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Westley, the Dread Pirate Roberts vs. Saw’s Dr. Gordon – Day 10 FFF 201

April 25, 2013
NumberOneEmber Interviews Cary Elwes at the FFF

NumberOneEmber Interviews Cary Elwes at the FFF

The FFF was so close to the Easter Holiday (which is our busiest time at Florida Dream Homes) so I wasn’t as prepared this year as in the past. However, perusing the FFF website I came across a guest appearance from Cary Elwes, star of The Princess Bride. Although this movie is a classic and one of my favorites, it’s not the reason I’m so excited. It’s Cary Elwes, Dr. Gordon from the Saw movie series, and we all know my obsession with horror films. Of course at this point all the tickets have already been sold out. A little disappointed, I figured LanceAround would be able to snag a ticket or two . . . or eight! (See the description of how LanceAround managed this feat by clicking here!)

The Enzian Marquee

The Enzian Marquee

OJ and I arrive at the Enzian a hour before “A Brunch with Cary Elwes featuring The Princess Bride.” I had originally only planned on showing up a half hour before, but LanceAround said that wouldn’t nearly be early enough. When we arrived, I was shocked as to how many people were already standing in line. I was on the phone with Chris (my best friend in the entire world, additional post still to come) telling him how excited I was. He asked if people were dressed up. My response, “We’re not at a Star Trek convention!” We meet up with LanceAround and his family as everyone flocks into the theatre to find the best sets since it’s first come first serve. Somehow, we manage to score six seats together, in a very good section.

This is NOT a Star Trek Convention

This is NOT a Star Trek Convention

The Enzian has provided a special brunch menu for this show. LanceAround and Mrs. LanceAround have offered to pay for everyone’s brunch, so we enjoy the French Toast, omelets, fruit & yogurt, bagels and other assorted foods. Although I was starving,  I’ve had better food at the Enzian.

The Princess Bride came out the year before I was born. I’ve seen it so I just assume everyone reading this has seen it as well. If not, I don’t know what your problem is. This movie is a classic and you should have seen it by now.

What I didn’t expect was how enjoyable it was to watch the movie in a room full of strangers who enjoy it as much as I do. And seeing it on the big screen is also a huge plus. Everyone in the theatre was really enjoying the film. They anticipated all the great lines and laughed long and loud at every joke.

Signing

Cary signs Autographs

The movie ends and it’s time for the Q & A session with Cary. I’m very antsy.  I know everyone is excited about watching The Princess Bride and celebrating the 25th anniversary with Cary, meanwhile I’m stoked I get to meet the famous Dr. Gordon of Saw.

Cary comes on stage and is welcomed by the sold out theatre with a standing ovation. There’s a moderator who introduces Cary and tells us that he was born in London. Questions from the audience, including LanceAround of course, pile in. I won’t tell you what LanceAround asked as his question was the highlight of the Q & A and OJ will write an entirely separate post on this. You won’t want to miss it!

Question: “Throughout your career you seem to play more hero type characters.”

Answer: “Comedies are more fun to make, you laugh your way through the role,” said Cary. “I take every role very serious and I try not to play the same role too often,” Cary continues to say. “I was drawn to comedy as a kid, it was a big influence for me.”

Cary Responds to Questions

Cary Responds to Questions

Question: “Do you ever still watch it (referring to The Princess Bride)?”

Answer: “I don’t really watch my movies much. I kind of have this thing . . . if I’m in it, I don’t need to watch it,” replies Cary. “The movie didn’t make that much money in the theatres. VHS is where the movie took off . . . it’s the gift that keeps on giving.”

Question: “This will probably be the role that you will be most associated with and remembered for. How do you feel about that?”

Answer: “Like I said, I’m blessed. If they put on my tombstone ‘As you wish’ I’m fine with that!” Audience breaks out into applause.

Question: “Do you have any regret stories, whether it was a role that you turned down or any regrets?”

Answer: (Cary answers quickly, before the questioner even stopped asking her question)  “I don’t live in regret.” At this point the audience explodes into applause.

After the Q & A, we follow the crowd outside. NumberOneEmber has gone ahead and is already standing in line for the meet and greet with Cary Elwes. It’s almost 90 degrees outside and the line is wrapped around the sidewalks. (Here’s a short video of Cary signing autographs with the Florida Dream Homes and LanceAroundOrlando Teams.)

