When technophile Sarah Sparks (Anna Margaret Hollyman) becomes pregnant, her uncertainties about motherhood trigger an impulsive road trip to the source of her anxiety: her long-estranged mother living far away and off-the-grid. A SXSW premiere and winner of the Sloan Feature Film Prize, Annie J. Howell and Lisa Robinson co-direct this comic coming-of-parenthood tale for the internet age.
(Co-writer/Co-Director) works as a screenwriter and director. She has written and directed three short films that have screened at film festivals around the world including Cannes-Directors Fortnight, Telluride, Edinburgh, and Clermont-Ferrand. Her writing includes MIND BLAST, an IMAX project for the Blue Man Group that is currently in development. Her web series, Sparks, co-created with Annie J. Howell, is syndicated by the Sundance Channel. Her feature project, SYNAPSE, received the Sloan Foundation Feature Production Award and is in development with Salty Features. She is the recipient of the Martin E. Segal Prize, the Mitsubishi Digital Media Lab Award for Excellence, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. Robinson received her MFA from New York University’s Graduate Film Directing Program and is currently Assistant Professor of Film at Long Island University.
ANNIE J. HOWELL (Co-writer/Co-Director) has written and directed short films that have played internationally at film festivals including SXSW, Newport, Full Frame, and Clermont-Ferrand. Her work has aired on the Sundance Channel, PBS, and the Independent Film Channel, and as part of the ITVS web series, FutureStates. Her screenwriting work has been the recipient of a Nantucket Screenwriters’ Colony fellowship, the Grand Prize Award at IFP’s 2008 Independent Film Week, and a SFFS/Kenneth Rainin Foundation grant. Her most recent script is in development with producers Jordan Horowitz (THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT) and Jared Ian Goldman (SOLITARY MAN). Her web series, Sparks, co-created with Lisa Robinson, is syndicated on the Sundance Channel’s website, where she also blogs about film and storytelling. Howell earned an MFA at New York University’s Graduate Program in Film and is currently Assistant Professor of Film at Ohio University.
ANNA MARGARET HOLLYMAN (Sarah)
Anna Margaret Hollyman was born in New York City and grew up in Connecticut and Austin, Texas. She studied Theater and Art History at Sarah Lawrence College, trained with Suzanne Esper at the William Esper Studio, and studied Improv with Upright Citizens Brigade and the P.I.T. in New York and Los Angeles. She has performed at the HERE Arts Center, P.S. 122, Soho Playhouse, and 59E59th St in New York, and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Her films include GAYBY, THE ROMANCE OF LONELINESS, THE BRAVE ONE, THE ONES YOU LOVE, ANNA, SAMANTHA, THE COLOR WHEEL, and ADELAIDE (which won Hollyman Best Actress at the 2010 Hill Country Film Festival). Her television roles include ABC’s My Generation.
RICHARD HOAG (Henry)
Rich has been featured in over 40 stage musical comedies and is an award-winning writer and playwright who recently won the Arts Fund Award for his one act play, Straight Men. He has also received numerous awards for acting, including many for his touring one-man show, WILL ROGERS’ AMERICA. As a writer he has contributed scripts to the Discovery and Disney Channels, and just completed principal photography for his role in the feature-length thriller KILLER HOLIDAY.
ANDRÉ HOLLAND (Leon)
André Holland has appeared in plays with The Public Theater/Shakespeare in the Park, Playwrights Horizons, and Georgia Shakespeare Festival. His film credits include Spike Lee’s MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA and SUGAR, co-directed by Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden. His Broadway debut was playing Jeremy Furlow in the acclaimed revival of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. He recently appeared in Daniel Sullivan’s production of All’s Well That Ends Well in Central Park, and Matthew Lopez’s The Whipping Man at the Manhattan Theatre Club. He also appeared in Tarell Alvin McCraney’s The Brother/Sister Plays at The Public Theater in New York City. His television credits include Burn Notice: A New Day. Holland earned an MFA in Acting from New York University.
MARY BETH PEIL (Marjorie)
Mary Beth Peil currently plays the role of Jackie in CBS’s The Good Wife, and has recently performed on Broadway in the revival of Follies. Prior to that, Peil performed on Broadway in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, the acclaimed revival of Sunday in the Park With George, Nine (Outer Critics nomination) and The King and I (Tony nomination). An Obie Award winner, her off Broadway credits include Hedda Gabbler (New York Theatre Workshop), Later Life (Playwrights Horizon), and Sylvia (Manhattan Theatre Club). Her regional credits include Third Story (La Jolla Playhouse), 33 Variations (Helen Hayes nomination), A Month in the Country (Arena Stage), and Sweeney Todd (Kennedy Center). Her television credits include The Reagans and Dawson’s Creek, and her film credits include MIRRORS, FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS, and THE STEPFORD WIVES. Peil is a member of the Atlantic Theatre Company.
SARAH RAFFERTY (Emily)
Sarah has worked in theatre, film, and television in both New York City and Los Angeles. Her theatre credits include productions at The Roundabout Theatre Co., Second Stage, MCC, and several productions at South Coast Rep. Her independent film credits include FOUR SINGLE FATHERS, produced by Gabriele Muccino, and FALLING FOR GRACE (Tribeca Film Festival). Rafferty’s television credits include shows such as Brothers and Sisters, Bones, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Six Feet Under, and the Lifetime movie WHAT IF GOD WERE THE SUN, in which she acted opposite Gena Rowlands. She currently appears as Donna in the USA original series Suits. Rafferty is a graduate of The Yale School of Drama.
