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Directed by Cynthia Wade
Narrative Short
USA | 25 min | 2021

Beth lives with constant reminders of her deceased husband — a local health guru named Sproutman. She dodges her neighbors who chant yoga mantras and drink green juices in his honor. When her son grows increasingly obsessed with his dad’s legacy, Beth wonders: who am I now without Sproutman? As Beth forges a path she neither expected nor wanted, she learns that life can hold despair and joy at the same time.

I am fascinated by the intersection of fact and fiction. “Sproutland” is a narrative experiment where I cast a real woman, a recent widow in a small town, to play herself in a screenplay based on true events. This quiet, internal film is about small moments, where a widow’s tiniest choices indicate emotional shifts as she transitions from despair to hope.

Cinematographer Boaz Freund, who has shot several of my feature documentaries as well as my “real people” TV ads, used his Alexa and Zeiss super speeds to paint a neo-realistic world in a small Massachusetts town. The locations are real places; the cast is a mix of professional actors and real people. The script, conceived by me and written by Nannina Gilder, weaves narrative hyperbole and non-fiction truth.

Sproutland. - Poster

Sproutland - Cynthia WadeCynthia Wade

Cynthia Wade is an Oscar winning documentary director based in Los Angeles. Her documentaries include THE FLAG MAKERS (in production for National Geographic), GRIT (13 awards, Emmy nomination, PBS), GENERATION STARTUP (Netflix), LIVING THE LEGACY (Sundance Channel), GROWING HOPE AGAINST HUNGER (Sesame Street Prime Time Special, Emmy Winner), MONDAYS AT RACINE (Oscar nominee, HBO), FREEHELD (Oscar winner, HBO), SELFIE (Clio winner), BORN SWEET (Oscar shortlist), SHELTER DOGS (HBO) and GRIST FOR THE MILL (Cinemax).

She directs television commercials featuring real people (from Kellogg’s Mini Wheats to Dove Real Beauty).

Cynthia has won over 60 film festival awards worldwide and holds a Master’s Degree in Documentary Film Production from Stanford University. She is represented by WME.

Film Information

Director: Cynthia Wade
Country: USA
Year: 2021
Language: English
Runtime: 25 min.
Rated: PG-13


Writer: Nannina Gilder
Producer: Matthew Syrett
Music: Max Avery Lichtenstein
Editor: Fiona Otway
Cinematography: Boaz Freund

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Principal Cast

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