FOLLOWING IS THE TEXT FROM THE EPK AND THE PRESS NOTES
AVAILABLE ON OUR WEBSITE. THOSE PRESS NOTES (THE ONES ON OUR
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“Anywhere U.S.A. reduces every audience that sees it into a delighted, giggling mob.
The talented cast of non-professionals reminds one of what the word , „amateur‟ really means: to love. As silly, provocative, risky and downright loose-screwed as Mr. Haney-Jardine and his cast are, the sense that they did this movie out of love-- love for the weird, love for the unsayable idea, love for the privilege of movie making-- proved to be one of the most moving experiences at the Sundance Film Festival. It reminds one of the joy of sitting in an audience of strangers while everyone laughs hysterically.”
Head of Sundance Jury
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A CHUSY FILM
Winner Special Jury Prize
Dramatic Competition SUNDANCE 2008
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In a trailer deposited in an unkempt pastoral glade, a woman who used to be an alternate on her high school tennis team beats her boyfriend senseless once a week. She beats him, cause, well he deserves it. It‟s his act of redneck contrition….
Meanwhile, an eight-year-old girl finds accidental elucidation; the sort of awakening that makes her wonder if that guy next door driving the „89 Subaru is, in fact, the guy she thinks it is….
On the other side of the tracks, over there where posh beards, Kobe beef steaks and manicured gardens go hand in hand, a man of privilege has an epiphany at the dinner table that ultimately leads to a contusion and a revelation.
Told in three subtly related segments (Penance, Loss, and Ignorance), ANYWHERE USA is a du jour portrait of one man‟s America inspired by and drawn from the director‟s
own experiences as both foreigner and citizen of these United States.
Featuring a cast of mostly non-professionals and exploring passive racism, geo-political vagaries, good intentions, faith and disappointment, this deeply personal film manages to tread the lines between vulgar and humane, between absurd and tender, and finds its heart in the story segment featuring the director‟s own daughter and a man living in a van.
Part satire, part tragedy, part masterpiece theatre gone awry, ANYWHERE USA is a comedy of manners that defies gravity.
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When I set out to make my movie I emptied my head altogether of expectations and accepted the fact that I was going to use whatever I could find around me to put together a story. I wasn‟t going to fight the fact that I had intellectual and financial limitations, so I fashioned a movie based on the principle of found objects, themes, and people. In fact, this film is about as close to a found film as you can make it without becoming an exercise in aleatory assembly-- an accidental collage. I cast people from the streets of my hometown, Asheville, North Carolina and tried to use talent, music, objects, and locales within my reach. Because my cast was comprised almost entirely of non-professionals, I decided to create the film in situ. In other words I created it on the spot. I am not suggesting, however, that this is an improvised film. Far from it. Every word was pre-written. Only thing is that I often wrote the script with my wife hours and even minutes before shooting each day, based on whatever and whomever we could find on the day.
For the record, this film was inspired by a chair. made of pieces of found wood.
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Born and raised in Venezuela, Chusy has lived in Europe, Latin America and the USA. He has put his febrile imagination to work as a bag boy, translator, video clerk, “marketing representative,” copywriter, art director, executive creative director, teacher and commercial director. Chusy attended the director‟s program at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, California and received an MFA in directing. There he made, MONKEY PARK, a short film starring Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer and Ray Wise. He is married to the producer of ANYWHERE USA and is the proud father of two gorgeous children, one whom starred in ANYWHERE USA. ANYWHERE USA is his first feature film. He wrote, directed, and edited the movie.
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When you make a movie in situ, you‟re inviting some craziness. Here‟s a small anecdotal list of craziness you might find interesting.
When I set out to make the movie, a tick bit me in the ass and I contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. You do not want to contract Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. I fell into a coma as the tick attacked my central nervous system and production had to be halted. I lost a 1/4 of my budget and about 12 percent of my mind
A lot of my cast was on parole. Nuff said on that one.
The lead actor in the second story was our production assistant. He was living in a van when we met him and he applied for the job as P.A. with mismatched socks and a curriculum vitae that was a 1/2 page run-on sentence, speckled with grease, presumably from fries.
When we were at a Toyota dealership my four-year-old son, Lux, was laughing at a kid his height who was smoking and had tattoos. When I told him that the kid was a man, a little man, my son started laughing. I made him go apologize to the 3 foot 4 man and the rest is history. Watch Little Ricky‟s performance in the first story entitled, PENANCE.
The film was made by a family. Dad wrote, directed, and edited. Mom produced and wrote. Sissy acted and did all the costumes design (she was eight when we made the film!). We put up our house to make the film. I realized at Sundance that the film, from conception to presentation had consumed half my son‟s life.
The cast comes from the streets of Asheville, North Carolina. From Super Walmarts, Subway Sandwich Shops, and Applebee‟s to mention a few fertile grounds for casting.
Mary Griffin who plays Tammy in the first story was discovered working in a convenience store.
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JENNIFER MACDONALD. Co-writer and Producer.
Jennifer has held several jobs in front of and behind the camera. She has produced plays and commercials, traveled the world, studied and worked as an Arabic linguist. Additionally she speaks Spanish and Portuguese. On ANYWHERE USA she produced, cast, cooked, co-wrote, and posted bail. ANYWHERE USA marks her debut as feature film producer.
PATRICK ROUSSEAU. Cinematographer.
Patrick left a career in engineering to become a cinematographer. For the past ten years he has been working as a camera operator on such films and TV shows as Freedom Writers, Six Feet Under, and Arrested Development. This is his fourth feature film.
HEATHER WINTERS. Executive Producer.
