Tickets go on sale on Friday, February 19th


Don’t miss the moderated Q&A session with filmmakers from:


Thu Feb 27, 2020 – 7:30 pm | Hendricks Arts Center
Sat Feb 29, 2020 – 12:00 pm | La Casa Grande

The Maestro

Directed by Adam Cushman
Narrative Feature
USA | 96 min | 2018

After the Second World War, budding film composer Jerry Herst (Leo Marks) moves to Hollywood to study with infamous master teacher Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (Xander Berkeley) – most known for his famed students John Williams, Andre Previn, Jerry Goldsmith, and many others.

As pressure begins to mount from his father Abe (William Russ) and his brother Sam (Mackenzie Astin), Jerry tries to discover if he has what it takes for a lifelong career in music.

The Maestro, poster | Mackenzie Austin

When I started my filmmaking journey, I was keenly aware of the limited opportunities I had as a queer filmmaker who wanted to tell stories for and about the queer community. The few stories that got made were rarely told through a compassionate lens. Many of the queer characters in these stories were deluged in stereotypes, mostly derogatory, and also painted as victims. My mission as a storyteller became clear: choose and write stories that help change these archaic and damaging narratives and educate others on how to do the same.

Gossamer Folds is unique and refreshing in many ways. The film depicts a healthy relationship between a trans adult and a child, which unfortunately, is rare in media. It’s a film about the unlikely friendship between two sets of neighbors who are culturally taught to hate each other: a 10-yr-old white boy and a 25-yr-old black trans woman. This hatred is fueled by the young boy’s transphobic father when he forbids his son, Tate, to engage with their next-door neighbor, Gossamer, a trans woman. Behind his father’s back, Tate forms a friendship with Gossamer and sees beyond the abhorrent discrimination he’s been taught.

Gossamer Folds shows how hatred is a learned experience and how we ultimately have the choice to be open-hearted and kind. Sometimes our biological families aren’t the ones who foster and yield the best versions of ourselves and that’s okay. One of the greatest assets of the queer community is the idea and practice of choosing our families. Ultimately, this film is about chosen family, unassuming neighbors, and the beautiful and unlikely bonds that can be found next door.

Adam Cushman | The MaestroAdam Cushman

Writer, director and producer Adam Cushman has directed many short films including three award-winning ones: THE WHIPPING CLUB, FIVE FAMILIES, and THE POET. His first feature film RESTRAINT stars Dana Ashbrook (Twin Peaks) and Caitlyn Folley (The FP) and is available on Amazon Prime.

Film Information

Director: Adam Cushman
Country: USA
Year: 2018
Language: English
Runtime: 96 min.
Rated: PG-13


Writer: CV Herst
Producer: David J. Phillips

Connect With This Film

Principal Cast

BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival