Synopsis by Mark Deming
In this claustrophobic drama, Andrew (Jason Carter) is an actor whose is having to deal with the slow collapse of his career while he struggles with a serious illness. Andrew was adopted as a child, and has just learned the whereabouts of his biological mother, whom he plans to meet for the first time. Ruth (Caryl McKay) is an elderly woman who lives in the same building as Andrew's birth mother and has suffered through a difficult life. While riding the elevator together, Andrew and Ruth find themselves stuck between floors -- and since it's the Friday of a holiday weekend, there's no telling when the maintenance crew might come to rescue them. The two strangers try to make the best of a bad situation, but soon tension and fear begin to get the better of them. Famous Dead People was the first feature for independent filmmaker Erin Whalen; it won second prize at the 1999 Figueira da Foz film festival in Portugal.