Featured Film: Bench Seat

Bench Seat Anna Mastro, 2011 USA | 19m

Saturday January 28th, 2pm Walter Reade Theater

Synopsis: A classic love story with a musical twist choreographed by Chris Judd and written by Neil LaBute, this film catches a young couple on the verge of either moving forward or breaking up. While the girl envisions a happy future with her boyfriend, he imagines quite the reverse.

Excerpt from ‘Bench Seat’ Director Anna Mastro: Crowd-Funded Short Music to Her Ears

Director Anna Mastro pines for the day when Hollywood falls in love with movie musicals all over again. But when it came time to direct her own, she realized she didn’t know the first thing about writing a song. So she asked a colleague to suggest someone who could help her create songs for her planned short musical “Bench Seat.” She ended up choosing someone far too young to remember Hollywood’s musical era but clued in enough to the vagaries of the human heart to deliver what she wanted. Mastro’s short film “Bench Seat,” which recently screened at the Starz Denver Film Festival, bounces along to music created by wunderkind Teddy Geiger (CBS’s “Love Monkey”). The story finds a young couple at a romantic crossroads. Geiger’s theatrical songs yield a number of catchy sequences, with Mastro deftly maneuvering from narrative necessities to the fantastical spirit movie musicals require. In “Bench Seat,” the lovely female lead (Cassie Scerbo) longs to take her relationship to the next level, while her beau (Kyle Riabko) isn’t sure he even wants to stay with her. But the intense look in her eye, and the stories of her recent ex, warn him to think twice before breaking up just yet. If that sounds like the kind of dark twist Neil LaBute might bring to the standard teen romance, you’re right. LaBute, the corrosive writer/director behind “Your Friends and Neighbors” and other button-blasting dramas, wrote the screenplay for “Bench Seat” while allowing Mastro to bring her musical sensibilities to the project. Having LaBute’s name attached to her short film wasn’t enough to guarantee financing. So, she leaned on her rolodex to assemble her cast and used Kickstarter.com to raise enough cash to make the jaunty film a reality. The web site allows filmmakers to raise money for projects through public outreach. Read More…

Learn how to make the most of Kickstarter for your dance film! Visit DFA’s Curated Page on Kickstarter

Join us at our Kickstarter presentation: Saturday, January 28 11:00 AM Freida and Furman Gallery in the Walter Reade Theater Free Event – First Come, First Served

Presentation led by Stephanie Pereira of Kickstarter Featuring Jacob Krupnick of Girl Walk // All Day Anna Mastro on how Kickstarter helped her raise funds for her film-
“A lot of people donated five and ten dollars. It was really amazing.”
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