All the hundreds of people inside at brunch are now waiting for a picture and autograph from the man in black, Dread Pirate Roberts. Luckily, we were well within the first twenty people in line so the wait wasn’t more than thirty minutes. Of course, after I made fun of my best friend Chris for asking if anyone was dressed up, there ends up being a woman dressed as “The Man in Black” standing in line.

Everyone Wanted to Meet Westley, But I Knew I was Meeting Dr. Gordon

Everyone Wanted to Meet Westley, But I Knew I was Meeting Dr. Gordon

The next thing I know, we’re up next! I’m with NumberOneEmber and OJ and we’re taking a group picture with Cary. He is so sweet, caring and spending time getting to know each and every one of us. We take individual pictures next and he signs our tickets and press passes. It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to meet him and he was such a great sport. I know everyone had a great time and enjoyed themselves. It was definitely an amazing way to end the FFF. I look forward to what next year has to bring.

Cary Writes "As You Wish" on my Ticket and Press Badge

Cary Writes “As You Wish” on my Ticket and Press Badge

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Mud – Day 8 FFF 2013

April 15, 2013
Matthew McConaughey Stars in Mud

Matthew McConaughey Stars in Mud

This intense and emotional film is about two teenagers who venture off to explore an island off the Mississippi River. It is rumored to have a boat high up in the trees which was caused by a flood some years back. Mud, played by Matthew McConaughey, is a rough yet charming felon wanted for the murder of a man. He befriends the two teenagers, Ellis and Neckbone, to help him fix up the boat and secure a getaway with his one true love, Juniper, played by Reese Witherspoon. “Ain’t that something’, a boat up in a tree. It’s a hell of a thing ain’t it,” says Mud.

This family, friendship based suspenseful film is a “good ole Americana,” said audience member Ted. There’s a lot of trash that flows down the river; you have to know what’s worth keeping and what’s worth getting rid of.

Matthew McConaughey put on a spectacular performance; I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s put up for an Oscar. Although the film could probably have been cut down removing some unnecessary subplots, it’s a must see; a true art form with great acting and directing.

I Declare War – Day 7 FFF 2013

April 13, 2013
General PK in I Declare War

General PK in I Declare War

This childhood war based game, I Declare War, consists of Generals and their teams in a combat like make-believe battle of capture the flag. A neighborhood group of friends use real guns and dodge grenades whizzing past them, at least in their imagination. In reality, they’re using grenade launches made from branches and air riffles.

IDeclareWarOne evening, the game takes a serious tone as the battle to win overcomes one of the boys, Skinner. The kids would torture and beat each other up; they even set someone on fire. This intense and suspenseful film pushes friendship to its limits as it blurs reality with fantasy.

I was amazed with the acting of the cast as they were all younger pre-teens. It was also very well scripted and the special effects were much better than I was expecting. Jess, the only female in the war, tried to out smart everyone by using strategy like when she plays chess. Although it was all children in the film, they had a very pre-teen mouth making comments like, “Sorry about the asshole thing.” “When did you call me an asshole?” “I didn’t but I was thinking it.”

This was my first film that did not have a Q & A session afterwards which is always depressing. However, I talked to moviegoer Mike from Orlando after the film who has seen numerous films at this years festival thus far. “I really like it; the different twist on childhood games,” said Mike. He continued to talk about specific parts of the film which I’ll leave out as to not spoil it for everyone but ended with “friendship is hard to come by.”

Unlike this film, true friends can stab you in the front.

Tick Tock – Day 6 FFF 2013

April 11, 2013
Audacity of Hope

Audacity of Hope

Audacity of Hope
What would you do for a pizza? For eight men on a train, that’s a no brainier . . . order a pizza. They have a couple seconds to exchange a pizza at a train stop, there’s no rehearsal and only one chance. Can it be done? In the words of eight happy men on a train, “No you did not order pizza at a stop.” Mission accomplished.

First Comes Love
With your biological clock ticking and a diminishing ovarian reserve, a sperm donor seems to be the right move. At least it was for actor and director, Nina Davenport. This biological compulsion to have a kid was all Nina could think about, especially after her mother died suddenly while in France from a stroke or heart attack. “I’m still learning what a great mother she is even while I learn to live without her,” said Nina. After a very long process Nina decided she was going to have a husband-free procreation at the age of 41. She decided she wasn’t going to spend anymore time in the past and to just focus on the present. Despite the lack of involvement from her family, she asked her gay best friend since college if she could have his sperm.

