Person to Person a film by Dustin Guy Defa. 2014, USA, 18 min. An authentic New York story from one of American independent cinema’s most promising voices.


Many in the United States and elsewhere have already seen and fallen in love with Dustin Guy Defa’s short film Person to Person, but for those who haven’t yet: Here is one whose world and main character you won’t be ready to leave so soon. And for those who have: Don’t you just want hear Bene tell his stories again? Or study how Defa directed a perfect moment of cinema within its short form, the same way a great short story would in literature? From its premiere at Sundance in 2014, the short went on to screen at the Berlin Film Festival (where it won the DAAD Short Film award), South by Southwest, New Directors/New Films, and finally to different places online.



The premise is full of flavor: The morning after hosting a party, a record store owner finds a good-looking stranger waking up on the floor of his apartment – and struggles to convince her to leave.


Defa managed to create a profoundly cinematic, romantic and pleasurable atmosphere, set in an authentic Brooklyn. The film is led by its marvelously charismatic lead character Bene (Bene Coopersmith), who is actually Defa’s old roommate. Defa had wanted to put him in a movie for some time – Bene already seemed like he came from one. And Defa builds the story and context for Bene to fully develop into a film character, capturing the natural essence of a wonderful storyteller. Person to Person is a finely executed film that transports you into a New York City story, belonging with the best out there. And if this wasn’t enough, the film’s great soundtrack includes Little Ann, The Georgettes, The Supreme Jubilees, Jus Us, Darando, Mattison, Helene Smith.


“I love to hear Bene tell stories. The way he tells them is so cinematic. And to me, Bene is New York.” DUSTIN GUY DEFA FOR I’M NOT STUPID COLUMN


Dustin Guy Defa has directed a series of shorts (which have already had a retrospective at the Film Society of Lincoln Center) as well as a feature entitled Bad Fever. He recently finished shooting his second feature Human People, which is meant to have a similar atmosphere to this short, and which stars Tavi Gevinson, Michael Cera, Abbi Jacobson — and Bene Coopersmith. Dustin Guy Defa is considered one of the most promising and exciting new voices in American cinema. This film explains why.

Credits for
Deragh Campbell, Bene Coopersmith & Zachary Levy
written by
Dustin Guy Defa & Keha McIlwaine
Adam Ginsberg
Dustin Guy Defa