Director Biography – Stephen Keep Mills (LOVE IS NOT LOVE)

Stephen Keep Mills (Writer/Director/Actor/Producer) started out as an actor leaving the Yale Drama School in the spring of 1969 to join the Guthrie Theatre and then appearing over the next seventeen years with many regional companies in both the US and Canada. He performed in “The Shadow Box”, “Story Theatre” and “Metamorphosis” on Broadway and in several Off-Broadway houses including The Roundabout Theatre and The Public where his performance in Vaclav Havel’s “A Private View” earned him a Drama Desk nomination. His television credits include guest-starring roles in over 25 episodic shows and Movies Of The Week, a regular stint on the series “Flo” and a recurring role on the Sci-Fi series “VR-5.”


In the late 1990’s, Mills began directing and producing his own written works on stage, gaining critical notice with “SquareOne” in LA as well as an Ovation Nomination for his adaptation of “A Christmas Carol: The Ghost Story of Christmas” which he directed in collaboration with DeafWest Theatre in American Sign Language. In 2003, he produced and acted in the film of his play “Hotel Lobby”, and thereafter cast himself full-time as a filmmaker. He made his directorial debut with the 15-minute film “A Cigar at the Beach” (2005) which screened world-wide in 166 festivals, winning 47 awards. He followed up with another short “LIMINAL” in 2008 that accumulated 84 festival screenings and 30 awards. Mills is a member of Academy Award Winner Bobby Moresco’s Actors’ Gym and is included in Del Weston’s (AOF) Top 100 Indie Filmmakers In The World Part 1. He is mortally coached by the “living” ghost of Stella Adler. “Love is not Love” marks Mills’ first feature as director.


Director Statement

I am more attracted to the irrational swirl of interior particles of the human condition than the linear logic of exterior plots—sort of a psychological pointillism. The most epic dramas are all silently pitched on internal battlefields and we enter them like dreams, cracking the code of their riddles.


I want to put the viewers in places and situations they recognize but without dropping the breadcrumbs to tell them how they got there. I want to open their private eye onto the impressionistic world of the Interior. Our shared Interior. The drama I prefer is the drama of the private “I”.

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LOVE IS NOT LOVE, 95min., USA, Romance


Early December, New York City, and everyone is on the hunt for love. Why? Because they haven’t found it and because they haven’t found it, they make it into a myth and chase the myth instead. That is not love in this romantic drama of fantasy, fate, and yearning.

Project Links

  • Project Type: Feature
  • Genres: Romance, Drama
  • Runtime: 1 hour 34 minutes 41 seconds
  • Completion Date: January 1, 2020
  • Production Budget: 250,000 USD
  • Country of Origin: United States
  • Country of Filming: United States
  • Language: English
  • Shooting Format: RED
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Film Color: Black & White
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Winning ROMANCE SHORT Screenplay Reading: CELESTUS, by Carl Huebner

On an alien world, a young woman forges a lifelong bond with a whale­‐like creature.

CAST LIST:
Narrator: Hannah Ehman

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ROMANCE Festival 1st Scene Reading: Who Knew? by Monty C. Floyd

Hope finds unexpected love in Washington D.C..

CAST LIST:
Narrator: Steve Rizzo
Hope: Kyana Teresa
Dan/Howard: Geoff Mays
Audra: Julie Sheppard

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SHORT FILM TRAILOR: OUR FATHER, 15min., USA, Drama/Romance

Directed by Jamie Duneier

Based on the director’s Jewish mother’s romantic relationship with a priest, OUR FATHER is a modern story of forbidden love. After her husband asks for a divorce, Darlene seeks solace from someone who can’t give her what she needs most.

Watch the Full Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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ROMANCE Festival 1st Scene Script Reading: Keeping Time, by Nathan Zoebl

Feedback Note Summary: KEEPING TIME is a truly well thought out piece, especially when the content is based on something as complicated as time travel. The writer had clearly done their research in terms of creating scenes that were cohesive even when toying with the idea of multiples of the same character from different timelines. The protagonist is one that keeps you rooting for them as they must overcome an antagonist of concept; time. A really fun piece to read through that could benefit with a few minor adjustments for clarity.

CAST LIST:

Narration: Allison Kampf

Charles/Hornblower: Shawn Devlin

Spokesman: Bill Poulin

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The Decisive Moment Short Film, Audience FEEDBACK from Oct. 2020 ROMANCE Film Festival

THE DECISIVE MOMENT, 21min., France, Romance

Directed by Eduardo Rufeisen

The Decisive Moment follows the life of two young photographers living in Paris, Henri and Yvette. They meet in an art school and become fascinated with each other in very different styles.

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I’m Press Short Film, Audience FEEDBACK from Oct. 2020 ROMANCE Film Festival

I’M PRESS, 9mim., USA, Romance/Comedy

Directed by Emmanual Fordjour

Presly Jones, a beautiful yet insecure environmentalist goes on her first date in a very long time. With the help of her best friends, Presly gets two ear fulls of advice during the date and soon realizes the extra assistance may be more problematic than depending on herself alone.

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Our Father Short Film, Audience FEEDBACK from Oct. 2020 Romance Film Festival

OUR FATHER, 15min., USA, Drama/Romance

Directed by Jamie Duneier

Based on the director’s Jewish mother’s romantic relationship with a priest, OUR FATHER is a modern story of forbidden love. After her husband asks for a divorce, Darlene seeks solace from someone who can’t give her what she needs most.

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HIGHLIGHTS, WINNERS & VIDEOS: October 2020 ROMANCE FEEDBACK Film Festival

AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS:
BEST FILM: IN MEMORIAM
BEST ROMANCE FILM: THE DECISIVE MOMENT
BEST PERFORMANCES: 8 DAVES A WEEK
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: FROM HEAVEN IS CALI
BEST SOUND & MUSIC: OUR FATHER

Theme of night: Desire to evolve and change

NOTE: Festival took place during the COVID-19 virus lockdown so all screenings were held in private.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Videos:

festival posterPAIN IS THE AGENT OF CHANGE, 13min., USA, Drama


festival posterIN MEMORIAM, 9min., Greece, Drama/Sci-FI


festival posterFROM HEAVEN IS CALI, 12min., Columbia Documentary/Drama


festival poster8 DAVES A WEEK, 20min., USA, Drama/Comedy


festival posterUNLOCKED, 16min., Canada, Drama/Experimental


festival posterTHE DECISIVE MOMENT, 21min., France, Romance


festival posterI’M PRESS, 9mim., USA, Romance/Comedy


festival posterOUR FATHER, 15min., USA, Drama/Romance


The beginning of a (temporary) new era.

See you at the festivals. Whenever that happens!

– Matthew Toffolo

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