37th Annual VIRGINIA FILM FESTIVAL Oct 30-Nov 3, 2024

37th Annual VIRGINIA FILM FESTIVAL October 30-November 3, 2024

Stay Awake

Stay Awake FINAL

Ethan and Derek are two brothers who are on the cusp of adulthood, yet leaving home seems to be on permanent standby. Trapped in the constant cycle of rehabilitating their pill-addicted mother, their needs are pushed aside in the hopes that one day she will get clean. Nothing seems to change, though, as each new relapse impedes Ethan’s dream to attend college and Derek’s chances of pursuing an acting career beyond low-budget TV commercials. The film illustrates scenarios familiar to households struggling with addiction through a sympathetic but watchful lens. Writer/Director (and Virginia native) Jamie Sisley delivers a moving drama that subverts audience expectations of addicts.

Introduction by Peggy McNaull (UVA Health)
Presentation of Governor Gerald L. Baliles Founder’s Award to director Jamie Sisley
Discussion with director Jamie Sisley, actor Chrissy Metz (via live video conference), and actor Wyatt Oleff, moderated by Brian Truitt (USA Today)

This film is part of the Virginia Filmmaking Focus presented by Virginia Film Office.

Jamie Sisley is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker. Stay Awake, his narrative debut, premiered at the 2022 Berlin Film Festival, where it won the AG Kino Gilde Auteur Award. Sisley also received an Emmy Nomination for his feature documentary, Farewell Ferris Wheel. Sisley is a graduate of the University of Virginia.


Friday, November 4


8:00 PM


The Paramount Theater

Film Info

Director: Jamie Sisley

Runtime: 94 min

Genre: Drama

Year: 2022

Country: USA

Language: English

Featuring: Wyatt Oleff, Fin Argus, Chrissy Metz, Cree Cicchino, Quinn McColgan, Albert Jones, Lorrie Odom