Alyssa Thordarson and Michael Glover Smith set World, Int’l and Local Premieres for ‘Paper Planes’

PAPER PLANES, a new short film co-directed by Alyssa Thordarson [AFTER (A LOVE STORY)] and Michael Glover Smith (RELATIVE), based on an original screenplay by Thordarson, will have its world, international and local premieres at festivals this month. Described in a joint directors’ statement as a “Christmas-set rom-com about the need for connection in the modern world,” PAPER PLANES stars Shaina Schrooten (REVEALER) as a woman with agoraphobia who strikes up a correspondence with an Airbnb guest (Thordarson) in her apartment building. The two women soon find their relationship becoming “something more for the holidays.” 

The film will have its world premiere at the AfterImage Film Festival in St. Charles on Saturday, April 15 and Sunday, April 16, with Thordarson, Smith and Schrooten all present for a Q&A following both screenings.

Here is your first look at PAPER PLANES…

Under the auspices of Andrew Carlin, director of theatrical sales for Oscilloscope Laboratories, AfterImage has established itself as a premiere Midwest film festival by bringing acclaimed movies to the Fox Valley region of Illinois since 2019. In an exclusive interview with SCREEN, Smith said, “Alyssa and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be premiering at AfterImage. A lot of our favorite independent films of recent years, like Alex Thompson’s SAINT FRANCES, have screened there, and it’s an honor to be included in their 2023 lineup. It’s also just a lovely part of the state to visit (my wife and I got engaged on the banks of the Fox River!) and we can’t wait to connect with viewers from St. Charles, Geneva and Batavia.”

Paper Planes Soar to Italy for International Premiere

The film’s international and local premieres will follow shortly afterwards: PAPER PLANES will screen in the “Future Lovers” narrative shorts competition at the 38th Lovers Film Festival in Torino, Italy on April 20 and 21. The Lovers Film Festival is the largest LGBTQ+ film festival in Italy and the oldest such festival in Europe. The film’s composer, UK-based musician Trev Gibb, will be present for those screenings.

The Chicago premiere will then occur at the Music Box Theater on April 30 as part of the opening night of the Cinema Femme Short Film Festival. PAPER PLANES will play twice that evening – in the “Let’s Chicago” and “Before Midnight Part One” shorts programs – with cast and crew present for both screenings.

Thordarson spoke to SCREEN about the flurry of upcoming screenings: “Michael and I thought we had something special with this film, and are so gratified that several prestigious festivals so far seem to agree. It’s such a privilege to be able to bring PAPER PLANES not only to our home state and city but around the world in such short order. In particular, I can’t wait for audiences to fall in love with Shaina Schrooten as Rachel in a warm, brave, and compelling performance, and to enjoy her journey and all the emotions the holiday season can bring, any time of year.”

PAPER PLANES will continue its festival run with multiple screenings in May, to be announced soon. More information about the film can be found on the official website.

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