A bittersweet story about coming of age in the shadow of mental illness.

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Dawn and Melanie’s loving and comically eccentric mother-daughter relationship has grown stronger following the passing of Melanie’s father. Their lives are soon disrupted when a menacing neighbor moves in next door. The neighbor is hellbent on stalking and tormenting Dawn, never leaving a shred of evidence to his crimes. Even the police and a seasoned private detective are duped by him. Melanie attempts to help Dawn catch him, but soon begins to wonder - is the threat real, or is it all in her mom’s head?…


Cast         Lili Taylor, Stefania LaVie Owen (Netflix suspense thriller Messiah), Peyton

                 List, Ian Nelson (The Hunger Games), David Rasche (Sledge Hammer, United

                 93, Men in Black 3, Veep), Max Casella, Michael Cyril Creighton, Tom Papa

                 (The Marriage Ref)

Crew       Director Inon Shampanier   

                 Screenwritters Inon Shampanier & Natalie Shampanier

                 Director of Photography Zach Kuperstein

                 Production Designer Bryan Wolcik

                 Editor Joe Murphy

                 Costume Designer Gina Ruiz

                 Music Ariel Blumenthal  

                 Music Supervisor Melany Mitchell

                 Producers Anne Clements (Quincenera, Stage Mother), Ash Christian

                 (1985, Coyote Lake)

                 Executive Producer Barry Shy

                 Production companies Idiot Savant Pictures, Cranium Entertainment

                 US Copyright Law Paper Spiders, LLC


Original Title       Paper Spiders

Country                 USA

Language             English

Subtitles avail     English

Genre                    Drama, coming of age


Length                  109'

Format                  DCP I Color I 5.1

Year                       2020


DWF LA (USA-, Boston International Film Festival (Best Film, Best Actress, Best Ensemble Cast, Best Screenplay, USA), Woodstock Film Festival (USA), Buffalo International Film Festival (USA), Warsaw Film Festival (Poland), B3 Biennale (Germany), Portland Film Festival - PDXFF (USA), Twin Cities Film Festival (USA), St Louis International Film Festival (USA), Ojai Film Festival (USA), ...


Paper spiders is a bittersweet story about coming of age in the shadow of mental illness. The film is a journey from comedy to tragedy — much like the life of its main characters, and the personal lives of my co-writer and wife Natalie, her mother, and myself, over the past decade.

Natalie’s mother passed away four years ago, but in a way we lost her years before. She was a loving mother, a sweet and funny woman with a quirky sense of humor -and a victim of persecutory delusional disorder. Like others afflicted with paranoia, she was extremely resistant to treatment. As a therapist, Natalie explored all strategies to help her mom, but to no avail. Challenging her reality provoked hostility, and threatened their loving relationship.

In telling a story inspired by our experiences, we wish to shed light on the unexplored subject of delusional disorder, and the pain mental illness inflicts on individuals and family members. The tonal shift from comedy to tragedy reflects the manner in which quirky neurosis can develop into full-fledged psychosis, and a loving relationship can deteriorate into catastrophe and heartbreak.

Films can play a meaningful role in deepening public understanding of mental health issues, and overcoming the shame that is attached to discussing them. Supporting people who struggle with mental illness requires growing in empathy - as individual sand as a society. Our hope is that the film will be able to contribute to personal and public conversations about this issue.

The film features outstanding performances from Lili Taylor and Stefania LaVie Owen as well as our terrific supporting cast, including Peyton List, Ian Nelson, David Rasche, Max Casella, Michael Cyril Creighton and Tom Papa. It was a true labor of love for the cast and crew, for our wonderful producers Anne Clements and Ash Christian, and the extremely supportive community of Syracuse NY where the film was shot.


Coming soon


coming soon


Inon Shampanier's directorial debut THE MILLIONAIRE TOUR was produced by Michael Eisner’s Vuguru, and starred Dominic Monaghan, Agnes Bruckner, Jordan Belfi and Rick Gomez. Inon and Natalie also wrote BEAUTIFUL & TWISTED starring Robe Lowe, Paz Vega and Candice Bergen. Inon and Natalie live in Los Angeles with their three children.


The Millionaire Tour (2012)


Coming soon


A poignant, beautifully acted mother-daughter drama… perceptive as it is touchy in handling a psychotic disorder. Leavened with a healthy dose of natural humor, “Paper Spiders” stomps on your heart and then rebuilds it by the end.
- The Artful Critic

The film is poignant, eye-opening, thought-provoking, and worth watching…  The authenticity shines through and a monumental reason for that is the performance of Lili Taylor coupled with great writing… I thoroughly enjoyed Paper Spiders. Its rewatchability is high.
- Geek Vibes Nation

Spiked with welcome humor… its excellent cast is led by the reliably compelling Lili Taylor
- The Hollywood Reporter

Remarkable… Inon Shampanier’s screenplay is beautifully written, and his direction was top notch as well…
- Music City Drive-In

Both a comical and deadly serious look at what it's like to be paranoid… You can almost swear that Owen and Taylor are an actual mother-daughter team; that’s how empathetic they are.
- Big Apple reviews

Benefits from two excellent performances and delivers an emotional and poignant tale of mother and daughter and mental illness… Lili Taylor is excellent… a staggeringly good performance from Stefania LaVie Owen…
- Red Carpet Crash

The movie’s compelling performances keep the focus where it belongs… Owen brings an endearing energy… The movie definitely treats Dawn’s illness with appropriate gravity. To its credit, however, Paper Spiders also features welcome doses of humor that add an it’s-all-part-of-life perspective to the somber complications
- Alliance of Women Film Journalists

Paper Spiders is an affecting drama subtly directed by Inon Shampanier… Lili Taylor nails her character… The film will surely resonate with people whose families have dealt with mental illness… Put it on your list for when it comes out!
- Chick Flix Reviews

A worthwhile feature that is well-performed and worthy of the ending it finds… Paper Spiders is a winner.
- We Live Entertainment


Images © Retro Sterchi