Person to Person
November 15, 2017 · Regal Riviera · 7:00 p.m.
Indie Spirit Award-winning producer James M. Johnston (A Ghost Story, Listen Up Philip, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) will join us to discuss the film. James’s visit is supported by the Visit Knoxville Film Office and UT Cinema Studies.
In Person to Person, a record collector hustles for a big score while his heartbroken roommate tries to erase a terrible mistake, a teenager bears witness to her best friend’s new relationship, and a rookie reporter, alongside her demanding supervisor, chases the clues of a murder case involving a life-weary clock shop owner.
Shot entirely in 16mm, Person to Person effortlessly humanizes its characters, invoking an earnest realism in the performances of its ensemble cast: Michael Cera, Abbi Jacobson, Michaela Watkins, and newcomer Bene Coopersmith. Defa demonstrates his aptitude for honest storytelling as he explores the absurdity and challenges of forging human connections.
“A gently comic slices-of-life drama, the kind where a variety of people’s conflicting, occasionally overlapping experience of the city comes together into a messy whole.” — Village Voice
About the Filmmaker
Dustin Guy Defa’s feature film Bad Fever was named one of the best films of 2012 by The New Yorker. His short film Person to Person (2014) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won awards at the Berlin International Film Festival, SXSW Film Festival, and Hot Docs. His short Family Nightmare also screened at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2015, the Film Society of Lincoln Center presented a weeklong retrospective of his short films.
About James M. Johnston
James M. Johnston is an award-winning filmmaker from Fort Worth, TX. He is part of the filmmaking collective known as Sailor Bear where he produced the films Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Pioneer, Listen Up Philip, Person to Person, and A Ghost Story. He was a 2011 Creative Producing Fellow at the Sundance Institute, named to Variety’s 10 Producer’s To Watch in 2012, and won an Indie Spirit Award for producing in 2013. Johnston is a writer/director in his own right and his short films including Knife, Receive Bacon, and Merrily, Merrily have played to great acclaim at festivals around the world. His 2015 short Melville was named one of the best American short films for 2015 by IndieWire, among many other honors. Mother’s Day and Well Spoken, James’s two most recent short films were both named Vimeo Staff Picks, together being seen by half a million viewers.