc Besson, Olivier Nakache/Eric Toledano, and Rachid Bouchareb. He began his career in Paris working as an actor and stage manager in theater and modern dance. He attended the Sorbonne and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where he concentrated his studies in film and literature.