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Flight of the Crows

A short film

Screenwriter Sharon Patricia Burtner


After the birth of her first child, a young woman confronts her overwhelming fears alone. 


The baby’s father departs in the opening scene. Left alone, Sofia struggles emotionally with the baby’s seemingly relentless cries, difficulties breastfeeding and lack of sleep, intermingling maternal love with desperation. As Sofia tries to cope, she imagines her fears played out, as if her terrible imaginings were real. Outside her window, first one crow, then multiple crows stand watch, until at the end when they all rise into the sky and fly away.


The viewer is taken along Sofia’s journey, as she tries to navigate what is real and what isn’t, amidst her waking reality, the fears she imagines so vividly, and her nightmares of walking behind her baby’s coffin. The watching crows add a mysterious component, with their role, if any, subject to interpretation, particularly as Sofia‘s eyes connect with those of a crow. 


Flight of the Crows is a five minute, wordless film. The sound consists only of a baby’s cries and crows cawing, with instrumental accompaniment, allowing the actions and emotions to speak for themselves.


FOTC was one of five short scripts chosen, from 26 entries, by independent filmmakers' vote as part of the inaugural WIFV shorts film project.

Here is the team of WIFV members and others who have come together to make this film happen.

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Sharon Patricia Burtner

Screenwriter, Casting, Producer

Poet, painter, author and screenwriter, Sharon’s screenwriting awards include Finalist in Filmmatic, two Finalists in Female Voices Rock, and Semi-Finalist in Richmond International Film Festival. She has also received Finalist and Semi-Finalist in the short story category of Moondance International Film Festival. With all artistic endeavours, Sharon seeks to express the object or words’ connection with the metaphysical or spiritual world that is partially obscured, while embodied by, physical form.

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Lisa Hodsoll

Director, Casting, Producer, Editor

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A graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, Ife Hassan Johnson is a Nigerian American attorney recently-turned writer, actor, and producer. Her creative work uses an intersectional lens to explore the lives of women and girls. She is currently working on her first feature film script: A Word, an allegorical exploration of loss, race, and faith told via a baby kidnapping.

Selected directing credits include: Buffurducken (winner of the Royal Reel award at the Canada International Film Festival) Shorts: Lunch, All That the Eye Can See, Reverie.  Plays: Solomon and Marion and Augustus the Sissy as part of the Anacostia Theater Festival and D.C. Fringe Festivals and Most Wonderful and Uncle Charlie Sings for PlayZoomers.  Editing and writing credits include the feature film Kosmopolites and Buffurducken.  Producing credits include the film festival An Open Road Film Festival this past year highlighting shorts both local and from around the world.  Among numerous acting credits, she will soon be appearing in the Apple TV series Lady In the Lake, currently in production.  She founded the not for profit arts organization Open Road  For more information:

Ife Hassan Johnson

Assistant Director, Producer

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Assistant Director, Producer

Elizabeth (e.) Stuelke has been involved in film as a writer, actor, producer, and director and is currently in pre-production on “The Lover,” her finalist script in New York International Screenplay, Big Apple Film, London City Film, and Shore Scripts which is described as “a narrative with a jewel-like vibe with emotional intensity,” of “…Working-class lives tempered by the most American of attributes, hope.”


Brian Pascale


This is your Team Member description. Use this space to write a brief description of this person’s role and responsibilities, or add a short bio with a background summary. It’s also a great opportunity to highlight how this person is an asset to the team.

Elizabeth Stuelke

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