The Coming of Age (2015) 


The Coming of Age is about a woman who is beginning to suffer from Alzheimer's  and how this effects both her lifestyle and her relationship with her  adult daughter. The film plays out somewhat like a horror film as her confusion grows, but is also meant to raise issues and spark conversations about Alzheimer's, including the growing stress for adult caregivers who are dealing with their parents' failing mental health.   


Director: David Bradburn

Writer: David E. Tolchinsky

Director of Photography: Joel McGinty

Second Place Finisher

Shown on

"Whereas the classic coming-of-age will feature a youth realizing his or her true self and coming to terms with the lost innocence of childhood, here the coming of old age is represented as the undoing of the self or the loss of one’s sense of self."

Joseph A. Kraemer
Assistant Professor
Electronic Media & Film, Towson University

"A wonderfully tragic story told with beautiful craftmanship."  UK Film Review
Also listen to the UK Film Review Podcast
Episode 8
David E. Tolchinsky, Writer/Producer
David E. Tolchinsky is the chair of Northwestern University's Department of Radio-TV-Film and Founder/Director of Northwestern University's MFA in Writing for Screen+Stage. As a screenwriter, his feature film Girl is distributed by Sony and has been seen internationally. He has been commissioned by such studios as Touchstone/Disney, MGM, Ivan Reitman's Montecito Pictures, USA Networks, Edward R. Pressman Film Corp, and Addis-Wechsler & Assoc./Industry Entertainment to write feature screenplays. He is the author of original screenplays such as The Last Crash
and Reflections on a Teenage Anti-Christ featured in a New York Times article about home offices. Some of his work centers on teen subcultures such as heavy-metal fans, Florida surfer teens, teen groupies, and female football players, particularly in relation to social decay. He is also interested in horror, both psychological and physical. Recently, he co-produced Debra Tolchinsky's feature documentary, Fast Talk.  Most recently, he was ranked #14 on New City's Film 50: Chicago's Screen Gems 2013. He is a graduate of Yale (1985, BA, magna cum laude) and USC School of Cinematic Arts/School of Cinema-Television (1988, MFA).
Joel McGinty, Director of Photography
Joel McGinty has worked in camera, lighting, and editing departments on numerous documentary and commercial works. His documentary, Cocal Gracias, told the story of a church helping a community in Honduras rise above poverty and helped raise $70,000 to construct a trade school. His credits include "The Wedding Pact", "The Last Letter", and Dreams
Anne Jacques

An actress in television (Chicago P.D., Prison Break, Turks), Film (The Lucky Ones, Ocean’s 12, The Origins of Wit and Humor), theatre, voice over, commercials, corporate training, Anne has also been a coach for a couple of generations of Chicago actors. When not interpreting the words of screenwriters and playwrights, she writes her own, as a journalist (Pioneer Press) and author (Presentation Skills: On Camera; Chicken Soup for the Soul; Grandpa Talks Funny.) 


“Indie films are a gift to actors as well as the audiences they are intended for. They provide unique opportunities for actors to collaborate, delve, and take creative risks. Working with David Bradburn and his team is exciting, rewarding…and fun.”


Susan Monts-Bologna

Susan Monts-Bologna is so honored to be creating the role of Minnie in The Coming of Age, with director, David Bradburn. She was most recently seen on stage as Granny in Cicada at Route 66 Theatre, Ruth in Maria/Stuart at Sideshow Theatre, and as Mary Tyrone in Eclipse Theatre’s production of Long Day’s Journey Into Night.  A few years ago she returned to Chicago where she had studied with Del Close at Second City and did her Master’s work at The Goodman School of Drama (now The Theatre School at De Paul).  This was followed by a year at The Milwaukee Rep with John Dillon, doing two world premiers (Friends and Custer) and working with Barry Boys and Sandy Robbins; fifteen


years in New York where she did film (Mademoiselle and The Prowler), several years on Search for Tomorrow (Prof Aja Doyan), Bdway, numerous Off-Bdway shows andcommercials. In Chicago she has been seen at Griffin (Kin - Jeff Nom), Mary Arrchie (Superior Donuts - Jeff Nom),  A Red Orchid (Becky Shaw), Eclipse (One Flea Spare, After The Fall), TimeLine (When She Danced u/s), Rendition (Echoes of the War) and Northlight; and directors: Marti Lyons, Nat Swift, Jess McCleod, Matt Miller, Damon Kiely, Steve Scott, Nick Bowling, Anish Jethmalani, Amy Morton and Tim Curtis. She treasures her years at CrossRoads Rep, at Indiana State University,  where she had the good fortune to do such productions as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Arsenic and Old Lace, Effect of Gamma Rays..., and Plaza Suite. In Chicago she has appeared on Chicago Code and several graduate and feature films.  Gray Talent Group rocks!!!   Love to Daniele and Lauren.


