Subscribe for Email Updates
A late night phone call wakes Anna Ellison from sleep. It's
the news every parent dreads: her 20-year-old son,
August, has fallen from a high window. A powerful, haunting
mystery, August Falls tells the story of one woman's struggle
to find the truth behind her son's disturbing death.
Traveling to the city where the tragic event occurred, Anna must unravel the surprising circumstances of her son's life as she pieces together the reason for its brutal end. The police, concluding that his fatality was a suicide, offer little solace. Attempting to make sense of the loss of her only child and grappling with feelings of guilt for their estrangement, she takes up in August’s old apartment. There she meets Jonas, the building’s superintendent. Though guarded at first, Jonas is able to form a tentative bond with Anna, a shared longing for love and company in a world that feels strangely desolate.
Soon Anna comes to believe that August's demise was not the suicide the jaded police maintain. Determined to know the person her son had become and to uncover the reasons for his fall, Anna begins connecting with the people and places that had been important to him. Her investigation brings her and Jonas to the darker corners of a criminal underworld, where her own life is suddenly in jeopardy. Desperate to understand the violence that claimed her son, Anna searches for a villain. Instead she is introduced to the true nature of human cruelty, and forced to confront it on its own shadowy level.
About a year ago, psychologist, author, and friend Matt McKay asked me to
read the first draft of a novel he had been working on called Looking for
August. Having worked with Matt on my first feature, Being Us, and knowing
what a great mind he has for plot, character and theme, I eagerly accepted his
invitation. I ended up devouring the thick manuscript in a day.
Looking for August had a lot of interesting elements: complicated characters, a
compelling mystery, uncompromising emotional content, and an empathic sense of the human
condition. Set against the backdrop of a modern urban gay scene, Matt had drawn a psychologically dense portrait of a desperate woman searching for the truth behind the life and mysterious death of her estranged son. I really connected with Matt’s central character, Anna, finding her to be both heroic and flawed, her choices both heartbreaking and completely accessible. Anna’s feelings of guilt for the mistakes she made as a young, ignorant mother, and her profound need to find out how she lost her son compounded to create a beautiful tragic picture of a woman in crisis. I felt deeply for her plight, and rooted for her as she stumbled along the messy path towards understanding. The story forced me to examine my own assumptions about the nature of justice, and why people do horrible things to each other. Sometimes with, sometimes without malice, but always through the lens of our own personal navigation principles.
When Matt asked my writing partner, Dan Mayer, and I to work on a screenplay version of the novel with him, we were thoroughly excited. There was so much drama on the page, we both saw the cinematic potential. So we joined forces and spent the better part of a year honing our story. Passionately arguing overarching themes and minute details alike, we endeavored to breathe life into Anna’s heartrending journey. I believe that in doing so, we were able to say something honest about ourselves.
Sam Hancock, April 2014
Sam Hancock’s feature debut was as director, producer and co-writer of Being Us, a dramatic love story about a woman living with multiple personalities. Starring Hollywood staple Alanna Ubach, and slated for a July 2014 release by Gravitas Ventures, Being Us was hailed by LA Weekly as being “grittier than Silver Linings Playbook,” and by Examiner.com as “A drama of great quality.” Prior to that project, he directed a number of short films including San Jose Short Film Festival audience award winner Shipping & Handling and the Cinemasports standout Therapy has its Limits. He also worked in a number of creative and technical roles in the San Francisco Bay Area production scene, including winning best cinematography from the 48 Hour Film Project for his work as the director of photography in the short film Solitude.
Hancock started acting in professional theater productions in his teens and holds a B.F.A from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he worked with such theater/film/TV legends as Gerald Freedman, David Petrarca, Romulus Linney, Joe Mantello, and Terrence McNally. This background gives him valuable insight into the craft of bringing characters to life. Often referred to as an “actor’s director,” Hancock focuses on collaborating with artists who bring their own sense of creativity to the table, consistently eliciting stellar performances from his casts.
Matt McKay is a Doctor of clinical psychology specializing in treating anxiety and trauma, and is currently a professor of psychology at The Wright Institute, a graduate school in Berkeley, CA. In 1979 he co-founded the Haight Ashbury Psychological Services Clinic, and later went on to co-found the influential publishing company New Harbinger Publications. Dr McKay has written more than thirty books on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that have sold over 3 million copies worldwide.
In addition to his work as a psychologist and non-fiction author McKay enjoys writing music, poetry, and fiction. He has two published novels, Us and Wawona Hotel, and two books of poetry. His first foray into filmmaking was another collaboration with Director Sam Hancock on the film Being Us.
Amelia Belle works in many departments within the Entertainment Industry: Accounting, Casting, Line Producing, Budgeting, Acting, Marketing, & Design. She holds degrees in both Theatre & Psychology and has professional training in production management, website design, marketing, and accounting.
Currently, Ms. Belle works at Lakeshore Entertainment as the Post Production Accountant. Also, she assisted the Casting Director on "Underworld 5," which brings back Kate Beckinsale and Theo James. She has done post accounting for "Underworld 5," "Age of Adaline," "The Boy," & "American Pastoral," Furthermore, she was the Production Accountant on "Cover Versions," & "Internet Famous," both original feature films from Off the Dock (A Lakeshore Company).
She is known for her roles in Legally Blonde as Serena and Meet the Fockers as Isabel Villalobos. She has provided voices for several characters in a number of animated television shows and movies including four characters in the Oscar-winning animated film Rango. She is currently working with Scott Baio & Mark Curry on the Nick-at-Nite series See Dad Run as Amy Hobbs.
As a director, producer and writer of feature films, music videos and theater, Mr. Porter has amassed an impressive list of credits that include the award-winning family short-film Hatched, the multi-media hit Bram Stoker’s Dracula that combined live theater and motion picture as well as co-writer of the feature film In the Eyes of the Killer staring Costas Mandylor (Say III-VII). Mr. Porter is a graduate of the New York Film Academy (Universal Studios).
Matthew is an award winning actor, producer, writer, and poet currently living in Northern California. He is a founding partner of The Bushmen Presents and BelleHammer Consulting. Matthew has multiple projects in various stages, from development to distribution, on both screen and stage. His philosophy is that the story is King, the cast is the Queen, and the crew is the royal family dwelling in a castle built by business men.