Sloan Grant-Winner Malcolm Silver-Van Meter ’18 to Direct Short Film “Heartbreak on Murray Hill”
November 23, 2022
Malcolm Silver-Van Meter will be hosting a fundraiser at TA for his Heartbreak on Murray Hill project in December.
Malcolm Silver Van Meter ‘18 shot parts of Agincourt (his last film as a high school student and submission piece for admission to NYU’s film school) in Thetford Academy’s Martha Jane Rich Theater. The film, a collaboration with classmates Hallie Zens ‘18 and Alex MacVeagh ‘18, required an awful lot of real dirt brought indoors for its French farmhouse set. The buildings and grounds staff were supportive, though it probably wasn’t their favorite student production. “God, that was so much fun,” Malcolm said, remembering.
Agincourt followed years of small film projects, developed with friends and classmates from Thetford. Malcolm remembers his first attempt in elementary school – a stop-motion series Playmobil Island created with classmate Evan Koppers – as the start of his interest in the medium. By high school, he and his growing group of collaborators had graduated to noirs, westerns, horror, and mockumentaries. With classmate Clare Swanson, he entered CATV’s (now Junction Arts and Media) 48-hour film slam with a western, and eventually made seven more movies for CATV competitions. At Thetford Academy, Malcolm acted in twelve theater productions, and says most of what he knows about working with actors he learned from watching Ray Chapin (former English/Drama teacher) direct.
“Filmmaking is play, and I think my work is best when I remember that. The biggest difference between a bunch of kids playing dress-up (or performing a class sketch for Founders’ Day) and a ‘real movie’ is the budget, but the essence of it is the same.”
Malcolm Silver-Van Meter with Hallie Zens and Eloise Van Meter on set of Agincourt, before his senior year at Thetford Academy.
Now entering his last semester at NYU, Malcolm has built a reputation and a resume in the film industry–as an actor, director, and writer. In 2021, his script for Vemork, a World War II story, was awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Screenwriting Award and was one of six nationally–and the only undergraduate script–nominated for the Sloan Student Grand Jury Prize. The project took Malcolm to the Sloan Film Summit in Los Angeles and to the Cannes Film Festival this spring.
His latest project, a short film titled Heartbreak on Murray Hill, is in pre-production with Izzie Nadah and Maya Moravec and their company One & Other Productions. One & Other has been a great fit, specializing in uplifting unheard voices and helping to launch the careers of young artists. They have produced films that have screened all over the world, including at the Cannes Film Festival in the short film corner, La Backroom in Paris, and Maven’ House NYC.
“Where I come from is hugely important to me. This January, I’ll finish shooting ‘December 1964’, a project based on a true story from my grandfather’s life about financial corruption; and in March I’ll finish post-production on ‘Up: The Brian Boland Story’, a documentary about hot air balloonist and Post Mills celebrity Brian Boland, who passed in 2021.”
Still from ‘December 1964’, Malcolm as Don Silverstein shot by Samuel Wright Smith
With O & O, Malcolm is excited to tell the stories his grandmother Bobby has shared with him. “My grandparents have always been a great source of inspiration to me, both personally and as a storyteller, so Heartbreak on Murray Hill is very close to my heart,” Malcolm said. In the film, set in the largely Catholic immigrant community of 1950s Murray Hill, Manhattan, 11 year-old Bobby is going through her first break up and facing a host of new adolescent insecurities. These growing pains are compounded by her parents’ struggling marriage and her intersectional community’s own struggle to find footing in a new country.
On December 17, Malcolm and O & O will be in the Upper Valley to promote Heartbreak on Murray Hill with a fundraising event at TA. The event will be in the Thetford Academy library from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. is free and open to the public. All are welcome, whether to donate or to learn more about the project and meet the team. The project can also be followed on Instagram @heartbreakshortfilm, and on One & Other’s website. Donations to the project are welcome and can be made online via Fractured Atlas. Heartbreak on Murray Hill is due to shoot this spring at Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens.