A millennial comedian with severe social anxiety gets emboldened by dark fantasies starring a bartender at her work. A short film by Melanie Notinger with DP Layton Blaylock (COMMUNITY FIRST, A HOME FOR THE HOMELESS, SXSW). The script was a Second Rounder in Austin Film Festival's 2016 Screenwriting Conference. 




Lighthouse International Film Festival, 2018


Artists & Beers, 2018


The East Village Queer Film Festival, 2017


The Iron Mule Short Comedy Film Series, 2017




CHOKE ARTIST explores casual anxieties that we carry on a daily basis; the thoughts that stop us from being brave, confident, and vulnerable. I've experienced middle-school-level social anxiety all my life. It's a product of living in my head. I began writing and performing stand-up shortly after coming out as bisexual. It was a way for me to face my fears and confusion; to find my voice. While working as a bar host, I found myself frequently drifting off into vivid fantasies. Anything to escape. One night at the host stand, I started twisting my choker around my finger and spaced out into a fantasy. From that feeling of asphyxiation, the concept for CHOKE ARTIST emerged. The film questions how our fantasy lives can directly affect our waking lives...if we let them.
While the script is deeply inspired by true events, it is fiction. The film is dedicated to Jeremy Torres, a dear mentor who taught me to be brave above all.

Melanie Notinger Writer/Dir./Lead

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