One More Chicago Film to Sundance
December 11, 2014 by Mike McNamara
Sundance has selected yet another Chicago production for its 2015 program. The narrative short film A MILLION MILES AWAY from Chicago filmmaker/Ohio native Jennifer Reeder has landed in the 2015 Park City parade of 60 short films, rising above the pack of a record 8,061 submissions.
Regarding the selection, Reeder commented, "It's very validating of course. Sundance is extremely competitive and so well known. This inclusion means that I made a good film....right?! That's always the goal.” Reeder has made more than forty films in her career, many garnering critical acclaim, several of which had been submitted to Sundance in past years. When asked if there was anything that she felt separates A MILLION MILES AWAY from the rest of her films, Reeder answered, "This one seems to appeal to a much wider audience but that is not something I consciously set out to do. It's still very much MY film."
In A MILLION MILES AWAY, an adult woman (the conductor) on the edge of failing and a pack of teenage girls (the choir) simultaneously experience a supernatural version of coming-of-age. The transformation is equal parts tense and tender. It unravels patiently to the infectious beat of an 80s era heavy metal anthem rearranged as a lamentation.
So Jennifer, do you have any advice for filmmakers crafting their first film instead of their 40th, with Sundance aspirations coarsing through their veins? "Make the film you want to make...don't make the film you think the audience wants. If you make a good film, the audience responds, not the other way around.”
A MILLION MILES AWAY joins another Chicago production, the Kris Swanberg feature UNEXPECTED, at next month's festival, which runs January 22 through February 1 in Park City, Utah.
Up next for Reeder: She is currently in post on another short film entitled BLOOD BELOW THE SKIN. But first things first… off to Park City!
Mike McNamara is the Co-Founder of The Midwest Independent Film Festival, www.midwestfilm.org. Mike pays his rent as an actor in Chicago in theatre, commercials, television and film. More from Mac at www.findmac.com.
Photo Credit: Youssef Nassar