: Narrative Short
GENRE: Horror
STATUS: Production


An obsessively tidy man battles the ghost who inhabits his new apartment for control of their shared home… and how it will be decorated.


How many people lived in your home before you? This short film follows an unnamed man as he decorates his new apartment. Little does he know, the ghosts that haunt the space have their own sense of style in what becomes a battle for whose home it will be.


Is the loss of control in the space one occupies equivalent to the loss of agency? That is what “Kitsch” aims to understand, as our lead character forgoes mortal peril to instead watch his home become a place he no longer recognizes as his own. A place of unwelcome - a horrifying and oft humorous punishment worse than any death. This is a uniquely New York story. Moving into a new space to call home in this city can be as regular an event for most people as going to a Mets game or visiting the Statue of Liberty - likely more so. But while the buildings and spaces themselves may be treated with respect and historical fascination, the people and communities that inhabit them rarely are. Furthermore, as the city is ever-changing, neighborhoods transform, prices go up, and peoples’ homes are built over to fit the very specific (oft White) narrative of “what is old becomes new again.” It’s all for the sake of progress with little thought given to the stories, cultures, and lives being lost to achieve that goal. Perhaps a better question in a city that so heavily prioritizes space would be “how much agency are people allowed to have here?” It is simultaneously welcoming and unforgiving. Optimistic of the possibilities, but cruel about achieving them. Most importantly, it’s deceptively isolating. The absurdity of these parallels fascinates me to no end. As such, it seemed appropriate to explore them through the lenses of horror and comedy, two extremes that exist on opposite ends of the same dramatic spectrum. They both find commonalities in the profound loss of command. So, using elements from both extremes, I am making this film to explore the anxiety of control slipping away at any moment, the dismay of seeing it smashed into a million pieces, and the implications of desperately trying to find your home in a place you don’t belong.


Spencer Hugo - Director

Spencer’s love of watching great films is surpassed only by his deep desire to create them. Born and raised outside of Charlottesville, Virginia he graduated film school in 2019 and quickly moved to New York City to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. With equal parts determination and hard work, he has been fortunate enough to work on set alongside some of the biggest names in film for companies such as Disney, Netflix, CBS, Hulu, and HBO. These projects include: “Only Murders in The Building”, “Spaceman”, “Ezra”, “Walking Dead: Dead City”, “Succession”, “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”, “Ghostbusters”, and “Eric”, to name a few.

Samantha Lori Glass - Producer

A recent graduate of the MFA Film Creative Producing Program at Columbia University, Samantha's love for film stems from the classics, such as The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and Strangers on a Train. She most recently worked as a producer's assistant on "The Shallow Tale of a Writer Who Decided to Write About a Serial Killer," written & directed by Tolga Karacelik. At Columbia, she produced over 15 short films in and out of the program, including her thesis film "The Ballad of Fred Fort," was awarded the Safety for Sarah Film Grant, and premiered at the Montclair Film Festival. Samantha was recently awarded the Michael Hausman/Buffalo Mike Filmhaus Foundation Award for producing at the Columbia University Film Festival.

Wesley Andre Goodrich - Writer

Wes is a New York-bred writer & director and one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 2023 New Faces of Independent Film. He is currently developing his TV pilot: HERETICS, and he is also on the festival circuit run with two shorts: SPEAK UP BROTHA!, a musical romance in the style of 90s Black films, that won The Grand Jury Award for Short Films at Dances with Films 2023. and PALM SUNDAY, a drama about a Jamaican man attempting to assimilate into an all-white church in 1970s Raleigh, North Carolina. PALM SUNDAY is nominated for Best Student Short for the 2023 The Wrap’s Short List and won both the Best Narrative Drama Short Award at the 2023 Longleaf Film Festival and the ACE Entertainment Award for Best Film at the 2023 Columbia University Film Festival. Wes is the recipient of the Columbia University Dean’s Grant and The Katharina Otto-Bernstein Grant for the film PALM SUNDAY and was a 2022 Diverso Black Writers in Focus Fellow. His films have screened at New Orleans Film Festival, Calgary International Film Festival, Cleveland Int’l Film Festival, American Black Film Festival, Brooklyn Film Festival, Dances with Films LA. Wes is managed by Redefine Entertainment.

Carlos Arroyo - Director of Photography

Carlos, a cinematographer driven by a passion for crafting visually captivating stories, has contributed to agency productions, creating compelling commercial spots for renowned tech brands and Bay Area companies. His multi-cultural perspective, developed through experiences in California, Mexico, and Florida, inspires his creative transformation of everyday subjects into evocative visual narratives. Collaborating with esteemed individuals, including director Jonathan Jakubowicz, Carlos has also applied his skills to over 25 short films, showcasing his versatility and storytelling flair. Eager to embrace new challenges and inspire audiences globally, he is committed to bringing his distinctive talent to projects that fuel his creative passion.

Diana Penglase - Production Designer

Diana began her career in Chicago, where she got a degree in Film from Loyola University Chicago. She spent half of her collegiate years between Rome, Italy and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam- two places that endlessly inspire her today. She is currently based in New York and has worked on several feature films and television shows as an art department assistant such as Fallout (2024), The Instigators (2024), Maestro (2023), The Batman (2022), and Shining Girls (2021). In addition, Diana has designed a few short films and commercials.

Hunter Kohl - Actor

Hunter Kohl is an American actor, singer, and model from New York. He has performed for crowds in Korea and Japan, and has modeled for major brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Snapple, and Adidas. As an actor, Hunter has worked on multiple film projects that are making festival rounds, and most recently starred in a feature titled “Skye Hoshi: Anime Girl”, which hit theaters across the country. His episode of the web series, ‘The Drive-Thru Therapist’, won best comedy at Toronto’s International Women Film Festival, and he was nominated for best actor by the Korea International Short Film Festival for his portrayal of a greedy fraternity president in ‘Hard Pressed.’ He’s currently wrapping a feature playing the lead role, which will be in theaters and available to stream in 2024.

Michael Kouskolekas - Costume Designer

Michael began his career in costume design nine years ago while living in Los Angeles. With a background in fashion merchandising, he is driven by an interest in how we use clothing as a visual language and tool for storytelling. A proud member of IATSE 764, his credits include Succession, Billions, and the new Mr. and Mrs. Smith series. 


Connect With The Filmmakers:


The Gotham Film & Media Institute - Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2024


Help promote my fundraising campaign
Put our donation widget on your website

Get Widget Code



The Gotham Logo


© 2024 The Gotham. All Rights Reserved.
   Design by Andrew Martin

The Gotham Film & Media Institute is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to finding, developing and celebrating the people and projects that shape the future of story.

Learn more about us or become a member