Pregnant Nina Davenport in First Comes Love

Pregnant Nina Davenport in First Comes Love

With no hesitation from him, she started the process of getting artificially inseminated by shooting up numerous hormones multiple times a day. Without further ado, the test came back positive! “I love kids because I’m ultimately not responsible for their well-being,” said sperm donor Eric, explaining why he was not interested in having children of his own.

Amy, a 10 year friend, soon became Nina’s childbirth partner and went through the whole pregnancy with her. After nine long months of waiting, Nina’s baby boy, Jasper Davenport, was born at 10:31 pm weighing 6 pounds and 19 ¼ inches long. “How this tiny little boy can create such colossal feelings, I’m in love,” said Nina.

Actor and Director, Nina Davenport

Actor and Director, Nina Davenport

Q&A with Actor/Director Nina Davenport
After the film, there was a very personal Q & A session with actor and director, Nina Davenport. She started off by saying “I can handle every question, nothing is too personal or embarrassing; especially after everything you’ve just seen.” During the film, Nina was completely open to everything she was going through, even the birth of her child which she filmed for us to view. She said there were “hundreds of hours, tons of things that got cut out including over 80 hours of family footage growing up. The birth alone was over 2.5 hours and what pregnancy isn’t boring.”

A member of the audience asked how her perception has changed on single motherhood. “It turned out to be easier than I thought it was going to be,” said Nina. “I pictured myself doing it alone and it’s not the case,” she continued to say. “Eric is still involved and my father is still difficult to deal with but if you would have told me at 30/35 I would have been a single mother, I would have been terrified,” said Nina.

How are dealing with your mother gone? “You don’t get over it, it’s always hard. She was so lovely and funny, everyone loved her. It hasn’t been the same since,” said Nina.

Overall, I was impressed at how great a documentary it was, It really captured my attention for the entire hour and forty five minutes. It’s nice to know people aren’t afraid to break the mold of today’s cultural norms. Nina said it best, “it’s not ideal, but what’s ideal anyway.”

Ahhhh Zombies! – Day 5 FFF 2013

April 10, 2013
Preparing for a zombie apocalypse at ACE Hardware

Preparing for a Zombie Apocalypse at ACE Hardware

After an exciting weekend with my best friend in the entire world (additional post to come), I make it to:

When the Zombies Come
Have you ever wondered what you would do in the event of a zombie apocalypse? Well for an employee working at ACE Hardware, this was definitely something on his mind. He would walk around the store looking for stuff to kill zombies with. He even mentioned how ACE Hardware has such an ideal location because CVS Pharmacy is next door, Quick Trip gas station is across the street and they’re right by the Farmers Market. He explained that they had all the tools to kill the zombies in the hardware store, if they ran out of food they could go to the farmer’s market, gas for the generators or showers were available in the gas station and CVS would provide the necessary medical supplies. He was, pardon the pun, dead serious!

This comedy documentary is one of my favorites this year. It kept me laughing and entertained the whole ten minutes.

After the film, director Jon Hurst along with the ACE Hardware employee answered some questions. When asked how true the employee was about planning for such a zombie invasion he replied, “It was 100% true before the movie; however, ACE Hardware does not condone the film and fired me for filming it.” He then followed up by saying “I’m still going to ACE Hardware when the time comes.”

A member of the audience asked what was next for the two of them. Director, Jon Hurst said “I’m writing my own feature and looking for funding and what not.” The ACE Hardware employee merely stated, “I would like a job,” which sent the audience into laughter.

Year of the Living Dead

George Romero

Director of Night of the Living Dead, George Romero

Forty five years later and people are still talking about the low-budget, classic horror film shot in Pittsburgh, Night of the Living Dead. This documentary directed by Rob Kuhns talks about the race, violence and the need to scare the audience during the 60’s film directed by George Romero. “I lived, breathed and drank the stuff. I loved making movies,” said Romero. It’s believed they modeled and patterned the zombies from the hit TV series The Walking Dead  off of the Night of the Living Dead said Romero because “I invented these character ghouls. I remember the one time I tried to build a hollow hand and fill it with blood, it looked like shit,” said Romero. Unlike vampires and werewolves, Romero is responsible for the zombie.

