NYC Directing Team Ethan Cyr, Dakota Holmes-Dodge, and Carlos Lavezzari Explore Race, Gender and Class Through Narrative of Comic Book Superheroes

Superhero comedy short S.Q.U.A.D. will have its world premiere at the Jersey Shore Film Festival on July 7, 2023 at 5 p.m. EST at Basie Center Cinemas as part of the fest’s Shorts Collection: It’s On Us track.

The film, directed by Ethan Cyr, Dakota Holmes-Dodge, and Carlos Lavezzari, explores the issues of race, gender and class through the narrative of comic book superheroes.


In the film, Watcher, played by Lavezzari, is a millionaire’s son by day, and superhero by night. Can a group of black men act as a force for good on behalf of a society that deems them less than human? The SQUAD finds out as they struggle with villainous syndicates, cults, and misguided vigilantes.

Other key characters in the short are superhero Squire (Jeremiah Porter), Recluse, the SQUAD’s computer specialist (Ruby McCollister), superhero Delta (Holmes-Dodge), and The Marquee aka White Man (Cyr), described as a super strong, Staten-Islander, convince of his righteousness.  S.Q.U.A.D. (TV Movie) – IMDb

“Power dynamics are fundamental to the story of comic book heroes but they rarely take a hard look at racial issues. This story fills that empty niche,” comments Cyr. “We’re happy that Jersey Shore Film Festival took notice of our film and will host our theatrical premiere screening.”

S.Q.U.A.D. is the pilot episode of a series that addresses many of the societal issues we are facing in America today – racism, gender inequality, class differences,” adds Lavezzari.  “What makes the show unique is that we explore these issues through the eyes of superheroes.”

Future episodes will feature top influencers Kiana Vandenburg and Bianca Perez aka Yung Nihilist.

Directing team Cyr, Holmes-Dodge, and Lavezzari met as teenagers in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Together, they have been shooting, producing, and working together for over a decade, producing web series, television projects, and working on the crew for shows like Gossip Girl and The End Game.

Founded by entrepreneur and veteran filmmaker Stevie Doueck in 2006, the Jersey Shore Film Festival (JSFF) has grown from a sheer concept to a truly anticipated and promising event. Positioned as a ‘filmmakers’ festival, JSFF attracts thousands of audience members from all over the tri-state area and promises to be an incredible experience for both the filmmakers and audience members.