Heather Winters is a producer/writer and most recently co-Executive Produced Morgan Spurlock‟s Academy Award? nominated documentary film, SUPER SIZE ME. Heather is the
co-writer and producer of the critically acclaimed documentary, CLASS ACT (Arts Alliance America, 2007) about the decline of arts and creativity in American public schools. Heather has produced several feature films and began her production experience in television as an assistant to the legendary animation team, Rankin/Bass. Her television series credits include THUNDERCATS, SILVERHAWKS, THE COMIC STRIP and the first season of MTV's, REAL WORLD. An accomplished writer and musician, Winters is a native of Miami Beach and a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College. Her company, STUDIO-ON-HUDSON, founded in 2000 with producing partner Joe Morley, specializes in the production and financing of independent feature films, documentaries, television and theatre projects. Awards include 2007 Best Documentary Artivist Film Festival, 2007 First Place Rhode Island International Film Festival, 2004 TELLY? Award, 2003 PLATINUM BEST IN SHOW AURORA Award, 2000 CHICAGO
INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL FIRST PLACE Award, 2000 U.S. INTERNATIONAL
FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL, and multiple awards of creative excellence.
JOE MORLEY. Executive Producer.
Executive Producer and Co-Writer of CLASS ACT, Joe is a partner in STUDIO-ON-HUDSON with Producer Heather Winters. He shares the co-Executive Producer credits on the STUDIO-ON-HUDSON film THE PARTY HEADS, and the Sundance award winning and Academy
Award? nominated documentary, SUPER SIZE ME. An accomplished writer/producer in his own right, Joe has produced more than 100 live events and video projects. He is a working playwright whose scripts are seen in the off Broadway theaters.
ANDY O‟NEIL. Co-Producer.
b. Richmond, VA. 1982. Asheville resident since 1983. BA in film, UNC Greensboro. First job, not at the mall. Drives a '98 Toyota Corolla. High School swim captain and Scrabble Tournament champion ‟04.
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MARY GRIFFIN (TAMMY)
Currently works as a maid in a retirement home. She is a voracious reader and the mother of two. This is her first acting role.
MIKE ELLIS (GENE)
Born and raised in western North Carolina, Mike works as a carpenter and in construction. He enjoys classic rock. This is his first acting role.
MOLLY SURRETT (MOLLY)
Currently works as a secretary. She is a North Carolina native and the proud mother of two children. She enjoys NASCAR racing. This is her first acting role.
SHELIAH RAY HIPPS (SHEILAH)
Born and raised in Western North Carolina, Sheliah works as a dog groomer. She enjoys horseback riding and motorcycles and wants you to know that she is hyper. This is her first acting role.
BRIAN FOX (LITTLE RICKY)
Born and raised in Western North Carolina, Brian has a stand up comic act that he performs in front of audiences east of the Mississippi. Brian is 3 feet 4 tall. If you think he‟s short, think again. This is his first acting role.
RAFAT ABU-GOUSH (ALI)
Born in Jordan. Raised in Jordan and Palestine, Rafat was managing a Subway Sandwich shop when we cast him in Anywhere. He is a graduate of Amman Hospitality School and enjoys classic cars. This is his first acting role.
PERLA HANEY-JARDINE (PEARL)
Was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She started her acting career in commercials her daddy directed. Her first film role was as B. B., Uma Thurman‟s daughter in Quentin Tarantino‟s KILL BILL VOLUME 2.
Since then she has appeared in Walter Salles‟ remake of DARK WATER, Sam Raimi‟s SPIDERMAN 3, UNTRACEABLE with Diane Lane and most recently she starred in Michael Winterbottom‟s new film, GENOVA. She did her dad a favor by appearing in ANYWHERE USA.
JEREMIAH BRENNAN (JEREMIAH)
Born in New York and raised in South Carolina, Jeremiah works odd jobs in restaurants and is currently working as a production assistant. This is his first acting role.
RALPH BRIERLEY (RALPH)
Originally from California, Ralph currently works as a financial analyst. Ralph‟s been involved in community theatre in one way or another for 35 years. This is Ralph‟s first film acting role.
DIANNE CHAPMAN (DIANNE)
Is retired from theatre management. Dianne now works on many local theatre productions. This is her first film acting role.
ELLIS ROBINSON (ELLIS)
Was born and raised in Western North Carolina. He is in high school. He is on the debate team. Now that he‟s acted in his first movie he‟s into plays at his high school. This is his first acting role.
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ACTOR BIOS (CONT’D)
SUSIE GREENE (PAT THE REALTOR)
An Asheville native, Susie Greene attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NY. In addition to raising a 17 year-old, Susie loves to sing and is an ordained wedding minister.
FRANK AVERY (FRANK A.K.A. DR. GOOGLE)
Frank is a retired navy captain who found stage acting as his second-calling. His roles as 'Tevye', 'Willie Loman', 'Big Daddy' and 'Falstaff' are samplings of nearly 50 shows in 20yrs.
GENE HAMPTON (GENE)
Gene is a social activist in the Western North Carolina. This is his first acting role.
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Jennifer MacDonald Producer Jennifer MacDonald Executive Producer Joe Morley
Director of Photography Patrick Rousseau
Mary Griffin Tammy
Mike Ellis Gene
Brian Fox Ricky
Molly Surrett Molly
Sheliah Ray Hipps Sheliah Jeremiah Brennan Jeremiah Perla Haney-Jardine Pearl Ralph Brierley Ralph Dianne Chapman Dianne Ellis Robinson Ellis Virato Narrator
Sophia Tager Sophia
Jack Legwin Boy in Bookstore Chusy Randy Wells
Crazzy Keith Barkeep Glenda McDowell Glenda Gene Hampton Gene
Al Al Ingram Al Al
Jonathan Lucas Tooth Fairy Éowyn Lucas Éowyn Lucas Anne Fitten Glenn Waitress
Sequoia Rose Baumgartner Dave Bragg
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