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a feature fiction film

Car Service

A young Russian Jewish immigrant working as a dispatcher at a Queens car service struggles to find meaning while confronting tragedy, crime, family obligations and a lost love on New Year's Eve 1999.

Short synopsis

The story takes place on New Year's Eve 1999 going into 2000, centered around a Russian immigrant car service in Queens, New York. The main character is Dima, a 25-year-old Russian Jewish art student working overnight dispatch at the car service. Dima feels out of place among the older Russian immigrant drivers and seedy owners, dreaming of being a filmmaker instead.


The night begins with tragedy when one of the drivers, Monya, is mysteriously shot dead. Dima goes to collect Monya's car from his grieving widow Bella and crying children. At work, Dima splits his attention between dispatching calls, scribbling poetry and story ideas, and trying to comfort his distraught colleague Georgy.


Dima visits his ailing grandmother in the hospital where his family is celebrating New Year's with Soviet traditions. He promises to return later for holiday gifts. His girlfriend Jus, an Asian-American DJ, expresses concern over Dima wasting his potential in the car service amid danger. They have a tryst in a car while Dima is working.


As midnight nears, the car service owners Gregory and Igor prepare to celebrate but chaos mounts. Cars break down, drivers get arrested, arguments erupt over money. Dennis the night dispatcher seems to know more than he lets on. Dima helps the flirtatious Jessica handle dispatching while secretly hoping to pursue his creative passions.


The world enters 2000 without incident, but Dima has an existential crisis over his immigrant identity and purpose in life. He gets a mysterious warning from Dennis as cryptic troubles loom over the business. In the end, Dima falls asleep next to his grandmother, who soothes him like when he was a child, promising to protect him. His girlfriend Jus breaks up with him over audio tape, sensing their diverging paths. The car service world keeps turning, stuck in its own time loop.


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