The Stairs

  • Director

    Jessica Aquila Cymerman

  • Country, Year, Length

    United States, 2023, 14:59

  • Category

    Narrative Short

  • Format


  • Festival Year


Film Screening & Ticket Information

When & Where to See this Film!

OVER THE FENCE: 7 stories about getting to where you must go.

April 23, 2024 @ 9:30PM • Kaufman Astoria Studios – Zukor Theatre


Rose, a child of Irish and Italian immigrants in 1968 Brooklyn, attempts to fit in with the boys by joining the game her brother plays with his friend. Their tenement building super and local Deacon starts preying on Rose, until Mrs. Teruli, an old-world Italian healer breaks his hold.


Jessica Aquila Cymerman, Director, The Den, The Mad Ones
Jessica Aquila Cymerman, Writer
Kate Hamilton, Producer, Aspirational Slut, Miss Patti, Just the Two of Us
Natalie Britton, Producer, Aspirational Slut, Miss Patti, Just the Two of Us
Briella Guiza, Key Cast, “Rose”, Ambulance, There’s Something Wrong with the Children
Guy Nardulli, Key Cast, “Mario “, Tulsa King, Red Notice
Jayne Taini, Key Cast, “Mrs. Teruli”, Unbelievable, Station 19, Ray Donovan, The Way Back
Natalia Abelleyra, Key Cast, “Mary”, Barry, Gaslit
Éanna O’Dowd, Key Cast, “Papa”, Limetown, Supernatural
Allie Schultz, Cinematographer, Kickstart My Heart, Your Monster, Make the Call
Jack Lawrence Mayer, Editor, Big House, Single Long, Distance
Adrian Wittenberg, Production Designer, Tacoma, Two Lives in Pittsburgh
Rob Gokee, Composer, The Hypogognic, Stuck in Greece, Delicate State
Alex Reeves, Sound, Burning at Both Ends, Silent River
Arianna Shining Star, Color, Shared Space, The Shade, The Butler
Deborah Aquila, Executive Producer

Director Biography

Jessica is a film and theatre director, producer and writer from Los Angeles. She splits her time between California, Ireland and Canada.

Film credits include the shorts WHEN DO WE BEGIN?, ONE MORE LINE, THE STAIRS, KING KILLER, THE MAD ONES, and THE DEN. THE DEN (2022) finished an extended festival run (Winner “Best Director” Vesuvius Int’l film festival; Official selection: Seattle Film Festival, Austin FF, Sarasota FF, Tall Grass FF, Albuquerque FF, and many more). THE STAIRS is beginning its festival circuit (Winner “Best Female Director” Stockholm Short Festival; Official selection Dances with Films LA, SOHO International FF, Albuquerque FF, Mallorca Evolution FF, and was a Jury Award nominee for Best Narrative Short at the Rome International FF, so far.

In 2017 she co-founded the Theatre company, Untold Wants in Dublin (now world-traveling), where she continues to direct and produce contemporary theatre.

Theatre directing credits include Julie: After Strindberg (North American premiere), The Pillowman, Gruesome Playground Injuries, Cock, The Human Ear (North American premiere), Reasons to be Pretty (all for Untold Wants Theatre, co-artistic director); The Gift, Strange Relations (staged readings, IAMA Theatre, LA), Ted and the Right to Die (RCS, Glasgow); Il Cambiale di Matrimonio (Raucous Rossini, Glasgow); The Seagull: A Musical Adaptation (co-writer, Original Production, RCS); Urinetown The Musical; Reefer Madness! The Musical and The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? (Sarah Lawrence). Assistant direction: La Rondine by Puccini (dir. Ben Davis, RCS). Assistant directed and associate produced Phantom Owls Production’s collection of seven shows for the Edinburgh Fringe (2015) including Filthy Talk for Troubled Times by Neil LaBute, Fault Lines by Stephen Belber (dir. Matthew Lillard).

She holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, and an MA in Directing from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, with training from Shakespeare’s Globe, UK.