Romero said although it’s a “tragic and iconic ending, it’s the perfect ending because there is no comfort for the audience.” The audience goes into shock when you play with the idea and expectations of the modern day film and it ends the way this movie ends. “We were never certain we’d get enough money to finish the film but the money just dribbled in over several months,” said Romero. The $114K black and white movie was released on October 2, 1968 in movie theatres and drive-ins. In New York they considered it a Grindhouse film that the critics mostly dismissed. The main purpose of the film was to scare the audience, but some people believe there’s a political message in every movie. Romero said it wasn’t his intention for Night of the Living Dead to come across as political, but it starred a strong, black male in the 60’s. It explored race and violence with historical messages and that wasn’t his intent. [SPOILER ALERT — DON’T READ THE NEXT SENTENCE IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD] Some people compared the black actor dying at the end of the movie to a lynching–which wasn’t his intention at all. He went on to say that the script never identified the lead as a black man, so when he was cast, they simply ended the movie as written.

ACE Hardware employee, director Jon Hurst and Rob Kuhns

ACE Hardware Employee, Directors Jon Hurst and Rob Kuhns

After the film we had the opportunity to speak with director Rob Kuhns. “It was in 83 at a midnight screening when I first saw Night of the Living Dead,” said Kuhns. A member of the audience noticed that during his documentary there was animation throughout. “I couldn’t get the rights for the behind the scenes film so we’ll just have to create art for it,” said Kuhns. He was also asked why George Romero was the only cast/crew member interviewed. His reply was simply, “No one else wanted to be interviewed because they were making their own behind the scenes film at the time.”

What does Romero think about The Walking Dead? “I interviewed him before The Walking Dead at the end of 2006. But he said he doesn’t see new movies, only the old ones because they appreciate what he did. However, one of his favorite movies is the satirical Shaun of the Dead,” said Kuhns.

Right before the film I spoke with a volunteer of the FFF who said, “Night of the Living Dead is one of my favorites,” and I would have to agree with her. This well scripted, classic film truly fits my mold for horror films and has helped shaped the industry.

It was a successful night with more to come today.

Love Shack & BBQ — Day 2 FFF 2013

April 6, 2013
Sugar Shack

Sugar Shack

After three hours of sleep from the opening night extravaganza I find myself back at the Enzian to view Sugar Shack and Pride & Joy for day two of the festival. Again, not something on my list, but I’m glad I got to view both of these films.

Of course before the film we bumped into the president of the FFF, Henry, who when asked what he thought of the opening night film said it’s the “top three opening nights, maybe even number one.”

Sugar Shack
What would I not put maple syrup on . . . It’s even good on peanut butter. That pretty much describes this 13 minute short based entirely on maple syrup at the Sugar Shack. Even though a normal season is only 6 – 8 weeks long, they produce 1,500 – 1,800 liters of maple water. At the Sugar Shack, they believe there’s a real power in the beautiful maple trees that give off strength.

Co-star Will Harris and Director Joe York

Co-star Will Harris and Director Joe York

Pride & Joy
A documentary that celebrates the traditional foods of the South. Food is a story, it talks and unities communities/people. After the film there was a Q & A session with director Joe York and co-star Will Harris. When a member of the audience asked Joe what was the best BBQ he said he used to not answer that question, but “screw it, Scott’s BBQ is the best.”

“There was a lot of places that didn’t make it into the film, tons of stuff, but I want you to be entertained and having fun and hopefully you learned something along the way. It was about the entertainment value every 5 minutes so you don’t fall asleep or walk away,” said Joe.

Overall, both films were very entertaining and humorous and the main thing to take away is that food is the lens through which you view the culture; it’s tied to identity.

Unfortunately if you missed this viewing, it’s not playing again at this year’s FFF so you’ll just have to take my word.

Have yourself a Merry Clayton — Day 1 FFF 2013

April 6, 2013
SunnyStefani Interviews Merry Clayton Opening Night of the FFF 2013

SunnyStefani Interviews Merry Clayton Opening Night of the FFF 2013

I’m exhausted

I normally have time to prep for staying up all night and getting no sleep during the Florida Film Festival. But this year with it being so close to the busy Easter holiday season where I’m the Office Administrator at Florida Dream Homes, it kind of just fell upon me. In previous years I’d look over the film guide and plan out all the movies I wanted to see. I didn’t do that this year, mainly because I’ve been so busy; but really because in the past two years I’d plan to see a film, get side tracked and end up at something else. So why not just wing it? Spending almost my four years in college focusing on production and editing, I’m always intrigued to see what each film festival I go to has to offer.

