Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tribeca Short Film Connects East Harlem and UES Teens

Tribeca Short Film Connects East Harlem and UES Teens

April 21, 2011

"Nightlife" is among the shorts at the Tribeca Film Fest.

East Harlem-reared actor Adam Soto (above) and director Shandor Garrison talk "Nightlife." (DNAinfo/Tara Kyle)

By Tara Kyle

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

TRIBECA — An unexpected bond between a pair of Manhattan teens — one from a Harlem project, the other from the tony Upper East Side — takes the spotlight in "Nightlife," one of the student shorts in competition at the Tribeca Film Festival.

The movie follows Hector (played by East Harlem-reared actor Adam Soto, 21) while he visits his doorman father (Antone Pagan) at work on the Upper East Side. There, Hector forges a connection with resident Lilly (Olivia Whelan), as both teens struggle with problems at home and feelings of isolation.

Director Shandor Garrison, a graduate student at New York University, made the film on a budget of less than $10,000, although he said the resources at NYU added the equivalent of another $40,000.

Tribeca Short Film Connects East Harlem and UES Teens

"Nightlife" captures a moment's connection between two teens — one from East Harlem's tenements, the other from a tony Upper East Side address. (Courtesy of Shandor Garrison)

The story itself grew out of Garrison's lapsed friendship with Soto, who he had worked with years before.

Reconnecting last year in the actor's home, Garrison discovered that Soto had stopped acting. With the role in"Nightlife," he drew him back into the world of moviemaking.

That performance earned a stamp of approval from NYU professor Spike Lee, according to Garrison, who described Soto as possessing authenticity and a "rare talent."

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