By Kendra Jones

“Know that silence is the loudest noise in the entire universe.”

In under seven minutes, “I Am What You Imagine,” written and directed by Matthew Modine, gives the viewer a sensory experience. From the ripples and foam of waves, bubbles from faces submerged under water—the glub glub of bubbles being released from the mouth and rising to the surface.

This short film, presented at the New York City Indie Theatre Film Festival, is part of the festival’s shorts program “Reflections,” embracing different ways of examining the world around us.

This short was visually stimulating. The textures of flowing three-dimensional spheres; I just wanted to touch them, rub my fingers against their smooth, vibrant surfaces.

A soft voice reminds us of the space of time, those seconds between dialogue that allows us to think and feel, allow the voice to wrap around us. I found myself softly, rhythmically breathing, an almost meditative experience.It prompts us to think of tone and sound of movement. How loud these can speak. The story they alone can tell.

It makes me think of performances, plays—how silence often says so much. Or positioning. How words do not have to be present at all, or we do not need to speak them to show our emotion.

“I am the involuntary presence.”


The 2024 NYCITFF was held at the Jeffrey and Paula Gural Theatre at the A.R.T./New York Theatres from February 15 – 18, 2024.

NYCIFF illuminates theatre artists with film, the NYC Indie Theatre Film Festival. The festival was founded by Marc Weitz and co-produced and programmed by Allyson Morgan, presenting work from independent theatre artists defying labels and branching out into film, TV and digital media. Founded in 2017 as a program of New Ohio Theatre, the NYCITFF screens narratives, documentaries, shorts, features, dance, experimental, webisodes and everything in between.