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Deerfield Filmmakers Marina Shifrin Bryan and Taylor Simpson

Podcast: Deerfield Filmmakers Share Short Films

This month on the Deerfield Public Library Podcast, we are thrilled to share a conversation with three Deerfield filmmakers about their recent award-winning short films: Marina Shifrin, writer of Pickled Herring, and Bryan Simpson and Taylor Simpson, creators of Creating Things

This conversation was recorded as part of a special live podcast and film screening event we held last month at the Library. The filmmakers—who grew up here in Deerfield—all traveled home to share their films and an illuminating panel discussion with an audience of community members, friends, and family. 

You’ll hear how Marina, Bryan, and Taylor all reconnected on the film festival circuit, as well as entertaining and deeply felt reflections on the surprising thematic connections between the films, which both center on fathers and the power of translating life into art.  


The documentary Creating Things (2022) was created by brothers Bryan Simpson and Taylor Simpson and uses clips from an interview with their late father, Roger Simpson, in which he shares his personal philosophy of creativity as an artist, creative director, and person. Set to Taylor’s beautiful score, and featuring pieces of art and family mementos, it is a moving exploration of art-making and legacy. 

Creating Things won Best Documentary at the 2023 Pittsburgh Shorts film festival. We are honored to announce that Bryan and Taylor have made Creating Things available to stream for free on their website as of our podcast release, in celebration of their father’s birthday.

Pickled Herring (2023), written by our guest Marina Shifrin, and directed by and starring Milana Vayntrub, tells the autobiographical story of a woman who has a major accident requiring assistance for her basic needs. Enter her Russian immigrant father, who has ideas of his own on how to help, from finding the best Russian foods or fixing her garage to cultural clashes over family, lifestyle, and art. 

Pickled Herring won Best Narrative Short at the Santa Clara International Film Festival. You can watch the trailer [June ‘24 UPDATE: You can now watch the full film!] of Pickled Herring on Marina’s website.

Marina has written about her father before, including in her book of essays 30 Before 30: How I Made a Mess of My 20s and You Can Too. Listen to our 2019 podcast conversation with Marina on 30 Before 30, or check it out here at the Library. 

We hope you enjoy our 63rd interview episode! Each month (or so), we release an episode featuring a conversation with an author, artist, or other notable guests from Chicagoland or around the world. Learn more about the podcast on our podcast page. You can listen to all of our episodes in the player below or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. We welcome your comments and feedback—please send to

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