Savannah Paige Rae (Parenthood) delivers touching performance with a surprise twist
The 19th annual Sonoma International Film Festival (SIFF) running March 30-April 3 will present a new short by rising filmmaker and LMU graduate, Katie Micay titled The Firefly Girls (Runtime: 11 minutes 18 seconds). The Firefly Girls will screen on Thursday March 31st at 9:30AM @ Vintage House and on Saturday April 2nd at 2:15PM at Veterans Memorial Hall #2.
Will (Mario Schugel) is struggling to move on after his beloved daughter suddenly dies. Stuck in a dark cloud of grief, he spends his time hiding in his house and drinking himself into a stupor. Meanwhile, a young girl from the neighborhood, Gracie (Savannah Paige Rae), is determined to sell the last of her Firefly Girl cookies. So fearless Gracie breaks into his house. Will is caught off-guard and taken aback by this unexpected and unwanted visitor. No matter how hard he tries to get her to leave, Gracie isn’t backing down. Unbeknownst to Will, Gracie is suffering through issues not that different from his own.
Micay worked with writing partner, Kyle Bown, who has worked in television for the better part of a decade. He’s spent time on many shows, including Fringe, The Mentalist, Dark Blue and Moonlight before landing at Pretty Little Liars where he has co-written two episodes and a group of webisodes.
During the writing process, the duo would reference Savannah Paige Rae while watching Parenthood, imagining an actress just like her for the part of Gracie. They were pleased to be able to actually cast her!
“From the start, I knew casting would be crucial,” notes Director Katie Micay. “I needed actors who could be completely raw and vulnerable. I had worked with children in the past but never with a script with this intensity. I knew the child actor would make or break the film. And Mario Schugel was a true find who worked superbly with Savannah. It was a pleasure watching them work together, pushing each other to give 100% in take after take.”
Savannah began her career at the young age of three. Rae’s first television audition was for the hit drama series “House.” You may recognize her as the little girl who stuffed a toy monkey in her dad’s briefcase in the AT&T commercial. Early success continued to follow her and she quickly booked a role, playing the younger version of her real life sister in the film “Phoenix Falling.” Savannah’s next role was Charlotte Foster in the film “Date Night” directed by Shawn Levy, where she played the exuberant and spunky daughter of Steve Carrell and Tina Fey who go on a date night while Leighton Meister plays her babysitter. She is most known for her role as Sydney Graham on NBC’s “Parenthood.” She grew up on the show for the next six seasons. Some of her other credits include “My Best Friend’s Girl” and “Dexter” where she plays young Debra Morgan (Dexter’s Sister) in Showtime’s Emmy award winning drama. Savannah won the 34th Annual Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Television Series-Leading Young Actress for her work on “Parenthood.” Her most recent role was Winnie on Grey’s Anatomy on a pivotal episode where Derek Shepherd dies.
“The Firefly Girls evolved as we were writing it, into a very personal journey for Kyle and me,” notes Director Katie Micay. “It started out as a whimsical fairy tale similar to “Edward Scissorhands” that revolved around a misunderstood man living in the ‘scary’ house all the neighbors avoid. A young girl (who is also an outcast among the kids at school) pushes herself into his house, and world, while selling cookies. Together they bond based on their similarities.”
About Director Katie Micay
Katie Micay graduated from Loyola Marymount University’s film production program. Her first short film, For Love, created at New York Film Academy’s summer program at age 14, is nearing 4,000 hits on YouTube. Her short film Limited Engagement was an Official Selection for the Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival and got an Award of Merit at Women’s Independent Film Festival. She also received a nomination for Film Outside The Frame, LMU’s annual student awards and film festival, for her writing. Her second film My So Called Family was an Official Selection for Bel Air Film Festival. Her most recent short film, Flirt, was an Official Selection for the Reality Bytes Film Festival, and she is currently developing it as a feature.
Katie loves to draw from personal experience when creating a story. My So Called Family was a loose, comedic telling of when her great aunt passed away the week of her grandson’s Bar Mitzvah. Don’t worry, this aunt was a stand up comedian and would have enjoyed the film! She and her friend’s experiences in college inspired Flirt. The Firefly Girls started out as a cute, whimsical story but quickly developed into something very personal. It has helped her process the sudden passing of her aunt.
Director Katie Micay is available for interviews and photographs upon request.
Lesley Diana | Lesley@thepromotionpeople.ca | 604-726-5575
Sonoma Film Festival contact: Kevin W. McNeely firstname.lastname@example.org
THE FIREFLY GIRLS – Sonoma Film Festival Screenings:
Thursday March 31st @ 9:30AM @ Vintage House (Celebrity Cruises venue) & Saturday April 2nd @ 2:15PM @ Veterans Memorial Hall (Vets Hall) #2
Other upcoming Film Festivals for The Firefly Girls: Equinox Women’s Film Festival
Social Media Handles
Twitter: @Fireflygirlfilm, @Katiewonder, @SonomaFilmFest
Facebook: facebook.com/thefireflygirlsfilm, facebook.com/EquinoxFilmFestival
IMDb: Firefly Girls, Katie Micay
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