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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sundance Film Festival 2011

Sundance Film Festival 2011 "Andy & Zach"

When Zach decides to move out, his roommate Andy tries to set up a new life without his best friend.

Programmer's Note: Filmmaker Nick Paley found the simplicity of his newest venture "Andy and Zach" both a blessing and a curse. "From a producer's perspective, it was very straightforward compared with some of my previous projects. I shot the interior scenes myself, in my own apartment, with two close friends as the leads," says Paley. "From a director's perspective, it was the hardest movie I've made so far. Its success depended entirely on performance and story. The finished film has very little in the way of spectacle...unless you call Christmas lights spectacle, in which case this movie is your summer blockbuster." Paley, who cast his friends Zach Woods ("The Office") and Andy Kachor in the titular roles, grew up in Vermont but graduated from NYU and has been living his life as an NYC filmmaker since. "Andy and Zach" rides a fine line of being quite sweet without ever turning sappy, and the heartfelt film about friendship doesn't need a surplus of T&A Apatow-esque jokes to appeal to a male crowd. Up next for Paley? Both a feature script to shop around and a new short, "Open House," which takes place outside the walls of his apartment.

Sundance Film Festival 2011 "Skateistan"

In a country with innumerable problems, Skateistan represents an oasis where children can be children and build the kinds of cross-cultural relationships that Afghanistan needs for future stability.

Programmer's Note: Former professional snowboarder Orlando von Einsiedel found that the Skateistan project combined two worlds he felt very passionate about: extreme sports and social work. The Skateistan project—started by two Australian aid workers who began giving skating as well as educational lessons to more than 350 kids in Kabul, Afghanistan—equips young men and women with the skills to lead their communities toward social change and development and piqued von Einsiedel's interest enough to make him want to capture it with a camera. Flying directly from Frankfurt to Kabul, von Einsiedel and crew sought to create a more optimistic image of Afghanistan. What resulted is a beautifully composed film that turns a spotlight on neither the battles nor the victims in this war-torn country, but rather on the hopeful spirit and culture of change that the youth of Kabul are yearning to put into action. We're thrilled to welcome von Einsiedel's film to this year's Festival and urge you to check out http://skateistan.org/ on your next Internet stop.


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