Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 8, 2011.


On the first day of a five-year probation sentence, a teen gets a desperate call for help from a friend in crisis.

Writer/Director: Durier Ryan

Producers: Margot Arakelian, Charles Peirce and Quinn Orear

Director of Photography: Pedro Gómez Millán

Casting Directors: Nina Day Chaudhuri and Zan Ludlum

FIVE YEARS tells the story of a young man on the first day of his five-year probation sentence. It’s an original script, inspired by real events, which I’ve been workshopping for several months. With casting underway and production planned for September 2011, the completed film will serve as my directing thesis for Columbia University’s Film MFA Program, and will be submitted to film festivals around the world.


FIVE YEARS presents a day in the life of a teenager just released from jail. As he begins a five-year probation sentence, he is indoctrinated into a new and unforgiving system of rules and boundaries. When he gets a desperate call for help from a friend in crisis, he's forced to weigh his own needs and security against the compassion he has for others. 

Ultimately, it's a coming-of-age story: a young person faces conflicting responsibilities, and learns that the lines between right and wrong in the adult world are not always clearly defined. As the culmination of several years of graduate study in film writing and directing, the project is a major step forward for me in its scope and ambition, while also remaining grounded in themes that have been central to my previous films. 

Also in keeping with my previous work, I'll be working closely with my cast and on the ground to build story and character; over the next few months I'll continue to develop the script through interviews with teens on probation and rehearsals with the cast.

If you haven’t seen it already, you can watch my movie MONROE ST. here. (And if you really wanna know more, an interview about making it is here.


Principal photography is planned for September 2011 in the NYC area, with post-production (editing, sound mix and scoring) through the Fall and Winter. We've been scouting and locking down locations, and casting for the film has already begun! I'm excited to be working with the extremely talented casting directors Nina Day Chaudhuri and Zan Ludlum to build a great ensemble. Key crew members will be announced in the coming weeks. 

With your support, we'll have the completed film ready to screen next Spring.


This story is inspired by real events, and the opportunity to make this film means a great deal to me. It's important to me to get it right. And I can't do that without your support. Your support is what makes this film possible. 

Making a movie -- even a short one -- takes a lot of resources. We'll need equipment, locations, cast, art direction and props, and, most importantly, a team of experienced people working together efficiently over a few very long days. The funds raised here will be used to help cover the full costs of production and post-production, from hiring and feeding crew and renting equipment to sending the completed work to film festivals. 

Thank you so much for your consideration and your help. It means the world to me. I'm honored to have you in my corner, delighted to have you join the FIVE YEARS team, and can't wait to share the film with you. 

Sincerely yours,

Durier Ryan

P.S. - A huge THANK YOU to my friends Dustin Wong for the music in the teaser above, and Kevin Lau who photographed everything!


  • No! Columbia's film program has been incredibly supportive in terms of faculty supervision, writing and directing advisement, and an amazing network of colleagues and collaborators. But all thesis films are 100% director-funded.

    Last updated:
  • The film will be completed in time to have its premiere at the Columbia University Film Festival in NYC, in April 2012. Right after that, we'll begin sending it out to film festivals around the world.

    Last updated:
  • Awesome! And yes. If you're interested just send me a note and I'll pass it along to my amazing casting directors!

    Last updated:
  • Not at all! Definitely tell them! You can like the project on FB, tweet and share however you like! There's easy links right below the video at the top of this page.

    Last updated:
pledged of $10,000 goal
seconds to go
  • First created · 8 backed
  • Has not connected Facebook

See full bio

  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    53 backers

    A thankyou credit in the film, my sincere appreciation and gratitude, and a huge hug from me when I see you.

  • Pledge $50 or more
    You selected

    28 backers

    A digital download of the completed film, updates and photos from the making of the film, and everything above.

  • Pledge $100 or more
    You selected

    27 backers

    A DVD copy of the completed film, with handmade artwork and a printed still from the film, and everything above.

  • Pledge $250 or more
    You selected

    6 backers

    An invitation to the film’s wrap party with cast and crew, an original poster from the film signed by cast and crew, and everything above.

  • Pledge $500 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    2 tickets to the film's premiere screening and party in NYC, and everything above.

  • Pledge $1,000 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    An Associate Producer credit, a hardcover book with stills from the film's production, and everything above.

  • Pledge $2,500 or more
    You selected

    0 backers

    An Executive Producer credit, a homemade meal cooked by the director at your house, and everything listed above.

Funding period

- (46 days)