US in Progress Paris: Tully, Meyerhoff and Zinn Among 6 Selected

blue potato Gita Pullapilly

The US in Progress Paris which promotes about a half dozen American independent film currently in post-production to European buyers in the context of the Champs Elysées Film Festival in Paris (this June) have selected film items from the likes of Michael Tully, Leah Meyerhoff and Jaffe Zinn — projects we are more than likely going to see as early as the fall, Sundance 2014 and beyond. The 2nd edition of the US in Progress Paris morphed from the already popular American Film Festival in Wroclaw, Poland will invite the following:

Blue Potato
Directed by Gita Pullapilly who first blasted on the scene with the docu The Way We Get By (winner of the Special Jury Award – 09′ SXSW) this Northeastern tale (see pic above) set in Van Buren, telling “the story of 17-year-old DOMINIC ROY, a headstrong teen working his final potato harvest to earn enough money to escape the pitfalls and boredom of his struggling northern Maine town, while he fights to save his reckless best friend CASPER, who is drawn into smuggling illegal prescription drugs across the Canadian border with his outlaw father.

A continuation of Shawn Telford’s short film, From the Last Virgin – this is about small town blues, “boredom and bad decisions aren’t just a daily occurrence, they’re a way of life.”

Jaffe Zinn who saw his feature film debut Magic Valley premiere at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, shot his sophomore film with thesp Kate Lyn Sheil in the lead – “this tells the tale of “two young women go camping in the mountains of Southern Idaho.”

Ping Pong Summer
Hammer to Nail contributor/feature filmmaker Michael Tully’s third feature following Cocaine Angel (2006) and Septien (2011), is “set in Ocean City, Maryland and tells the tale about a teenage boy obsessed with ping-pong and early hip-hop. He has a memorable family beach vacation in the summer of 1985.” Susan Sarandon, Lea Thompson, John Hannah, Amy Sedaris, Judah Friedlander and Robert Longstreet star.

I believe in Unicorns
Featured in our In the Pipeline series and nominated for a Calvin Klein grant (’12 Gotham Independent Film Awards), starring Natalia Dyer, Peter Vack, Toni Meyerhoff, Julia Garner, Joshua Leonard and Amy Seimetz, Leah Meyerhoff’s tale focuses on “a teenage girl who escapes her obligations to her disabled mother by running away with an older boy. As their new relationship turns emotionally and then physically abusive, she attempts to escape to a fantasy world but ultimately must learn to face her stark reality and reconnect with the life she left behind.”

Producer turned director Tommy Oliver (Kinyarwanda) semi-autobiographical drama (starring Hill Harper, Sharon Leal, Ruby Dee and Wayne Brady) is “set in Philadelphia during the onset of the crack epidemic and follows a father’s struggle to wean his wife off of her addiction, while trying to protect their ten year old daughter from the painful truth.”

Eric Lavallée is the founder, editor-in-chief and film critic at (founded in 2000). Eric splits his time between his home base in Montreal, NYC, and is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. Top Films From Contemporary Film Auteurs: Almodóvar (Talk to Her), Coen Bros. (Fargo), Dardennes (La Promesse), Haneke (Caché), Hsiao-Hsien (Three Times), Kar-wai (In the Mood for Love), Kiarostami (Taste of Cherry), Lynch (Mulholland Dr.), Tarantino (Pulp Fiction), Van Sant (My Own Private Idaho), von Trier (Breaking the Waves)
  • Let me tell you more about BFE.

    100 years after cowboys and Indians, the west is still wild. Idaho in particular. Guns, drugs, sex and violence touch upon every life in the new American west including Grampa, who won’t go down without a fight. His grandson Ian, on the other hand, tries to teach the old man how to live, while at the same time, pursuing the affections of the troubled and angelic Ellie, whose feelings for Ian may be more than mutual. The problem is, Ellie’s popular boyfriend Zack, who like everyone else in this small, far away place, doesn’t want to be the last virgin.

    The film stars Walter Dalton (Wendy & Lucy, Catechism Cataclysm), Hans Altwies (Touchy Feely, Nothing Against Life), Russell Hodgkinson (Zoo, Off Hours, Eden) and
    Wiley Wilkins (Buffalo Bill’s Defunct, Marrow).

    This is Shawn Telford’s debut feature film. Prior to making movies, he worked as a music journalist in Seattle, writing for a number of publications including the Rocket, the Tablet and the Seattle Post-intelligencer where his unbiased and insightful journalism warranted more than one death threat.

    “They say it’s quiet out in the country… they don’t know shit!”

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