Director/Editor/Writer: Austin Bunn
In May 1988, girlfriends Claudia Brenner and Rebecca Wight were attacked while hiking the Appalachian Trail by a ‘mountain man’ named Stephen Roy Carr. Combining documentary and narrative material, IN THE HOLLOW tells the story of the shooting, Wight’s death, and Brenner’s desperate survival (and later transformation into an advocate for hate crime legislation in the U.S.) as she returns to the trail for the first time since the shooting.
Director Austin Bunn (screenwriter, KILL YOUR DARLINGS; writer/producer, LAVENDER HILL (short documentary)) combines documentary materials and narrative film elements, using the actual locations on the trail and dramatizations co-written by Claudia Brenner based on her testimony. The film follows Brenner as she hikes the Appalachian Trail, twenty-six years later, in search of the site of the shooting and path of her survival. Shot five times, Claudia Brenner eventually became a victim’s advocate and a passionate campaigner for the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990, the first piece of Federal legislation in the history of hate crime legislation in America.
Funded by: Cornell Council for the Arts, Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation, The Zwickler Memorial Fund, The Department of Performing and Media Arts, Cornell's Feminist Gender & Sexuality Studies and LGBT Studies Departments. Produced with the assistance of The Center for Independent Documentary.
Screenings: Inside Out 2015 (Toronto) -- Audience Prize Best Short Documentary, Frameline 2015 (San Francisco), Honolulu Rainbow Film festival, Provincetown International Film Festival, Iris Prize (UK) -- Runner Up, Best Short Film, Newfest (NY) -- Audience Prize Best Short Documentary, Miami-Fort Lauderdale LGBT Film Festival - Jury Prize, USN|Expo (Sardinia, IT) -- Best Short Film, ReelQ (PA), OutEast Film Festival (Halifax, CA), Milwaukee Film Festival (WI), Atlanta Out on Film (GA), ImageOut (Rochester, NY), Sacramento LGBT Film Festival (CA), Top Drawer (Dayton, OH), DocUTAH (UT), Sidewalk/Shout Film Festival (Birmingham, AL), and others.
THE FILMMAKER: Austin Bunn is a writer, screenwriter, and professor. A Michener-Copernicus Fellow, he is the author of The Brink, published by Harper Perennial and selected as a Lamdba Lit finalist and Electric Literature "Best Short Story Collection of 2015." He wrote the script for Kill Your Darlings, with the film's director John Krokidas, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and won the International Days Prize at the Venice Film Festival. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Zoetrope, The Pushcart Prize, Best American Science and Nature Writing, and elsewhere. His monologue, "Basement Story," won the Missouri Review Audio Essay Prize and has been broadcast on WBEZ, Third Coast, Australian Radio, and Michigan Public Radio. The audiobook of The Brink won the Audie 2017 for best fiction collection from Audible. He has written feature screenplays for Fox 2000, Lionsgate, Participant Media, Page1, and served as a mentor at the Screenwriters' Colony (Nantucket) and Outfest Screenwriting Lab. His award-winning short documentaries, "Lavender Hill" and "In the Hollow," have screened nationally and internationally at Frameline (SF), OutFest (LA), InsideOut (Toronto), Provincetown International Film Festival (MA), Sidewalk Film Festival (AL), Milwaukee Film Festival (WI), MEZIPATRA (Czechoslovakia), USN Expo (Italy), and elsewhere. He is a graduate of Yale and the Iowa Writers' Workshop and teaches at Cornell University.