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Krisha poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTrey Edward Shults
Produced by
  • Justin R. Chan
  • Chase Joliet
  • Trey Edward Shults
  • Wilson Smith
Written byTrey Edward Shults
Based onKrisha
by Trey Edwards Shults
Music byBrian McOmber
CinematographyDrew Daniels
Edited byTrey Edward Shults
Distributed byA24
Release date
  • March 16, 2015 (2015-03-16) (SXSW)
  • March 18, 2016 (2016-03-18) (United States)
Running time
81 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$144,822[2]

Krisha is a 2015 American drama film written and directed by Trey Edward Shults in his feature-length directorial debut, starring his real-life aunt Krisha Fairchild, and is the feature-length adaption of the 2014 short film Krisha also directed by Shults.

It received the Grand Jury Award and Audience Award in the narrative feature competition at the 2015 South by Southwest Film Festival.[3] It was selected to compete in the International Critics' Week section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.[4] The film was released in a limited release on March 18, 2016, by A24.[5]


Krisha, a troubled woman in her 60s with a history of addiction, has been estranged from her family for many years; her son, Trey, was raised by her sister, Robyn, for large parts of his life. Krisha has recently told her relatives that she is now reformed and sober, and that she wants to visit on Thanksgiving Day and cook dinner for the whole extended family. Krisha arrives at her sister's large house, where many family members are gathered, and greets them all warmly.

Krisha attempts to reconcile with Trey, expressing a desire to be part of his life again. He is cold and defensive, refusing even to look at her; as she attempts to coax a reaction out of him, he resists and leaves.

As the day progresses, it becomes clear that the family has clashing opinions of Krisha. While some, like Robyn, believe Krisha has turned her life around, others, including her brother-in-law, Doyle, remain skeptical and deride her assurances that she is sober. On Thanksgiving morning, Krisha's elderly mother arrives and is introduced to the newer members of the family. Although she is forgetful, she remembers each of the family members by name; upon being greeted by Krisha, however, she becomes confused and seems unable to remember her clearly. Krisha is visibly upset by this.

As the day progresses and she sees her son's closeness to her sister's family, Krisha starts to secretly return to her bathroom to abuse alcohol, prescription drugs, and illegal drugs in an attempt to cope. When it is time to remove the roasted turkey from the oven, she is drunk and out-of-control. She spills the roasting tray and the perfectly roasted turkey lands heavily on the kitchen floor. Most of the family is horrified and tries to help Krisha up from the floor and salvage the meal. Doyle only looks on and laughs.

Krisha sobers up, watching home videos Robyn has of Trey as a child. Waking from a stupor, she rings her boyfriend and leaves him a furious voicemail, telling him that she relied on him for support and that he abandoned her when she needed him. She then goes downstairs to find the rest of the family enjoying a toned-down version of Thanksgiving dinner without her. Robyn refuses to allow her to join the table and takes her out of the room. Robyn laments the fact that Krisha lied about her sobriety, telling Krisha that she defended her when other members of the family didn't want to invite her at all. Later, after looking through Trey's room and finding a bottle of vodka, a distraught and increasingly unhinged Krisha interrupts dinner once again, demanding that her son tell her he loves her. When Robyn asks her to leave, the argument escalates and becomes violent.

The film ends as it began, with a close-up of Krisha's face as she tries and fails to hold back tears.


  • Krisha Fairchild as Krisha
  • Robyn Fairchild as Robyn
  • Chris Doubek as Dr. Becker
  • Billie Fairchild as Grandma
  • Bill Wise as Doyle
  • Trey Edward Shults as Trey
  • Olivia Grace Applegate as Olivia
  • Bryan Casserly as Logan
  • Victoria Fairchild as Vicky
  • Atheena Frizzell as Atheena
  • Augustine Frizzell as Augustine
  • Chase Joliet as Chase
  • Rose Nelson as Rose


Bill Wise, Krisha Fairchild and Trey Edward Shults

The film is based on a short film of the same name which also starred Fairchild in the titular role of Krisha.[6] Many of the film's cast are relatives of Shults, including Krisha Fairchild who is Shults' aunt, his mother and grandmother, and other actors being friends of Shults.[7] Bill Wise and Chris Doubek were the only non-relatives or friends cast in the film.[8] A campaign was created to fund the film. A $10,000 goal was set, which ended on July 20, 2014, with a total of $14,260 from 64 backers.[9]

Principal photography began on August 2, 2014, and concluded on August 10, 2014.[10][11] The film was shot over the course of nine days, and was filmed at Shults' parents' house.[12]


The film had its world premiere on March 16, 2015 at South by Southwest.[13] The film had its international premiere and went onto screen at the Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2015.[14] Shortly after, A24 acquired U.S distribution rights to the film.[15] The film also went onto screen at the London Film Festival on October 14, 2015.[16] and the AFI Fest on November 7, 2015.[17] The film was released in a limited release on March 18, 2016.[18]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 97% based on 71 reviews, with an average rating of 8.3/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Raw, bracingly honest, and refreshingly unconventional, Krisha wrings fresh -- and occasionally uncomfortable -- truths from a seemingly familiar premise."[19] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 87 out of 100, based on 31 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[20]

