An 8-year-old son and an accidentally thrown baseball lead to the Sundance Film Festival.
Do you like this story?
A baseball accidentally thrown at Stacie Passon’s head by her 8-year-old son has started the former commercial producer and director on the path to success as a filmmaker.
Passon emerged from the haze of that beaning to write the screenplay for her first film, the aptly titled Concussion. The 93-minute film was one of the hits of the recent Sundance Film Festival and Passon came away with a lucrative distribution deal with one of today’s most-successful film companies.
“I was in a place of isolation,” says Passon, reflecting on the months after the baseball incident. She mainly stayed at home in Montclair—where she lives with her partner and their two children—reading and going through old letters and photos. “When you do that it can put you in a mid-life crisis,” says Passon, 43. “You’re reminding yourself of who you were and wanting to reclaim that. That’s what my film is all about.”
In fact, Concussion is the loosely autobiographical story of a lesbian housewife gone wild. It stars Robin Weigert from TV’s Deadwood as the lead character, along with Maggie Siff (Sons of Anarchy) and Janel Moloney (The West Wing) and two of Passon’s actor friends from Montclair, Julie Fain Lawrence and Claudine Ohayon. The low-budget project—Passon won’t reveal the actual cost—was shot at friends’ houses, her children’s school and other sites around Montclair and New York City.
Passon submitted the film to numerous festivals and was delighted to learn that it had been accepted at Sundance, no small feat for a first-time director. Concussion was one of only 16 feature films admitted into the U.S. Dramatic Competition category out of about 1,200 entries.
After winning over audiences at Sundance, which was held January 17 to 27 in Park City, Utah, Concussion was purchased by Radius, an arm of the Weinstein Company, for a North American release for a seven-figure sum, Passon says. The film will have a limited theatrical release and then will be available through video on demand.
“Sundance was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing,” says Passon, whose new projects include a TV series called Animals, loosely based on Concussion. “The great story about this is I got to make a movie with my friends. It was a real community thing.”
Whoopi: A Candid Conversation
Off to See the Wizard: Q&A With Zach Braff
Filmmaker Brings Hollywood Home: Pompton Lakes Film Draws From Local Talent
From Hitmen to Hitmakers: David Chase's Latest Project
Cracking Up: Gregory Principato's Latest Film Was Shot in New Jersey
Upcoming NJ Film Festivals
Roll Film! The New Jersey Film Festival Boom
Thank you for signing up!
Today, Rosie tells us about The Pluckemin Inn in Bedminster.
A New Jersey farm has come up with what might be the ultimate tribute to Derek Jeter on his final season: a five acre corn maze designed with the face of the Yankee captain himself.
At the McGraw Art Gallery on the campus of Newark Academy in Livingston. It's called Unscheduled Stops. I'll be showing pictures mostly from 2013 and 2014, and the show will be up almost the entire month of November.
A couple years ago, Gibson Borelli of Hoboken took one of my pie-baking classes for kids. Now the 12-year-old has won a spot on the new season of the Food Network’s Rachael vs.Guy: Kids Cook-Off, which runs every Sunday through September 21.
Learn about CLEAR Internet in New Jersey