BIFF YEAR ’ROUND 2021-22
Wednesday, Nov. 10th, 6:30 PM, 2021
Downtown Beloit Association Office
557 E. Grand Ave. Downtown Beloit
Sun Feb 23, 2020 – 2:30 pm | Bagels & More
“Skipping Stones” takes place in upstate, New York, 1999.
Nearly a decade after a tragic accident costs a young man his life, his sister, Amanda (Gabrielle Kalomiris) and best friend, David (Nathaniel Ansbach) are still peeling back the layers of grief and guilt that come with being left behind.
“Undergrads” originated from the realization that we had no choice but to make the movie we wanted to see. There was no better time than the present to do that. We threw ourselves into the fire of writing and early stages of pre-production with a small team of 3. This quickly blossomed into a full-blown operation at a scale we could have never imagined. Just a few years prior, we were making short films in high school. As we grew our team, we made an intentional decision to have a cast and crew composed of people at the same stage of life as the characters in the film, this resulted in a very genuine work of art.
The ensemble cast and narrative structure are integral pieces of the film. A key inspiration for us was John Cassavetes. Like his film, “Faces”, our ensemble splits ways for the weekend after a rift in the central relationship. We also strove to create a general hangout movie feel which came from several other influences*. There are a variety of characters explored in a fun, laid back way that are all anchored by a key relationship plot. In this sense, we were able to strike a balance between the hangout movie we desperately wanted to see with the deeper explorations that a centralized plot allows.
While this movie spends time with Gen Z kids, the themes of insecurity and uncertainty as college years come to a close are timeless. We hope that you enjoy hanging out with our characters at the bar, cabin, club, or just as they drive around. We also look forward to sharing our hometown, Minneapolis/St. Paul! There was not a single stage of this process that wasn’t deeply personal and born out of pure passion. To share it now after nearly two years is incredibly exciting.
Submitting a film during a pandemic deserves a special note as well. We overcame significant COVID hurdles during production. We shut down filming in July 2020 after a positive case was discovered. After 3 weeks of quarantine and contact tracing, we wrapped our principal photography. A full year later, with vaccines and easier access to testing, we shot our larger club scenes. COVID was a unique challenge which we can proudly say we navigated. It makes it all the more special to have a finished film now.
Thank you for the opportunity to share our film!
– Andrew Zuckerman
*We were inspired by films such as: Faces (dir. John Cassavetes), Mean Streets (dir. Martin Scorsese), Mikey & Nicky (dir. Elaine May), Diner (dir. Barry Levinson), Fast Times at Ridgemont High (dir. Amy Heckerling), The Last Picture Show (dir. Peter Bogdonavich), and Dazed and Confused (dir. Richard Linklater)
Educated at New York’s Center For The Media Arts, Steven James Creazzo studied television and video production and graduated with the highest GPA in his class. Among his diverse body of work are two low-budget films, which he wrote, produced, directed and edited, a multiple award-winning dramatic short, an award-winning comedy variety show, and a host of industrial and documentary projects.
Letting Life In was shot over the summer of 2002 and was let loose in 2003 with a running time of 118 minutes. After several screenings, Steven James decided to shorten the film to 102 minutes which widely and dramatically improved people’s enjoyment of the film. Soon after the running time was changed, Letting Life In was selected into the 2005 NYIIFF-NY Film Festival, and was also selected into the 2006 NYIIFF-LA Film Festival where the film enjoyed two great screenings.
Steven James is working on many feature projects as Writer, Producer, Director, and Editor.