Short film shot in Ashland area featured at Sundance
A comedy short film shot in the Ashland area is airing in the Sundance Film Festival this week. It has ties to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
You Go Girl! was directed by Shariffa Ali, an artist-in-residence at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The film is based in Southern Oregon and was filmed last summer during a season of wildfire smoke. It follows a stand-up comedian who has to move from New York to Oregon to deal with a loss.
Although it’s a comedy, one of the main themes in the film is reconciliation through grief, according to Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Nataki Garrett who is also the film’s executive producer.
“It’s also about being humbled by nature and that you can be at the top of your game and live in a major city and have everything in your life that you want, and then everything can change in an instant," Garrett says. "And then you have to face your past and have to climb a bigger mountain to find grace and peace."
The film was produced while Ali and Garrett were waiting for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to return to live theater. Garrett says that working on a short film is different than theater because there is less time to rehearse and practice, but she says, the act of storytelling is the same.
“It still took a while to write it and to really hone in on the story that these screenwriters were looking to tell,” she says.
The 13 minute film is one of 59 shorts being shown at Sundance, chosen out of over 10,000 submissions. Due to the COVID-19 omicron surge, the Sundance Film Festival is happening online for a second year in a row. You Go Girl! will be shown online until January 30th.