THIS AFTERNOON / a feature film

A young seminary student seeking self-knowledge inadvertently finds himself attending a sex addiction support group. It is there that he meets Hilary, an unhappy young mother taken to meeting strangers via Craigslist. Over the course of the afternoon, the two develop an affectionate yet complex relationship, helping each other wade through their mutual storm of love, sex, religion and the weight of the past. Inspired by characters in the Acting Studio Chicago CINEMA LAB short film of the same name, THIS AFTERNOON is a poignant, stimulating duet in the tradition of BRIEF ENCOUNTER, BEFORE SUNRISE and WEEKEND.


Stephen Cefalu, Jr.
Nikki Pierce


Roni Geva
John Highberger
Jessica Hoard


Bryan Hart


Director: Stephen Cone
Writers: Stephen Cone / Stephen Cefalu, Jr. / Nikki Pierce
Additional Material: Roni Geva / John Highberger / Jessica Hoard
Producers: Shane Simmons and Stephen Cone
Cinematographer: Stephanie Dufford

It's common amongst actors, that thing of "there are no small parts, only small actors." The same could be said of films, because indeed, the smallest of films has the potential to be very large. As I am in the process of completing my feature film BLACK BOX, I've become inspired to tackle this "smaller" side project, a feature expansion of a recent class short, and have been fortunate to find both the time and the team willing to sacrifice to help me make it happen, and beautifully. To that, we are looking for just enough funds to allow for the basics during our brief six-day shoot: food, minimal equipment, the barest of crew fees. Thankfully, our professional crew, including my regular Director of Photography Stephanie Dufford (THE WISE KIDS, BLACK BOX), are beyond well-equipped to embrace these limitations and make something very special, even transcendent; a film that will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the most expensive of films.

We start shooting on June 24th. On behalf of my brilliant, selflessly hard-working cast and crew, I thank you for whatever you might be willing to throw our way.

-Stephen Cone


Stephen Cone is a Chicago-based filmmaker, actor, educator and theatre director. His last feature film, the award-winning, critically-acclaimed THE WISE KIDS, which the Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips called "one of the best coming-of-age pictures in a long time", has screened at more than 50 festivals worldwide, won 8 awards, including the Outfest Grand Jury Prizes for Outstanding US Feature and Outstanding Screenwriting, received rave reviews, including a New York Times Critics"˜ Pick, as well as raves in Variety and from Roger Ebert, appeared on four Best of 2011 lists (including the Chicago Tribune's and Chicago Reader's) and was recently acquired for DVD/VOD by Wolfe Video.

While dabbling in the Chicago theatre scene in the early 2000s, Stephen founded Cone Arts to facilitate the making of his own films. Since then, he has written, produced and directed the short films CHURCH STORY, YOUNG WIVES (2007 LA Shorts Fest) and 7 EXPERIMENTS, as well as his medium- length feature debut THE CHRISTIANS (Gene Siskel Film Center; Philadelphia Independent Film Festival; NewFilmmakers @ Anthology Film Archives) and his first three full-length features IN MEMORIAM (Gene Siskel Film Center, Big Muddy Film Festival), THE WISE KIDS, and his latest feature, BLACK BOX, starring Josephine Decker and Austin Pendleton, currently in post-production.

In addition to the aforementioned BLACK BOX, Stephen is also in post-production on an experimental feature, THE MYSTERY OF LIFE, and is developing the feature films SUPPORT and CATHARSIS.

Stephen is a proud teacher at Acting Studio Chicago, where he runs a Cinema Lab for actors, which results each term in three, professionally-shot short films. Like SUPPORT.
  • Robert Riley-Mercado 
    • $300 
    • 102 mos
  • Marijke Morich 
    • $20 
    • 102 mos
  • Jeff Dufford 
    • $200 
    • 102 mos
  • Joseph Marohl 
    • $300 
    • 102 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 102 mos
See all


Stephen Cone 
Chicago, IL
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