NORWALK, Conn. -- A 14-minute romantic comedy shot in Fairfield County will lead the "Sweet Youth" program at the Williamsburg Independent Film Festival on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 6:30 p.m.
"Hi-Glow Retro," which pulsates with '70s dance music, was produced, written and directed by 25-year-old Norwalk resident Alex Morsanutto. The story centers on the story of Tommy Ashby, a high school senior with severe social anxiety who decides to step out of his comfort zone to learn disco dancing.
The movie was shot in Norwalk and Greenwich but primarily at friends' houses in the area and at the Silvermine Marketplace.
Morsanutto, who has filmed in the area before, said he was disappointed that the City of Norwalk wanted to charge him fees similar to those of a Hollywood production, which, he said, "Is the most unfortunate part of the production process given how devoted I am to making films in Norwalk.
"It felt like the city officials of Norwalk turned their back on an artist trying to bring work to the area."
Morsanutto, who used Norwalk and Greenwich as a backdrop to his 19-minute movie "Little Lion," in 2015 (go here for previous Daily Voice story), is committed to using Fairfield County as much as he can in all of his projects. The area where he grew up inspires him, he said, which is why this particular action by city officials left him so upset.
'I'm passionate about collaborating with local filmmakers and actors or people who are interested in film production," he said.
"I know how difficult it can be growing up in Norwalk without any idea of how to get into filmmaking so I like to make that transition easier for young aspiring filmmakers. Many of the Fairfield County locals that I've brought on to my sets have hung around for a while and are frequent collaborators."
Just as Woody Allen is tied to Manhattan and Ben Affleck to Boston, Morsanutto wants to be known as the Fairfield County guy. Despite the restrictions he founds this time around, he continues to persevere.
The founder of Silvermine Productions, which produces films, commercials, music videos and photography for an array of clients, is presently working on a short documentary about a free agent in the NFL -- a Norwalk resident -- who's trying to get his shot in the league. The film is entitled "Waiting."
In the meantime, Morsanutto, is waiting for his shot at getting "Hi-Glow Retro" made into a full-length feature. He 's hoping the Brooklyn festival performance will grab the attention of the Powers That Be and give the film the momentum needed to push it into pitch meetings and in front of investors.
In other words, grab the popcorn and stay tuned.
Or head to Brooklyn; the festival is at the Cinema at Wythe Hotel at 80 Wythe Avenue. Click HERE for tickets.
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