Burke, VA, resident William R Coughlan has several films selected for the 1st Strasburg Film Festival.

One of his earliest films that will be shown is a short drama called All Roads Lead Away. Running at a little over nine minutes, this 2008 film looks at the interactions of Richard and Kate, who have lost everything.

Job, Home, Lifestyle.

Now, with everything they own packed into their battered old station wagon, they’re just trying to make it to Cleveland, where Richard’s brother has offered a chance to start over.

But making the journey is easier said than done, and when Richard’s plans to borrow money from an old friend fall through, they are left with no choice but to seek out an old flame of Kate’s for help.

But will this truly be a chance to move on, or the catalyst for a larger life change?

This film will be shown on the Saturday, 3:25 screening that is part of the Mixed Shorts Block 2 event. Tickets to attend this event are $4 and can be purchased on the event page. You can also purchase day or three-day passes.

Director Biography – William R Coughlan

William R. Coughlan is an award-winning screenwriter and director and is one of the founders (and primary financier) of Tohubohu Productions — which basically means that even on pictures he doesn’t direct, he can at least squeeze in an Executive Producer credit. He worked for 26 years as a senior director with The Advisory Board Company in Washington, D.C., where he began as a graphic designer before segueing into video and multimedia, and then eventually into the ranks of creative department management.In addition, he is the Associate Artistic Director of Jabberwocky Audio Theater, and serves on the Board of Directors for TIVA, the Television, Internet, and Video Association of DC, Inc., filling the roles of Treasurer and Vice President before stepping in as President in 2018. He also enjoys acting, voiceover performance, design and illustration, editing, animation, and writing autobiographical comments in the third person.

Coughlan is very accomplished:
– He is the illustrator of the therapeutic workbook Stories for Children with Problems & Wishes
– Has provided schematic graphics for several HBS case studies
– Designed the acclaimed Protégé clay poker chip line
– Served as the Critic at Large for the online literary magazine Inkblots
– Has been a judge for both the TIVA Peer Awards and the Emmy Awards – Founded and co-hosted the long-running Tohubohu Producer Podcast, and is an accomplished animator and ambigram artist.

Director Statement

We continued our string of working with accomplished YA authors by recruiting Barry Lyga — hot on the heels of his successful novel The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy & Goth Girl — to the team for “All Roads Lead Away.” In preliminary brainstorming about the script (and well aware of the time limitations of a short film), Barry and I concentrated on boiling the plot down to the essential nature of a ”road movie”: traveling toward an intended destination.

We thought about exactly how we would want that journey (both literally and thematically) to resolve, planning to work back from that conclusion. Traditionally, the protagonists arrive at their promised destination, changing as a result of their journey. But we felt there was more dramatic mileage to be gained if they failed to arrive.

What series of events would result in that outcome? Turning those road-movie expectations on their head, and capitalizing on the readily identifiable real-world recession dominating the news, Barry crafted a straightforward story about a couple struggling with hardship and desperately hoping to make a new start.

Anchored by stellar performances from Jennifer Massey and Joe Hansard (both of whom had worked with us on the just-wrapped “Number One With a Bullet”), the film struck a chord with audiences and remains relevant to this day.