Thesis Spotlight: Coup De Grace

A good film has high stakes, meaning that the characters have a lot to lose. Very often these stakes are fabricated. Whether it’s a life or death situation or something as small as losing a job, good filmmaking is lying very well. Breaking that norm, Coup De Grâce, tells us the almost true story of a young woman who, after finding out she’s adopted, has to choose between her adopted upper class life, or her real mother who she doesn’t know.

Frieda Sitt brought this story to life after a conversation with her friend got her filmmaking gears turning. “I was pulling from things in real life. Some of these conversations in the film are taken almost directly from actual conversations.” Honoring the truth behind this story, Frieda crafted characters and plots that accurately represent the difficulties between looking for something new, and finding that what you have is good enough. At the center of this short film lies a remarkably honest decision, which makes this stand out from a lot of other student films. Frieda not only tells the story beautifully, both in her language and shot composition, but also sparks conversations about important personal decision making.

As a female filmmaker, Frieda took it upon herself to recruit as many women as she could to make this film. Not only is the cast entirely female, but the crew featured many incredibly talented woman. “Women aren’t accurately represented on screen because there aren’t enough female film makers. Once you get women behind the camera, we will be able to show real female characters” Frieda said.

Besides writing, Frieda also directed and edited her thesis. Taking on so many jobs could be challenging for a student filmmaker, but her credits on dozens of other short films and her talent as a writer/director helped make an outstanding project with an honesty not often seen in student films.

Coup De Grâce will premiere at the Brooklyn College Film Festival on May 31st and will be submitted to other festivals after that. For more information on Coup De Grâce or to contact Frieda Sitt, email her at

For questions, submissions, comments, or just to chat, email me at or find me on twitter @FamularoDom.

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