Shot on the Canon 5D by an entirely student crew, Tryouts was made within the parameters of tiny-budgeted student film as part of the film and television program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Art’s Film and Television program.

Production took place in two a half shooting days entirely on location at Summit High School, in Summit, New Jersey. It was meaningful “full-circle” experience to film at SHS, the alma mater of director Lauren Ciaravalli and lead actress Sarah Jes Austell, who became friends doing theater there as teenagers.

Tryouts was inspired by Lauren's feature-length screenplay, So Dramatic, a teen comedy about an anxiety ridden wallflower who must confront her neuroses and high school society at large when she lands the lead in the school play.

Director Lauren Ciaravalli poses
with the actresses of "Tryouts."
Director's Statement

A former high school theater geek and unabashed fan of the teen genre, I wanted to make a movie about the teenage experience that was both authentic and entertaining. To me, drama club is not only an infinite source of comedy, but also the vortex where romance, friendship, anxiety, competition, self-expression and humiliation collide. It’s the perfect setting for a bit of parody and a heartfelt story about how facing your fears can be totally embarrassing and totally worth it. 
Ultimately, Tryouts is an
ode to high school theater, first kisses, and the comedic, mortifying moments that define growing up.

Awards & Festival Selections

Tryouts Premiere:
OFFICIAL SELECTION, Sarasota Film Festival 2013

WINNER, Best Picture, Audience Choice, Best Acting, Columbia University National Undergraduate Film Festival 2013
WINNER, Best Narrative, UVA's Virginia Student Film Festival, 2013
FINALIST, Best Undergraduate Short Film, NYU's Fusion Film Festival 2013
WINNER, Best Undergraduate Short Screenplay, NYU's Fusion Film Festival 2012
OFFICIAL SELECTION, Princeton Student Film Festival, 2013
OFFICIAL SELECTION, Lady Filmmakers Film Festival, 2013