This weekend The Loft Cinema will present an encore screening of the independent feature-length documentary Earthbound, USA which was written and directed by Jazzy Benson and produced by School of Theatre, Film & Television alumni Sara Luu (BFA Film & Television, ’18), Aaron Cargile (BFA Film & Television, ’19) and Brittney Olsen (BA Film & Television, ’18).
The film, ten years in the making, was produced locally in Tucson, Arizona. It follows the journey of American teenagers who connect on the early internet to crusade for their favorite video game, pitting their fan site against a corporate goliath and their own looming adulthoods. Interviews with the game’s creator, former Nintendo employees, members of the 90s gaming press, and the webmasters and community behind Starmen.Net have been combined with period-appropriate sets, quirky performances, and fast and surprising narrative techniques to present over 20 years of history and personal connections.
“My involvement with Earthbound, USA started after meeting Jazzy Benson at the Loft Cinema’s First Friday Shorts,” says Sara Luu. “I was immediately inspired by her sensibilities for independent filmmaking, so when she asked that I do production design for Earthbound, USA, which was already six years in the making at that point, I enthusiastically got involved. Our two-person team grew to include filmmakers Aaron Cargile and Brittney Olsen, both of whom I frequently collaborate with. Aaron is a top-notch documentarian and Brittney is the best producer one could ask for. These were connections made during our time at the School of Theatre, Film & Television that made this movie possible.”
“This is a true independent feature built from the ground up here in Tucson, so for the film to premier at the Loft Cinema is so special,” says Luu. “I’m proud of all the local filmmaking talent here, and am excited to continue to create locally!”
Aaron Cargile added: “Tucson’s independent film community is very robust and supportive – we couldn’t have made this movie anywhere else. It’s a place where outsider voices and new ideas can find their audiences and thrive.”
The screening, taking place on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 2pm, will feature a post-film in-person Q&A with director Benson and the producers Luu, Cargile, and Olsen.