The Streets of Philadelphia

'The New Year Parade'

Tom Quinn was cleaning up after a week's worth of Park City festivities when he got the call that his film The New Year Parade had won the Narrative Prize at Slamdance 2008. "It was a weird experience," he says. "Everyone's really excited, leaving all these messages," meanwhile Quinn was packing, the condo was flooding (he'd used the wrong dish detergent), and he was alone, exhausted, and sick. Laughing, he remembers, "It was like a Woody Allen movie." Quinn hasn't been making movies quite as long as Allen, but he did start young: "I tried making my first feature film in, like, second grade, and failed every year until I was 27 ... literally." Now 31, Quinn is trying to keep his feet on the ground. Consider: His good fortune at Slam almost never happened. "I started to panic, thought about backing out," Quinn admits, who'd never screened outside of family and friends.

Those friends and family are from Philly, a town that, according to Philadelphia Inquirer's Steven Rea, is currently enjoying "a Phillywood moment." (Other Penn state pictures screening at this year's SXSW include Explicit Ills, the directorial debut from actor Mark Webber [The Hottest State], and In a Dream, Jeremiah Zagar's compelling doc about public art.) Quinn is part of a small but national movement of indie filmmakers who are sidestepping LA/NYC migrations and staying home to produce regionally based, regionally informed, regionally inspired works.

To that end, The New Year Parade –an IFP Narrative Rough Cut Lab participant – is a portrait of divorce pains framed against Philadelphia's Mummers Parade, a colorful, annual extravaganza that celebrates Philly culture. Rather than treating divorce as a backstory into which the audience must fill in the blanks, "we were interested in looking at those blanks and making that the story," he says. Utilizing a blend of actors and nonactors, documentary and fiction, moments both mundane and intense, Quinn offers an unsentimental meditation on the emotional wounds of domestic turmoil and familial unrest and a real rumination on human nature.

The New Year Parade

Narrative Feature, Emerging Visions, Regional Premiere

Sunday, March 9, 7:30pm, Dobie

Wednesday, March 12, 4pm, Dobie

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Tom Quinn, The New Year Parade

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