Genevieve VenJohnson

A sense of adventure, the desire for excellence, and a soul that loves to be playful. These are  aspects that have yielded an unusually varied, and accomplished experience playing on stages, and screens both big and small. It includes Greek Tragedies Off-Broadway, Rock Operas in Germany, and television stardom in South America.


Many years of incremental growth as an artist have been sustained by theatre, tv commercials, corporate industrials, television and film roles. Before playing Nurse Howard in SISTERS, highlights included: Judge Colette Retman on AMC's, LOW WINTER SUN, and Crystahl Shondeleer in, ATTACK OF THE ZOMBIE DRAG QUEENS.



Erin Chenoweth

Born and raised in Southern California, Erin Chenoweth loves her new home in Chicago! A graduate of Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, she has always had a love for the stage. She will be appearing in the upcoming Artemesia Fall Festival, as well as with the group Spicy Cats at Donny's Skybox here in town.


It was such an honor to meet the cast and crew of Sisters, and was an excellent introduction to the thriving independent film industry that has such a wonderful reputation here.



This past year she had a great time back in New York performing with the Atlantic Theatre Alumni and in a new piece by Evan Twohy; Dog Years. She has also been seen on the television shows Numb3rs and Torchwood.


When Erin is not acting, she is training for marathons, and runs for the Elite women's team, The Jane's. She loves to surf (will find a way on Lake Michigan) and laugh with her family and the love of her life.


Judi Schindler

Judi Schindler launched her professional acting career five years ago after 30 years as a public relations and marketing consultant. Since then, she has appeared in several commercials and short films and as well as numerous theatrical productions. Favorite roles include Miriam Goldman in “Beau Jest.” Alumni Frenchy in “The Original Grease,” Juanita Bartlett “ in “Sordid Lives” and Granma Joad in “The Grapes of Wrath.”  She has also understudied lead roles at Northlight Theater and Victory Gardens.  In addition, she performs a one-woman comedy show, titled “Husbands: An Owner’s Manual,” for women’s organizations and comedy showcases.


Dr. Marguerite Mariama

Dr. Marguerite Mariama is a performing artist and educator who believes in limitless possibilities

at any age. Versed in the performing arts trifecta – dance, music and theater, every performance is 

infused with the emotions of hard won – but beautiful – life lessons. With numerous acting 

credits that include television, film, commercials and theatre, she has won critical acclaim on 

New York City stages in both ensemble and solo productions. Her work as a voiceover artist and 

print model has been heard and seen in numerous commercial ads. She is a member of Screen 

Actors Guild and The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG/AFTRA). She 

has been a musical guest on television shows that include BET Jazz – and co-produced, hosted 

and performed in the Sounds of Sikia music series for WYCC-TV (PBS) in Chicago. She has both 

national and international experience as a big band and small ensemble jazz and blues vocalist 

and has appeared in music festivals throughout the country. A veteran dancer and choreographer 

she took her early training from dance luminaries such as Katherine Dunham, and Livinia 

Williams. She also guest performed with Charles Moore’s Dancers and Drummers of Africa and 

was invited by Mr. Moore to teach master classes in Europe. For close to 10 years, as a professor 

in the New York City University System (CUNY), she used her innovative arts and education 

methodology – Performance Pedagogy®, to train students and parents – and as a teaching 

strategy for educators. Dr. Mariama is the founder and president of From The Inside Out Inc., a 

performing arts consulting firm, and Tomorrow’s Village, Inc. (501c3), a curriculum-based 

performing arts and education production company. Marguerite was a contributor to “The Blues” 

a PBS documentary on the history of blues music, produced by director, Martin Scorsese – and 

made a cameo appearance in director, Marc Levin’s segment on Chicago Blues (Godfathers and 

Sons). Dr. Mariama is a Southern Illinois University College of Liberal Arts (CoLa) 

Distinguished Alumni award recipient, and an Illinois Humanities Council Road Scholar – who 

holds a Ph.D. in Performance Education.

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