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SFFILM Festival

Sloan Science on Screen: Mabel

Directed by Nicholas Ma

USA | Fiction | 84

27 Apr
Sat, Apr 27 at 5:00 pm PT

Guests Expected

Director Nicholas Ma is expected to attend


Biracial Callie (Lexi Perkel) loves trees and plants and little else in Nicholas Ma’s warm debut feature. Surly with her parents and intolerant of people who don’t share her interest, she’s also unhappy about changing schools after her family relocates. But as luck would have it, substitute teacher Ms. G (Judy Greer) is starting a botany unit in science class, and Callie wangles her way in. Held rapt by Ms. G’s lectures and online speeches, Callie develops an experiment raising chrysanthemums in darkness and manages to lure Agnes, her ebullient younger neighbor, into working on the project with her. Precocious, determined, and wryly funny, Callie is a unique protagonist who leverages her love of botany to propel herself into adolescence.

Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Director Nicholas Ma

A graduate of Harvard University, Nicholas Ma worked at McKinsey & Company as an aide to Senator John Kerry on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before turning to filmmaking. He produced Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Festival 2018), the winner of a best documentary Film Independent Spirit Award, and Unfinished Business (2022). He makes his feature writing/directing debut with Mabel.

Film Details

Language English

Year 2023

Premiere World

Runtime 84

Country USA

Director Nicholas Ma

Executive Producer Jennifer Westphal, Joe Plummer, Bill Helman, John Boccardo, Derek Esplin, Duane Fernandez, Rebecca Fernandez, Clara Wu

Producer Ben Howe, Luca Borghese, Helen Estabrook

Writer Nicholas Ma, Joy Goodwin

Editor Arturo Sosa

Cinematographer Mark Jeevaratnam

Music Tom Kingston

Cast Christine Ko, Lexi Perkel, Quincy Dunn-Baker

Closed Captions Closed Captions are not yet confirmed for this program

Audio Description Audio Descriptions are not yet confirmed for this program

American Sign Language (ASL) Interpretation American Sign Language Interpretation is not currently scheduled for this film