First-time feature director David Goldsmith deftly finds the comedy amidst the pathos that might otherwise mire Sally, his coming-of-age tale about a teen who escapes a mental institution and then searches for his dream girl.

Bugs has Tourette’s syndrome. Escaping the Marlboro House – a spot for disturbed teens – he hitches a ride with an equally disturbed young couple, Jack and Beth. When Beth becomes attracted to Bugs, the situation becomes explosive.

"It’s a love story about believing in your own dreams," says Goldsmith. "Bugs is stuck in a place he doesn’t belong but through faith in his own dream and convincing someone else – Beth – to believe in him he gets out." Michael Rubenstein makes his feature debut as Bugs, Goldsmith himself is Jack, and Rachael Leigh Cook (The House of Yes) plays Beth.

A two-year veteran of New York’s Actors’ Studio, Goldsmith has played in three indie features including Full Court Press and had a featured role on the Fox Network series "Models, Inc." He also starred in his first foray as director, The Death of the Monkey (IFFM ’96). Sally producers Ted Collins and Kathleen Thomas are teaming for the first time; Collins previously produced Arthur Egeli’s Hamptons ’94 Golden Starfish winner Unconditional Love. Thomas has a ’94 M.A. from NYU’s Cinema Studies program and was New York-based Longfellow Pictures’ Director of Development for three years; she’ll turn up next associate producing River’s Edge director Tim Hunter’s latest feature, The Undertow.

The Super-16mm Sally spent 22 days in April shooting in Pennsylvania’s Harrisburg State Hospital, a several-hundred acre complex that provided entire buildings for office space as well as sets, beginning March 30. Thomas says Sally was the first film to take advantage of a new Pennsylvania law making all state-owned property available to filmmakers for free. Sally should be done sometime this summer; all rights are available.

Cast: Michael Rubenstein, Rachael Leigh Cook, David Goldsmith, Xander Skye, Jared Reed, Gerrit Vooren, Kevin Pinassi, Matt Price. Crew: Producers, Kathleen Thomas, Ted Collins; Screenwriter/ Director, David Goldsmith; Cinematographer, Richard Cronn; Production Designer, Whitney Browne; Editor, Jacob. Contact: Kathleen Thomas, Blackbird Post, 8th floor, 138 West 25th Street, New York, New York 10001. Tel: (212) 254-8555; Fax:

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© 2005 Filmmaker Magazine