Weekly Feature



2014-03-27 / Front Page

West grad writes, will direct independent film

by ANNISE CELANO
Reporter


West Seneca native Kate Moran, left, directs actress Kristine Sutherland in her film, “Are You Afraid of the ’90s?” The movie also stars Heather Matarazzo of “Welcome to the Dollhouse” fame. West Seneca native Kate Moran, left, directs actress Kristine Sutherland in her film, “Are You Afraid of the ’90s?” The movie also stars Heather Matarazzo of “Welcome to the Dollhouse” fame. Twenty-somethings should know they’re not alone in navigating the “quarter-life crisis,” a painfully relevant phenomenon for the now adult children of the 1990s.

Kate Moran, 26, decided to run with such a notion when, about twoyearsago,ina2a.m.brainstorming session, she discovered the correlation between nostalgic ’90s pop culture and the number of young people today — especially those in their 20s — who are unsure of where their lives are heading.

And so began the development of an independent film called, “Are You Afraid of the ’90s?” — Moran’s first film credit as both a writer and director.

“I always like turning conventional ideas on their head,” said Moran, “Everyone’s going on and on about how great the ’90s are, but what if they were bad? Like, how is this nostalgia actually serving us? Is it actually hindering us as a generation to kind of rely too much on our past?”

Moran described the film, currently in pre-production and development, as a dark comedy mixed with satire.

“The idea is for it to be funny but relatable,” Moran said. “And my goal with this film is to be able to give some kind of cathartic experience for everyone who misses their childhood, everyone who has had a hard time growing up.”

In the story, 26-year-old Jessica Russo finds herself living back at home with her parents after getting fired from her job. When Jessica’s mother begins rummaging through her childhood toys, Jessica gets sentimental about her childhood.

“But the toys actually end up haunting her, rather than serving as an escape,” said Moran.

Heather Matarazzo of “Welcome to the Dollhouse,” “The Princess Diaries” and “Saved!” and Kristine Sutherland of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” are set to star in the film.

Moran, a 2005 graduate of West Seneca West Senior High School, fell in love with directing as a sophomore studying drama at New York University.

“And then a couple years ago, I decided I wanted to try and work in film,” said Moran. “It’s very exciting. It’s a very cool world.”

The film is in its final week of raising money through an online Kickstarter campaign, at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/katemoran/are-you-afraid-of-the-90s-the-short-film or http://kck.st/N0MERs.

Though Moran recognized that “times are tough,” as a theme in her film, the team still needs about $3,500 to meet its budget needs.

Moran said the film’s budget will be within $12,000 — a significantly smaller budget than other independent films — but the cost of creating a film is inherently much greater than theater, she noted.

Moran described the film as a “passion project.”

“It’s really important for me, I think, to not only create a voice for myself as a film director, but to really reach out to everyone that’s out there,” said Moran. “I think that there’s a really big audience for this.”

Once the film is produced, Moran said the team plans on submitting it to major and local film festivals, as well as reaching out to production companies.

email: acelano@beenews.com

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