Director's statement

Director's Statement

It’s a ubiquitous fact that high school divides people into social cliques. In film and television, the “popular” characters are consistently judged, dismissed, caricaturized in a way I always found off. My film This Side of Summer shows people that I personally have not seen much reverence or specificity to in independent cinema— they’ve not yet been given the light of mundanity. I wanted to make a film that empathizes with their banalities and does not reductively depict confident teenagers as toxic teenagers. This Side of Summer is an epic, using a docu-style approach to capture the emotional impulses of its dynamic characters and the fabric of their world. The film is a mosaic of observations I made based off of the people in my Mexican-American Central Coast community— it is also a film made by the community, bringing together a mix of actors and non-actors and a slew of untrained friends and family as the crew.


"... I was pretty consistently taken with it. The characters are so well drawn and the performances so realistic."

- Kentucker Audley, Director/Writer 'Sylvio' (MDFF '17 Selection) and Founder of NoBudge Film Festival

"'This Side of Summer' is so refreshingly unpretentious. It's a 'mumblecore epic' that doesn't feel improvised, stilted or self-centered. Shot by a 23-year-old Allen, the film is surprisingly competent and completely unimposing on its magnificent cast."

- Tyler Taormina, Director/Writer 'Ham on Rye' (MDFF '19 Selection)

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