BIFF YEAR ’ROUND 2021-22

Wednesday, Nov. 24th, 6:30 PM, 2021
Downtown Beloit Association Office
557 E. Grand Ave. Downtown Beloit

Sat Feb 22, 2020 – 2:30 pm | Bushel & Peck’s
Sun Feb 23, 2020 – 2:30 pm | Bagels & More

Undergrads

Directed by Andrew Zuckerman
Narrative Feature
USA | 87 min | 2021

An ensemble of friends hang out over a weekend as graduation looms. When Monday classes arrive, relationships have been put into question, or even cut off, while others have formed.

“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)

Undergrads Poster

Undergrads - Andrew ZuckermanAndrew Zuckerman
Director

Andrew Zuckerman is a 22 year old filmmaker based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He has been making films since he was 10 years old. He attended NYU and the University of Minnesota where he graduated with a degree film production and cinema studies (Class of 2021).

His short films have premiered all over the country, most notably at the Manhattan Film Festival. He is now excited to share his first feature film, Undergrads

Film Information

Director: Andrew Zuckerman
Country: United States
Year: 2021
Language: English
Runtime: 87 min.
Rated: R

Credits

Writer: Andrew Zuckerman, Dillon Orth
Producers: Andrew Zuckerman,Dillon Orth, John Cronin

Key Cast:Trace Guzmán, Chloe Skoczen, Dillon Orth, Elijah McNally

Connect With This Film

BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival