Sun. January 31, 3:30pm, Prospector Square Theatre, Park City
Anne is a 17-year-old headstrong, cool nerd who lives with her single mom. While covering a softball game for the high school yearbook committee, she becomes infatuated with Sasha, the pretty star of the team. The two girls charmingly hit it off and quickly become close. But when Anne excitedly shares her newfound attraction to Sasha with her best friend, Cliff, he reveals his feelings for Anne and lashes out at her in unanticipated ways.
Writer/director Kerem Sanga tells a coming-of-age story freshly and unexpectedly with a fugue-like narrative structure. Through flashback and each character’s point of view, a multifaceted drama unfolds to reveal the complete love triangle between Anne, Cliff, and Sasha. The character of Anne, perfectly portrayed by Dylan Gelula, is an appealing teen protagonist with substance—assured yet vulnerable, and notably not tortured by her sexual orientation. Told with authenticity, humor, and creative use of social media, First Girl I Loved is a delightful, contemporary perspective on the first jitters of new romance and the age-old heartbreak of love.
Screens with Catching Up A physically disabled high school teacher seeks assistance from his cynical friend after falling in love with an able-bodied co-worker. This funny and dramatic examination of disability, sex, and love stars real people with disabilities.
Kerem Sanga is the writer/director of three features. His previous film, The Young Kieslowski, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award. Sanga attended film school at the University of Southern California as an Annenberg Fellow. Prior to that, he studied math at the University of Texas, Austin. Sanga lives in Los Angeles.