Autistic teen Ricky lives in Far Rockaway, Queens, and while his family struggles with economic hardship, he faces the difficulties of fitting in at school. When he is scolded for skipping class, he escapes into the subway, embarking on a days-long underground odyssey among the subway’s disparate denizens as his mother wages an escalating search effort above ground. As the two parallel stories of mother and son unfold, Hurricane Sandy closes in on the city.
Filmed in the Rockaways, in part during last year’s devastating storm, Stand Clear of the Closing Doors is a film firmly rooted in its community Local director Sam Fleischner demonstrates a remarkable sense of place, both of the rarely filmed Rockaway streets and beaches and the iconic New York City subway, reawakening the viewer to its beauty, strangeness and magic. Experiencing both sides of the city through Ricky’s sensitive eyes, the audience takes a touching, sometimes fantastical journey of community and connection in and below New York City.
Length: 103 minutes
Language: English, Spanish
Director: Sam Fleischner
Screenwriter: Rose Lichter-Marck, Micah Bloomberg
Producer: Veronica Nickel, Andrew Neel, Dave Saltzman, Craig Shilowich
Editor: Talia Barrett
Cinematographer: Adam Jandrup, Ethan Palmer
Production Designer: Sara K. White
Executive Producer: Greg Stewart, Henry Kasdon
Cast: Andrea Suarez, Jesus Valez, Azul Rodriguez, Tenoch Huerta Mejía, Marsha Stephanie Blake
SAM FLEISCHNER is a graduate of Wesleyan University and worked as a projectionist at Anthology Film Archives. His award-winning first feature, Wah Do Dem, was included on several end-of-year top ten lists. He has followed that success with several award-winning short films, music videos and art and video installations at venues throughout the U.S.