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It’s Leila’s first - and soon to be last- day of training in the kitchen of an elite restaurant

Marina Michelson is director, writer, producer, and actor originally from Tel Aviv, born to Soviet émigrés from the Republics of Georgia and Moldova. Drawing from her personal experiences her latest film Stagiaire - meaning 'trainee'- tells us from a woman's perspective what it can be like to be seen as the lowest on the totem pole in the kitchen of a New York restaurant.

Leila turns up fresh faced, eager and excited to be part of a restaurant and kitchen she so admires. However in the line of cooks and the hierarchy involved it is made clear within minutes that this will be a psychological battle more than a culinary training. Stagiaire focusses on the different interactions of intimidation that a woman can feel in the masculine environment of a kitchen, where everything must be fast paced and egos are for some reason heightened in the heat.

Marina Michelson 'I’ve worked in the service industry since studying at NYU, fulfilling every possible post from the most disposable (hostess), to the highest on the totem pole (owner/operator), and everything in between (bathroom attendant, cater waiter, private chef.) My position of power had little to no impact on the harassment I experienced, which took many forms: from bartenders who made me one too many shift drinks, to bus boys who re-named me a thesaurus’s worth of sexy diminutives, to managers who cornered me for dates until I was forced to quit.

I still have nightmares about one of them, who despite being his boss, terrified me with his propensity for rage. Many women who have worked in service have similar stories and each woman who has seen the film has shared with me hers. “Stagiaire” is an attempt to excavate the grooves of memory and examine how the trauma of sexual harassment embeds itself in the psyche for years to come.'


Writer/Director - @Marina824






DP @lowellameyer

Editor/Producer @davidbrundige

PD @emilyscottsimpson

Casting By @marinahyenaa

Costumes @anyamichelson

Score @joshjameslim

1st AD @lexikirsch

2nd AD @funwithplastics

Scripty @rush_es_to

Crafty @olya_del + @paper_plastik

1st AC @lynnmillspaugh

2nd AC @kimstratton

Stills @maxknightmare

Gaffer @stephaniesaathoff

Best Boy @billyscafuri

Sound @theneoncoyote

HMU #sarahdorrian

Food Stylist @anna_rose_hopkins

Stand-in/Double @sarenaelise

Art Director #zachcrawford

PA #stevenalmanza

Colorist #patfitzgerald

Sound Designer #chaseeverett

Titles #sethbrau

Poster Art @tiffjan