Brothers Ethan (Qyatt Oleff) and Derek (Fin Argus) try their best to navigate the pressures of teenage life while tending to their mother’s (Chrissy Metz) debilitating prescription drug addiction. Based on the filmmaker’s adolescence in small-town America, Stay Awake is a personal exploration of the roller coaster ride that families go on while trying to help their loved ones battle a disease that affects millions every day.
ABOUT WRITER & DIRECTOR JAMIE SISLEY
Jamie Sisley is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker who recently wrote and directed Stay Awake, a narrative feature film that premiered at the 2022 Berlin Film Festival, where it won the AG Kino Gilde Auteur Award and was Honorable Mention for the Crystal Bear. Starring Chrissy Metz ("This Is Us"), Wyatt Oleff (“IT," Netflix’s “I Am Not Okay With This," Apple’s “City on Fire”), and Fin Argus (Max’s “Queer As Folk,” “The Other Two”), Stay Awake is a personal exploration of the roller coaster ride that families go on while trying to help their loved ones battle addiction. The feature is based off a short film of the same name that Jamie also wrote and directed. The short premiered at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival, won both the National Board of Review Film Prize and Slamdance Grand Jury Prize, and played over 120 film festivals around the world.
In addition, Jamie received an Emmy Nomination for his feature documentary, Farewell Ferris Wheel. Shot over the course of six years, Farewell Ferris Wheel explores how the U.S. Carnival industry fights to keep itself alive by legally employing Mexican migrant workers with the controversial H-2B guestworker visa. The film won the Creative Promise Award from the Tribeca Film Institute, received an Imagen nomination for the positive portrayal of Latinos in entertainment, and was nationally broadcast on PBS and Netflix.
Jamie’s work has been supported by the Sundance Institute, SFFILM, Tribeca Film Institute, Film Independent, ITVS, and The Smithsonian Institute. Prior to film, Jamie was an artist manager in the music industry at Red Light Management. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, and an MFA in Film Directing and Screenwriting from Columbia University. He proudly calls Charlottesville his home.