“I did it from feeling, I did it from instinct,” said director David O. Russell of his new film in collaboration with Prada titled “Past Forward.”

The silent short was previewed at a private downtown L.A. screening with many well-known actors in attendance.

Miuccia Prada provided creative feedback on the film and Russell described the fashion label leader as his “patron of the arts.”

“Past Forward” follows Allison Williams, Freida Pinto, and Kuoth Wiel — all playing the same role — who are trapped in a suspenseful dream. Surreal visual imagery and a dramatic score add to the drama.

On his diverse cast, Russell noted, “It was great for me to have three different actresses in one role and three different men in one role — especially in today’s society. Seeing three different cultures in one part, which is a classic kind of an iconic role like in a Hitchcock film, is something we haven’t always seen. For me, it’s interesting.”

Freida Pinto, Connie Britton, Sacha Baron Cohen and Kuoth Wiel sit in the front row for the “Past Forward” screening. (Billy Farrell/BFA/REX/Shutterstock)

Shortly after 8 p.m., the crowd poured into the Hauser Wirth & Schimmel Gallery viewing room that was just large enough to include Russell, his leading ladies, as well as other cast members Sinqua Walls, Sacha Baron Cohen, Connie Britton, and Thomas Matthews in addition to Miuccia Prada, Sarah Paulson, Zoey Deutch, Milla Jovovich, Logan Lerman, Zosia Mamet, Demi Moore, Mandy Moore, Olivia Munn, Fuschia Kate Sumner, Christoph Waltz, and Kate Mara. Mara admitted after screening “Past Forward,” she hadn’t quite figured out the reason for using black and white, saying, “I have no idea, but who cares.” “I loved it anyway,” she laughed. “I thought it was very relevant.”

Sarah Paulson told Variety she’d love to work with the acclaimed director. “I’m desperately jockeying to work with him in any way I possibly can,” she said. “I don’t care if I brought a napkin in the scene to feed someone who was actually eating, as long as he’s saying action and cut.”


Sarah Paulson said she would love to work with the director some day. (Richard Shotwell/REX/Shutterstock)

Pinto talked about working with Russell, saying, “You can never predict what he has in mind. For example, there was a scene where we were staring at a painting, and he said, “Stare at the painting like a dog.” Then you go, “What does that even mean?” It’s just the curiosity of it all. He’s got a very different way of explaining things. It’s such an honor to work with someone like him. He’s such a real artist.”

“Past Forward” will be available to view starting Thursday on Prada.com.