The opening night film of a festival really sets the tone for the whole thing, or at least it should. Since I wasn’t impressed with this years film, once again, I’m hoping that’s not the case.

combustion

Combustion

Tonight’s films started off promising with a memorizing short film entitled Combustion. I’ve always been one to enjoy the beauty of a fire so this short was perfect. What started off with a simple campfire turned into a fiery music harmony. It was abstract and difficult to describe, but the photo to the left gives a good feel for the movie.

That lead us to this year’s opening night film, Twenty Feet from Stardom, which is about the life and experiences of back-up singers during the past 50 years. Although I find myself a little young to be listening to all the music from a generation ago, I’m still captivated because music holds a place in my heart, like it does for most people. The audience seemed to really enjoy the film (except for the gentleman behind me who was snoring rather loudly though almost the whole film.)

I always find myself just as confused at the beginning of a documentary as I do at the end because I keep asking, “Exactly what was I supposed to take out of that?” So here’s what I have . . . you need to perfect the gift you’re given. Throughout the whole film, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Darlene Love and all the back-up singers expressed their passion and that there’s nothing more heavenly than a voice. People who sing together, come together.

IMG_20130405_205901_222

Director Morgan Neville with singer Merry Clayton

During the opening speech, the president of the Florida Film Festival, Henry Maldonado told the audience to make sure and stay for the Q & A session that was going to happen. Being the opening night film, it could have only been with a director or someone from the film. We lucked out to not only be able to speak with the director, Morgan Neville, but one of the stars, Merry Clayton, as well. She even sang us a 6 minute song which we’ve uploaded for you to view in the event you couldn’t make it to the opening film. Please Enjoy:

As always, following the opening night film is the opening night party at the Enzian Theatre. Usually after working 9+ hours and viewing the first film of the FFF, I’m not overly excited to party. However, this year seemed to offer more food which I could eat. (Unlike people who have dietary restrictions or are vegetarians–like LanceAround–I don’t eat a lot of foods simply because I’m super picky.)

IMG_20130405_215416_325

Yummy Cupcakes

This year, the FFF did not fail me. Ethos Vegan Kitchen based out of Orlando had amazing chocolate Oreo crème cupcakes that were to die for. Literally, with the whole tower they had, your arteries were just waiting to be clogged.

At the party, I was able to grab a quick interview with Merry. When I asked her if she was happy with the outcome of the film she replied, “Yes, it was wonderful.”

The Florida Film Festival has officially begun it’s 10 day course so make sure you don’t miss out on all the amazing films this year has to offer.

I look forward to seeing you there!

More Shorts – Retrospective FFF 2012

April 24, 2012

Tune for Two

I got so overwhelmed during some of the features; I missed telling you about some of my favorite shorts.

Fresh Guacamole
(Click link to watch this short)
I’m normally not a big fan of animation, but this short was one of my favorites. It’s a film about making fresh guacamole from the most unusual items. Very creative and well put together, I’d give it an A.

Turning a Corner
This is another animated short about overcoming one of life’s challenges. It had a few funny parts, but overall didn’t hold my attention. It gets a D from me.

Shinya Kimura
I think this short focused on the art of homemade motorcycles; however, it was really just in the background. At the end of the film I was left feeling incomplete, so it gets a D as well. 

Things You’d Better Not Mix Up
The title pretty much says it all. This animated short proved me wrong yet again. It keeps you constantly laughing and takes away a B+.

Tune for Two
(Click link to watch this short)
A great film about an unexpected turn of events that leaves a man wishing for his life and a catchy tune stuck in your head. This is the gem of shorts and gets an A+ from me! The end will knock you off your socks.

Machines of the Working Class
This sci-fi short is about two middle class robots figuring out ways to be impressive. It was short, had some funny points. Not the worst, not the best, C+.

Jim & Frank
Everyone seemed to like this film but it didn’t really capture my attention. The acting wasn’t so great but I loved the edits. NumberOneEmber even got to interview the director, Tony Borden, who was extremely nice and polite. Good overall objective, but I still give it a C.

Another Dress, Another Button
Don’t you ever wonder what happens to all your spare buttons? Well, look no more. This short was super cute and extremely creative and deserves a B+.

Did you have a favorite short from the FFF? Please leave a comment and join the conversation!

