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The New Year


USA Director: Brett Haley


Producers: Brett Haley, Elizabeth Kennedy


Screenwriters: Brett Haley, Elizabeth Kennedy Cinematographer: Rob C. Givens Editor: Brett Haley


Cast: Trieste Kelly Dunn, Ryan Hunter, Linda Lee McBride, Kevin Wheatley, Marc Petersen


2010/color/96 min.


BRETT HALEY A Florida native, Brett Haley grew up in Key West and Pensacola. Haley graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2005 with a BFA in directing. He has made multiple short films, including Seconds, which won the Golden Eagle Award from the Cine Film Festival in Washington DC. The New Year is his feature debut.


As the new year approaches, Sunny sees that she has reached the dead end of Pensacola, Florida, her “lame-ass” hometown. Two years earlier, her father’s cancer diagnosis uprooted her from college and planted her back by his side. Devoted to his care, she has thwarted her nascent writing career to languish in the past with high school friends, an odd conglomeration of coworkers at the local bowling alley and her sweet but bland boyfriend—a tae kwon do instructor with little to offer her but a mutual admiration of Jane Austen. But when her old high-school nemesis Isaac—a stand-up comedian fresh from New York—shows up, Sunny’s struggles truly begin. Flirting with thoughts of escape, she opens her notebook to a blank page, where the gap between duty and desire yawns.


First-time director Brett Haley cowrote the script for The New Year with his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Kennedy, and shot it on a shoestring in two weeks on location in Pensacola, his own hometown. Local businesses provided the set; old friends doubled as both talent and crew; and the nuances of endearing char- acter sketches add up to a little film with a big heart. Haley himself summarizes the story as a love letter “about coming home again, even if home isn’t where you’re meant to be.”


—JOEY PORCELLI


Preceded by:


Delmer Builds a Machine Director: Landon Zakheim USA/2010/3 min.


He may only be a little boy, but Delmer is the right man for a big job.


111


CONTEMPORARY WORLD CINEMA


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