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New Indie Film ‘The 4th Meeting’ Explores the Impact of Survivor’s Guilt

New Indie Film 'The 4th Meeting' Explores the Impact of Survivor’s Guilt

When you
think about it, there haven’t been that many films that deal with the subject
of survivor’s guilt. That is, when someone has remorse and extreme feelings of
guilt when they have survived some tragic incident while others have lost theirs.

Perhaps the
only one that comes to one’s mind at the moment is Peter Weir’s 1993 film “Fearless,” with Jeff Bridges and Rosie Perez, but you’ll be hard pressed to think of
another one.

That’s what
makes the Chicago-based brother/sister filmmaking team of Cy Weisman and Josh
MacNeal’s recently completed indie feature film, “The 4th Meeting,” so
interesting. The film is about to hit the film festival circuit after a
successful screening at the Black Harvest Film Festival in Chicago last month.

And to prove
that you don’t need a lot of money to make a film, but just the determination
to do so, the team, with Ms. Weisman as writer and producer, and Josh as director,
made their feature for an unbelievable budget of just $4000 (which went towards
paying the actors and crew), and shot the entire film in just 6 days, averaging
about 12 scenes a day.

As for why
they wanted to make their film, Ms. Wesiman
says she was moved to make the film on this subject because, “creatively, I
wanted to tell a story that people wanted to hear, so I asked friends and
family what interested them. Being a part of the Black community, many of my
friends and family are Black. I found it interesting, even enlightening, that
none of them recommended an “urban” theme about gangs or being low

But she

added that: “Just like my White
friends and family, they were more interested in universal themes: love
stories, light comedies, relationships, etc. So I chose a theme – survivor’s guilt
– that was of interest to the audience at large, and consciously chose to cast
Black actors as well White, so Black & White audiences can see how many of
our experiences are shared; especially in a time when our social climate
threatens this fact.”

As for the
making of the film, director MacNeal said that: “I was already
planning for my first feature even before I entered film school. But after I began my studies, it quickly
became apparent to me that making my first feature would cost a lot of money after
I graduate from undergrad, because the access to the free equipment, software,
and resources would be gone.  I didn’t
want money – or a lack thereof – to get in the way of doing my work &
starting my career. I knew that with the right cast & crew, and above all a
compelling story, I could still make a film, even on a very small budget.”

the team are in the process of getting ‘The 4th Meeting’ into more
festivals and raising money for their next and bigger budgeted feature film, ‘Urbs in Horto,’ which they describe as a crime thriller.

Here is the
trailer for “The 4th Meeting.”

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