kweliTV | [solitary]

[solitary] \ 17 mins \ United States

Locked away in a prison’s solitary confinement unit, an inmate fights to stay human while forced to endure the compounding psychological effects of long-term isolation.


Grand Prize - Cine Gear Expo Film Series Competition; Grand Prize - March on Washington Film Festival; Audience Award Winner - Media Film Festival; Grand Prize - Underexposed Film Festival; Best Short, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Editing - Massachusetts Independent Film Festival; Best Sound Design - Southampton International Film Festival; Best Actor (Kofi Bamfo) - Kolkata Shorts International Film Festival; Vail Film Festival; Dances with Film; Greenwich International Film Festival; Kolkata Shorts International Film Festival; Hollyshorts Film Festival; Southampton Film Festival; Massachusetts Independent Film Festival; Tallgrass Film Festival; Lone Star Film Festival; Denver Film Festival; Lone Star Film Festival; Praxis Film Festival; Green Bay Film Festival; Big Muddy Film Festival; Richmond International Film Festival; Crossroads Film Festival; Media Film Festival; Kansas City FilmFest; Arpa International Film Festival; NewFilmmakers NY - Fall Series

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Derek J. Pastuszek

Born in Philadelphia, educated in Boston, and trained in Los Angeles, Derek J. Pastuszek is an award-winning filmmaker whose stories live on the border between the literary and the cinematic. He holds a BS in Film & Television and a BA in English Literature (from Boston University, 2012); and a Master of Fine Arts degree (from the American Film Institute Conservatory, 2015). He currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

In 2013, Pastuszek began his studies at the AFI Conservatory, where he developed, workshopped, and completed several feature scripts, TV pilots, and web series – which have placed highly in a number of industry screenwriting competitions -- and also penned an award-winning 2015 AFI Thesis film, The Duke: Based on the Memoir ‘I’m The Duke’ by J.P. Duke, which won acclaim at a number of international film festivals. In 2016, his first film as writer and director, [solitary], a narrative short film exploring one prison inmate’s psychological descent while being held in solitary confinement, premiered and has been playing in festivals across the map as well -- winning numerous awards on its journey, including Grand Prize at the Cine Gear Expo Film Series Competition and Grand Prize at the March on Washington Film Festival (2016).

In addition to working as a reader for multiple production companies, Pastuszek is currently developing projects for both film and television as well as directing music videos for various bands/labels in Los Angeles.

He recently earned his Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a martial art that he has dedicated himself to practicing every day.

All from this director.