SUSAN KELECHI WATSON (Towie)
Susan Kelechi Watson’s television appearances include The Good Wife, Private Practice, Numbers, Law & Order, as well as recurring roles on Third Watch, Kidnapped, and NCIS. Susan’s film roles include that of Fatima in BLACKOUT (Tribeca 2007) and Tia in TIA & MARCO (SXSW 2010). Theater credits include A Naked Girl on the Appian Way, written by Richard Greenberg and directed Doug Hughes (Broadway); Missed Connections at Ars Nova; and The Story at the Public Theater (Off-Broadway). Watson recently played the role of Olivia in the Westport Country Playhouse’s production of Twelfth Night. Susan received her MFA from New York University.
JENNIFER DOUGHERTY (Producer) got her start in the independent film industry at Rebellion Pictures in New York City and Bona Fide Productions (LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, COLD MOUNTAIN) in Los Angeles, before spending several years as a script reader and analyst at Lionsgate Studios. She also worked as the assistant to director Rodger Grossman on the Rhino Films feature WHAT WE DO IS SECRET (starring Shane West and Bijou Phillips) and as a post-production assistant on PUNK’S NOT DEAD, a documentary about the punk music scene from the 1970s to today. Since 2005, Dougherty has worked in development and production at Salty Features, a New York independent film company whose principals were the creative forces behind BOYS DON’T CRY and MY ARCHITECT. Salty’s most recent film, BRIEF INTERVIEWS WITH HIDEOUS MEN, premiered at Sundance and was released in September 2009 by IFC Films. Dougherty is currently producing the feature film FIASCO, a dark satire of the Bay of Pigs invasion written by Donald Diego.
YAEL MELAMEDE (Executive Producer) founded Salty Features in 2003. Salty’s goal is to make feature films that showcase unique vision, strong storytelling, and thought-provoking subject matter. Salty’s last film, BRIEF INTERVIEWS WITH HIDEOUS MEN, premiered at Sundance in 2009 and was released that fall by IFC Films. Based on the book by David Foster Wallace, the film was written and directed by John Krasinski (The Office). Salty’s current projects include MARTYRS’ CROSSING, a political thriller adapted from the bestselling novel by Amy Wilentz, to be directed by Paulo Morelli and featuring Frank Langella; and the documentary feature INOCENTE, directed by Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine, directors of the Academy Award nominated WAR/DANCE. Melamede also co-produced the Academy Award-nominated documentary feature MY ARCHITECT. She holds a BA and M.Arch from Yale University.
CHARLES E. SWANSON (Cinematographer) has photographed the feature films ALL THE BEST: BILLY SEARS, FROM BARBADOS WITH LOVE, CONTRADICTIONS OF THE HEART, and THIS IS NOT A TEST. Swanson also photographed the award-winning short films RAIN (aired on the Showtime network), I’D RATHER BE DANCING, and TIA AND MARCO (SXSW 2010). The music video JAGUAR, which he photographed for Techno artist DJ Rolando, received wide play on MTV Europe. Swanson earned an MFA from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema and Television and is currently Associate Professor and Chair at Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television.
JENNIFER LEE (Editor/Co-producer) has built a storytelling career working across film, comics, and prose. She edited and co-produced Craig Johnson’s TRUE ADOLESCENTS (Flatiron Film Co.), starring Mark Duplass and Melissa Leo. She also edited Vincent D’Onofrio’s directorial debut, DON’T GO IN THE WOODS, and was an additional editor for Alexandre Rockwell’s PETE SMALLS IS DEAD, starring Peter Dinklage, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, and Rosie Perez. As a former comic book editor for Marvel and DC Comics, Lee oversaw stories from development to visual execution. Her books include Wolverine, Daredevil, Black Widow,100 Bullets, and The Sand Man: The Dream Hunters. She recently edited Nancy Savoca’s UNION SQUARE, starring Mira Sorvino, Tammy Blanchard, and Patti LuPone. Currently, Lee is producing Craig Johnson’s next feature, THE SKELETON TWINS, and is editing Olivia Silver’s ARCADIA, starring John Hawkes and Ryan Simpkins.
XANDER DUELL (Original Music) is an independent composer, singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist based in New York. He has recorded and toured extensively with such diverse bands as Inouk, Mercy the Contours, and Ambulance LTD. Duell plays a variety of roles in the Early Morning Opera theater company, ranging from composing and conducting string quartets to fronting punk bands. His first solo album was released by New York City-based record label Mexican Summer in spring 2011.
Photos: Charles E. Swanson
“Anna Margaret Hollyman … has a lovable screen presence.”
– and –
“Effortlessly engaging … this is a small film and knows exactly how to be a small film. Like many New Yorker short stories, its purpose is to strike a particular note and allow it to reverberate.”
– Roger Ebert, CHICAGO SUN TIMES
NEW YORK MAGAZINE Critics Pick!
“A well-observed little indie that goes off in pleasantly unexpected directions.”
“Annie Howell and Lisa Robinson have given me exactly what I want from a drama about women: smart characters who aren’t restrained by stereotypes … with a sense of humor.”
– Jette Kernion, CINEMATICAL
– Mark Asch, THE L MAGAZINE
[An] original and fresh approach to character, story and theme – including the idea that technology may reveal our deepest selves and express our ambivalent human need for connection as much as control ….”
– Doron Weber, THE ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION
Cinequest Film Festival 2012
Fargo Film Festival 2012
Kansas City FilmFest 2012
Opened 5/25/12 at Denver FilmCenter / Colfax, Denver, CO
Opened 6/1/12 at Facets Cinémathèque, Chicago, IL
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