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A twisted reclamation of masculinity, identity, and sexuality.

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Toxic masculinity has come to a head and this story explores the consequences not just for women, but for men. The phrase "toxic masculinity" is thrown around flippantly, and its potential root causes are very rarely explored. When a person is plagued with jealousy, they are willing to do almost anything in order to acquire what they desire.
Our protagonist, August, internalizes the relationship that his best friend Wren shares with his girlfriend Julia as a direct, personal attack on him and his identity. Due to the fact August is not getting the same amount of attention and affection that he is used to from Wren, he goes behind Wren's back to manipulate Julia.
August's internalized turmoil triggers an out-of-body experience that then drives him to make intimidating, coerced advances toward the people he loves.

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A Statement from the Artist

by Nora Stock

“I wanted to direct a film centered around a male friendship because I believe that there is a cliched view that women can’t explore masculinity or the male experience.
I want the emphasis of my characters not to be on what makes them different, queer, or even amoral, but rather on their inherent motivations —to connect with one another the best way that they know how.
I believe that since there has been such a heavy push for queer representation —the output has become more political than artistically driven. I believe that audiences—regardless of sexual orientation—deserve to be able to root for anti-heroes, characters with questionable morals, and inherently flawed characters.
My film is for audiences who are looking to let go of their own internalized biases and get lost in the minds of the characters. I am hoping to reach individuals who enjoy films that are hyperreal, but make you feel like you are in an alternate reality.”

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Nora Stock


Nora's favorite part about directing is getting to relay to an audience exactly how she sees the world frame-by-frame with a hyper-realistic lens. Nora enjoys finding commonalities with characters and storylines that differ greatly from her own personal life experiences and values. Nora relishes in the intricacies of ambiguous characters, and has committed herself to exploring the unanswerable question: “why do people act the way that they do?”


Official Selections & Awards


Behind The Scenes

Promotional Stills

Cast photo!
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Smoke Break
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  • Digital

  • 16x9

  • 2160K

  • Stereo

  • 9:36

  • English

  • United States

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Jolly Moel

"It is refreshing, to see a movie reflecting and even luxuriating in its own cynicism and this leads me to believe Nora Stock will go on to become a hugely important figure in independent cinema."


"Friends, best friends, something more? This is a story of not only identity but also jealousy and anger - all packed within a ten-minute short film."

Alex Saveliev

"With strong performances from the trio, Ecstasy Behind the Forgotten serves as a glimpse into the lives of Gen-Z’ers, the search for the self, via sexual gratification."

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