The Small Star Seminar Film

The Small Star Seminar Film



Artist: Cory McAbee

Project Title: Small Star Seminar 

Project Discipline: Moving Image: Non-traditional Narrative

Estimated Completion Date: 01/01/18

Small Star Seminar will be a feature-length film, created as a documentary, then transformed into a fantasy. Elements are being generated by a global art collaborative that McAbee began in 2012 called Captain Ahab’s Motorcycle Club. The collaborative was created for the purpose of making a feature film. Once completed and distributed the film will be used to raise funds for environmental causes.

The Small Star Seminar follows the story of a singing motivational speaker (Cory McAbee) who travels the world urging people to give up their goals, stop reaching for the stars and to start looking for the stars within their own minds. The seminar features optimistic songs about quitting, accepting one’s own limitations and the power of sitting quietly. Through impromptu lectures and conversations with his live audiences McAbee introduces his theories of Deep Astronomy, Truth vs. Fact, and the Romantic Sciences. 

McAbee’s journey begins when he falls from a barstool and hits the back of his head on the floor. Upon impact he sees a star within himself. Researching, identifying and defending the star’s existence become his calling. He leaves his wife and children behind in his attempt to educate the public about his theories while urging people to pursue the truth by ignoring the facts. His experiments and speeches are based on the crude beginnings of ideas, but in the hands of his followers become much more.

The balance between pursuing his incomprehensible calling and supporting his beloved family back home becomes tenuous as he struggles with the widening gap between his beliefs and his priorities. Faced with financial disaster he is forced to abandon his crusade in favor of love, the one truth that has withstood the test of his journey.

This project has been developed in part through the Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontier Lab. The first live performance of the Small Star Seminar was filmed and recorded in Wroclaw Poland in March 2015. To this date over 30 live events have been filmed and recorded, including performances at the Reykjavik International Film Festival (Iceland), the 53rd NY Film Festival (NYC), and the Marfa Film Festival (Texas). More events are being scheduled within the US and abroad. 

Director’s Biography:

Cory is best known as the writer, director, songwriter and composer for the internationally acclaimed feature films, The American Astronaut (2001), Stingray Sam (2009), Crazy and Thief (2012) and as singer/songwriter for the musical group The Billy Nayer Show (1989–2011). He is self-taught in his chosen fields. He has created award-winning short films and has worked as both an actor and musician in American and European features. In 2012 McAbee began the all-inclusive international art collaborative, Captain Ahab’s Motorcycle Club. He has written many screenplays, including his recent feature length opera, while continuing to illustrate his graphic novel series entitled Rabbit. In 2015 McAbee wrote, recorded and produced his first solo album, Small Star Seminar. The music is now being used to create a globally generated feature film, written and directed by McAbee.


CRAZY AND THIEF – (2012) . Digital . 58 Minutes

POSITION: Writer / Director / Producer / Composer / Musician / Camera

– Official Selection: Los Angeles Film Festival

– WINNER. New Visions. Petit Format Award. Sitges International Film Festival. Sitges, Spain.

– WINNER. Special Features Jury Award. Indie Memphis. Memphis, TN.

– Indiewire. Top 10 Best Undistributed Films of 2012.

– Forbidden Planet International. Best of the Year 2012. (UK)

STINGRAY SAM – (2008) . Digital . 61 Minutes . episodic feature

POSITION: Writer / Director / Actor / Composer / Musician / Storyboard Artist

– Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival

– WINNER. Best Science Fiction Fantasy Film. Comic-Con. CCI-IFF. San Diego

– WINNER. Special Jury Award. Innovation In Filmmaking. Indie Memphis

– WINNER. Best Of The Fest. Ellensburg Film Festival. WA.

– WINNER. Best Director. Montevideo Fantastic Film Festival. Uruguay

– WINNER. Best Music / Original Score. Montevideo Fantastic Film Festival. Uruguay

– WINNER. Innovation Award. Sound Unseen. Minnesota MI.

– WINNER. Audience Award. Special Mention. Intl Young Filmmakers festival. Granada, Spain 

– WINNER: Honorary Mention. Sopot International Film Festival. Poland

THE AMERICAN ASTRONAUT – (2001) . 35mm . 92 Minutes

POSITION: Writer / Director / Actor / Composer / Musician / Storyboard Artist 

– Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival. Dramatic Competition.

– Official Selection, Toronto International Film Festival.
– Official Selection, Moscow International Film Festival.

– WINNER. Special Jury Award For Original Vision. Florida Film Festival.

– WINNER. Best Of The Fest. 5th Revelation Perth International Film Festival. Australia.

– WINNER. Best Feature Film. LUFF Lausanne. Switzerland.

– WINNER. Best Feature Film. Crossroads Film Festival. Jackson, MS.

– NOMINATION. Independent Spirit Awards.

– TOP 10 FILMS of 2001. Film Threat Magazine.

– Screenplay accepted into 1998 Sundance Screenwriters Lab.



Phone: Contact via email for phone number.



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