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Interview: Carter Smith – Jamie Marks is Dead

At the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, we sat down with director Carter Smith to discuss his new film, Jamie Marks is Dead, which played in competition. Known for his well received 2006 short film Bugcrush and his 2008 feature debut, The Ruins, the director touches upon how he wanted to make a film that transcends simple definition by not adhering specifically to any particular rules of genre or theme. A coming of age story about loneliness and identity, it’s a story about friendships that shape convictions and values. Part ghost story, part coming out drama, part teenage angst, Smith also discusses how Jamie Marks isn’t a simple film to classify or justify as intended for one audience in particular. We also touch on casting (worth noting is the impressive group of young players in Cameron Monaghan, Noah Silver, Morgan Saylor, Madisen Beaty), inspirations, and the difficulties of getting projects made, and why Smith didn’t go the logical route of expanding a celebrated short film into feature length. Gravitas Ventures releases Jamie Marks is Dead in theaters on August 29th.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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