Actress Tiffany Mann performs a scene filmed on Mount Ashland for “You Go Girl,” a short film that premieres next month at the Sundance Film Festival. [Submitted photo / Jenny Graham]
Actor Tiffany Mann performs a scene filmed on Mount Ashland for “You Go Girl,” which premieres next month at the Sundance Film Festival. [Submitted photo / Jenny Graham]
A short film shot and produced in southern Oregon will debut at the nation’s largest independent film festival.
“Go on girl!” – produced in collaboration with a team of independent filmmakers and a production company based in southern Oregon – will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January.
The film stars Tiffany Mann as Audrey, a dangerously overweight stand-up comedian from New York City, who comes to terms with her past, confronts her fears, and embarks on a journey into the southern wilderness of the South. ‘Oregon, which peaks when it reaches the top of the mountain in time to catch the sunset.
To film the emotional closing scene on Mount Ashland, it needed a location more than half a mile from the road, and the film crew of about 20 people used sleds, snowshoes and snowmobiles, according to the report. producer Courtney Williams.
Williams described Mann as an “extraordinary professional artist” with a deep range of actors, but knew it was something special when she saw team member Eddie Lopez react to the emotional closing scene of Mann.
“I watched him watch her, and there were just tears rolling down her face,” Williams said. “I just said to myself, ‘This is a magical moment. “”
The scene wrapped up two intensive days of filming in the Ashland area, according to Tyler Maddox, the film’s cinematographer. Between the natural splendor and the thrill of the scene, Maddox said, the wrap was a “real experience” for many members of the film crew in New York and other areas.
“I think they were all beside themselves with the beauty that they found here,” Maddox said. “You can take it for granted. “
Maddox said he cries every time he watches the movie, but added that the movie has an inspiring side to it as well.
“As a director of photography I am extremely proud of it,” Maddox said.
The team filmed many of the early stages of Audrey’s journey through sections of the Ashland watershed near Lithia Park and turned OSF’s Black Swan Theater into a small New York comedy club, according to Maddox. .
“You Go Girl” is one of 59 short films selected for the Sundance Film Festival’s short film program out of a record 10,374 submissions from 26 countries.
Williams said she believed what resonated with filmmakers – and what would resonate with audiences – is the excitement of moving from the energy of New York City to the Oregon wilderness.
“She’s triumphing by doing something really hard that she never thought she would,” Williams said of the character’s journey.
Local filmmakers Shariffa Ali, Kamila Long and Adrian Alea made the film with the help of a $ 20,000 Oregon Adventure Film grant issued jointly by the Oregon Made Creative Foundation and Travel Oregon, according to a blog post published last October by the Oregon Governor’s Film Office. & Television.
Ali, who was working as an OSF Artist in Residence at the time, first collaborated with Long and Alea in 2020 for a short film called “Ash Land”, which tells the story of a black woman living in the Oregon’s wilderness that gets a visitor who gets him to “reconcile his past and reimagine his future,” according to a synopsis on Oregon Film.
For their next film, Ali, Long, and Alea worked with Oregon Film, the Oregon Made Creative Foundation and Travel Oregon to develop a project that would fit the theme of the Oregon Adventure Film Grant’s “Oregon Outdoors Are For Everything.” the world “. The grant sought projects involving experienced filmmakers and subjects from communities of color.
Williams said coming up with a project that fell within the scope “was not an exaggeration.”
“The problem is, we just don’t see enough stories like this,” Williams said. “I think the audience is hungry to see different kinds of stories that you don’t usually see.”
Maddox said that many filmmakers spend their lives trying to get their films shown at Sundance, and that it is “extremely difficult to get in.”
“This is their second movie,” Maddox said. “It is truly remarkable.”
“You Go Girl!” will premiere at Sundance on January 22 at the Prospector Square Theater in Park City, Utah, and will be available online with the purchase of a $ 50 “Explorer Pass” from the festival. For more details see festival.sundance.org.
Williams said the plan was for “You Go Girl” to air on O! of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. streaming platform at a date not yet determined.
Movies made by the people of southern Oregon are rare at Sundance, but “You Go Girl!” is not without precedent.
In 2011, Ashland lawyer Susan Saladoff’s documentary “Hot Coffee” premiered at Sundance. This film – about how the justice system is stacked against aggrieved plaintiffs – included interviews with then-Senator Al Franken, author John Grisham and people involved in high-profile liability lawsuits, and was broadcast nationwide.
Maddox said many residents of southern Oregon don’t realize how much of a destination the area has become for filmmakers. For example, earlier this year, Hollywood-based MovieMaker.com named Ashland one of the 10 Best Places to Live and Work as a Filmmaker.
Maddox, who lives in Ashland, also participated in the filming of the Discovery Channel series “Growing Belushi”, on actor and comedian Jim Belushi’s cannabis farm in Rogue Valley. Through this project, he filmed Food Network host Guy Fieri in Rogue Valley and SNL alumnus Dan Akroyd in downtown Medford.
“There are a lot of great things going on here,” Maddox said.
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