East River (film)

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East River
East River (film).jpg
Directed byMarc Grey
Written byMarc Grey
StarringLupita Nyong'o
Tommaso Spinelli
Music byAnthony Mascorro
CinematographyKamil Plocki[1]
Edited byThomas Lindsay[1]
Kozak Films[1]
Release date
  • 2008 (2008)
Running time
17 minutes
CountryUnited States

East River is a 2008 short film written and directed by Marc Grey, notable for being the onscreen debut of Lupita Nyong'o.[2][3][4]


This short film, which has no dialogue, follows a wanderer (played by Tommaso Spinelli), newly arrived in New York City, as he walks and cycles around Brooklyn. He eventually meets a photographer (played by Lupita Nyong'o) in Red Hook with whom he appears to start a relationship. The director, Marc Grey, describes the file as being "about the relationship between physical and emotional space."[2][5]


Writing for Film School Rejects, critic Christopher Campbell described confusion around the romance as "more mystifying than frustrating" and went on to say "the plot is not as important as the semi city symphony that arises out of the man’s wandering."[5] The Huffington Post described the film as being "rife with sunshine-drenched shots of Brooklyn bike-riding and gray-skied self-reflection."[2]



  • 2009 Strasbourg International Film Festival - Winner Best Camera/Cinematography[5][6][7]
  • 2009 Indie Spirit Film Festival - Official Selection[8]
  • 2009 Newfilmmakers Film Festival - Official Selection
  • 2010 CineRail Paris Film Festival - Official Selection
  • 2010 Hollyshorts Film Festival - Official Selection


  1. ^ a b c Gordon, Emerson (Feb 12, 2014). "Watch Oscar Nominee Lupita Nyong'o's First Film, the 2008 Short 'East River'". Indiewire. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Watch Lupita Nyong'o's First Film, 2008's 'East River'". The Huffington Post. Feb 13, 2014. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  3. ^ "East River". Big Story Group. Feb 12, 2014. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  4. ^ "Lupita Nyong'o biography". Big Story Group. Archived from the original on March 25, 2015. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c Campbell, Christopher (Nov 3, 2013). "Watch '12 Years a Slave' Breakout Lupita Nyong'o In Her Film Debut 'East River'". Film School Rejects. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  6. ^ "Intrepid, Never Tepid". Green Hill Camera. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  7. ^ "Strasbourg International Film Festival Awards". FilmFestivals.com. Archived from the original on May 9, 2016. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  8. ^ "Film Schedule - Colorado Springs Independent" (PDF). Colorado Springs Independent. Apr 23, 2009. Retrieved May 9, 2016.

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