Dog Years – Day 8 FFF 2012

April 21, 2012

Warren Sroka, SunnyStefani, and Brent Willis

Since I was already at the Enzian, I decided to see the film following Think of Me, which was Dog Years. I run into LanceAround and NumberOneSon who had just come from the Filmmaker’s Forum. LanceAround jokes with 2 filmmaker’s sitting directly behind us about them convincing him to see their film. I grab a quick picture with them before the movie starts.

Dog Years is about 2 half-brothers, Elliot and Ben, living in Tokyo and struggling through all the cultural changes they face. Elliot is an emotional wreck. His dog dies, he breaks up with his girlfriend, resents his father, mourns the loss of his mother and is all alone. I like the message I got from the film which is that through thick and thin, your family will always be there for you. However, I thought the acting wasn’t the greatest, and even annoying at points. Yet the film did keep me entertained and laughing, which is always a plus. The lighting and sound were not consistent throughout the film, which makes sense once we get to the Q & A with the directors.

Turns out, the 2 guys LanceAround was speaking about were directors, writers, actors and producers Warren Sroka and Brent Willis of Dog Years. They co-wrote, co-stared, and directed the film. They meet 12 years ago at theatre school. Warren explained how the film came about. “Brent’s folks lived in Tokyo and we had 6 months to write, shot, and film before his parents moved back to the states,” he said. He went on to explain that there were only 4 people who worked on the film, which explained the inconsistency I was seeing. Warren said they did pick up a fifth crew member in Japan, Masaki Sekine, who starred and translated for them. He also pointed out that Brent’s actual mother played his fictitious mother in the movie.

Dan Addelson, one of the four crew, was in charge of editing the film. He said they had “over 40 hours of footage which took over a year to edit. We shot from the moment we got up until we went to sleep. We wanted to get as much as we could,” Dan said.

Brent said the Japanese were “sticklers when it came to rules. Sometimes we worked with them, sometimes we worked around them.” He explained they are both youngest brothers and that he finds “it’s tough to analyze your own work.”

Warren did most of the talking, as in the film, and stated “we did some improvising, other than that, we stuck to the script.” He explained “we didn’t have any money going into it.” They ended up spending just $11,000 on the shoot and $4,000 for post-production. “We broke one light bulb, an expensive one, and one microphone,” he said.

This film wasn’t my favorite, but was by far better than half the films I’ve already seen. I loved the fact they filmed in Japan. As someone who has been there previously, they did a great job depicting the beauty Japan has to offer. It also doesn’t hurt that they thanked every single person they talked to about coming to see their film and were just extremely nice people.

Think of Me – Day 8 FFF 2012

April 21, 2012

Angela played by Lauren Ambrose

After 8 days of movies at the Regal Theatre in Winter Park, I finally get to see my first film at the Enzian theatre. I’m not overly excited about any of the films showing today so first on the list is Think of Me. This sad, depressing narrative is about a single mother, Angela, struggling to raise her daughter, Sunny. It was a slow start, slow middle, and, well, just a slow movie.

Poverty or not, you should never leave your 8 year old child home alone so you can work at night. And when the going gets tough, who thinks about selling their child for $20,000? I’m glad director Bryan Wizemann stayed after the screening for the Q & A because there were so many questions that needed to be answered. I don’t think I smiled or laughed at all during the film, talk about a downer.

Director Bryan Wizemann

Bryan wrote the script himself. He said, “The spark of the idea only takes a minute but then 2 years to play it out.” He continues, “When I wrote this my wife was 8 months pregnant. I wanted to write a story about a woman who sold her kid. It became a very personal story. I realized I subconsciously used things from my life.” Bryan stated it was a “fictional story but ended up being close to home.”

Bryan doesn’t consider his film to be political but wanted to get numerous points across. He talked about “being a mother on its own is a full time job” and that “single mothers have to do all the work. My father took off and left the country when I was 10 or 11 years old,” he said.

When someone from the audience asked what Bryan hoped to evoke from the audience seeing the film he said, “I don’t know. When you’re writing the script and weeping away 99% of the time, the audience will feel the exact same way.” He ended with, “The American working class poverty is 40 million and that’s what a lot of people have to live with.”

The audience really seemed to like this movie. I think the music and acting were great, but I wasn’t feeling it. It’s hard to watch 103 minutes of a movie that doesn’t have one ounce of joy.