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“LYMELIFE” co-writer-director, Derick Martini

[PREMIERE SCREENING: Friday, Jan. 16, 9:00 pm — Screening Room, Sundance Resort]

Due to the daunting forces affecting independent cinema today, the tragedy that has become specialty distributors’ monumental struggle to find audiences, my instinct while directing Lymelife was to constantly push the envelope in every single scene we shot. If that meant tossing my written words out the window, so be it. I was determined to deliver a brutally honest and unsentimental depiction of an American family going through crisis in the late ’70s, a time of emotional and economic change which turns out to be relevant today. I would say to my producers and actors on a regular basis, “We’re all here telling a story for no money, working long hours — if the results are such that you can see this story on ABC or NBC, why bother? It’s a fool’s errand.” So our pursuit every day was to make what was on the page better and keep digging until we found the emotional truth in every moment. Toward the end of the shoot, Baldwin, a dear friend of mine, laughed at me and said something to the effect of “I just realized that you’ve been telling me before every scene we shoot that it was the most important scene in the movie. How can every scene in the film be the most important one, Martini?” I didn’t have an answer for him at the time because I found it quite funny, but in hindsight, I’d take that statement a step further and respond, “not only is every single scene in the picture the most important scene, but every single moment is the most important moment in the picture.” And this conditioning I’ve adopted while directing my first feature I intend to take with me to every picture I make.

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