January 25, 2017, 7:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Outside the Box [Office], MEMORY, and Factory 25, invite you and a guest to a special preview screening of


Written and Directed by Celia Rowlson-Hall
Produced by Aaron Schnobrich and Lauren Smitelli

7:00 P.M. on Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007


2015 VENICE DAYS at the VENICE FILM FESTIVAL • World Premiere | 2015 AFI FILM FESTIVAL • US Premiere • Audience Award • Breakthrough Section | 2016 INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ROTTERDAM (Netherlands) | 2016 SARASOTA FILM FESTIVAL • Independent Vision Award | 2016 ASHLAND INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL • Juice Award | 2016 SUN VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL • One in a Million Award | 2016 INDIE MEMPHIS • Ron Tibbett Excellence in Filmmaking Award | 2016 SIDEWALK FILM FESTIVAL • Clint Howard Character Actor Award | 2016 El DORADO FILM FESTIVAL • Best Production Design

Opens at The Cinefamily on Monday, January 30th, 2017.

About MA

In this modern-day vision of Mother Mary’s pilgrimage, a woman crosses the scorched landscape of the American Southwest. Reinvented and told entirely through movement, the film playfully deconstructs the role of this woman, who encounters a world full of bold characters that are alternately terrifying and sublime. MA is a journey into the visceral and the surreal, interweaving ritual, performance, and the body as sculpture. The absence of dialogue stirs the senses, and leads us to imagine a new ending to this familiar journey. The virgin mother gives birth to our savior, but is also challenged to save herself.

Provided courtesy of MEMORY and Factory 25. Not rated. Running time: 82 minutes.

Visit the Official Website:


Director's Statement

MA is a story that came out of me in a subconscious form. In writing and making this movie, I pressed my ear to the ground- I wanted to listen and extract what all those women dead in the earth had to say. I set out to tell their untold stories. What I discovered after completing the film was that I had made something so essential to my own growth as a woman. Making this film allowed me to crack open and grieve and live again. I now view my filmmaking as a way to grow and explore within my life, acknowledging and embracing that my art and life are not separate. Creating is essential to my existence; the breaking and growing at the core of my transformation. I let my work change me because I trust what’s inside.

This was the most personal story to date- an image driven inquiry into relationships, gender-bending and using the body as a storytelling vehicle- all the while viewed through the lens of our most famous mother, Mary. Reinvented and told entirely through movement, the film deconstructs the role of this woman, who encounters a world full of bold characters that are alternately terrifying and sublime. MA was influenced by my early understanding of the Bible, and yet so connected to my own journeys, my own failures, and love. I set out to document two parallel treks toward salvation within the context of man vs. nature. MA is on her way to Las Vegas for the selfless, spiritual task of giving birth to a savior, while Daniel her foil and eventual partner, is en route to Hollywood to become an actor.

I’ve been obsessed with Jesus ever since I was a small kid, and even wrote on school papers that I wanted to be him when I grew up, totally in love with the concept of personally devoting one’s life to healing the pain of others. But what has always perplexed me is the lack of narrative surrounding the mother in the Bible. Everyone knows of Mother Mary, but no one knows her. In these stories of great men- we always start with their beginning- the baby on the doorstep, hidden in the bullrushes etc etc... But what about HER? Who is she and how did she get here? What was her journey, really? And how much choice did she have in this all?

This is a story about the end of the beginning.

- Celia Rowlson-Hall

About Outside the Box [Office]

Outside the Box [Office] is a weekly showcase for upcoming releases highlighting world cinema, documentary and independent film titles. Recognizing a need for greater diversity on campus, the series will draw from around the globe to present movies that may challenge, inspire or simply entertain.

To view the calendar of screenings, click here.

Check-In & Reservations

This screening is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid USC ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 6:30 P.M.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $12.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Ave. We recommend Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago