Tuesday, January 04, 2011

I met a famous filmmaker today.

I'm jumping the gun just a little. Brett Haley isn't a household name, but judging by the reviews his new feature film is getting, he probably will be very soon.

Trieste Kelly Dunn and Brett Haley
Brett grew up in Pensacola, Florida. He went to college in North Carolina then moved to New York. The year my super short film Payoff was in the Pensacola Bay Area Film Festival, Brett had a short film in as well. His cost a lot more than mine and his was longer (he wasn't cutting his movie for screenings on cell phones). I missed it; I was in New York, thanks to a sweepstakes I'd won. My husband attended, and he says while my film ended up too short, Brett's was a little too long. The other difference is, I haven't made another film, and Brett has.

His newest film is a feature. The New Year. It's been getting rave reviews at prestigious film festivals around the country. The film was actually shot a couple of years ago, here in Pensacola, for a budget of about $8,000. (Hey, my four-minute film cost just a bit more than that! Huh.) Today, I learned that he finished editing in time to submit it for festival season in 2009. Unfortunately, none of the festivals picked it up. Finally, the Sarasota Film Festival screened the movie, and the audience loved it. So much that it won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature. Suddenly, everyone in the film community sat up and took notice, and he was invited to screen the film at a dozen-plus top festivals. Here's the trailer:

It's a great kick-off for a promising directorial talent.

The New Year is booked for a two-week engagement at the Gulf Breeze Cinema 4 starting Friday, January 7, 2011. In the meantime, you can read an interview with Brett at IndieWIRE and check out the latest news on the film's Facebook page.

Brett and I have something else in common, besides our films screening together at the Pensacola Bay Area Film Festival. We both cast the extremely talented Carol Kahn Parker in our movies. You can see Carol in Payoff at MTV.com, and to learn more about how that movie got made, look for the Unofficial Payoff website link in my sidebar.

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