Citizen Jane Film Festival - Picked



A girl’s quest for the perfect pumpkin ostracizes her from her peers.

Interview with Writer/Director Kelsey Amelia Snelling


Congratulations! Why did you make your film?

Thank you! I created Picked for anyone who has ever been asked to apologize for who they are, what they love, or whom they love. People look to movies, music, and art for a sense of what is acceptable; what is “normal.” My filmmaking credo is to give people permission to live as their authentic selves by representing it on screen. If, as a global culture, we could shed the biases embedded in our collective conscious, we would all be so much better off. And maybe we would have a competent POTUS who doesn’t endorse racism, homophobia, and general other-ing. Just sayin’.

Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?

Our young actors and extras are so freaking cute! (They’re also talented and engaging and fun and smart. Being cute isn’t everything--as I learned from watching a great short film entitled Picked.)

How do personal and universal themes work in your film?

From a young age, we are shaped into doing what our greater society deems allowable. We are asked to express only what is already acceptable to express and are pressured into acting and thinking just like everyone else around us. This expectation of assimilation follows us into adulthood, where we make larger and more impactful choices. Nora’s choosing of a pumpkin is a great indication of how she will make these more important decisions later in life--as long as she stays true to herself and doesn’t let the world dictate what she should and should not want.



How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?

I originally wrote Picked as an autobiographical essay that was then published on a feminist blog based out of NYC (it was called RenegadeChicks and has since, sadly, folded). The events in the film happened to me when I was 4 years old, and I was obviously provoked enough to carry the memory into my 20s and make a movie about it. I transformed the essay into a script and reached out to producer Jenell Manzi. The two of us teamed up with Hollow Tree Films LLC. I was terrified through the entire process, but once its intended creation was announced publicly to literally everyone I have ever met, there was no choice but to make it happen (impending public shame is always great motivation for me).

What type of feedback have you received so far?

Picked has done pretty well on the festival circuit thus far. I was #blessed with my entire team of amazing and ass-busting (can I say that?) talent. Of course there are approximately 30,060 mistakes that I see every time I watch it; but at a point, you have to finish the product and let it be.

Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?

When you are too close to a project, your brain tends to glaze over and you have no concept of how it is affecting your audience. Sitting in on my first screening shortly after we wrapped production was really eye-opening. You notice when people laugh, don’t laugh, gasp, and when the theater is too hot because there is a conclave of asthmatics wheezing and coughing (it was toward the end; they were fine!).



What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on

Visibility is key! It’s especially exciting to be featured on a site that appreciates the type of content that I also love to consume.

Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?

Ummmm hello agents, I’m right here. I will make you so much $$$!

What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?

I would love for every person born of this universe to be comfortable with their own, genuine selves. We haven’t reached all 7.6 billion yet, but we’ve got a few thousand checked off the list!

What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?

The cool thing about Picked is that you can make it as political or as innocuous as you want--it’s up for interpretation! My intention was to make it digestible and accessible enough that young kids can grasp the generality of “being yourself,” while older and perhaps more attentive viewers can apply the themes to more specific parts of the human experience.



Would you like to add anything else?

Pumpkins rule!

What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?

Brandon Taylor, our EP, is LITERALLY always working on something.

Jenell Manzi (producer/actor) and myself are working preproduction on a couple of documentaries.

Ashyer and Reese (leads) are continuing to be rockstars.


Interview: October 2017


We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us?  More info: Carmela



A girl’s quest for the perfect pumpkin ostracizes her from her peers.

Length: 8:27

Director: Kelsey Amelia Snelling

Producer: Brandon Taylor, Jenell Manzi, Michael Sherry, Melissa Sherry

Writer: Kelsey Amelia Snelling

About the writer, director and producer:

Kelsey Amelia Snelling hails from eastern Pennsylvania, where her pumpkin-patch-loving days began! She attended Ithaca College where she studied film, writing, and dance before her big move to LA. Picked is her first short film.

Brandon Taylor is the co-founder of Hollow Tree Films LLC in New York City. He is a director, a writer, and an all-around boss.

Jenell Manzi grew up in eastern Pennsylvania before attending East Stroudsburg University. She is now an LA-based actor and producer with an unhealthy addiction to caramel ice cream.

Key cast: Reese Grande, Ashyer Gibbons, Jenell Manzi

Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists): everyone, always!

Social media handles:


Funders: Crowdfunded!

Made in association with: Hollow Tree Films LLC

Where will the film screen in the next month?

October 24th we will be screening in  Pfizer with the ReelAbilities North America program!!