In SOMEWHERE SLOW, Anna Thompson is a 40-year-old skin-care rep who lives a decidedly unfulfilled life — unhappy in her job, her marriage and her family relationships. When destiny deposits her at a convenience store during a deadly robbery, she makes a sudden decision to leave her old life and step into the unknown. She travels to the remote New England summer home of her childhood and there, together with a teen-aged drifter she meets en route, learns to accept her vulnerabilities and embrace a human connection.
While honoring the 94-minute film as its Best Narrative Feature, the Brooklyn Film Festival described SOMEWHERE SLOW as “a searing and complex portrait of Anna. Sparse and provocative, this film shines light on how sometimes we must learn to break our own rules to find the life we’ve been yearning to live.”
“I think we all have an experience similar to Anna’s,” said Jeremy O’Keefe, the film’s 33-year-old writer, director and producer. “It’s a desire to step away from our lives for a beat, and get back to the root of whom we really are.
“I believe that Anna’s journey is universal and is as uplifting as it is heartbreaking. The audience response so far has confirmed this, and I hope the film continues to prompt its audience to shake things up.”
O’Keefe said the film is based upon his own “wake-up call”—a chance meeting “that caused me to break free of my own emotional paralysis.”
“Human beings fascinate me,” he said. “Our exploration of the joy, pain, laughter and tears that we experience in life is one that audiences are really connecting to. It’s a funny movie. It’s a dramatic movie. It’s a movie about the nuances of this big, messy, beautiful life we are each living.”
SOMEWHERE SLOW stars Jessalyn Gilsig as Anna, with Graham Patrick Martin as teen-aged Travis and a cast of veteran actors that include Robert Forster and Lindsay Crouse. Gilsig is well known to TV audiences for her long-running roles in BOSTON PUBLIC, GLEE and VIKINGS.
“Jessalyn is a brilliant artist, one who is not afraid to get a little messy,” said O’Keefe. “As an actor and producer, she’s been dedicated to find the truth in our story. I consider myself lucky because that passion could be found in all my actors, all of my crew, everyone involved.”
O’Keefe, who lives in Los Angeles, will arrive in Bend on Friday with actor Lauren Schneider, who also appears in the movie. SOMEWHERE SLOW will be presented at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Cascades Theatrical Company and at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Tower Theatre. Tickets are available at www.bendfilm.org or at the festival box office in the Liberty Theatre on Wall Street.
SOMEWHERE SLOW will be released worldwide in late January through Screen Media Films. O’Keefe said he is also pitching a TV pilot and finishing a new feature script. “There’s a lot happening, and I couldn’t be happier about it,” he said. “Or more exhausted. Constantly, constantly exhausted.”