Breckenridge Film Fest Opening Night features quirky romantic comedy
Opening Night Party
The Opening Night Party is a chance for Ember chef and owner Scott Boshaw to showcase his unique and varied foodie delights in the sultry environs of his Ember establishment. Swing by the bar for a signature cocktail – and don’t forget to tip your server!
When: 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18
Where: Ember Restaurant, 106 E. Adams Ave., Breckenridge
Cost: $20 ticket covers Opening Night film screening and party
More information: Visit www.BreckFilmFest.com
“What is love, anyway?”
This question, posed by a character in the trailer, is central to the plot of “It’s Not You, It’s Me,” the film premiering on Opening Night of the Breckenridge Film Festival on Thursday, Sept. 18.
Though the film may fall in the category “romantic comedy,” it’s not anything like the typical example of its genre. There’s no convenient list of how to gain or lose someone in a certain number of days. Nobody runs through the airport to keep their estranged lover from getting onto a plane. And the question above is shortly followed by, “Does this straitjacket make me look fat?”
“I call it an edgy relationship comedy,” said Nathan Ives, who wrote, directed and produced the film. “I really tried to avoid the cheesy clichés, … and really make it rooted in real life and really what we’re going through.”
The film follows Dave, a man whose fear of commitment has driven him to break up with his girlfriend. It delves into not only his mind and conflicting inner dialogue, but also into that of his ex, Carrie, as they try to figure out what to do next.
“It’s a pretty personal story. It’s about relationships and about what goes on in our heads,” said Ives, who took about six months to write the script. “It really kind of gives you a view inside the mind of both men and women, to some extent.”
Much of Ives’ cinematic inspiration comes from the likes of Woody Allen, he added. “It’s Not You, It’s Me” is also perhaps a bit rowdier than your general rom-com, with an R rating for strong language and adult situations.
But woven in among the jokes and quirky situations are the questions, concerns and revelations that everyday people deal with when it comes to love and relationships.
“I think the overall theme is there’s always hope,” said Ives, when asked to reflect on the main messages that run throughout the film.
All of us are affected by our childhoods, how we grew up, which reflects on our actions when we’re older, he added, so the film studies “the idea of, with a lot of work, we can all overcome the damage that might have been done to us at a young age that affects our relationships now. It’s a story of hope and a story of moving forward.”
It was this aspect that led to the film being chosen as the first to be shown at the festival. Entering into its 34th year, the Breckenridge Film Festival will feature 66 films of all different lengths, styles and genres.
“We sought to launch the Breckenridge Film Festival with an energetic, creative independent film that sets the tone for a fun and festive weekend event,” said Janice Kurbjun, executive director of the film festival, in a news release.
“It’s Not You, It’s Me” is Ives’ first directorial project and kicks off his first film festival circuit as a director.
“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. As for being chosen for Opening Night, “It’s just a huge honor, and I hope it lives up to the expectation.”
Though now he’s entrenched in film, Ives hadn’t planned on being involved in the industry when he first moved to Los Angeles 18 years ago. Originally from Ashville, North Carolina, Ives started out playing music. Moving with him to L.A. was his best friend from college, a scriptwriter. They co-wrote a few together, and eventually, Ives “made the switch to film.”
Now he’s learning the ropes from a director’s standpoint, dealing with the same issues as all those involved with modern independent films — budget concerns, marketing strategies, market oversaturation and potential film earnings.
It’s easy to fall prey to the fantasy of taking your film to a famous festival like the Sundance Film Festival (held in Utah every year), make a big hit, sell it instantly and rise to fame, he said, but “that’s not a marketing plan, that’s a lottery ticket.”
While it’s great to shoot for the stars, it’s also important to have a Plan B, he added.
“I learned a lot from doing this film,” he said, referring not only to post-production but to the making of it, as well. He watched his screenplay go from words on the page to life in the words and actions of his actors. Though the end result was somewhat different from his original intent, it’s actually better that way, he said.
“One of the great joys of filmmaking is it’s a very collaborative process. … I think (the actors) bring completely new things to the role,” he said. “As a director, I’m very open to collaboration on set. One of the greatest joys (was) seeing the actors come to these roles and making them far better than I’d written them.”
Following the screening of the film, Ives will lead a question-and-answer session with actor Ross McCall, who plays Dave, and actress Jessica York, who plays Leslie. McCall has appeared in a number of television shows, including “White Collar” and “24: Live Another Day.” York is known for her work as a broadcast television red carpet reporter and occasional travel reporter.
“I’m looking forward to being there,” Ives said.
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