Major, Excel, Frank, Mico, and Adrian grew up in Oakland, California. Using old home videos, performance and archival images, we piece together their trajectories, the ties between them, and eventually, a tragedy. Part coming of age story, part character study, Cousins centers on Major, a magnetic figure entangled in a web of complicated choices. Exploring questions of loss, loyalty, and humanity, the film is an experimental, meditative look at how these young men’s choices and environment have impacted them, and will continue to for the rest of their lives.
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We strongly believe Cousins is destined for a great film festival run with as great a chance at distribution as any short film today. Festival submission fees, travel & attendance costs, plus the marketing & distribution campaign necessary for a successful festival circuit run gets expensive. As an independent project completely self-funded, we ask for your support.
Adrian Burrell | Director, Producer
Adrian L. Burrell is an avid storyteller, filmmaker and producer from Oakland, California. Through his passion for photography and filmmaking, Adrian's work explores issues of race, identity, and the human condition. Adrian holds a BFA in Film from the San Francisco Art Institute and is pursuing his MFA at Stanford University.
Max Stein | Producer, Editor
Max Stein is a filmmaker from San Francisco, California with a B.A. in Film Production from Emerson College. After working as a freelancer in commercial video editing and documentary film production positions, Max co-founded the production company Mother of Exiles. Through Mother of Exiles, Max has worked on a number of original documentary and narrative projects, as well as commercial and branded content.
Justin Potter | Executive Producer
Justin Potter is an award-winning Director of Photography from Hawaii. Critically acclaimed (Variety, Hollywood Reporter, LA times) award-winning film GREEN IS GOLD is available through Paramount Home Media and on demand with NETFLIX, Amazon, iTunes.
Jordan Foster | Editor
Devon Kelley | Sound Editor
Devon Kelley is a San Francisco based photographer, focused on urban, wildlife and landscape photography. I have a fascination with unknown spaces. My work explores the ever changing balance between humankind, nature, creation and destruction.
Behind the Scenes
Cousins is an experimental short documentary that serves as part of my ongoing effort to chronicle my own family history.
I grew up in a big family. From my grandmother’s 16 children came a family tree with over a hundred cousins in the next generation. This story centers on a few of my cousins here in Oakland I’m closest to. At the center of Cousins is Major, who lost his life to gun violence while we were making the film. The piece combines family interviews, performance, archival images and old home videos of block parties, barbecues and birthdays. Using those raw materials, Cousins pieces together a portrait of the world my cousins and I came up in, what options they had and decisions they made, and the ties that bind us.
- Completion Year: 2019
- Copyright Holder: Mother of Exiles Ltd.
- Production Company: Mother of Exiles Ltd.
- Filming Locations: Oakland, California
- Total Running Time: 20 minutes
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Frame: 23.976 Rat
- Resolution (Maximum Available): 3996 x 2160