A ventriloquist’s puppet attempts to continue the act after his partner dies.


Retire for the Evening is a 10-minute short film shot on the Canon C300 in 2013. 

It has screened in over 18 cities, including Los Angeles, Manhattan, and London - and recently at the Oscar-qualifying Atlanta Film Festival. Its most prestigious achievement has been to screen at a festival in the region of Transylvania - the only festival to consider it a comedy.

Written and Directed by Ed Hellman

Starring Carla Rhodes, Jackson Demott Hill, Terence MacSweeny, Steve Swank, and Cecil Sinclaire

With original puppets by Charlie Kanev
Music by Andrew Stack
Edited by Gabriele Cassia
Production Designer Victoria Vaughn
Art Director Nick Krassowski
Director of Photography Michael Patrick O'Leary
Executive Producer Bob Giraldi
Produced by Kevin Kolack
Associate Producer Gunnar B. Hansen

Director's Statement

Retire for the Evening explores what happens to our creations – be they human or artistic – once we are gone. The idea for the screenplay came to me when I was applying to grad school. I got to thinking about the steps one takes on the path to adulthood, and how strange it felt to not have my parents prodding me along during the application process.

This time around, I was pretty much on my own. Having recently married and turned 30, I find it harder and harder to include the word “young” before “adult” when referring to myself. I decided to use my thesis project to explore the inevitable leap a child must take into manhood.

The puppeteer in the film is a product of his mother, while the puppet is a product of its creator. Both are reflections of someone’s hopes and desires, and both, at some point, are left to stand on their own.

For all the artists out there who dream of having their creations live on after they die, this movie is for you.


Country: America / Year of Production: 2013 / Premiere Date: May 2013 / Length: 10 min 9 sec / Format: Digital / Color: Color / Aspect Ratio:1:78 / Camera: Canon C300 / Language: English / Screening Format: DVD, Blu-Ray, Mpeg

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Copyright 2013 Ed Hellman/Flying Pygmalion Films