What it's about: "Run & Jump" follows Vanetia Casey (Maxine Peake), the spirited and impossibly optimistic center of the Casey family, who’s struggling to get life back to normal after her 38 year-old husband, Conor (Edward Macliam), suffers a rare stroke which changes his personality. Entering the emotional fray is buttoned-up American doctor, Ted Fielding, (Will Forte) who arrives in Ireland to stay with them for two months: his research grant providing the Caseys with essential financial aid. Vanetia’s a dynamo, but with two young kids and both men in the house, she’s feeling bombarded and initially treats Ted and his study of Conor with resistance. Only when she observes Ted’s calming influence on the family does she begin to value his friendship, and, in return, Ted enjoys her heady, happy-go-lucky world. But Ted’s continued presence in the house sets the family on course for an emotional collision.
What else should audiences know?: "This is not a story about a man adjusting to life after a stroke. This is a story about a woman and family adjusting to a new husband and father. Ailbhe, the co-writer, had some real life experiences to draw from while we were working on the script. Her dad sustained a head injury so, in her household there was an old and new, a before and after. This lends an authenticity to the film and the way the Casey's circumstances are drawn. All this is happening under the microscope of a complete stranger. Dr. Fielding and Vanetia's story is a poignant allegory about new friendships developing mid-life born of mutual stagnation and curiosity. Their relationship is gentle and realistic, developing in shy stages, and never self-serving. This is a type of 'romance' we don't often see on screen."
On the challenges: "Other than the typical challenge of financing, our two other major challenges were a house hunt, and the Irish weather. Over 75 percent of the movie takes place in and around a house. We needed a house big enough to shoot in, but small enough to be quaint. The weather in Ireland is never great but we had an unseasonably cold & wet summer to contend with. This meant that sunny scenes turned into rainy scenes and a jump into the ocean became a very uncomfortable experience for our actors. They all handled it with courage through their chattering teeth."
What she hopes audiences will walk away with: "This movie is Will Forte's dramatic debut, and he delivers a subtle and
powerful performance. It's also a chance for American audiences to have
more exposure to the incredible British actress Maxine Peake. Not to
mention Edward MacLiam, a fantastic Irish actor who is now working in
the US. The kids in the film are irresistible. I hope Tribeca
audiences come away feeling a sense of discovery upon seeing these
performances and performers. I hope they enjoy being transported to
Ireland to observe this family, and I hope they are moved by the story,
which is poignant and truthful."
What's next: "I have scripts in development with The Irish Film Board and some projects brewing in the US. I'm adapting Jonathan Lethem's Novela "Girl in Landscape" into a screenplay. It's a coming-of-age western-style film set in the future on a new planet."
Indiewire invited Tribeca Film Festival directors to tell us about
their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and
what they're doing next. We'll be publishing their responses leading up
to the 2013 festival.
Keep checking HERE every day up to the launch of the festival on April 17 for the latest profiles.