Directed by
Meredith Alloway

What would it look like if a teenager in modern time had visions of God?

After having screened at Sidewalk Film Festival and Indie Memphis Film Festival, GiF is proud to premiere a debut short film by NYC-based film journalist and producer Meredith Alloway, Interior Teresa. Inspired by true story St. Teresa of Avila and her religious upbringing in Texas, the issue of religion and individuality was an intriguing topic for Meredith to explore as the first array into directing.

'I grew up in Texas, conservative and Christian, so that guilt residue we all know and love was happily finding its way into beds and backseats of cars', said Meredith. A few years ago, I realized I needed to figure out how I felt about spirituality and sexuality. I read a lot of books. They sucked. And then I discovered Saint Teresa of Avila and her first vision from God. It was erotic, mystical. I was intrigued. To me, she redefined everything for herself, including the innate sensuality and power of spiritual connection. I wrote a feature script re-imagining her modern day: what would it look like if a teenager had visions from god (or God)? How could I explore these personal questions via her story? I decided to shoot a short and structure it like a prologue to the feature in order to start exploring. We meet Teresa when she first starts to experience these visions. What do they mean? I pulled from Teresa’s book on spiritual cultivation, Interior Castles and the imagery of birds, light, the prism of consciousness and then symbols of masculinity and the bridegroom. I wanted to make such an amorphous story palatable.
Kara Young & Jake Cannavale in Interior Teresa

'Putting Teresa’s story on screen has always been the driving force. Spending time with her over the years helped me understand my own feelings around how we define spirituality within the box that is religion, when really, it’s transcendent. This is also a woman, at least in this story, who’s looking for male validation - when really, it’s only standing in the way of her higher calling - a genderless, figureless, indescribable source that also transcends the boundaries of our society’s often restrictive psyche.'

Shooting on location in an intricate church in Manhattan wasn’t easy, but thanks to the welcoming community of Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church in Chelsea and Meredith’s crew, especially DP Elle Schneider and Josh Fordham, Meredith achieved beautifully lit scenes that referred to the arresting end scene in Baz Luhrman's Romeo + Juliet.

'My intention to shoot in such a traditional, at times haunting, setting was to really confront the state of the church and religion itself. I wanted the characters to move within it as their playground, to redefine the ways we view the space and to bring new life into it. I got lucky with this one. If you ever shoot in a church, knowing where and when the sun rays comes through the windows is your best friend. And have good insurance'.

With first film under her belt, Meredith is set on another challenge - an intersectional horror love story in series format and docuseries about female bike messenger.