Justin Chang of Variety gave the film a positive review, considering "its stylistic experimentation anchored by a subtly wounding performance from Krisha Fairchild in the eponymous lead role. More festival berths await, and while commercial prospects look decidedly modest, critical support should spur select arthouse bookings and discerning-viewer interest ahead of VOD play."[21] Sherri Linden of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a positive review writing: "The story will eventually draw the viewer outside Krisha’s perspective, but the beauty of the film is that its compassion deepens along with its very real sense of horror — compassion not just for Krisha but for those who still love her or have given up on trying".[22]


List of awards and nominations
Award / Film festival Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Austin Film Critics Association Best First Film Krisha Nominated [23][24]
Cannes Film Festival The Nespresso Grand Prize Krisha Nominated [25]
Caméra d'Or Trey Edward Shults Nominated
Deauville Film Festival Grand Prix Krisha Nominated
Prix de la Critique Krisha Won [26]
Detroit Film Critics Society Best Breakthrough Trey Edward Shults Nominated [27]
Gotham Awards Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award Trey Edward Shults Won [28]
Houston Film Critics Society Texas Independent Film Award Krisha Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards John Cassavetes Award Trey Edward Shults, Justin R. Chan, Chase Joliet, and Wilson Smith Won [29]
Los Angeles Film Critics Association New Generation Award Trey Edward Shults and Krisha Fairchild Won [30]
National Board of Review Top Ten Independent Films Krisha Won [31]
Best Directorial Debut Trey Edward Shults Won
New York Film Critics Circle Best First Film Trey Edward Shults Won[a] [32]
Reykjavík International Film Festival FIPRESCI Prize Trey Edward Shults Won [33]
South by Southwest Grand Jury Prize - Narrative Feature Trey Edward Shults Won [34][35]
Audience Award - Narrative Feature Trey Edward Shults Won


  1. ^ "Horror thriller 'It Comes at Night' stems from personal tale". Reuters. June 6, 2017.
  2. ^ "Krisha". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  3. ^ "SXSW 2015 Film Award Winners". SXSW. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  4. ^ "Selection of the 54th International Critics' Week". Semaine de la Critique. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  5. ^ "Krisha". Apple Trailers. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  6. ^ Lattanzio, Ryan (May 5, 2015). "Cannes First Look: 'Krisha' Is 'A Woman Under the Influence'-Level Portrait of Delusion". Retrieved November 29, 2015.
  7. ^ "Krisha Press Kit" (PDF). Retrieved November 29, 2015.
  8. ^ "Krisha Press Kit" (PDF). Retrieved November 29, 2015.
  9. ^ "Krisha-A Feature Film". Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  10. ^ "Dear Kickstarter supporters, you helped make this possible! Thank you! #FormalCookeware #KRISHA". August 2, 2014. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  11. ^ "Day 10 Picture Wrap 🎬👏👏👏 Thank you to all the cast and crew for your patience and love. #KRISHA #krishamovie". August 11, 2014. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  12. ^ Lattanzio, Ryan (May 5, 2015). "Cannes First Look: 'Krisha' Is 'A Woman Under the Influence'-Level Portrait of Delusion". Retrieved November 29, 2015.
  13. ^ "Krisha". SXSW.COM. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
  14. ^ Zeitchik, Steven (May 22, 2015). "KRISHA FAIRCHILD IS A BREAKOUT STAR - AT AGE 64". New York Times. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
  15. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (May 18, 2015). "A24 Makes Two-Pic Deal With 'Krisha' Helmer Trey Edward Shults". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
  16. ^ "Krisha". Retrieved November 29, 2015.
  17. ^ "Krisha". AFI.COM. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
  18. ^ "Krisha". Apple Trailers. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  19. ^ "Krisha (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  20. ^ "Krisha". Metacritic. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  21. ^ Chang, Justin (March 19, 2015). "SXSW Film Review: 'Krisha'". Variety. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  22. ^ Linden, Sherri (April 3, 2015). "'Krisha': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  23. ^ Anderson, Erik (December 15, 2016). "Austin Film Critics Association (AFCA) Nominations: The Handmaiden Lands Top Mentions, Trevante Rhodes Double Nominated". Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  24. ^ Miller, Neil (December 15, 2016). "2016 Austin Film Critics Awards Nominees, 'Moonlight' and 'Arrival' lead the way in AFCA's 2016 nominations". Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  25. ^ "Selection of the 54th International Critics' Week". Semaine de la Critique. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  26. ^ "41st Deauville American Film Festival Winners". Deauville Festival du Cinema Americain. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  27. ^ Graham, Adam (December 14, 2016). "Local critics: 'Moonlight', 'Manchester' best of 2016". The Detroit News. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  28. ^ Cox, Gordon (October 20, 2016). "Gotham Awards Nominations 2016: 'Manchester By The Sea' Leads with Four". Variety. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  29. ^ "2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards Winners Announced". Film Independent. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  30. ^ "42nd Annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards". Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  31. ^ "NATIONAL BOARD OF REVIEW ANNOUNCES 2016 AWARD WINNERS". National Board of Review. November 29, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  32. ^ "New York Film Critics Circle Awards 2016". New York Film Critics Circle. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  33. ^ "Award winners at RIFF 2015!". Reykjavík International Film Festival. Retrieved October 3, 2015.
  34. ^ Chang, Justin (March 17, 2015). "SXSW: 'Krisha,' 'Peace Officer' Win Grand Jury Prizes". Variety. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
  35. ^ Lincoln, Ross A (March 21, 2015). "SXSW 2015 Audience Awards: 'Krisha', 'Peace Officer' Win Again". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 18, 2016.

External links[edit]