Before the Fire


Deep in the throes of a worldwide pandemic, Ava and her ex-boyfriend Kelly escape the mounting chaos in Los Angeles and return, for the first time in many years, to their sleepy hometown in the Midwest.

But as civilization continues to dissolve, Ava finds that her homecoming attracts a dangerous figure from her past, leaving her no choice but to face the man she fears in order to save the one she loves -- before time runs out.


Even though more and more women step behind the camera, a very specific expectation about the type of films women should direct still exists: rom-coms, teen movies, family movies. Male directors shift between genres much more fluidly, and it is apparent in the types of stories that make it to the screen. When watching sci-fi / action / dramas, they typically unfold from the male protagonist point of view and women act only as a vehicle for the male lead.

As filmmakers, this has always troubled us. We love action, we love sci-fi, but we rarely saw ourselves in the characters on screen. This is an aspect that I love most about THE GREAT SILENCE: it takes a conventional genre and turns it on its head. Not only is the story told from an unconventional perspective, that of a female protagonist, but at every turn it fleshes out universal themes that tug at us all. THE GREAT SILENCE brings a very human and feminine element to the sci-fi genre, both through its main character and its creators

Director and Producer

Charlie Buhler graduated Magna cum Laude from The University of Notre Dame with a degree in Film and American Studies. After completing her honors thesis project, she packed her car and drove the 2000 miles to Los Angeles to pursue her lifelong dream of filmmaking. Recent directorial projects include: Aegis, a short film shot in South Dakota in 2013. Mark, a documentary detailing the life Chester Higgins Jr, the first African American photographer to shoot for the New York Times, and the first music video for American Idol alum Katie Stevens, a soulful rendition of We are Never Ever Getting Back Together. The widely praised video was featured on and has received over 175,000 hits.

Writer, Producer and "Ava" 

Minnesota native Jenna Lyng earned her BFA in Film Production from Emerson College in 2010, specializing in Producing and Screenwriting. Her thesis film “As They Fade” won numerous awards (Caucus Foundation, Fotokem Grant, Marcia Robbins-Wilf Women in Film Grant) and screened all over the U.S. Jenna currently works both in front and behind the camera as an actor and producer. She has produced content for brands such as Ford, Nike, Pepsi, Lindt, GOOD Magazine, and A&E Network. Her most recent acting roles include indie films “DEVIL’S IN THE DETAILS” with Ray Liotta and UNCLE JOHN with John Ashton (SXSW Official Selection 2015), Fremantle’s TV movie “BRANDT POINT,” and LOUD Channel’s series “RUN DMZ."


Boston-native Kristen Murtha graduated Magna Cum Laude from Emerson College with a degree specializing in Media Production and Producing. Kristen thrives on bringing compelling stories to life across multiple mediums as a producer of feature length and short films, web series and music videos. Her credits include upcoming features THE BANG BANG GIRLS and a PROJECT GREENLIGHT anthology film, as well as short films “Mother’s Day,” “Magic Matty,” “It’s So Cliche” and “The Sleepover,” each recognized at festivals like St. Tropez International, Soho International, New York International Short Film Fest, Cleveland International, Hawaii International, and Seattle International. She also has produced music videos with millions of views for artists Hoodie Allen and Watsky. Alongside her producing work, Kristen has seven years production experience on features at DreamWorks Animation, her credits including 2012 Golden Globe Nominee RISE OF THE GUARDIANS and 2014 Golden Globe Winner and Academy Award Nominee HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2. 



Cinefemme's Federal Tax EIN Number is 52-237-4579.  Our address is 1014 Broadway #477 in Santa Monica, CA.  Donations to this project can be made via the donation button above, through a charitable fund, or by check.  Checks should be made out to Cinefemme and have "The Great Silence" written in the memo section.  Checks must be mailed to:


1014 Broadway #477

Santa Monica, CA  90401

Before the Fire